The town council of Outlook held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday night, January 13. Present was all of Council: Justin Turton, Kevin Grotheim, Kyle McLeod, Ryan Husband, Bob Stephenson, and Sharon Bruce, as well as Mayor Maureen Weiterman, Administrator Erinn Schreiner, Assistant Administrator Rachel Sillers, and Acting Recreation Director Megan Anthony.
The meeting was broadcast on the Town’s Facebook page.
A number of topics and items were discussed, including the following highlights.
Assistant Administrator Sillers was congratulated and applauded by Council for recently completing the education portion of the Local Government Administration (LGA) program. Offered through the University of Regina, the program helps people to become a certified administrator in the province, and now that Rachel had finished the education portion, she is now required to work under a certified administrator for one year in order to receive her full certification. Council recognized and commended the hard work Sillers had put in to reach this achievement.
Acting Recreation Director Megan Anthony reported that paint has been picked out for the bowling alley, and there has also been some discussion over the possible creation of a mural in the alley. Feelers may be going out to local artists if this is something that moves forward.
It was said that work on the archery staircase is finished and it’s said to look “very good.”
The rec department is waiting on quotes for more lighting for the Co-op Community Rink (outdoor rink). Megan is expected to have that information for the next council meeting.
The topic of the Civic Centre renovations came up, specifically how council wishes to proceed on defining the work phases. Touching on previous discussion, these phases need to be defined when it comes to breaking up the work order for the extensive renovations to the building. The Centre’s foyer and bathrooms with lights are said to be Phase 1, the walls and ceiling comprise Phase 2, and stage construction is Phase 3. It was said that Council wants the tender document split into three phases for budgetary reasons.
Rachel wondered if there was a specific directive concerning construction timelines. It was said Council’s goal was to have it in progress right now and to get moving on it as soon as possible.
Council ideally wants one contractor for all of the renovations, which would help in reducing any possible communication errors on the different work phases.
There was talk about having some form of “contingency” funds should things go over-budget, which can be typical on big-scale projects. Councillor Bruce wondered if such language should be written into the agreement, informing the would-be contractor that “This is the budgeted cost, but there is THIS much allowed for any form of overrun.”
As far as a timeline to have the work completed, there was talk of having a six-month window. Mayor Weiterman suggested they go forward with the end of September.
Council accepted a Railway Avenue Subdivision Assessment Report.
Councillor Stephenson declared a conflict of interest and excused himself from the chambers before discussion of the next item on the agenda, related to a matter between the Rec Plex and two of his family members. Specifically, the matter involved Shay and Logan Stephenson’s contributions to installing the ice in the Rec Plex, which the Town wanted to compensate the two for, and another matter involving a dispute over ice fees. The pair had provided invoices of $2600 each to the Town, which was requested of them, and $5200 was paid out to them. It was said that the pair did in fact pull their hockey program from Outlook and it is now being offered in Loreburn.
Speaking of the Rec Plex, Administrator Schreiner spoke of a project involving the rink kitchen. She would like the Town to proceed with renovations in the kitchen since no one is in there and there’s now time to do them, with $5,680.11 said to be the approximate cost. This includes new cabinetry, as well as additional sink furnishings that are now required to make for a triple sink. Councillor McLeod wanted some more detailed info as it related to the work and the costs, as did Councillor Grotheim. Mayor Weiterman suggested having Rachel and Megan work with the Recreation Committee on the project until everyone was satisfied before bringing the topic back to council, which was accepted.
On the topic of mileage and meal rates, it was said that the current mileage paid out is 50 cents per kilometer, while meals amount to $14 for breakfast, $17 for lunch, and $35 for supper. Councillor Grotheim felt that 50 cents was low for mileage and Administrator Schreiner noted that the Village of Milden paid 60 cents/km. It will continue to be reviewed yearly. Council accepted the rates.
Council passed a motion to move forward on the Canada Summer Grant Application, which could see the Town gain a number of employees with the grant monies, including positions to oversee amenities such as the pool, museum, public works, and beautification projects.
Owing to the harsh snow and windstorm outside, the lights flickered in the council chambers at 8:16, but the power still remained. This reporter saw no change or interruption of the online broadcast of the meeting.
Mayor Weiterman spoke to Council and shared her belief that everyone needs to be brought up to date on the list of ongoing community projects, making the suggestion that Council have some committee meetings and listen to Erinn and Rachel speak to a number of specific projects. Some of these projects were said to be “huge” while some more direct and simple. Maureen wondered if a time could be set for next week for a sort-of informational meeting to become familiar with projects, though it will require more than one meeting, and possibly three altogether. There was difficulty in trying to nail down a complete meeting schedule that would satisfy everyone. Councillor Bruce looked forward to the meetings, noting that it should serve as a good opportunity to learn the concrete facts and figures behind town projects and dispel a lot of the “coffee row talk” that’s out in the public surrounding specific items. One meeting was held this past Tuesday afternoon, January 19, as well as on January 21.
After moving the Correspondence, council entered into an in-camera session to discuss personnel matters.