County of Paintearth – Planning ahead for gravel purchase

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Ed Manz, Superintendent of Public Works for the County of Paintearth began the meeting on September 4, 2013 by proposing options for the next gravel purchase and haul.

Although the anticipated funds for this transport would be coming out of the 2014 budget, Manz brought it up ahead of time so that the wording and intent of the Request for proposal (RFP) could be sorted.

After some discussion, it was determined that the RFP should specify prices for both regular and modified gravel, in quantities of minimum 20-thousand tonnes seeking acquisition of up to 30-thousand tonnes.

County Administrator Tarolyn Peach noted that the decision to purchase would be something that would have long-term benefits, rather than immediate.  She noted that the County has “a road development budget of 2.2 million [dollars]; nothing specifically for gravel.”

“What will happen is you won’t decrease the quantity until it goes on the road,” Peach said, “You purchase it, you assets go up, but you’re cash poor.”

Motion to put out tender was ultimately carried.

Heavy equipment cleaning

At approximately 9:30 a.m., Agricultural Fieldman Jeff Cosens brought up a new policy for equipment cleaning. This was in response to concerns that the spreading of weeds, such as chamomile, and possible diseases could occur if back-sloping equipment – Cats, loaders and backhoes for example – did not return to the yard for washing between sites.

Possible costs incurred were discussed, such as increased cost of jobs, job reduction due to cleaning times and stricter work schedules. Also discussed was the between cleaning procedures in high risk areas – such as culverts-versus low risk areas, and cleaning frequency during seasonal changes.

Discussed was the possibility of building portable pressure washers to mount on the trailers. Jeff Manz said this could be done for likely under $2000 per trailer and would eliminate travelling to the yard every time cleaning was needed.

Cosens expressed that this was more of a work procedure than policy issue, as procedural obligations are easier to change and enforce, and if cleaning was a daily endeavour it was a procedural change.

Council accepted the washing between sites as a procedural guideline to minimize risk of transfer of weeds and diseases, and motion to accept as a procedural guideline was carried.

Coronation Gravel haul

A request was made from the Town of Coronation to haul dirt from nearby Cemetery Road – by the dam – into town, and thus they would like a ban relaxed on that road, presently at 75 per cent.

It was discussed that due to contaminated soil being hauled to the landfill site in times past, polluted dirt was not an issue.

It was decided that the ban would be relaxed to 90 per cent, at a maximum speed of 40 km to reduce possible roadway damage. No motion was necessary.

Path paving grant

Diane Schmidt, community liaison for the Coronation Support Services and representative for ChooseWell, approached council for support of a grant proposal to re-do the walking path to the Coronation campsite. The proposal for $32,000, would see the path paved and six pieces of wooden fitness equipment – such as a balance beam – placed at intervals along the path.

It was discussed that the Town would do repairs and equipment maintenance; also discussed was the possibility of ‘selling’ benches for memorial purposes.

Walter Webber, from District 5, inquired as to why the path needed paving. Schmidt said that paving would make the path multi-purpose, so that cyclists or people in wheelchairs could use the path with ease.

Motion passed to craft a letter of support from the county.

Other motions

Motion to participate in an Alberta Municipal Data Sharing Partnership (AMDSP) mapping project, which would create a local depository of digital data of all southern municipalities, was passed.

Motion to keep wages for Elections staff at $20 per hour, with paid training, miles and meals, was passed.

The Royal Canadian Legion is launching their Service Recognition book this year and asked if the County would like to sponsor another quarter-page colour ad. Motion was passed to do so.

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