File Photo

File Photo

Eckville Town Council leaves Fortis franchise fee at current rate

Council is also looking into getting a new half pipe for the skate park

Eckville Town Council has chosen not to increase the standing franchise fee with Fortis Alberta.

At the recent council meeting, it was decided to keep the rate at its current 10 per cent. It was recommended by Town administration to keep the same rate for 2021 due to the current state of the economy.

“I think we should leave it the way it is,” said Eckville Mayor Helen Posti, adding the franchise fee for Fortis has stayed the same since 2015.

Town Council is also considering making 54A Avenue a two way street, but will get more input from the elementary school and surrounding residences before making that decision.

Jack Ramsden, CAO for the Town, says the street isn’t being treated as a one-way right now, with many entering from the opposite direction despite one-way only signage.

Ramsden and Eckville staff monitored the street one day to see how many vehicles ignored the one-way direction, and he said he was astounded.

“One guy pulled through the crowd, went up between the parked cars onto the sidewalk, got his kid and went back down the street. Even after school hours, we saw some people stop and go the wrong way,” he said

Ramsden continued, saying giving the street a two-way designation is a matter of safety for the children at the elementary school.

Council said they would like to see further consultation before entering deliberation of the subject. In particular, they would like to see the principal at the elementary school discuss the topic with parents first.

Posti would also like the residents who back onto the street to be consulted before moving forward.

“We don’t want to make a descion [Oct. 13] only to have to reverse it or change it later on because people are unhappy,” said Posti.

Council is also looking into options to replace the wooden half pipe at the skate park. The current structure is beginning to rot, and wholes are beginning to appear between the ramps and in the top of the west ramp.

“What we discovered is that there is a lot of rot caused by moisture getting between the main plywood structure and the surface decking,” said Ramsden.

Ramsden fears the wooden half-pipe may be a liability and repairing it “may be throwing good money after bad.”

He suggested looking into the cost of a concrete structure, to match the other in the skate park.

Council agreed options for the park should be looked into, as the skate park and the half pipe in particular, is quite popular with the youth of Eckville.

Currently the half pipe structure is boarded up against use.

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