Lack of RCMP presence in Forestburg a concern for council

Forestburg village council

Once again the lack of RCMP presence in the Village of Forestburg was a topic of conversation amongst council members during their regular meeting on Mon., Apr. 4.

According to council members,  school age “kids” are using the stretch of road between the crosswalk and Fas Gas on Hwy #55 in Forestburg as a “drag strip”, which deeply concerns CAO Debra Moffat.

Councillor Dana Oberg said that local residents he has spoken with have “given up” contacting the RCMP about their concerns.  Which Oberg understands to mean people have lost faith in their RCMP and that is a big problem.

The drag strip is only the newest concern for the apparent lack of RCMP presence. Other issues in the past few months have included vandalism, theft and an abandoned home being used as a party house for local kids.

Council members once again voiced their concern about this ongoing problem and were trying to be optimistic about possible solutions, however none have yet to be passed.

Fire service agreement

The village’s fire service agreement with Flagstaff county remains an ongoing issue, as nothing has yet been done by the county to finalize the agreement.

The Village of Forestburg took Flagstaff’s original fire agreement that they were presented and, simply reversed it with a few additions and changes.

Moffat said she took out the clauses with their staff members doing specific tasks, did a calculation based on the average number of fire calls since 2006 and came up with a fee of $22,000 to charge the county for turning the fire service over to them.

“Some years you win and some years you lose,”  said Moffat with respect to that particular dollar amount.

She went on to say that instead of exchanging money, the $22,000/yr would be charged to the county annually until they pay off the debt incurred by taking over the service, once a price was agreed upon for the cost of the equipment and so on.

A dollar a year would be charged for the hall rental however the county would be responsible for all upgrades and costs.

Forestburg council members are anxious to have this fire agreement finalized as many voiced concerns that by the time the county gets around to signing this current contract it will have reached its 2017 expiration date and the process will have to be repeated all over again.

Council members agreed to send Flagstaff county a request to review the fire services agreement in hopes of helping move the process along.

New water treatment plant

The village’s new water treatment plant is in the final stages of completion said Moffat.  Select Engineering’s report to council said that there are only a few items left to complete on the “to do” list, therefore discussions took place over when to hold a grand opening.

Discussions also surrounded how to handle the late penalty fee for the continued delays on the part of the Temple Engineering, the company who handled the construction of the project.

Although the water treatment plant’s construction came in on budget, a rarity in the “major construction project world”, the project was 180 days behind schedule.

Select Engineering, the intermediary between Temple Engineering and the Village of Forestburg, recommended against charging Temple the penalty fine according to Moffat, stating that it would likely go to court and would end up costing the village more dollars than the fine itself.

Councillor Dana Oberg questioned why concessions were put in contracts if they don’t actually hold up.

Concern was also voiced for the potential draw backs of upsetting Temple.  Would their efficiency and quality of work be a problem during the warranty period, should the village stand firm on the penalty fee.

After a great deal of discussion, it was agreed that the penalty fine would be overlooked and the “hold back pay”, in the amount of $250,000 still owed to Temple, would be paid provided they complete the “punch list” by the end of May, and at which point the warranty period would start.

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