BY KALISHA MENDONSA
Survey highlights need for parking improvements
At their regular meeting on Monday, City council passed a resolution to accept the Main Street Program survey results as information, and directed City administration to include the construction of parking improvements in the Main Street Program scope of work at an estimated cost of $147,000.
“Council continues to support and prioritize pedestrian safety improvements downtown, along with parking enhancement, which is a common, high priority, request of the downtown business community and was an area that our downtown business advisors stressed,” said Mayor Steve Christie.
“We have opportunities in two locations, the Historic Downtown Plaza, behind the former police station and the Flat Iron Plaza, when reconfigured, will add significant additional parking for the downtown area,” said Operations and Planning Director Matthew Goudy. “The plazas could, in the future, be improved to double as off-street host locations for events, markets, or provide additional community gathering space in the downtown.”
Council also defeated a proposal to revise the Main Street Program to ensure 50th St. becomes a one-way, northbound road. It will remain as a two-way roadway.
Council will review and consider the additional cost of parking improvements and the final project scope-of-work as part of the 2017 budget deliberations at their Dec. 12th regular meeting.
Council seeking property owner, renter input
Council accepted first and second reading of Bylaw 393, which would amalgamate current Bylaw 70 (Water and Wastewater) and Bylaw 316 (Solid Waste) into one all-encompassing bylaw for residential and commercial customers. Updated utilities rates would be presented during third reading, following budget deliberations.
New utility accounts will be opened in property owners’ names.
Councillor Reuben Konnik said more feedback was needed from property owners and renters to ensure the best decision would be made for both the City and for the citizens of Lacombe. There were no citizens present who either spoke for or against the bylaw, but council felt it was important to get more feedback on the issue before giving the bylaw third reading.
The issue was raised by Councillor Bill McQuesten that moving the utility accounts into property owners’ names for their resident rental tenants could provide additional payments for property owners, should the rental accounts go delinquent.
There was continued debate in council chambers as to the impact on property owners, renters and to the City as an entity.
Councillor Konnik made a motion to table the item for further discussion, and said he hopes to hear more from the directly affected public, being rental property owners and renters.
Concession operator announced for Gary Moe Sportsplex
After undertaking a Request for Proposals (RFP) process, City council has awarded the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex: Co-operators Concession operator contract to Jolene Frew for the period Nov. 15th of this year to April 15th, 2019, with a possibility of extension for two additional years.
“Jolene has considerable experience in operating similar facilities in the region, and we are confident that the public will be happy with her food selection, customer service and operating model,” said Community Services Director Brenda Vaughan.
“We look forward to having the Can Pak Ice Complex and the concession open in time for the Lacombe Generals home opener on December 9th.”
Once operational, the Co-operators Concession will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. The hours of operations will support all regularly scheduled events at the Sportsplex, with the flexibility to increase hours based on future bookings.
The concession operator will pay 10% of gross sales to the City of Lacombe, based on monthly tabulations.