City of Lacombe to re-examine speed limits
Speed limits along Lacombe’s highways could be reconsidered by city council.
Results from the 2016 Speed Limit Survey, which the previous council accepted for information and directed administration to incorporate a speed limit assessment in the next transportation master plan update, were brought back before the new council at their regular meeting on Monday.
Coun. Chris Ross, who had talked about addressing speed limits during his election campaign, was behind results coming back to council, and pushed to advance speed limit assessments, particularly for the Hwy 2A corridor, and Hwy 12 (50 Ave.) between 53 St. and Hwy 2A, where survey respondents indicated a faster speed was needed.
“Part of my interest in this was to create more consistency,” he said. “I’d like to have the process move forward in a more timely manner.”
While no other councillor dismissed the idea of taking a closer look at possibly changing speeds in those areas, in addition to lowering speeds on roads without sidewalks, no one else was ready to advance a speed limit assessment.
“Any one of these studies is estimated to be $25-50,000,” said Coun. Jonathan Jacobson. “I don’t know if I feel like I want to spend $50,000 on something like this at the moment.”
Coun. Don Gullekson agreed, adding he didn’t feel council needed to spend more money.
Returning Coun. Reuben Konnik, however, hinted at being content with the speed limits the way they are.
“I don’t think council appreciates all the information it has been given,” he said. “There’s a good reason why, for example, it’s 50 km/h from Hwy 12 north to where you turn into Sobeys. That’s a terrible spot. I foresee problems if we jack the speed up right there.
“As for (Hwy) 12, I could give you all kinds of reasons why that was done, why it was a good idea and why I still think it is today. We need to unpack this more.”
Council made the decision to talk more about speed limits at their upcoming Strategic Planning retreat, and if a direction with where to go on speed limits is not decided upon, it will come back before council at a subsequent committee meeting.
Blindman Brewing taproom expansion
Blindman Brewing’s desire to expand their taproom could be one step closer to fruition.
On Monday, Lacombe city council gave first reading to the microbrewery’s application for a site specific exception that would allow them to expand beyond the allowed 50 square metre ancillary use under the Land Use Bylaw (LUB).
The expansion, which includes an upper outdoor patio and emergency exit staircase, would bring the taproom up to a total area of 140.45 square metres.
A number of exceptions have been previously made for Blindman Brewing, including a nine per cent variance for the tap room area, further variance for expansion to ancillary use for the location of an outdoor patio, and expansion into Bay 3 of the building.
City Planning and Development Manager Deb Bonnett, however, says if this expansion is approved, administration would not recommend further expansion at their current location, which is in the industrial district.
A public hearing has been set for March 26.
2017 election campaign and contributions
Disclosures of the expenses and contributions for all who ran in the Lacombe 2017 municipal election have been released.
Mayor Grant Creasey had total campaign revenues of $22,908.81 and expenses of $17,250.07, amounting to a $5,658.74 campaign surplus. He did not make contributions to his own campaign himself, but had a total of $21,390 given to his campaign ($640 worth of contributions under $100 and $20,750 worth of contributions over $100.
His opponent and former city councillor, Peter Bouwsema, meanwhile had total campaign revenues of $14,557.76, and equal expenses. He contributed $7,257.76 to his own campaign, and had a total of $7,300 contributed ($100 worth of contributions under $100, and $7,200 worth of contributions over $100).
Of the council candidates who provided information, Coun. Jonathan Jacobson spent the most on his campaign with $3,326.93 worth of revenue and expenses. He contributed $1,326.93 to his campaign, and received $2,000 in contributions over $100.
Coun. Cora Hoekstra was next with total campaign expenses and revenue of $2,249.54. A total of $249.54 was self contributed, while $2,000 was made through contributions over $100.
Wayne Rempel, who did not get re-elected, spent $1,300 on his campaign, contributed $600 himself and raised $700 in contributions over $100.
Councillors Reuben Konnik, Thalia Hibbs and Don Gullekson self-funded their campaigns, as well as unelected council candidates Wayne Armishaw, Joyce Smith and Sandy Douglas.
No information was provided for Coun. Chris Ross nor former councillor Bill McQuesten, however, those who self-funded their campaigns are not required to submit a campaign disclosure statement and candidates have until March 1 to declare any donations made to their campaigns.
The disclosure forms for each of the candidates will be available on the City of Lacombe website.
Council committee appointments
Council gave approval to term appointments for citizen-at-large positions for the Affordable Housing Committee and councillor appointments to the newly formed Cannabis Readiness Committee.
Bradley Freeman was appointed to the Affordable Housing Steering Committee for a two-year term ending Feb. 26, 2020.
Councillors Jonathan Jacobson and Thalia Hibbs were appointed to the Cannabis Readiness Committee, with Coun. Don Gullekson listed as an available alternate.
Mackenzie Ranch subdivision extension
A request to extend the subdivision approval for phase six of Mackenzie Ranch was approved by city council.
Two extensions, which last for a one-year period, have previously been given for the subdivision.
City council gave first reading to the repeal of a second batch of inoperative, obsolete and ineffective bylaws.
The process to clean up, organize and index the city’s bylaws and policies began in 2016, with approximately 1,024 bylaws and amendments identified as needing to be repealed. The second batch includes bylaws from 1930 and 1931 for the appointment of a poundkeeper, medical health officer, chief of police, plumbing inspector, secretary-treasurer for the then-Town of Lacombe and the appointment of a returning officer for a special election in 1931.
Other repealed bylaws include amendments to Bylaw 135 made in 1991 – 2003.
The next council meeting will be held on Monday, March 12 at 5 p.m. at City Hall in council chambers.