The town council of Outlook met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday night, September 26. Present was all of council; David Simonson, Donna Smith, Kevin Grotheim, Kyle McLeod, Maureen Applin, and Floyd Childerhose, as well as Administrator Tina Douglas, Assistant Administrator Rachel Sillers, Superintendent of Municipal Operations Randy Antoniuk, and Recreation Director Jordy Jones.
Absent was Mayor Ross Derdall, and Councillor Simonson stepped in to fulfill his duties as Deputy Mayor for the meeting.
A number of topics and items were discussed, including the following highlights:
- The meeting followed a different format as council addressed items in-camera starting at 7:00, with the regular meeting beginning at 7:30.
- One delegate was present, as Outlook resident Keith Theoret spoke to council and proposed an easement or walkway from his neighborhood of Chow Crescent over to Reid Crescent. Theoret canvassed his neighbors in the area and has received much support for the idea. After Theoret exited the meeting, council said they would do some research on similar walkways in town, and that they may have to look at providing something similar for the Mann Street development, and possibly look at sub-division plans.
- An underground sewer pipe that needs repairing at 425 McKenzie Street is coming apart, according to Superintendent Antoniuk, who recommended that it be monitored. The pipe is on town property and had flooded a resident’s basement. Council moved to re-tender the job of having it taken care of.
- A motion was passed to tender for an overall plumbing and heating services proposal in order to meet the town’s needs.
- A motion was passed to provide carpet that the town has in its possession to the Kinsmen Club, who want to replace the carpet in their rented room at the Civic Centre.
- Pulse Fitness, a home-based business in Outlook that operates out of the homeowner’s garage, requested signage indicating a handicap loading zone as the business often works with people with physical disabilities. Deputy Mayor Simonson, unfamiliar with the business, said he’d like to see the operation for himself to assess its needs. The topic was tabled until the next meeting.
- Water rates are set to increase as of October 1. This led to a lengthy talk on the future of Outlook’s water system, including the costs versus income and the overall sustainability of it. It was said that the town may need to look into providing incentives for residents that conserve water.
- In the Rec Report, Jones noted that the ice was starting to go in the day after this council meeting, and that hosting an ice installation clinic this coming Thursday and Friday would save the town money. As well, the town is saving more money by utilizing local hockey players to run an upcoming hockey camp, as opposed to bringing in someone else who charges a significant sum.
- Jones is excited about the recent tree planting done at the Rec Plex grounds in which 36 trees were planted near the ball diamonds.
- The ice schedule is more full than last year, according to Jones, so the rink is going to be a busy place this coming season.
- Jones is looking at possibly running a “Coats for Kids” campaign in the near future.
- In the Superintendent’s Report, Antoniuk noted that the new heater for the Civic Centre was unloaded that day.
- Council passed a motion for a baseboard quote that had been provided for the new swimming pool facility.
- In the administration report, Douglas noted that the office is “really struggling” to get work done, and staff are trying very hard to work through the long task list, with a backlog and work load that is quite sizable. Having the town/RM office closed to the public for a couple of days a week has been helping, and Councillor Applin and the rest of council commended Tina and the staff on the job they’ve been doing to whittle down the substantial task list.
- Councillor Applin shared an update on Outlook’s community strategic plan that is being worked on by Alberta-based consultant Chris Fields, who held two evening presentations back in May at the Civic Centre. Applin noted that Fields is still at work on it and that things are coming together, and there may even be an update from him in the coming weeks.
- An idea was brought up about council possibly holding another public meeting in November or December, similar to the one held on November 30 of last year at the Civic Centre, in which nearly 400 people came out to ask questions of their local officials. It was suggested that perhaps a later date may be more suitable, and the idea has been tabled for now.
Council then returned to an in-camera session.