Town of Slave Lake Council notebook

Aug. 18, 2020 meeting
Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

CAO report
Town of Slave Lake CAO David Kim gave a CAO report. The town is testing for lead in buildings built before the mid-1970s. This is a province-wide testing program and isn’t cause for concern. The town is about half done with the 40 samples. So far, there are no concerns.

Businesses are signing up for electronic transfer of funds. The peace officers spent most of their time on unsightly properties, speeding, and Liquor Act violations. The previous week the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Fire Service responded to 12 calls, of which two were medical and one was an outdoor fire.

Community services director Garry Roth said, Northern Lakes College recently received a grant to update all of the boilers in its Slave Lake campus. This will impact the opening of the Northern Lights Aquatic Centre (aka. the pool). Once NLC has a contractor in place, the town can decide when to open the pool. The provincial COVID rules will mean that the staff has to be retrained, this may be done before or after the boilers depending on the construction timing.

The Northern Lakes College boilers heat both the pool and the building.

Community services held information meetings with ice users, said Roth. The meetings “went very well. Most user groups are very understanding.”

Much of the plan has already been reported but there was some new information. There will be sections of seating in Arena 2 where masks will be required because it is too tight to social distance. There will be no new MRC staff, but extra work, so each group will have a COVID volunteer to make sure the contract tracing form is filled out and help with enforcement issues.

“We’re going to take a common sense approach,” said Roth, but if people don’t follow the rules after they’ve been warned there will have to be consequences.

Government Centre roof retrofit
Council approved a $215,000 retrofit to the roof of Government Centre. This building houses the town office, Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library, the Slave Lake Provincial Court and other provincial offices.

Under the original contract, Alberta Infrastructure was required to pay 78 per cent of the cost, but now they want to pay this in increased rent over a period of time.

Two major concerns were raised.

Councillor Rebecca King suggested council ask for a third quote, because the first contractor had estimated $700,000 to replace the full roof and the second said it only needed some sections fixed which would only cost $215,000.

The second contractor dug deeper with infrared scanning, so that explains the difference, said mayor Tyler Warman.

Mayor Warman raised the second concern, how long does Alberta Infrastructure want to pay it off?

“They’ve been very non-committal,” said Roth.

Warman responded three years is fine, but if it’s closer to 15 years, the town should charge interest.

Council approved the retrofit, but councillor King was opposed.

Economic development
The Town of Slave Lake has hired an economic development officer. The person’s name was not announced. Council approved $10,000 from the $270,000 economic development budget to furnish an office.

Capital Projects
Project manager Kush Patel gave a capital projects status report. Most capital 2020 projects have been postponed because of COVID-19, but a few are going forward. Most of these are expected to finish between September and December 2020.

Projects going ahead are the hilltop reservoir upgrade, sewage lagoon upgrade, raw waterline project and some general road maintenance. The Gloryland road work and other major road construction is postponed to 2021.

Lift station D replacement in the downtown area is delayed because the town needs to buy some land, and the landowner isn’t responding.

Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation
The town has started advocating on behalf of the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, says mayor Warman. It is an important part of tourism in Slave Lake and “attracts people to this region.” It is “unique in the world.” If it only costs the provincial government $35,000 to keep it open for the winter, they are getting “good bang for their buck.”

Town council is working on setting up a meeting with the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. The goal is to “keep this valuable asset open.”

Mayor’s corner
M.D. counsellor Brian Rosche recently passed away, said mayor Warman. “It was quite shocking to hear of his passing.” He sent his thoughts and prayers to Rosche’s family and friends.

Mayor Warman hurt his leg playing pickleball at the MRC. However, he’s glad to see that the staff are coming up with activities and events.

The new funding model for Alberta physicians is impacting the Family Care Clinic model which is used in Slave Lake. Councillor Joy McGregor and Warman planned to speak with the Minister of Health on Thursday, August 20.

Council has been speaking with various provincial ministers including the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

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