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Wheatland County Council Briefs: Pothole concerns

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

Emails and phone calls from ratepayers about a large pothole in the road near Township Rd 224 and Range Road 241 was part of the discussion during the September 5 meeting of Wheatland County council.

 

A ratepayer reported a road hazard where an accident with farm machinery occurred. A combine flipped over as well as a trailer flipped and was damaged at the site.

Councillor Ben Armstrong suggested that county staff be allowed to investigate the incident and report back to council, and that the ratepayer contact their insurance and speak with county staff who may contact the county’s insurance.

“He has been very cordial and very polite,” said councillor Rex Harwood, he read aloud a correspondence from a ratepayer about the incident.

“He was pulling his combine header down the road, had hit the hole and flipped over the header on the road. It damaged the reel on the header and it twisted the hitch,” he said.

There was a concern about the area not being flagged as a hazard for motorists.

One of the issues was that the accident was reported to the county over the weekend during an after-hours shift, but that up until Monday morning there were still no hazard flags on the road

County council was informed by Wheatland County’s manager of transportation and utilities Mike Zhier that there is an after-hours cell phone and a foreman who is on call.

“These things come back to councillors when we have a problem,” said councillor Alice Booth, about complaints from ratepayers. She also asked for more clarification on how ratepayers report issues to road crew staff and how that information is relayed to administrative staff.

Carseland Fire Hall new costs

The cost of the Carseland Fire Hall is reported to have increased by an estimated $1 million. The issue was raised during the September 5 meeting of Wheatland County council.

“Carseland should not be expected to raise another nickel,” said county councillor Don Vander Velde.

“They should go by the first estimate,” he said.

In August 2017 there was only $250,000 left for the community to raise to cover their part of the financial responsibility for the fire hall.

The Carseland Fire Department was established in 1987. The fire department is outgrowing their current space on Railway Avenue, they would like the new hall to store vehicles, equipment and offer more services in their area.

Attainable housing update

Alice Booth relayed a communication from FCM in August 2017 about FCM’s new priorities with a National Housing Strategy and attainable housing.

She spoke about the FCM working with the federal government to implement housing strategies.

“It’s coming down to all provinces across Canada,” said Booth.

Looking to community to look out for crime

Councillor Don Vander Velde noted the community concern near Speargrass about crime, during the September 5 meeting of county council. Vander Velde attended a meeting with residents from Speargrass on August 28 in regards to break-ins in the community.

“They are wondering what the county can do?” he said. It was suggested that adding more lighting to deter criminals and the possibility of starting a community watch was floated. “Watch out what’s going on in the community,” said Vander Velde.

Obsolete computer equipment

County council has approved the disposal by sale of old computer equipment to E-Cycle. In order for Wheatland County employees to work efficiently, computer equipment is replaced according to a schedule that ensures it is up-to-date, energy efficient and reliable.

Obsolete equipment is sold to recyclers who extract the metals and plastics. All data on the equipment is removed prior to sale. Equipment will be transferred to the recyclers with other equipment collected at Waste Transfer Sites. The county will gain revenue from the sale of obsolete and non-functioning equipment.