Lacombe council approves sidewalk improvements, Henner's Pond

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The City of Lacombe council reconvened for a regular meeting on Aug. 12 after a month-long break.

Under new business, the first item of discussion was reviewing the feedback from the budget survey. Only 112 residents responded to the five-minute survey and about half skipped the open-ended questions.

Councillors reflected on more successful ways to collect feedback and whether it adequately reflects public opinion which they can base decisions on. They accepted the report as information.

Late tax fees

Because of an oversight by the Burman University finance staff, they did not pay taxes to the city but instead issued the cheque to Lacombe County. The missed payment meant the university was penalized $7,273.46, which they submitted a letter of request to cancel the penalty.

“We are a charitable university and any penny has to go towards out programs. Penalties of that amount are a significant outflow from our budget,” wrote Pope Gondewe, director of accounting services at Burman University.

Council unanimously declined the request to reverse late fees.

“It certainly doesn’t reflect upon Burman and the great relationship we have,” said Mayor Grant Creasey. “We have the date set out the way we do and they need to be followed by everyone.”

Sidewalk replacement

The Downtown Sidewalk Replacement Program has approved a contract with Raiders Site Services Ltd to address the sidewalks along 47 Street, 54 Street and select spots along 52 Ave this fall.

The locations were selected based on a review that these were of lower condition.

Coun. Thalia Hibbs moved for council to award the contract to Raiders Site Services Ltd. to an upset limit of $155,897 plus GST. The motion passed though Coun. Chris Ross voted against.

Pond project

According to Alberta Environment and Parks, Henner’s Pond is “not an adequate receiving body for stormwater,” meaning that a project needed to be implemented to discharge the stormwater.

Of the five bids for the project, Northside Construction was the lowest at $1,131,355. Council unanimously approved to award the company with the contract.

Two other motions were made for the project. Next council agreed to enter into two contracts, one with Al-Terra Engineering (Red Deer) Ltd. for management, construction and post-construction engineering services and the other with Wood for materials testing during construction.

Council agreed unanimously to the expenditures totalling $1,186,226, not including GST.

Policing grant

The City of Lacombe is at risk of being in deficit by $200,000 after receiving less than expected from the Municipal Policing Assistance Grant. It was budgeted that the city would receive $404,456 but it received half that amount.

Council considered sending a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and instead decided to accept the report as information.