Outdoor graduation ceremony – Youngstown

ECA Review/Terri Huxley
Written by Terri Huxley

Youngstown officials and staff gathered at their normal meeting place at the village office on Aug. 5 where they chose to accept a request from Youngstown’s four graduates to allow usage of the green space near the recreation centre and skating rink to the west for their graduation.

Due to COVID-19, graduations across the country have been postponed or even cancelled because of the strict prevention guidelines set out by the government.

It was also asked that the village open the curling rink restrooms which they were happy to donate for zero cost.

The grad will take place at the end of August.

Water park work

Mayor Robert Blagen asked Public Works Foreman James Mably if anything could be done for the water park as one of the pieces of equipment produces a large amount of water.

He suggested the village should look at buying one that produces a fine spray which will help significantly with the water bill.

“I think the kids would enjoy it and get more use out of it,” said Mayor Blagen.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Emma Garlock mentioned it may be worthwhile to contact Special Areas’ specialist, John Armstrong about this as he has experience finding and installing quality water park pieces.

He worked on both the Gooseberry and Prairie Oasis parks.

Public works report

Mably was equipped with a list of items he needed direction on which was presented and discussed at council.

A resident had requested there were some old poplars on their boulevard which needed to be trimmed or even removed.

They agreed they would be willing to plant again after the old ones were removed.

“I know it cost the town a lot of money [to put in] but it’s a bit of an eyesore now,” said Mably.

Council agreed it wouldn’t hurt to take them down and would look into a professional tree trimmer to have them removed.

Mably also asked about reopening the public washrooms at the campground.

Coun. Ken Johnson oversees public works operations and agreed it would be okay to go ahead with reopening as it is simple to winterize them.

It will be open for about a month as they close in September.

Another topic brought up was the hail damage sustained by a few village-owned assets including the air conditioner units for the community hall.

On Mon. Aug. 3, a wicked thunderstorm which produced hail and a funnel cloud nearly touching the ground came through the area surrounding Youngstown.

Damage was taken to the front of the village office tin siding as well as a village truck.

Foreman Mably recommended they purchase and install some protectors as they could be dangerous for children if they get too close while also protecting the units from the elements.

Mably also inquired about the idea to pursue a sewer camera at 100 feet in length for roughly $500 to $700.

Coun. Johnson said a 125 ft. camera would be better as it stretches farther which would allow them to access most of their lines.

RCMP report

Hanna RCMP Sgt. Trent Sperlie gave a written report of priorities for Youngstown as COVID has ‘put a lid on any in-person meetings’.

Priorities include reducing oil field theft by seven per cent which Sperlie was happy to say they have already exceeded this goal for the year.

Second item was reducing drug trafficking.

He reported the detachment has not had any successes with this so far.

They want to reduce distracted driving, increase compliance with adequate mufflers, reduce stunting and street racing, and increase the clearance rate of oil field thefts.

The office doors in Hanna are closed to the public to avoid contact from COVID.

Dumping request

Council and staff were concerned about the access or lack thereof of the road to the garbage dump because if any rain touches that area, they can’t access it until it dries.

This can be problematic when collection day rolls around.

“We shouldn’t have to wait. Every other town has their own transfer station,” said Coun. Johnson.

Council passed a motion to have CAO Garlock write up a letter stating their concerns which will be presented at their meeting in September.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.