Town council doesn’t budge on sewer service enforcement

Town of Slave Lake council notebook
June 19 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Movement on the CN front

Town manager Brian Vance reported that the sidewalk damage at two CN Rail crossings in town should be fixed soon. He’d been on the horn with the company and found it is content with the town doing it as part of its larger sidewalk re-hab program.

“We’re going to do the work and send them a bill for the entire amount,” Vance said.

Sidewalk repairs

Council approved a recommendation to award the contract for this year’s sidewalk repairs to Raiders Site Services, for $219,000. This is the same firm that the town hired for the same sort of work last year; again it was the low bidder, town project manager Doug Baird told council, adding “they did a good job last year.”

On the list for fixing this year are 44 bad spots around town, including gaps at two CN Rail crossings. CN has committed $28,000 to pay for those spots, which it cut out last year in its crossing signal installation work.

Also to be fixed is damaged concrete in front of the multi rec centre.

The town had budgeted $250,000 for the sidewalk project.

Development permit process

The big item of the meeting was an overview of the town’s development permit process. This entails what the town requires of the applicants and what the town is required to do in communicating those requirements. There’s a lot to it, and we’ll spare you the details.

One thing that came out via councillors’ questions about the process was that not every single requirement ends up in the development permit on paper. In pretty much every case, said Laurie Skrynyk, the planning and development director, there’s information that gets passed on to the developer by way of phone calls and one-on-one meetings.

But the bulk of the conditions for development are contained in the permit, and the onus on the developer is to understand them and fulfill them. If he or she doesn’t – the deposit won’t be refunded, for one thing.

That’s what happened in the case of Harry Staab’s development in Springwood, as reported in last week’s Leader. In that case the town also issued an enforcement order, to compel Mr. Staab to install the required separate sewer services to two residences he developed there. He is contesting that order, his main objection being that the town added the condition after he’d gotten his development okayed by the town.

“This won’t stand,” he said.

Council went in camera to further discuss the matter. When it came out, it made the following decisions:

By a unanimous vote, council decided to have the town replace a four-inch reducer from the six-inch line coming from the Staab properties to the town’s main line under 7th St. NE. By a 5 – 2 vote, council upheld the town’s enforcement order, requiring Staab to provide separate sewer services to the two residences in question. This will be “at his expense, and the town will not service the lot.”

Voting in favour of that motion were mayor Tyler Warman and councillors McGregor, Brandle, Busk and King. Voting against it were councillors Gramlich and Ferguson. Whatever the arguments were for or against the motion probably would have made this a more interesting story. However, that discussion was behind closed doors and presumably will stay there.

Mayor’s corner

In his update for council, mayor Warman spoke about spending time with Community Futures manager Josh Friesen, working out details of that organization managing the Visitor Information Centre for the season.

On a related note, Warman said he’d also been consulting with the person developing the regional tourism website.

Things are looking up at the Legacy Centre, Warman reported, with “lots of bookings already. We’re working with artists and entertainers who are approaching us.”

This would presumably include the Stompin’ Tom Connors tribute show (by Taw Connors, Stompin’ Tom’s son), which the town announced last week is coming on Sept. 22.

Otherwise, “lots of calls about development permits”; also about a ‘sea can’ housing development proposed for northeast part of town.
Finally, Warman passed on a note to the organizers of the Canadian Tire Anglers Cup.

“It’s a lot of work,” he said. “We appreciate what you’re doing.”

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