Discontent over new Hanna logo

Teri Standing, a private citizen, made a public presentation to council about her concern with the new Hanna logo and tag line.

Standing said the leaf on the logo was so generic it is nondescript and noted a leaf has nothing to do with this town.

She said similar logos using a leaf are used throughout the nation for heat controls and company names.

“The logo has nothing to do with Hanna,” said Standing, who suggested the colours in the logo are not found in nature within 150 miles of the town.

Standing also said that the tag line is “out to lunch”.

She wanted to express her concerns before Council made the logo official.

Standing said she is not alone with her concern about the logo and has spoken to others who agree with her.

Mayor Warwick replied to the feedback he has received from the new logo and tag line is positive.

Standing added, “It is a nice logo, but not for Hanna.”

Hanna Farmers’ Market subsidy

Hanna town council felt the discount of 33 per cent was not inline with subsidized rates given to other organizations so they unanimously agreed on a 25 per cent subsidy, which works out to a charge of $303.75 per day for the Hanna Farmer’s Market to rent the Hanna curling rink and use of the kitchen one day a week for their 2020 season.

Peggy Rehill from the Hanna Farmers’ Market gave a presentation to the Jan. 14 Hanna town council requesting the same as 2019.

In 2019, council gave the Farmers’ Market organization a subsidy of 33 per cent off the regular fee of $525 a day for a rate of $271.75 per day to rent the facility.

Coun. Gerald Campion noted there was some discontent in the community about giving the Farmers’ Market a subsidy considering they were also receiving a subsidy from the Ag Society.

Rehill stressed they were a not-forprofit organization and had a deficit of $1,700 for 2019.

Rehill said the Farmer’s Market felt that at the Round-Up Centre their section suffered from significance given to the Public Market section as to creating the Hanna Farmers’ market as a separate entity with the help of the Ag Society.

The consensus of council was if the market grows tables, $30 would not be an issue.

Gwen Snell noted that the Farmers’ Market organization was very easy to work with was agreeable and clean and went above and beyond to help the Community Services Team.

Grad Class subsidy request

Council agreed to discuss a subsidy request by the Grad class at their Feb. 11 council meeting following a presentation by JC Charyk Grad class 2020 President Jocelyn Graham and Shaelynn Graumann, treasurer.

They asked for a subsidized rate to use the Hanna Arena and Curling Rink for the graduation ceremonies and Safe Grad on May 22, 2020.

Graham, in a letter written to council, said the class was willing to do volunteer work for the Town “to be able to earn the facility for a discounted price.”

They also requested a reduced rate for the use of the chairs.

Community engagement meetings

Melinda Hutton, School Council chair, and Lindsay Bond, Prairie Land School Trustee, addressed council to extend an invitation to the eight Community Engagement Meetings sponsored by the Prairie Land Public School Division to discuss financial implications imposed by the UCP 2019 Provincial budget.

Hutton said tough conversations need to be held before tough decisions are made.

She predicted that these decisions could affect the town and noted presently there are conversations which include implementing a four-day school week.

Solar Projects update

When discussing the finance reports, Coun. Sandra Beaudoin asked Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Neill if the $20,000 payment for Environmental Solar was for the same solar project discussed last month.

CAO Neill responded, “Yes, it was” saying the Community Generating Capacity project has been moving along.

Neill added that connected to this solar initiative, there is a solar training course that will be presented by Medicine Hat College and the Hanna Learning Centre.

Neill noted that environmental studies are seeking the “best wind resources” and the “best sun resources” in the Hanna area and a lease agreement is being developed with Westmoreland.

The site of this lease is important as it needs to be close to a drag line and environmentally prudent.

The Town of Hanna is not likely to be an investor in this initiative but spinoffs from this development for the town are employment opportunities for Hanna residents.

Another solar study Neill gave an update on was the Henry Kroeger Regional Water Facility coming off the grid.

Neill said early returns from the study look promising.

It is estimated that taking the facility off the grid could mean a savings of $30,000 per year in electrical expenses which would provide a 10 to 12 year payback.

This payback could accelerate if solar panels continue dropping in price and the uncertainty in power pricing spirals upwards.

Neill continued by saying that an offshoot of the Kroeger study is analyzing the benefits of combining all municipal electricity loads.

There are 14 municipally run sites around Hanna that could be powered by a small solar field and there are 10 acres of land which could be made available for the generation facility and grant dollars to study this business case.

Strategic Plan update

Progress on development activities associated with the Tactical Playbook created by 13 Ways Inc. for the Town of Hanna and Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) has now become a focus on details.

On Jan. 17 Doug Griffiths will be facilitating a workshop to identify priority initiatives and the lead organizations responsible for the initiatives, set the timeframe to complete the initiatives and identify funding and resources required.

Business Hub

CAO Neill reported great things are happening at the Business Hub.

As planned, the offices will open Feb. 1 and the grand opening will be scheduled for March. The Chamber of Commerce is preparing to move into the new facilities.

CAO Neill stated, and Mayor Warwick concurred, that town administration is getting more feedback and holding more discussions with potential business operators than at any time in the past seven years.

Credit Card payments for utilities and taxes

Laurie Armstrong said Town of Hanna administration have researched a company willing to accept credit cards for home-owner utility payments.

The downside is the customer, not the town will be charged a service fee for the use of this service.

Armstrong hopes this service will be implemented before the end of January.

Annual Fire Department year end report

Hanna Fire Chief, David Mohl, presented his annual report stating in 2019 there were 96 incidents, which is the third-highest ever, following 2017 with 146 incidents and 2018 with 124 incidents.

Motor vehicle accidents accounted for 27 per cent of the incidents, grass fires accounted for 21, false alarms accounted for 18 and medical assist accounted for 15 per cent.

The remainder of the incidents is vehicle fire, structure fire and miscellaneous.

In a separate item, Mohl spoke positively about the introduction of a Fire Fighting Course for high school students.

Mohl has spoken informally with both the Alberta Ministers for Education and Advanced Education and hopes the Minister for Education takes the lead and enables this course to be offered through JC Charyk School.

Mohl said if we can get this course through the high school system at a reasonable cost, students who are successful in the course and choose to live in remote communities will be the main benefactors.

Analyzing lead content

Kim Neill advised that as part of the operation of the Town of Hanna water distribution system, the town is required to complete a Drinking Water Safety Plan (DWSP).

Recent testing on the Kroeger sourced water shows that lead found in the water supply is significantly lower than the Alberta Environment Standard.

Some lead pipes may still exist but locations are unknown. Lead pipes are replaced as discovered.

Brent Olesen, Director of Public Works noted that in Hanna only three water lines made from lead have been unearthed in the past nine years.

Future of Municipal Sustainability Initiative

Mayor Chris Warwick received a letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Kaycee Madu, detailing the grant amounts Hanna can expect in 2020.

Hanna will receive the additional MSI capital funding of $32,668 and $14,988 under the component and $17,680 under the Basic Municipal Transportation Grant (BMTG) component.

When added to the MSI capital funding of $397,437 committed through the Interim Supply in August 2019, your municipality’s total capital funding for the program year 2019 is $430,105.

The MSI operating funding remains unchanged at $141,138.” CAO Neill said this is the first time in several years Hanna has been made aware in advance of MSI funding, and Neill noted that now “planning can happen”.

Recycling in Hanna

The Town of Hanna received an email from a concerned citizen about garbage collection and recycling.

The writer requested that the Town of Hanna review recycling in a more intensive way as he was prepared to pay extra fees to have a ‘legitimate recycling initiative’ in Hanna.

The CAO said this email held a different scenario from the one he usually hears.

Neill said he hadn’t spoken to a lot of proponents who have said they would be willing to pay more for recycling.

 

Eileen Morrill

ECA Review

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