Town of Slave Lake Council notebook

Oct. 5, 2021 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Rennie Hall Plaza

Sitting in for CAO David Kim (who is on leave), Garry Roth updated council on the renovation project in Rennie Hall Plaza downtown. It turns out it likely won’t be finished this year, he said. This is thanks mainly to delays in getting underground utilities located.
Another thing that came up is the trees had to be removed. The plan had been to preserve them, Roth said, but “the roots were entangled with the underground utilities.” They’ll be replaced, he added.
On extending the project into 2022, Roth said it seems possible now that the grant can be extended as well. Initially, it had to be spent by the end of this year.

Who kept the dogs in?

Roth told council the town has been struggling to care for captured pets in the pound on weekends. Peace officers have been doing it, at a cost in overtime wages to the town. In the meantime, ads for a casual, part-time person to do that job look as if they might produce some results.
“There is some interest there,” said Roth, adding that the arrangement would likely cost the town less.

FCSS grants: no takers!

Family and Community Support Services grants are still available, Roth told council. Only one application was received and it was dismissed as not valid. So the town is hoping for more applications in the last quarter of 2021.

Barton Park equipment arrives

Material for playground structures at Barton Park in the southwest part of town has finally arrived, Roth told council. This is to replace the structures damaged or destroyed by fire last year. A contractor should be in town soon to assemble them, but don’t expect the ‘soft surface’ to be installed until next year, Roth advised.

Figuring out the COVID rules

As requested, council got another update on the town’s efforts to figure out how to make the Multi Rec Centre as accessible as possible while staying within AHS guidelines on COVID. The bottom line appears to be that the town simply doesn’t have the resources to impose a strict, across-the-board system of checking all users. So it’s going to require the cooperation of various user groups.
“We’ve provided them with our expectations,” said community relations manager Jill Shepherd. “They’ve all been excellent with us.”
As for smaller groups, individuals and such, Shepherd said the details are still being worked on. Stay tuned….

Re-zoning underway for brewery

Council gave first reading to a couple of bylaw changes that if passed will allow Dog Island Brewing to set up a restaurant at its premises on Caribou Trail. Since restaurants aren’t a permitted use in the Light Industrial district, the recommendation is for the property to be switched to the Secondary Commercial district, which does permit such activities.
Three different planning documents will have to be amended. Council gave first reading to each and set a public hearing date for Nov. 2.

Support for Homeless Coalition

A late addition to the agenda was a request from the Slave Lake Homeless Coalition for a letter of support for its funding application for the Mat Program (overnight shelter). Councillor Brice Ferguson, who represents council on the Homeless Coalition, said the groups hope such letters would “strengthen our position.”
Council voted in favour of providing the requested letter.
Ferguson also asked for advice on approaching the Regional Tri-Council and the Alberta North Central Alliance for similar letters of support.

Mayor’s Corner

Speaking of that new regional alliance (five municipalities, five First Nations), Warman said the agreement had been short a couple of signatures, due to people being unable to attend the signing ceremony back in September. However, that’s being worked on, he said and “we’re down to our very last one.”
Warman’s other item in his wrap-up remarks had to do with a visit to Devonshire Beach the day before, with Alberta Parks people, along with reps from the M.D. of Lesser Slave River and town council. He called it “a great discussion,” and indicated it boded well for improvements in the provincial park. Among the items discussed were beach grooming, signs and the possibility of having food trucks at the beach in busy times of the summer.

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