By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The following are selected briefs from the March 13 regular meeting of Picture Butte Council
Picture Butte to explore options for municipal police force
Picture Butte Council have expressed interest in considering municipal policing solutions with neighbouring communities.
During the March 12 regular council meeting, Deputy Mayor de Kok said, “I am wondering if there is an appetite for us (to) host a meeting with neighbouring municipalities to discuss topics such as garbage, policing and/or bylaw (officer) sharing.”
“The government is giving big grants right now for towns that want to switch from RCMP to (municipal) police. If we could get together with the County, Coalhurst, one or all, and maybe do our own police service. I am just curious what the appetite between the different towns in our area is in general.”
De Kok noted the Town has previously considered the possibility of the Town sharing garbage services, but suggested there may be an opportunity to share resources with respect to policing.
“We are paying well over $100,000 (for policing), Coalhurst is probably similar,” added de Kok.
“Everyone is paying a lot of money in policing and no one is getting much out of it. The biggest complaint I hear is, ‘where is the police?’ I see them once in a blue moon. Maybe we could get better service having our own group?”
Following this, de Kok sponsored a motion to host an all-council meeting, which was passed by Council.
Work still needed on 4 Street
With respect to the sanitary main upgrade project, Mayor Cathy Moore asked CAO Keith Davis, “what deficiencies,” are still pending completion.
Davis said there are some deficiencies with respect to street signs and part of the sidewalk, as well as outstanding landscaping which still needs to be completed and connected to the irrigation right near Lion’s Park, but noted there was “nothing major,” needing to be done.
Several sighs of relief were heard in Council Chambers.
Fire hall update
Speaking in reference to the phase one expansion of the Picture Butte Fire Hall, Coun. Feist said, “I have been asked the golden question about the firehall. Have they starting working in there again?” Davis noted no updates had been received from the department at the time of the meeting.
Moore said as far as council is aware, the timeline for completion is still on track, and the department has been told, “that it will be ready to put their trucks in for the May long weekend.”
Fire Chief Frank West told Sunny South News the project is still expected to be completed by June, 2023.
“Our Fire Station Expansion project has seen some delays recent with delays in receiving materials and uncooperative weather, but work is scheduled to get back on track in the coming week with an estimated completion of June 2023.”
MP Thomas to attend Council meeting in April
Mayor Cathy Moore announced MP Rachael Thomas would be in attendance for the April 11 Council meeting, and encouraged Council to consider which topics of note should be discussed on behalf of rate-payers.