Sandra Beaudoin provided an information presentation including a business plan to the Hanna town council on Tues. Oct. 18 regarding repurposing the Hanna Primary School that is slated for demolition January/February 2017.
The proposal is dependent on many factors including Transition Funds promised from the NDP government to communities losing coal-related industry; offering a Heritage Carpentry Program; possibly even a Heritage Masonary and Brickwork program for J.C. Charyk grades 10 to 12, similar to the NAIT/Sheerness Power Engineering Program; dormitory for Heritage workers while working on restoration of the Hanna Roundhouse; students coming to Hanna because of the Heritage Carpentry & Joinery Program; or adults taking courses at Hanna Learning Center.
Other options presented included providing office space on the bottom floor for rental and use of gymnasium by present renters and future events that do not require a large area such as the community center.
Beaudoin reported that the Prairie Land Regional Division (PLRD) were supportive of the idea and Cam McKeage, superintendent had met with both Shawn Segers, Minister of Infrastructure and Pedro Medoza, Minister of Education who were both supportive of the idea also. Medoza requested a business plan.
Heritage Carpentry & Joinery program is from Algonquin College in Ottawa, On. Graduates from this program are hired by Macdonald & Lawrence Timber Framing Inc. in B.C. These are the contractors for the Hanna Roundhouse project and the Atlas Coal Mine and other heritage sites provincially and nationally. Students would learn a trade which incorporates drafting, architecture, communications, heritage history, construction techniques and the foundation of carpentry.
Hanna Learning Center will arrange a time for the meeting requested by Old’s College with PLRD and Beaudoin.
Presently the Hanna Roundhouse Society is looking at having to freight the huge locomotive doors on the roundhouse to B.C. for restoring.
“It’s a good opportunity to pursue it [heritage program] because there is at least 60 windows in the school and the locomotive doors so a lot of heritage work.
Beaudoin noted that the project would need a separate board from the Hanna Roundup Society and noted in her report that “I have over 70 names of those liking my post on the Hanna Bulletin Board outlining what I have discussed here with saving the Hanna Primary School.”
A million was budgeted for demolition and it was hopeful that they could get five million from the transition funding.
The [Town of Hanna] had requested monies from the transition funding “and the government can’t make a decision on $80,000 and they [NDP] have budgeted to spend $10 million this year,” said Mayor Warwick.
In closing Beaudoin noted that Canadian Badlands has contacted the Hanna Roundhouse Society as they are considering the Hanna Roundhouse as their project for 2017.
Winter utility bills for snowbirds
Council will consider a request from John Simpson, who was representing snowbirds, to discontinue town fees for water, sewer and garbage collection while they are in Arizona during the winter months.
The letter stated that prior to the winter of 2013/2014 snowbirds were able to disconnect water services for the winter months.
Simpson asked council to go back to the way it was adding “We’re [snowbirds] all proud of our town and we love living in Hanna.”
Director of community services, Gwen Snell asked for direction in regards to a need to increase user fees by approximately 10 per cent, “part and parcel due to the carbon tax”.
“We don’t like to be the guy to take a hard line because families are getting hit too”. This will be considered at budget time.
Fire Chief David Mohl provided a report and spoke to the proposed Hanna Training/Burn Tower site plan in principle.
The construction of a training/burn tower has been a goal of the Hanna Fire Department for a number of years with the association having raised $150,000 and a 2016 Alberta Community Partnership Grant of $350,000 will allow the project to proceed.
The location of the planned burn tower will require that a significant portion of the museum campground will be used. Financial numbers show that the campground was running at a loss in every year but for 2013 when there was significant construction crews around. The loss has varied from $2,738.73 in 2012 to $57.05 in 2016.
It was decided to convert the campground from 14 sites to an eight site campground because the infrastructure is there.