Staff Sgt. Chris Murphy and Sgt. Marlene Brown gave Town council a Slave Lake RCMP quarterly update at its March 14th meeting.
“We’re currently selecting priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and we’re getting communication feedback to create these priorities. I hope to come back sometime in April with a completed list,” said Murphy. “As for resourcing we are still doing fairly well, spots are all filled however four of our officers received transfer notices. Once their homes sell we could be faced with several members gone at one time.”
When it came to crime stats, Murphy said he’s pleased to say domestic-related crimes have seemed to ‘plateau’, but property crime has risen.
“I’m happy to say spousal violence is no longer flagged but I can’t say the same thing about property crime – we expected this back in 2015 because of the downturn in the economy and this isn’t just for Slave Lake, this is something that’s happening across the province.”
“Have residents been home during any of these break and enters?” asked councillor Mark Missal.
“Yes and that’s extremely concerning!” answered Murphy. “Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary and somewhere you feel safe.”
“Do drugs play a role?” asked councillor Philip Lokken.
“It’s a small select group of people committing these crimes and yes addictions do play a huge role because a lot of the time people do this to feed an addiction.”
As for traffic safety, Murphy said things in that realm are heading in a positive direction.
“It’s been something I’ve continued to monitor and we’ve been striving for positive statistics,” he said.
To put it into perspective, in 2012 there were 274 accidents, 2013 – 249, 2014 – 236, 2015 – 149 and in 2016 – 147.
“I think you guys are doing an awesome job!” said councillor Darin Busk.
Annual siren test a no-go
Town of Slave Lake Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Brian Vance gave council an update on things happening around town.
“We discovered that the siren didn’t work for the annual siren test,” he said. “We’re in the process of repairing it and will try a short monthly test on Thursday.”
Vance went on to say work on Lift Station E is making headway.
“They are making really good progress on this – finally!” he said. “The building is up and mechanical and electrical installation underway. A driveway and parking lot is being built and tie-ins will be done this week.”
Waterline breaks and sewer blockage
“We had another waterline break on 1st Ave. and 3rd Street SW,” Vance added. “The frost in the boulevard is deep due to the low snow fall. Also the sewer line plug by Sunlife was found to be a broken line where the service line connects to the main line. Repairs are complete along with repairs to a residential line on 3rd Ave. NW.”
“How is it determined who’s liable for repair?” asked Lokken.
“It depends on the cause of damage,” said Vance. “If it’s on the resident’s side of the property line they are liable but if it’s on our side we pay for it.”
Open house well attended
In another update, town manager Brian Vance said the downtown plan open house was well attended.
“The workshop and open house was held on March 9,” he said. “There was lots of excellent input and the next step for the consultant is to prepare a draft plan and bring it back for comments.”
Issues with NLAC hot tub…again
Vance told council the hot tub at the Northern Lights Aquatic Centre is still on the fritz and needs repairs.
“The hydrotherapy pump arrived back but is still not working properly,” he said. “The hot tub is having problems with the temperature – we’re manually setting it right now.”
“Are we just going to keep band-aiding it or do something different this time?” asked councillor Joy McGregor.
“Replacing the hot tub might not be the right course of action,” said Vance. “We’ll have to look into it but I do know we didn’t budget a whole lot for hot tub repairs.”
Important upcoming dates
To wrap up his update, Vance listed an array of events happening in the community.
· 24th – Compassion Fatigue Workshop
· 23rd to the 26th – Midget C provincial tournament
· 1st and 2nd – Atco tournament
· 8th – Farmer’s Market
· 15th – home alone training and All Seasons Market
· 5th and 6th – Slave Lake and District Chamber of Commerce Tradeshow
· 11th and 12th – Pool ops course
· 13th – Farmers’ Market
· 26th – EDC Lunch and Learn
· 10th – All Seasons Market
· 30th – Roland Michener Secondary School grad banquet