Parkland Community Planning Service
During Monday night’s regular Meeting of Council it discussed whether the Town of Eckville would renew a shared service agreement which brought municipal and sub-division planning to the Parkland Region.
The commitment, which would cost the Town $30,000 over the course of three years would provide the Town with planning services that normally would need to be contracted out in order to plan and develop new communities. The Town has been part of PCPS for over 20 years, however the service has recently experienced setbacks with major communities like Red Deer and Sylvan Lake recently pulling out – meaning the service is currently relying on their reserve fund.
The committee has also been forced to raise their salaries, after private industry poached much of their planning talent – meaning the cost to municipalities was forced to increase.
Mayor Helen Posti, who was Chair of the PCPS committee for 19 years, pointed out that upper levels of government might eventually require municipalities to have planned services agreements like this one.
However, the rest of Council felt these services can be contracted out when needed at a higher per hour cost. Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Eckville, Jack Ramsden respectfully recommended Council drop out of the services due to the upcoming cash flow problem it will be facing.
Councillor Colleen Ebden made a motion “that the Town of Eckville does not enter into an agreement with Parkland Community Planning Services for the provision of planning services.”
Council voted for the Motion, with only Mayor Helen Posti voting to remain with the service. The Town of Eckville will no longer be part of PCPS.
Home Show Panel
Council held a discussion about the benefits of the Town of Eckville participating in the recent Red Deer Home Show.
Councillors unanimously agreed the home show was excellent exposure for the Town as a potential landing spot for families and they were very pleased with the central location that the Town booth was located in.
Council spent a considerable amount of time discussing how they can further expose the Town by bringing people in. This year, the Town opted to hand out items like note pads and bags with the Town logo and motto on it. Deputy Mayor Scott Kinley and Mayor Helen Posti pointed out this could be enhanced with some sort of food item next year.
Councillor Sandra Hallgren suggested a photo booth could be a way to bring families in as children would be excited to have their photos taken.
Kinley added, “The big thing is getting us out and showing us off” something that Council felt the show did well.
A motion was made by Kevin See for the Town of Eckville to return to the Red Deer Home Show in 2018. Council unanimously approved the motion.
Councillors Stuart Carde and Sandra Hallgren briefly updated council on the volunteer committee for this year’s Canada Day celebrations. With this year being the 150th year since confederation, council feels it’s important that celebrations are highlighted.
The committee is looking into whether a beer gardens outside of the curling rink would help bring in a new demographic to Eckville celebrations, as millennial and younger generations are often not present at Eckville’s Canada Day celebrations.
Mayor Helen Posti and Deputy Mayor Scott Kinley had concern regarding this inquiry, as Canada Day in Eckville has typically been more of a family-oriented day.
The committee will continue to investigate how Eckville can highlight 150 years of Canada, however they did mention that the local youth group will be operating a scavenger hunt this year.