Coronation Town Council approved the findings and recommendations of Regional Housing Capacity Assessment prepared by the Bethany Group on behalf of the communities of Castor, Coronation, Halkirk and the County of Paintearth at the Oct. 10 regular meeting with Coun. Vickey Horkoff being the only negative vote.
“I don’t think housing is a ‘regional’ issue,” said Horkoff in an interview following the meeting. She went on clarifying that if she had spent her whole life in Coronation, having to move to another community to live out her senior years, is not “aging in place”.
The 47 page report maintained that “a new approach with acceptance by the major stakeholders will lay the foundation for a regional framework. The report went on to say “it is evident that there is now a need and impetus for rural communities to work closely together to ensure that they can be seen as representing a regional population with a clear knowledge of the issues and possible solutions to the problems. The accepted practices of the past where each smaller community represented its own interests, and expected to be able to provide for all aspects of health and housing needs, are probably no longer viable.”
The report recommended a new regional housing body be formed with the specific air of developing a new Regional Integrated Housing Plan for the area to explore added capacity in social/affordable housing.
Under Recommendation 2: the report noted that there is potential to develop new models of family housing (formerly called Affordable Housing) that would add to the limited stock available within the region; the new strong housing management body could apply for and administer Rent Supplement grants to enable families to remain in their existing accommodation; and finally, that prevailing demographics that Coronation would most benefit from this type of development.
In Recommendation 4 under Coronation – New Supportive Living Seniors Facility stated it would be logical to think that it is the responsibility of AHS to redevelop/replace the existing care spaces in Coronation.
It went on to say that “if it was a decision by a new regional housing board to pursue a facility it will come with certain difficult decisions including closing the existing Assisted Living unit and the Long Term Care space in the hospital. The new facility would accommodate these spaces within the new build.” Any arrangement with AHS/Alberta Health will potentially be on a cost shared basis (i.e. ASLI grant @ 50 per cent) and any deficits will have to be paid by the regional tax base.
Public concern raised
Coun. Brigley reported a concern that was raised with her regarding the Golf Course Club hosting functions at the clubhouse during winter hours.
Discussion was centered around the concern over the decline in the Rec Centre and Curling Club rentals which directly impacts the town and curling club revenues.
Kulyk pointed out that the town has given over the operation of the course and clubhouse to the club and they pay all the utilities, expenses, etc.
However Brigley asked, “who do they come to when there is a shortfall”, citing the request for funding support for the greenskeeper wages in the amounts ranging from $20,000 to $22,500 per year.
“We have to look at something different,” said Coun. Horkoff, “Even the bowling alley needs to be used more.”
Coal phase out
Council will encourage residents to fill out a Government of Alberta an online survey to let them know how the coal phase out will impact families and communities at www.surveymonkey.com/r/albertacoalsurvey.
Coronation town council gave consent to the donation of $100,000 from the Paintearth Waste Management Ltd. to the Paintearth Economic Partnership Society for financial assistance.
Noxious Weed control
Council discussed increasing its budget for control of noxious weeds for the purpose of educating residents concerning control of noxious weeds. Alberta Government regulations include two prohibited noxious sees that must be controlled.
“A dedicated staff member, we just don’t have the monies for that,” stated CAO Sandra Kulyk.
Kulyk will look into what other communities do and what they budget for weed control. Presently the town budget is $ 2,200 for weed spraying.