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Main Street contracts awarded

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

With the first phase of the Main Street Project to commence April 24, the City of Lacombe has awarded construction contracts to a trio of companies.

Pidherney’s Inc. was awarded a unit rate contract of $5,595,587 plus GST for construction during the project, while Parkland Geo was awarded the contract for geotechnical testing for $62,195 plus GST. Stantec was awarded $335,983 plus GST for consultation during and post-construction.

The costs for the project so far have come in under budget, according to Mayor Steve Christie.

“The pricing came in a little less than we hoped it would,” he said. “So far so good.”

A total of $6.75-million is allocated to the project as part of the 2017 Capital Budget. This includes market unit pricing, five per cent contingency, professional services and one per cent for art on eligible infrastructure as well as communications and marketing costs.

Naturally, the hope is that costs will come down a little further, and the project proceeds on or ahead of schedule to help minimize issues for residents and area visitors.

“We will have a full time consultant on site, for 10 hours a day, for 102 days from Stantect for any issues,” said Christie. “We’re moving (Engineering Services Manager) Jordan Thompson downtown to the old police station during the project so he is down there and very, very available.

“We’re doing everything we can to make this go as smooth as possible.”

Signage has been placed around the downtown to remind residents downtown businesses will be open and accessible during the project.

Asphalt milling is slated to begin April 24 with rolling road closures. Stage One of the project will see 50 Ave. from 50 St. to Hwy 2A closed.

Construction is expected to wrap up by the end of October, with top lift of asphalt to be paved in 2018.

For more information on the Main Street Project visit www.lacombe.ca/mainstreet

 

Provincial and Federal budget impact

Not much is changing for the City of Lacombe following the release of both the provincial and federal budgets, at least not this year.

Mayor Steve Christie says that changes that will take place will affect the city more down the road, especially with regards to the City’s 10 Year Capital Plan.

“Right up front there’s no big changes,” he said. “As far as budgets go, neither one of them, the federal or provincial, made much of a difference this year and we’ll continue to watch in the years to come how it affects our 10 Year Capital Plan and some of our operations plans going forward.”

Provincial education tax requisition will be one of the items that will indirectly affect the city and it’s taxpayers, however. For the fiscal year, school requisition will jump 1.5 per cent for residential and 1.1 per cent for non-residential. In the calendar year, that equates to a 3.4 per cent jump for residential, and 1.3 per cent for non-residential.

“Unfortunately, it shows up on City of Lacombe tax bills so people get to see that and it will affect us indirectly,” said Christie.

“We had a lot of really good news prior to the budget. September 2016 (funding) was announced with regards to the regional wastewater line. That was a huge thing. That was something ourselves, Blackfalds and the County were working on for five years...but we’re always looking for long-term predictable funding.”

 

Mutual Aid Agreement Renewal

Council authorized the renewal of an agreement with the City of Red Deer for emergency response and disaster services.

The existing agreement was terminated by Red Deer earlier this year to create an updated agreement. While it’s not often Lacombe requires services from Red Deer – the last incident occurred in 2013 when a HazMat team was called in to assist with a chemistry lab fire at Burman University – the agreements are necessary to facilitate a plan for how the cities and their departments will work together during any level of emergency.

 

Southeast Area Structure Plan

Council gave first reading to amendments of the Southeast Area Structure Plan.

Amendments primarily included changes to better align the plan, first adopted in 1999 and amended in June 2012, to the City of Lacombe’s 2015 Municipal Development Plan (MDP), as well as industrial development and updates to include adopted outline plans.

More information on the Southeast Area Structure Plan can be found on the City of Lacombe website.

A public hearing will be held May 8 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

 

Flag Policy

Council gave approval to a flag policy designed to make sure flag display practices at city facilities are consistent and in line with federal and provincial protocols, particularly half-masting.

Until now, the City of Lacombe had no policy with regards to the displaying of flags at its facilities, and the decision to put flags at half-mast was done on an ad hoc basis.

Now, the Canadian flag is required to be flown at full mast on Victoria Day, Canada Day or the day the new monarch is proclaimed, unless the flag is at half-mast for the death of the monarch, prime minister or governor general.

The national flag will be flown at half-mast on April 28 for Workers’ Mourning Day, June 23 for the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, the last Sunday in September for Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day, Remembrance Day, and Dec. 6 for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Provincial flags will be lowered as the Office of Protocol or the Premier’s Office orders flags to be at half-mast. Other occasions for half-masting will be at the discretion of the mayor.

At present, the municipality display the federal, provincial and city flags at City Hall and the police station, the federal flag at the fire hall, Lacombe Memorial Centre and Chamber of Commerce building, and both the Alberta and Canadian flags at Michener Ball Park.

The next council meeting will be held April 24 at 5 p.m.

-abarrett@postmedia.com 



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