Tuesday, January 18, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 3 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“Protecting our land is important to everyone here, and it is important to me.”
- Evan Berger  
- MLA for Livingstone Macleod   


Highlights of the January 11
Governance and Priorities Committee meeting
Administration drafts Snow Clearing / Ice Control Policy
It was brought to Council’s attention prior to the meeting that the Crowsnest Pass has been operating without an official snow removal and ice control policy until now.
In the past, the municipality has operated on a basis of what was done in previous years.
“This indicates a necessity of policy,” said Mayor Bruce Decoux.
The draft policy was put forth by Myron Thompson, Director of Operational Services, who told Council that a policy of this nature is difficult to write, likely resulting in no official policy having been drafted until now.
The policy provides guidelines and a general plan of action for dealing with winter road maintenance, in order to maintain public safety.
The policy also outlines roadway category priorities, wherein roadways are assessed according to four levels of priority.
Level A routes include all major arterial transportation routes within the municipality, emergency vehicle access, commercial core business areas such as downtown Blairmore, industrial areas, and roadways with major slopes.
Level B routes include distribution routes and school zones.
Level C routes are the remainder of roadways in residential areas, recreational roadways not included under levels A or B, and direct access alleys.
Level D routes are laneways and municipality owned parking areas.
Level A routes are to be cleared within 48 hours of snowfall exceeding 5 centimetres, meaning that if major snowfall occurs on Saturday morning, roadways would not be cleared the following Monday, except in cases of emergency snow volumes.
Mayor Decoux asked if this policy reflected a formalization of what had been done in the past.
“There are some new strategies in this policy,” said Thompson, “including improving snow removal in downtown Blairmore.”
Councillor Larry Mitchell made a motion to refer the policy, as well as the Municipal Credit Card Policy, to the meeting of the newly assembled Policy Committee, which will meet to review several municipal policies this Friday, January 20th.
The motion was passed unanimously.

Municipal advertising saga continues
At the January 4th Council meeting, Council voted to have Administration amend the draft Advertising Policy and present the changes at the January 11th GPC meeting for further review.
Councillor Mitchell brought up the issue of using newspaper inserts, rather than a full page print ad in the physical newspaper, which was discussed at the prior meeting.
Councillor Mitchell noted that according to the Municipal Government Act, municipal advertisements must be published in the newspaper, and that flier inserts are not a legal document.
He, along with Councillor Siegbert Gail, voiced concern over the effectiveness of placing municipal fliers in post office mailboxes.
Chief Administrative Officer Tully Clifford noted that, of the approximately 1,200 mailboxes in the Coleman post office, only 430 accept advertising in the form of fliers.
This means that only one-third of the population of Coleman would receive municipal inserts, and only in the case that they be automatically placed in every mail box, instead of distributing to those who have newspaper subscriptions.

On another note, Councillor Andrew Saje said he would like to see a different direction taken, in terms of utilization of social networking sites and other online resources as a means of getting Council’s message out to the public.
“I would like to see us move forward to progressive and really proven methods other than written media,” said Councillor Saje.
“That will also require a change in management, and educating all age groups into a new environment.”
A motion was made to accept the draft advertising policy as written, which was defeated 4-3.
A second motion to recommend further changes to the draft policy, and to refer it to the Policy Committee meeting on January 20th was made.
All but Councillor Mitchell were in favour, and the motion was passed.

Waiver of demolition fees
Council received a request from James Woodall, Executive Director of the Crowsnest Community Support Society, asking that Council consider waiving demolition fees be waived, in order to construct a wheelchair accessible home for one of the residents the society serves.
The home would be built on the site of an existing structure, which would need to be demolished prior to construction of the new home.
The CCSS provides support to area residents with developmental disabilities, and their families and/or guardians, in order to allow them to participate fully in society.
Myron Thompson suggested tabling the issue to the following Council meeting on January 18th, in order to attain further background information.
“I am concerned about setting a precedent,” said Thompson.
A motion was made to refer the issue to Administration for further investigation, the results of which will be presented at the next Council meeting.
The motion was approved unanimously.

Power outage sparks review of emergency plan
Councillor Saje brought forth the issue of emergency response and emergency planning in the Crowsnest Pass, following the power outage which affected the municipality for several hours on Saturday, January 8th.
Saje noted that the downpour of snow and harsh winds on that day lead to the power outage, shutting down of major highways, and residents being forced to leave their vehicles and look for shelter.
CAO Tully Clifford informed Council that on the Monday following the power outage, he had referred to the Municipal Emergency Plan in order to determine the recommended course of action in the case of a power failure extending for several days.
“The Crowsnest Pass Emergency Plan is based on a model developed by Disaster Services,” said Clifford. “However, I feel that it is outdated, and in need of modifications.”
He informed Council that Mark Murphy, Emergency Management Field Officer for the province, would like to give a presentation to Council on February 1st regarding this issue.
At that time, Murphy will outline details on the State of Emergency plan, and what changes will need to be made, as well as proposed actions.
Councillor Saje said he would also like to see businesses and residents along Hwy 3 educated on what to do in such scenarios, as they lie along the main transportation corridor.
The current emergency plan, which was made in 1980, is in the process of being updated by Legislative Services.

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