The town council of Outlook held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday night, October 14. 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, Office Clerk Crystal Fisher and Recreation Director Trevor Ouellette.
The meeting was broadcast on the Town’s Facebook page.
A number of topics and items were discussed, including the following highlights.
There was a lively discussion on the outdoor rink project located just behind the Jim Kook Rec Plex on the southeast side. Specifically, Rec Director Ouellette and council discussed issues that have come up with the work behind the construction of the rink, noting that it is going to cost more money to finish it in the long run.
“This is costing us big dollars – BIG dollars,” said Mayor Derdall. “We’re probably looking at $50,000 or more of our own money on top of what’s there.”
The outdoor rink project started with a significant financial boost of just over $128,000 that was contributed by the Federated Co-op’s Community Spaces program.
Councillor Grotheim asked if the Town should possibly shelve the outdoor rink for this year due to complications and associated costs.
“What we want and what we can afford are two different things, apparently,” said Kevin.
It was said that council should decide to “do what needs to be done this year” to get the project to the point where it is usable to the public.
Mayor Derdall believed the Town should move ahead in finishing the rink, which was said to possibly cost around $20,000.
A motion was made and carried to move ahead in completing the interior work involved with the outdoor rink in order to make it usable this year, with funds coming out of the recreation reserve.
Trevor asked if council wanted the bowling alley to operate in light of the SHA being there as a COVID testing location. It was discussed that bowling hours could possibly move to the evenings during the work week when COVID testing isn’t being done on top of the alley’s weekend hours. Options will be explored on this topic.
Hockey is set to move forward in Outlook, with up to 30 players on the ice and a crowd capacity limit of 150 people.
A discussion on Rec Plex Facility User Agreements noted that the document looked better than it did in previous discussions. Acting Administrator Sillers noted she was satisfied with it. A motion was made and carried to use the agreement moving forward.
Talks on the bowling alley’s operation plan will go back to a Rec Committee meeting as council members who are on Rec Committee were unfamiliar with the new plans.
The Rec Plex COVID Cleaning Protocols were moved and carried.
Rec Plex Masks Policy
In discussing public access to the Rec Plex during these COVID times we’re living in, council enacted a policy of mandatory masks for attendees upon entry of the Rec Plex, with masks to be provided to staff. This led to a broader discussion on more town employees needing to wear masks. The public can expect to see advertising of this policy shortly, which will follow the daily provincial guidelines and will change or be modified as needed. Council believed they need to be proactive on this issue, while understanding that it will be difficult to police such a policy. A motion was made and carried to accept the policy.
Fire Hall Project
Councillor Simonson wondered why council had turned down what had already been discussed pertaining to the new fire hall project. He thought it was a “big mistake that we’re shooting ourselves in the foot; I think it’s totally disgusting.”
“We changed our whole attitude, and it’s disgusting,” he said.
Councillor Applin said there may have been poor communication and agreed with Simonson.
“We don’t have a single facility in this town that we can use as a command center in the event of an emergency and this facility would have been that,” said Maureen. “Cutting and slicing has basically killed the project. I came across people who were quite willing to donate to a new fire hall who were not necessarily willing to donate to a new swimming pool.”
Councillor Grotheim didn’t agree with comparing the fire hall project to the completed swimming pool.
“I am very sad because it’s something almost as important as our water supply,” said Mayor Derdall.
“I’m sure there will be a happy medium and it’s not dead in the water, and I’m sure there’s a way where we can agree to a reasonable outcome,” added Grotheim.
There were three quotes submitted for replacement of lights in the town shop: Outlook Electric had three options ($2,023.04, $4,777.00, $2,716.80); Preus Electric came in at $2700; and Riverbend Industries came in at $2,220.00. Council deferred to the public works department to select the best option within their budget of roughly $4,000.
Council moved and carried the Town’s new key policy.
The outdoor rink’s operation plan went back to Rec Committee for discussion.
A proposal from the P. Machibroda firm has been tabled for the time being.
No bids were received for a heating service contract, so the Town will look again and may have to look outside of local contractors. In discussion, it was said that the previously contracted company may have been “hurt” that the contract was re-bid in the first place, but council said they were simply following the rules and being fair and responsible. The Town will once again issue a public tender.
Talks on a Government of Saskatchewan lease renewal (west side of the town offices building) were tabled to an Administration Committee meeting.
Council entered into the in-camera agenda, which included discussion on land and personnel.