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Blackfalds approves Canada 150 mosaic concept

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

Blackfalds town council chose this concept for the Canada 150 mural mosaic to be formally unveiled on Canada Day this year.
(Photo supplied)

Blackfalds town council chose this concept for the Canada 150 mural mosaic to be formally unveiled on Canada Day this year. (Photo supplied)

Blackfalds town council has nixed the opportunity for the public to vote on Canada 150 Mosaic Mural concept.

In order to meet artist deadlines for the project to be unveiled on Canada Day, council chose to move ahead with a concept of their choosing, rather than push back the mosaic unveiling to August 25 to coincide with the grand opening of Denise Neilson Memorial Park.

While a concept was chosen, not everyone loved what was brought forward.

“I think it lacks presence. I don’t think it really draws on our identity,” said CAO Myron Thompson. “My personal opinion is that it should go back to the artist and come up with something that reflects some of our amenities in the community.”

Each of the three concepts presented included a large “Blackfalds” logo, references to young families, the trail system, and black “faulds” of sheep, for which the town was named.

Coun. Will Taylor said he felt the concepts were looking too much like logos, rather than a flat train bed or car, but preferred option two.

Coun. Jaime Hoover agreed.

“I think it’s lacking a bit of the real characteristics our town is identifying with,” he said. “I’d prefer to move forward and have this unveiled Canada Day because of the significance rather than in August.”

Coun. Svab also agreed, but suggested it might be OK to push back the unveiling to ensure they were getting the kind of artwork they wanted. However, Councillors Marina Appel, Ray Olfert and Rebecca Stendie noted that the artwork provided was just conceptual, and the finished project will look different.

“Looking at some of the concept art in comparison to the actual art, when 400 tiles are being painted by children, it is not going to be identical to what we’re looking at,” Stendie said. “We’ve already pushed this back so much. Are we willing to wait another few months for more concepts?”

Coun. Olfert added that more elements in the mosaic could cause the mural to become too busy and lose some of its appeal.

With the goal to have 600 individual tiles to be painted by students at each of the community’s schools mid-June, and artist Lewis Lavoie needing a response by May 9 to get the project done for Canada Day, however, council unanimously decided to go with Option 2.

The mural mosaic project was approved for $15,000, to be taken out of reserves, in February. The mosaic will be located in Denise Nielson Memorial Park near the Wadey Centre.


Can Pak awarded solid waste contract

Can Pak Environmental will continue to pick up the Town of Blackfalds’ solid waste.

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, council awarded Can Pak a $476,000 contract for three years for what the town is calling “status quo” levels of service, but with more pickups.

The contract is a 4.4 per cent hike from last year, cause in part by a rise in business costs, as well as an issue with regards to the Chinese recyclable market.

“Bottom line is there was too much pollution and non-recyclable materials in the shipments we’ve been sending over there, so now China is backed up,” explained Blackfalds Director of Infrastructure and Property Services Preston Weran. “They want to make sure the material they’re receiving is actually what they want.

“China has essentially shut the gates to Canada and the rest of North America until these processing companies can get vetted through the China distributors to ensure the materials they’re pulling form the facility are the materials China wants.”

Can Pak is currently working to ensure their product will meet standards, and is expected to be able to start sending recyclable material to China in the near future.

There was also some discussion around the City of Red Deer’s new Green Bin program which allows residents to have compostable and organic materials picked up in addition to garbage and recycling. Weran says it’s something they will look at implementing over the next three to five years.

“Those bins will require somewhere to go and an additional cost right now, so even something as small as a dollar per resident would get some strong push back,” he said. “We’re looking at pursuing that path, but it will be outlined in our future solid waste initiatives.” 


Blackfalds Days Pancake Breakfast donations

council voted unanimously to donate proceeds from the annual town council pancake breakfast, held during Blackfalds Days, to the Dual Ice Development Society (D.I.D.S.). Non-parishable food items will also be collected for the Blackfalds Food Bank.

Council also extended the hours of the breakfast to run from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.


AUMA Trans Mountain Pipeline

At the request of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), council voted to support a resolution and draft of a letter to the federal and provincial governments urging them to support and complete the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project.

The next regular council meeting will be held on May 22 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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