The latest news from Elk Point Town Council for the week of July 3rd, 2018
Tim Smereka was welcomed by Mayor Lorne Young, CAO Ken Gwozdz, and council members as the most recent elected addition to Elk Point Town Council.
Bylaw enforcement and animal control officer
As promised in last fall’s municipal election, the problems of bylaw infractions and animals at large are being addressed. Beginning July 1, RF Protection K9 Services will be patrolling the town to firstly educate the public and then to enforce the bylaws and some provincial legislations.
RF Protection is authorized to enforce Town of Elk Point bylaws in regard to parking fines, business licences, waste collection and disposal, land use, taxi service, fire concerns, and animals. The service can also serve and execute court documents, and enforce provincial legislation related to traffic safety, animal control, animal protection, environmental protection, gaming and liquor, trespassing, and tobacco use. Officers will participate in community, school and business events when appropriate, and assist the RCMP when requested.
The service is currently provided under a six month contract to allow council to determine its effectiveness.
Town actively seeking business
Elk Point, like any town, needs businesses to sustain and grow the economy so “The town is taking a business oriented approach that is proactive and assertive. We are not sitting back waiting for things to happen,” says CAO Ken Gwozdz. The site selectors from two enterprises that are interested in this region have been approached and provided with information to take back to their clients, one of whom is in Calgary, full of enticements for the industries to locate in Elk Point.
Gwozdz cannot reveal the names of the companies interested, but says the process is like a job interview. The town provides details such as how much water can be supplied, how much gas is available, what transportation links there are, what employment is like, how much taxes are, what the average income is, what facilities are available, and so on, to demonstrate that Elk Point is the best candidate as the location of the business.
Meanwhile, the golf course is situated on a hot commodity – gravel – with some potential for future development.
These initiatives to lure business correspond with Elk Point’s Strategic Priority #4 – Business Opportunities: Look into an alternative business model to attract large industry.
Arena and curling rink identified for Canada Infrastructure Program
The federal government is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years to build and upgrade infrastructure across the country. Local CAOs have discussed recreation facilities in the region that could be replaced, and A.G. Ross Arena and Elk Point Curling Club are on their list.
Other facilities in the area have been tagged and hopes are high that all will be accepted for the project. Before the actual grant application is made, an “expression of interest” has to be submitted by August 1.
For more information about the program, see Infrastructure Canada.
Fire pit and barbeque policy for town on simmer
To burn, and where to burn: those are the questions! So, Council requested research into how other municipalities handle fire bans and fire pits. Apparently it’s common for urban municipalities to follow their surrounding counties/districts in issuing fire bans, and that’s how Elk Point operates; it does not call its own fire ban until the decision has been made by the County of St. Paul.
Research also showed that many urban municipalities have fire pit/barbeque policies. Since Elk Point does not regulate fire pits and barbeques, town administration and fire authorities drew up a proposal. In review, council recognized some enforcement difficulties, so the policy is heading back to the drawing board.
The proposed policy describes which construction materials are appropriate for fire pits and where barbeques can be located. Councillors feel the limitations are too restrictive and will be hard to enforce. For example, every resident who has a barbeque on a wooden deck and runs into the house for sauce or steaks would be in violation of the administrative guidelines: “Barbeque structures shall be located a minimum of 3.05m (10 ft) from any combustible material” and “Shall be at all times attended by the property owner/occupant (when in use).” So, the policy has been tabled to the September 10 meeting for reconsideration.
Barbeque and fire pit owners are encouraged to offer input before or during that meeting. The Town takes seriously Strategic Priority #5 – Resident Communication and Engagement, and welcomes all input.