Outlook town council news and notes - September 9

The town council of Outlook held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday night, September 9.  Present was all of council:  Donna Smith, Kevin Grotheim, Kyle McLeod, Maureen Applin, Floyd Childerhose, and David Simonson, as well as Mayor Ross Derdall, Acting Administrator Rachel Sillers, and Office Clerk Crystal Fisher.

The meeting was broadcast on the Town’s Facebook page.

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A number of topics and items were discussed, including the following highlights.

Communications

J. Tarling letter – Council discussed a letter that had come in from J. Tarling pertaining to a water issue, specifically the need to repair or replace a catch basin on the property.  It was said that the cost would be $2500 for a new one.  Councillor McLeod also made note of a similar issue behind the Bank of Montreal.  A motion was made and carried to have the issues fixed at both locations.

Council acknowledged a letter from S. Pawlus.

There was said to be no firm date yet on when the tender package will be ready for the extensive renovations work to be done on the Civic Centre building.  Council discussed how long they may allow for requests to use the building as they wait to hear confirmation on when the work may begin.  A motion made and carried to allow until November 15 for the Civic Centre to be used.

A motion was made and carried to appoint Mayor Derdall and Acting Administrator Sillers as voting delegates at the SAMA AGM on October 22.

Reports

Acting Administrator Report

An allocation of possible Public Spaces funding was discussed.  It was said that the Town can apply for it, but it would need to be allocated to other groups.  Councillor Grotheim brought up the Museum as a candidate for such funding, should the Town be successful in their application for it.

The Town was recently approved for accessibility grant funding for the washrooms in the Civic Centre, said to be worth an impressive $100,000.

It was said that the Town will have a period of 60 days to award the project for the new fire hall construction after the tender deadline closes.

The topic of Halloween was brought up in conversation, including whether there was any kind of idea surrounding the Town enforcing a ‘No Trick-or-Treating’ rule this year due to the pandemic, a practice which has already been adopted in some US cities.  It was said that it comes down to being a parent’s choice and it shouldn’t be in the Town’s hands, though it’s certainly the choice of residents over whether to allow trick-or-treaters to come calling for candy.

The Town of Outlook, much like other communities, will receive more stimulus funding from the government to the tune of roughly $135,000.  Council just needs to think about where the money should be directed, and Councillor Grotheim thought that it could go towards the Town’s landfill reconfiguration project.

The Town needs a street sweeper repaired but it’s difficult to obtain quotes for parts.  A motion was made and carried to have sweeping done twice this year.

Jim Cheyne, the Town’s Emergency Measures Coordinator, met with council to give a report.  Jim recently met with the RM’s of Fertile Valley and Rudy on August 21 and had a “very good discussion” in which everyone was receptive about coming together to possibly abide by a collective emergency measures agreement.  Cheyne had asked them to look at a couple of emergency measures agreements, and while there was some pushback from some he spoke to about having a signed agreement, this process right now is more about seeing if there are resources in the area.  Jim asked the RM’s to look at such an agreement from the City of Swift Current and he also wanted council to look at the agreement.

Jim will wait to hear from the RM’s but he is confident in the plan they want to adhere to.

Council allowed Jim to move ahead on the Town’s emergency plan as needed.

Unfinished Business

Council will set up a meeting with ICDC regarding a 15-year deal that’s in the works.  It was said that it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page with whatever happens moving forward.

New Business

The Outlook & District Regional Park made a request for $14,000 in grant monies.  Councillor Applin said she was “thrilled” to see that the Park is sorting things out, but doesn’t believe it should be an “expected, annual” operating grant.  Councillor McLeod mentioned that he wanted to see it brought forward as more of an “ask” in the future.  Councillor Smith said a letter should be sent to the Park noting that this money isn’t something they should budget for each year, but Councillor Grotheim countered that such a move could skewer things in the future when it comes to the Park’s financials and making their future budgets, essentially saying that if the Park makes their budget without the $14,000, the Town is more likely to deny the Park said monies if it appears on paper that the Park doesn’t “need” the funds.  After some more discussion, a motion was made and carried to grant the Park with the funds.

“The tendency has always been that just because it’s beside the town that it’s OUR park, but it’s a REGIONAL park,” shared Ross.

‘Walk This Way’, the indoor walking program at the Civic Centre, may need to look into alternative venues due to the impending renovations to the building.  Alternative locations were discussed, including the lobby of the Rec Plex.

A proposal for the Town to engage the services of Townfolio was once again discussed.  Councillor Applin used Warman as an example to show council how Townfolio sets up community profiles.  It was said to be a service that is updated monthly, so data is always refreshed to give people the newest information.  Councillor Grotheim wondered if it was worth going forward with the service right now with the municipal election in two months and the office being short-staffed.  Councillor Applin noted that most of the work is done by Townfolio and it’s something that potential visitors and investors look at.  Councillor McLeod also wondered if it was worth doing right now, but said it’s a good idea.  Councillor Childerhose said it’s something they can always come back to, as did Councillor Simonson.  The approximate cost of Townfolio is $2400 per year.  For now, council will put the topic on the back burner, but they recognized that it’s something to look into in the near future.

Council entered into in-camera discussion, which included personnel matters.

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