Tuesday, April 5, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 14 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“If it’s costing us more than it’s worth, we shouldn’t be doing it.”
- Emile Saindon  
- Municipal Councillor   
   

 

 
Snow removal and ice control policy to be adopted
At the January 11th GPC meeting, administration informed Council that it had drafted a municipal Snow Removal and Ice Control policy, one which the community had been operating without until this year.
Myron Thompson, Director of Operational Services, informed Council that the policy provides guidelines and a general plan of action for dealing with winter road maintenance, and outlines roadway category priorities.
At that meeting, Councillor Larry Mitchell moved to refer the policy to the January 20th Policy Committee meeting for review.
Since that time, Thompson said changes have been made to the draft policy, in order to better serve and represent the needs of the community.
He said administration has worked to categorize and define procedures for snow clearing and ice control, which is made difficult in this community by frequent snowfall, high winds, and hillsides, which complicate the process.
He said procedures will be improved and undertaken through the use of snow gates, and by providing a more concentrated effort of clearing snow and ice from downtown areas and priority sidewalks.
Residents will be given notice when their roadways are going to be cleared, and provided with sufficient time to relocate their vehicles, in order to further enhance snow clearing capabilities.
“We are looking forward to providing a better level of service, and learning from some of the things we have experienced this year,” said Thompson.
He noted that significant and frequent snowfall has impeded service and capability this year, and that there is always a better and more efficient way of dealing with these problems.
He said this process has been made easier by Council purchasing upgraded equipment, and through the hard work of public works crews.
“Our crews have done snow clearing in a certain manner for a very long time,” said Thompson. “They do excellent work, but there are other methods and we want to explore those.”
Councillor Siegbert Gail said he encourages residents to have patience and compassion for crews working to clear roadways and alleys.
Councillor Emile Saindon said he would like to see streets with municipal buildings and emergency services focused on even more in the future.
Councillor Gail moved to recommend that Council adopt the policy, which will realistically come into effect next winter.
The motion was passed unanimously.

Spring cleanup
Administration provided Council with information relative to the costs associated with the 2010 spring cleanup, and its projection for the cost of this year’s program.
Myron Thompson said the cleanup will take place from May 24th to June 3rd, after which time, Council and Administration will determine whether to continue, revamp, or eliminate the program.
This year, the program provides cleanup services to Crowsnest Pass residents, by picking up a maximum of three large household items such as furniture and large kitchen appliances.
Councillor Emile Saindon said he was concerned with the cost of the program, noting that last year’s program came in well over budget, and that he expects more of the same this year.
“If it’s costing us more than it’s worth, we shouldn’t be doing it,” said Councillor Saindon.
Councillors Brian Gallant, Siegbert Gail, Andrew Saje, and Larry Mitchell said they would like to see the program limited to residents with reduced mobility, such as the elderly and disabled.
“I support this program for those with reduced mobility,” said Councillor Saje. “Other than that, everybody should look after their own.”
 

Councillor Gallant said the current system is inefficient and “horribly expensive”, and that he would prefer to see residents permitted to bring items to the landfill themselves once or twice a year for no cost, instead of having an expansive cleanup project once a year.
Councillor Saindon said that by limiting who the program serves, costs could be cut by up to as much as $15,000, bringing the cost of the program to about $20,000 a year.
“We’re not in a position where we can be handing out freebies to everyone,” said Mayor Bruce Decoux. “Some programs will have to be reduced or cut.”
He said this could be the last year for this kind of pickup service, but that Council was not prepared to make that decision at this time.
Councillor Larry Mitchell made a motion to recommend that Council direct Administration to make further revisions to the program.
The motion was passed in a 6-1 vote, with Councillor Saindon opposed.

Maplevue Hall demolition to go ahead
Council received a request from the Municipal Heritage Board, asking to delay the demolition of the Maplevue Hall for 60 days.
Board Chairman Fred Bradley said this delay would allow the board the opportunity to provide a recommendation with regard to the building’s historical significance.
They also requested that Council consult with the Municipal Heritage Board prior to making the decision to demolish any municipally owned buildings, in order to receive the board’s recommendation on the building’s historical significance.
Councillor Emile Saindon opposed the request, noting that the decision to demolish the building has been in the works for the past couple years, and that the board had plenty of time to address Council on the matter before this point.
“We’ve gone beyond the point of no return with the way the building has been left,” said Councillor Saindon.
The building, which was constructed in 1924, sustained substantial and extensive damage from a fire in 2003, and has remained vacant since.
A contract for the removal and disposal of hazardous materials within the building was issued in 2009, with an approximate price tag of $26,000.
According to Myron Thompson, the property is currently in a state of neglect, and poses liability risk to the municipality.
“I really do value our heritage, but we have gone very far down this road,” said Councillor Brian Gallant. “The time is up to save it.”
“We’re wasting our time,” said Councillor Larry Mitchell. “I say we go ahead with the demolition. It’s too darned late.”
“That building has been an eyesore for a very long time,” said Councillor Jerry Lonsbury. “The amount of money that would be required to restore that building is enormous.”
Councillor Andrew Saje was the only councillor who spoke in support of holding off on the demolition for three months.
Councillor Gallant also said that instead of checking with the heritage board every time they plan to demolish a municipal building, they should direct the board to work with Administration to compile a list of buildings they feel need protection.
A motion was made to recommend that Council continue with the demolition as planned, and that in the future a consultation process be implemented by the heritage board with the municipality well prior to demolishing municipally owned buildings.
The motion was passed in a 6-1 vote, with Councillor Saje opposed.

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