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Elk Point town council getting ready for summer and beyond

Elk Point Mayor Parrish Tung and his council added a number of events to their calendars at last Monday’s meeting, in addition to Wednesday’s meeting regarding a potential multi-use recreational facility.
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ELK POIINT - Elk Point Mayor Parrish Tung and his council added a number of events to their calendars at last Monday’s meeting, in addition to Wednesday’s meeting regarding a potential multi-use recreational facility.

June 20 will see two council representatives attend a meet and greet in Bonnyville with president Kendall Dilling of Pathways Alliance, a group six of oil sands companies with the mission of reducing CO2 emissions to net zero. The alliance wants to share their plan and vision and learn more about this region’s priorities.

The following day, those on council whose schedules permit will attend the fourth of five Summer Municipal Leaders Caucus meetings across the province, this one in St. Paul.

Council also hopes to meet with new MLA Scott Cyr at his convenience in the near future.

Canada Day preparations

With Canada Day coming up very soon, council approved a long list of requests from the planning committee, including closure of the parade route, provision of barricades, bleachers for the Canada Day stage, garbage cans, porta-potties and picnic tables, access to the EcoCentre washroom on Canada Day morning, repair of gopher holes on the north ball diamond, street sweeping of the downtown main street after the parade, a letter of support for the CFB Cold Lake military flyover and liability insurance for the Canada Day activities. Coun. Wanda Cochrane, who chairs the committee, assured council that the fire department will spray down the fireworks area prior to the June 30 show and will be on hand during the fireworks.

Mayor Tung expressed concern that residents might be wanting to use their backyard fire pits during the holiday weekend and urged that they contact the fire department to determine if this will be allowed, and is asking the public to “please be respectful” of the need for safety during a very dry summer.

Tourism direction to be determined

Tourism was a late addition to the agenda, with Deputy Mayor Tim Smereka asking council, “What direction do we want to take? The Provincial government wants to work with northeast Alberta and we need to think about moving forward.” The mayor designated Smereka and Coun. Jason Boorse, who represents the town at Alberta’s Lakeland meetings, to “decide what to do” to keep the town involved. Coun Boorse acknowledged that “The demand is there” for tourist information in the area, with the Deputy Mayor adding that there is “a big push” to increase visitation in the region and “This will be taking the first step.”

Online reservations

One boost to tourism could come next year, when online camping reservations through ‘Let’s Camp’ online reservation system for sites in the Elk Point Recreation Park will be made available for the 2024 season.

Rural transit

Council agreed to join with the County of St. Paul, Town of St. Paul and Summer Village of Horseshoe Bay to approve the STEP Economic Development Alliance to work with Azimi Consulting Lt. to make an application for the Rural Transit Fund when the application process opens in the fall of 2023. The Fund, through Infrastructure Canada, would provide planning, design grants and capital funding for eligible organizations to assess and/or develop rural transit solutions for communities.

Team building

Town of Elk Point staff from both the administration office and Public Works will be taking the afternoon of Aug. 24 for their annual summer Team Building Event, with both offices closed from 1 p.m. on that day.

Library Board

Four members of Elk Point Municipal Library Board will keep their reappointments for another three years, after a March 27, 2023 resolution of council was turned down by the Public Library Services Branch as the wording did not comply with the Libraries Act. That resolution was rescinded and its replacement states the term expiry date of March 26, 2026 individually for Levina Ewasiuk, Vicki Brooker, Sherry Milholland and Theresa McNamara.

Unfinished business

Three items of unfinished business and five other items were discussed in a two-hour closed session, council coming back to pass seven motions. The first of these was to proceed with a subdivision plan for Lot 15, Block48, Plan 1921841. Three other motions also dealt with land. The first of these asks CAO Ken Gwozdz to contact the town’s solicitor to engage in negotiations for the town to purchase the east half of NW 6-57-6-W4. The CAO was also asked to pursue recovery of undeveloped land on Lot 7, Block 46, Plan 1921636 and to continue to negotiate regarding Lot A, Plan 3539TR as designated, that being one of the unfinished business items.

The second unfinished business item was the approval of a one-year term extension of the CAO’s contract, as presented by the CAO, and the third was approval of a revised road crossing agreement regarding buried cables.

The firth item also dealt with land but was received as information.

About the Author: Vicki Brooker

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