Eckville Town Council met last night for their regular meeting, formalizing the decision made last meeting to adopt the 2017 Operating Budget as the Interim Operating budget for 2018 and reminding everyone the budget meeting for the new year is scheduled for Jan. 15.
Employee Wage Grid increased
Council voted to increase the Employee Wage Grid by 1.3 percent starting Jan. 2, 2018 with the intention of keeping up with inflation and keeping the town competitive in attracting and retaining employees.
“Each year what we’ve done is come forward to council with the Statistics Canada Consumer Price Index for Alberta and used that as our recommendation to council for our adjustment,” said Darcy Webb, Finance & Administration Supervisor.
Council was in agreement. Counc. Karin Engen showed her support by saying she would prefer to go with the cost of living rather than “getting way behind and having to play catch up.”
Estimate for arena upgrades
The preliminary engineering report has come back for the arena and the estimate for the rebuild on the roof comes to $273,000.
Counc. Kevin See said the funds will likely be procured through a civic grant to cover one half and the other half will likely be requested from the county and municipality at 25 per cent each.
The part of the roof that covers the ice plant is currently shored up and needs to be raised by four feet.
“Unless we get a really heavy snowfall, it shouldn’t collapse,” said Counc. See, laughing. He went on to state that the engineer is happy with how the roof is supported.
The upgrades for the arena include the increase in ceiling height as well as a new bay door next to the ice plant.
“If our ice plant fails we can slide in a skid unit into that space,” Counc. See said.
Counc. See reported on the recent library auction, saying the event brought in approximately $1750.
“That’s quite a bit better than we usually do,” he stated.
Several council members mentioned they bid on items in the event and a couple won their items.
Crime prevention fair tentatively scheduled
Shared concerns about increases in crime have led to the Council meeting with Staff Sergeant Shepherd, Lacombe County representatives and Scott Kinley from Eckville Citizens on Patrol in late November. A subcommittee was organized as a result and met Dec. 5 to discuss organizing an information open house called “Community Crime Prevention Information Fair.” The event is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 25, 2018.