Village of Clive council hears new playground in limbo

Written by Stu Salkeld

Clive council heard that a proposed new playground for the community has been placed on hiatus by concerns about how it will be paid for and value for money. The report was made at the Sept. 25 regular meeting of council.

Councillors heard an update from Clive School Playground Committee spokesperson Diane Krochak who noted the efforts to develop a new playground have stalled, primarily due to a lack of funding.

Included in the agenda package was a letter issued by the playground committee some time ago announcing efforts to remove the old wooden playground site located at Clive School and replace it with a modern one.

It was noted the wooden playground set is over 30 years old.

“To ensure proper safety for our students and community it will need to be taken down and replaced with a new structure,” stated the letter. The letter also stated an estimated cost for the project was about $300,000.

Krochak stated the committee was approaching the village council to ask them to provide experience and input into large projects such as this, especially advice on things like grant funding. She added it’s frustrating to delay projects because it seems like the longer a project is delayed the higher the price inflates.

During discussion, Krochak added a quote provided last spring for a preliminary design concerned members of the playground committee because they felt that design didn’t provide enough value for money. Hence, the committee decided to start from scratch.

As councillors discussed the playground project they noted they’ll soon be attending a large Alberta Municipalities Association (AMA) convention where booths will be set up to provide information on public projects and grant funding.

Mayor Lucy Henry stated councillors would bring as much information back for the playground committee as possible.

Expensive request
During her regular report Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney stated she has applied for the Village of Clive to get a Transport Canada rail safety exemption for a municipally-owned sidewalk which is located near a rail crossing. Kenney stated this is part of the federal government’s response to the Lac Megantic rail disaster in Quebec a decade ago.

Kenney stated the sidewalk’s centre line is supposed to be 12 feet or closer from the centre of a warning signal, and it turns out the sidewalk is actually 17 feet. The CAO stated the village was informed its options were to move the sidewalk, add a new warning signal or apply for an exemption.

Kenney stated the village doesn’t have the kind of money needed to move the sidewalk, and she quoted a rough figure of $100,000, adding the village residents would likely not be happy about this unplanned expense either. It would be the rail company’s responsibility to add a new warning signal.

Kenney stated the village therefore applied for this exemption. “Hopefully, reason will prevail,” said Kenney.

Overlook the little guys
During the topic of the Village of Clive’s participation in regional organizations, councillors spent most of their time discussing Clive’s membership in the Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP).

Mayor Henry noted the membership fee for CAEP is over $500 per year, plus her travel time and expenses to attend meetings on top of that. Henry mentioned some regional organizations were created in the past as essential networking opportunities for mayors.

It was mentioned during the discussion that the organization of 43 members, which includes the cities of Red Deer and Wetaskiwin, doesn’t seem to spend much time focusing on smaller communities like Clive.

Councillors decided the village would remain a member of CAEP for the upcoming year but not necessarily attend meetings; instead, the village will keep an eye on CAEP meeting agendas and attend when a topic may affect Clive.

New trash system
Kenney noted the first week the new garbage bins were used by residents, with a few people using the old system, but other than that residents appear to have adapted quickly in response to Mayor Henry’s question.

However, the CAO noted there will still be some businesses on manual garbage pick-up for the time being.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.