Pump House project direction determined

A new building or upgrades to Elnora’s pump house project was given a closer look by Tagish Engineering’s engineers, Greg Smith.

No Immediate or finite details were nailed down, however, it did give council and the engineer a path forward in the direction they wanted to go with the project.

Prior to the meeting on Tues. March 10, Smith and public works foreman Rob

Rintoul took a look at the current facility and determined what could be done without forking too much money over in expenses.

A water grant is expected to have a second round of intakes which council has chosen to apply to regardless of the low chance of actually receiving the funding.

Smith made it clear the grants are difficult to get when politics are involved and how many communities are in need.

“Water projects are grant fundable but there are a lot of communities with a lot of ageing water plants. It is what it is,” said Smith.

He mentioned that the village has already made good headway on upgrades where possible like a new chlorine analyzer but there is also work needed to be done on short-circuiting, broken pipes and cracks in the walls.

Since they have put money forward for the chlorine analyzer, it can look good on a grant application as it shows the village is serious about getting the pump house fixed.

“I went to the AUMA (Alberta Urban Municipalities Association) conference not too long ago and they did the same thing, they painted the same dirty picture as you with a little more extra paint that there is very little funding out and if you have good water, the chances of you getting the funding is even less,” said Dep. Mayor Leah Nelson.

“The one thing that they really did talk about was if you got the funds to go ahead and if possible do as much as you can on your own,” she said.

Over nine years, a few new pipes have been installed but Nelson was still concerned about the government grant requirements like paying for 25 per cent of a $3 million project and having this project be over nine years in the making.

Smith mentioned they could phase in the project one part at a time or they can upgrade the building, build higher with cinder blocks.

The replacement of the distribution header is also in the works.

Foreman Rintoul suggested the sewer be away from that building.

“Have you ever worked around running water all day?” he joked.

Council agreed to apply for the upcoming grant when it opens in the spring and start looking at prices for piping upgrades and approximate costs of replacing the building.

Elnora FCSS annual report

Sheila Gongaware gave an annual report of the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).

The community garden still has 10 spots available as well as cement pots for tomatoes as a new addition this year.

The Community Connection from Gab Session numbers are down so FCSS aims for two a month now.

Five people are interested in having a blood donor bus come to Elnora for pick ups and drop offs free of charge.

The bus would come from Red Deer, pick up donors and then go to Red Deer where the donors are dropped off and are then able to donate before being brought back home.

It would come every six weeks and is free of charge to ride.

Food hampers were down this year with only 11 in stock but Gongaware thought some people are unaware they can bring donations to Elnora versus other centres.

Great Neighbours is in its last year so FCSS workers now have to take on this role on top of their other responsibilities.

As for the “excellent” Little Libraries program, 626 books to date have been circulated.

ATCO Electric Franchise Fee

Council got a look at some comparison figures between January 2019 and January 2020 noting the rate has increased to 1.5 per cent.

Total revenue from this fee included in electrical bills was $2,736.04 for the 2019 year.

Revenue was down compared to January 2020.

Radon Testing

Council chose awhile back to have some radon testing done for some public spaces including the library, youth centre and both floors of the village office.

“All is good” according to CAO Sharon Wesgate.

The test exposure duration period was 113 days with all tests below 200 bq/m3 so no action was required further.

All of the buildings were well under this mark with 89 bq/m3 being the highest in the library.

Tax and utility payment discounts

Talks of removing the prepaid tax discounts were proved to be the wrong choice as CAO Wesgate presented stats on how the program was going.

This year, an additional nine people have pre-paid their taxes thanks to the incentivized discounts.

There will be further discussion at budget time to continue it or not based on the interest which has shown to be higher than what it was before.

“It’s less people we are chasing at the end of the year,” said Coun. Kerrilyn Mose.


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.