ELK POINT - With the second stage of Alberta Relaunch announced for June 12, the Town of Elk Point joined the County and Town of St. Paul in opening their administration offices to the public on June 15, with Plexiglas safety barriers in place in their front offices for the protection of both staff and public. Only one person will be allowed in the Town of Elk Point’s foyer at a time, a sandwich board with instructions outside the front door and markings on the sidewalk to indicate where those who are waiting their turn should line up.
The Public Works department and recreation facilities, from the riding arena and Pickleball court to gyms and ball diamonds, also were allowed to open yesterday, provided they can ensure physical distancing and have adequate public health protections in place. Some facilities, such as the library and seniors recreation centre, will not open until the required safety preparations have been completed.
An Elk Point service road that was not built to carry today’s heavy traffic is deteriorating to a state that it may eventually have to be closed. The road, stretching from 54 Ave. to 57 Ave. and parallel to the west side of Highway 41, is a convenient parking spot for large trucks, but they will now have to find an alternate location, after town council decided at their May 8 meeting to restrict vehicle weight on the road to five tons.
Total closure of the road was discussed, but it was noted that the road provides access to a business and a campground. The effect of heavy traffic on another service road on the other side of the highway was also discussed, but no decisions were made on that infrastructure.
A delegation from Wally’s Pub and Restaurant attended the meeting by Zoom regarding plans to increase the size of their parking lot and access to it, and learned that while removing grass and adding gravel to expand the parking lot would not require approval, an application for a development permit and approval from Alberta Transport would both be needed to expand the access.
The town’s recently approved Building Incentive Policy for Large Scale Non-Residential Development was revised from its original threshold of $5 million or over to $2.5 million, to allow more potential businesses to benefit from a reduction in permit fees.
“We want to work with businesses who are looking for help,” Mayor Lorne Young said, this being one way to encourage entrepreneurs to locate in Elk Point.
Mayor Young was given council’s approval to attend the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association online research session on June 23.
Deputy Mayor Terri Hampson received approval to attend another virtual session, this one a conference with the topic of rural and remote broadband.
Council received a request from the parents of F. G. Miller High School’s 2020 graduating class to assist with funding signs that each grad will be able to keep as a souvenir of this most unusual end to their high school days. Deputy Mayor Hampson said the County of St. Paul and Elk Point FCSS and the Elk Point Chamber of Commerce were both willing to pay a third of the cost, ands council agreed to pay the remaining third, with those funds to come from the Grants to Groups account.
CAO Ken Gwozdz told council that the town has received less revenue on water sales, but has seen an increase in permit fees in the past month. The town has not had to dip into its line of credit to this point, he noted.