Hanna enters into agreement with AXIA

Hanna town council

The town of Hanna council members voted in favour of entering into a Municipal Access Agreement (MAA) with AXIA Connect Ltd. in front of over 25 interested community members at their last regular council meeting on Tues., Aug. 9.

Council, through their 2016 community campaign,  identified that the Town of Hanna has both the need and desire to have a fibre optic network in the community.

According to CAO, Kim Neill’s report to council, the MAA is an agreement that will provide access to anyone requiring utility access on town property (such as back alleys, under roadways, etc). There is currently no funding proposed in the MAA from AXIA to the town for the right to utilize these right-of ways.

As per AXIA’s request, the town provided AXIA with a decision prior to July 30, 2016 therefore Hanna will be the next AXIA fibre optic community with the grid installation being completed, at AXIA’s cost, prior to the end of the 2016 calendar year.

Neill went on to state in his report that council strongly believes that fibre is the way of the future and the best technology for the installation of a comprehensive broadband system for the Town of Hanna.

However a challenge the town faces, Neill continued, is that an installation with this kind of comprehensive fibre system requires a 100 year contract, similar to the installation of tele-com system originally installed in Hanna by Alberta Government telephones.

Therefore, Neill advised, council needs to be confident that all potential options for the installation of this fibre grid have been fully investigated to ensure they are making the best long term decision and not just the fastest, most inexpensive or seemingly risk free option.

Another angle, Neill advised council consider is the risk benefit ration for opting to privatize. With Hanna being the largest urban centre in the Special Areas it could play a significant role in the viability of a regional broadband system for area.

Being the largest fibre profit centre, the town makes the viability of a fibre system in the other towns and villages much more challenging as potential profits from Hanna in the long term will not be available to support the regional system.

Credit Union investment

Council voted in favour of investing just under $650,000 with the Chinook Credit Union at the Aug. 9 meeting.

Hanna received their 2016 Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) capital funding allocation in the amount of $645,978.

However these funds were earmarked for two projects that will not be initiated until the Summer of 2017:

1) The 3rd St. storm water outfall project which includes the construction of a new storm water outlet to CN Reservoir, the replacement and upsizing of water, sanitary and storm mains along 3rd St. West between 3rd Ave. West and Railway Ave. and road restoration work for an estimated cost of $1,200,000, and

2) The construction of an addition to the existing public works shop for an estimated $400,000.
CAO Neill explained in his report to council that if the funds were to be left in the general account at RBC they would accumulate 0.8 per cent interest or approximately $5,200 over one year.

After requesting rates for term deposits from the four local banking institutions the Chinook Credit Union came in with the best rate at 1.85 per cent for a one year term with the penalty clause to remove the funds early being only 0.25 per cent, which still provided a rate of 1.6 per cent in the event the funds were required early.

This would earn the town around $12,025 over the term of the investment, an increase of $6,825 over the interest that would be made if the funds remained in the general account with RBC.

Library renovation update

The library roofing has been completed according to Neill despite trouble on the west end of the library addition.

Approximately 1500 square feet of insulation, found wet in the west end of the library portion, needed to be replaced at the quoted price of $1.95/sq. ft.

The contractor also recommended installing two internal drains, one over the former council chambers and the other over the administration roof portion to drain low areas of the roof where standing water collects.

Swimming pool

The swimming pool will close on Aug. 28 for the season.

New pool blankets arrived in July to replace the worn blankets that have been in use since the pool opened 11 seasons ago.

Public works update

Brent Olesen, Director of Public Works reported to council that the public works department has finished crack sealing the roads and are just about done the line painting.

The public works team has also been cleaning catch basins after every rainfall to ensure they are clear for the next rain.

Two operating rods on curb stops have been replaced so the home owners could replace valves in their basement and bird houses have been installed in the community garden.

Potholes are being filled when time allows and the grader has been doing maintenance in the alleys and along South Municipal Road.

The town received a shipment of six concrete angels for the cemetery.   Concrete bases hold a statue and a planter will be poured in six locations within the cemetery once the best placement for them has been determined.

The angels range from 26 to 37 inches in height.

Sewage is being hauled from the holding tank at Fox Lake Park every Friday now that the park is open for the season. The Special Areas Maintenance Shop sewer tanks continue to be hauled every three weeks as per usual.

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