The current playground at the Eckville Elementary School has another five years expectedon its life span. The playground have not been updated since it was put in almost 20 years ago. The Eckville Echo Society is looking to fund an update to the playground. Photo by Megan Roth/Eckville Echo

The current playground at the Eckville Elementary School has another five years expectedon its life span. The playground have not been updated since it was put in almost 20 years ago. The Eckville Echo Society is looking to fund an update to the playground. Photo by Megan Roth/Eckville Echo

Sidewalks remain a point of contention for Eckville Council

Town Council met for its regular meeting on July 24.

Sidewalks are still a major concern for Eckville Town Council.

Everything from para-ramps, overhang, flooding on main street, and the potential placement of a walking trail through town was discussed at the July 24 meeting.

To make the town more wheel-chair accessible the Town will be adding four more para-ramps at corners around town.

According to Jack Ramsden, the Town’s chief administrative officer, this should be the last of the para-ramp additions.

“Wheel-chair accessible does not mean how easy it is to push someone around, it is how easy someone in a wheel char can’t themselves around,” noted Coun. Sandra Hallgren.

Council also discussed over hang from trees and shrubs along the sidewalks.

Council noted this can be a safety hazard if not taken care of properly.

The hazard include any trees hanging over the sidewalk that have been damaged by the wind storm in June.

“I think all of those have been taken care of already,” said Ramadan, who added he will look into it further.

Mayor Helen Posti was concerned with flooding during heavy rains on the west side of main street.

She says during heavy rains the water goes right up over the curb and goes right into the homes along the street.

She suggested a similar solution to what Alex did, build up the curb to create a slight wall.

This would mean the curb side would be slightly taller then the sidewalk. With this option there is a concern with tripping.

Council will look at their options to find a solution to this flooding issue. Some options might include building up a curb or a device meant to keep water away during flash floods.

“There are different ways to divert water in heavy rain,” commented Coun. Kevin See.

Council also had a lengthy discussion on whether or not to start the process of creating a walking trail through town.

Everyone agreed a walking trial would be a valuable addition to the town, but they were unsure of where to put it and when to begin work.

Ramsden suggested putting the walking trail through town along 54 Avenue.

“Is this where we want to put our money? Especially when we will have a perfectly good sidewalk across the street?” asked Coun. Scott Kinley.

Many would like to see the walking trail go down over the train tracks and to the cemetery.

Posti remarked the Town could add a few benches and keep it nice and tidy to make people want to walk down there.

“We could take a page out of Europe’s book and make our cemetery almost a park that people want to visit,” said Posti, adding it would be a unique trail.

Another option would be to take the trail north, with Coun. Colleen Ebden saying it was very pretty on the north side of town.

Council will look into the feasibility of a walking trail in either direction, but have other wise put the topic on hold.

“I’m a little disappointed, I was really looking forward to building a walking trail,” said Ramsden.

During the meeting, Council also approved the dates and time of the advanced polls for the municipal election.

Advanced polls will be held Oct. 5 from 6-8 p.m. and Oct. 14 from 12-2 p.m. at the Community Hall.

The institutional vote vote will be held at the Eckville Manor Lodge from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 16.

There will also be an incapacitated elector home vote, for those who are unable attend a voting station on Election Day due to a “physical incapacity”. This vote will be held on Oct. 16 from 1-3 p.m.

“We don’t expect many to use the advance polls, but it is good to have them,” said Ramsden.

Council also received a letter from the Eckville Echo Society for playground funding. The society is hoping Town Council will provide a letter of support for grant writing as well as any funding the Town can provide.

Currently, Council has been trying to decide what to do with roughly $2,000 given to them from Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. This money was not accounted for in budget and Council wanted to be able to use it for a local project.

They approved giving the windfall to the Eckville Eco Society as “seed money” for the elementary school playground project.

Council will discuss the possibility of further funding at budget time.

Eckville CouncilSidewalks