An Elnora property owner told the village council at their regular meeting Jan. 9 that he was withdrawing his previous request to have a culvert near his property repaired by the municipality.

Lee Staats, who owns property described in the meeting as 502 Queen Street, notified council in an email dated Dec. 21, 2023 that he withdrew his request although he was still quite unhappy with the situation. 

“Although I am glad you have not forgotten about this issue and have discussed it in two council meetings so far, I am withdrawing my request to this current council to have the culvert fixed in the access to my property,” stated Staats’ letter.

“This is not because I don’t think the village should replace it, it is because of the insane reasoning of council at the last meeting and the clear indication that you just do not want to fix it.

“Also, I wish to inform you that I too contacted Municipal Affairs (MA) and Red Deer County and had very lengthy conversations with an MA manager and the engineering coordinator at [the county] on this matter so I am well aware of the actions that can be taken on this matter, much of which I did not hear mentioned by the CAO in the last meeting.

“Anyways, now you can stop spending taxpayer dollars discussing and investigating this issue and stop implying that fixing a culvert on public property is going to cause everyone’s taxes to skyrocket.

“My hope is that if this current council is presented with another decision to spend over $400,000 of tax monies like they did this year in June/July, that they will put at least as much discussion and thought into that decision that they did into this one so far,” added Staats’ letter.

Councillors only briefly discussed the email, with Mayor Jul Bissell stating the village will continue to investigate who is responsible for paying for certain culverts. The email was accepted as information along with all other correspondence items.

Later in the meeting under the bylaws items, councillors agreed through resolution to have village staff draft an approaches/culverts policy and bring it back for discussion at a future meeting.

Interior design

Councillors unanimously approved an interior designer’s quote of $8,900 plus expenses to prepare a conceptual design, detailed drawings and construction management for the Elnora Public Library planning and development project.

Wendi Ronspies Design Ltd. which it was stated at the meeting is located in Red Deer, submitted a Dec. 4, 2023 estimate for, “Interior tenant improvement to an existing main floor space in the (Village) of Elnora. The intended use of the space is to provide space for a new town library/multipurpose space for the community.”

Ronspies’ estimate described in detail the conceptual design phase including discussing the tenant’s needs, the construction document phase including preparing a detailed architectural drawing package and specification notes as required and lastly the construction phase, including construction project management. Many more details were included.

Mayor Bissell stated the village needs to get into the building in question first before work such as the estimate can be done. However, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sharon Wesgate responded a plan such as Ronspies’ was needed at this time.

The mayor added the site in question still needs some clean-up.

Garbage truck

Councillors discussed efforts by the village to sell its old, surplus garbage truck. Mayor Bissell reported he had further discussed this truck with auction services that sell such vehicles and the vehicle does have monetary value.

The CAO noted that another municipality did contact Elnora to ask questions about the truck, but it seemed they were just asking questions and no offer was made. 

The issue was tabled and will be discussed again at a future meeting.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 17, 2024 at 13:12

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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