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September 16, 2011 Strathmore Times

September 16, 2011 Strathmore Times

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Published by cdfisherman
September 16, 2011 / Locally Owned & Operated / Volume 3 issue 37 / Strathmore / TIMES / Alberta
September 16, 2011 / Locally Owned & Operated / Volume 3 issue 37 / Strathmore / TIMES / Alberta

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09/16/2011

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Shannon LeCLair
Times Reporter 
‘Where is the money coming from’ was the bigquestion council had during the Sept. 7 councilmeeting when talk of a new $10 million reser- voir project in the Wildower Ranch area cameup. This is the second year in a row administrationhas requested tenders in regards to this project, which will see the town’s potable water storageincrease to approximately four days in case of an emergency.“Currently with our… storage that we have intown, that does not represent two days of stor-age. We do not currently have two days of stor-age in town for potable water,” said Jesse Parker,director of engineering and operations for thetown.“We have the waterline from Calgary. The wa-terline does provide at a great volume, and agood rate for supply. In terms of storage in theevent of any kind of break or damage to the line,the town currently only has less than two daysof storage, which gives us a very short time torespond and correct the problem with the line.”He said it is no different than when the townrelied on the water treatment plant and couldonly produce water at a certain volume, but theidea is to get to more than the average at four days of storage. There were nine tenders submitted for theproject, and town staff and EPCOR staff re- viewed them. As a part of the review, tenders were requiredto achieve a score of 75 per cent on experience,their management plan and other pertinentitems. Only three tenders received 75 per centor higher, one of which is Associated Engineer-ing, who scored 83 per cent.Parker said he and staff are condent the re- view resulted in a well-qualied candidate. Be-cause it’s an underground system the need tond a company with a good reputation andprevious experience with a project of this scope was imperative, which is why the review panelprocess was used. The cost projected by Associated is for $898,158 that is for the design element, projectmanagement and post construction. The totalscope of the entire project, including construc-tion, has the town scrambling to nd approxi-mately $10 million.“We’re committing nancial suicide here. (It’slike) jumping off the cliff and then putting theparachute on, it’s wrong,” said Mayor Steve Gra- jczyk.
Continued on page 3
Page 2
Fire department receivesmuch needed support
Page 3
Big money neededfor water reservoir
Look on Page 4 for
Town of StrathmoreMunicipal Notices
Page 17
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Shannon LeCLair
Times Reporter 
 Thanks to a generous donation froma local developer and businessman, theStrathmore Fire Department, SFD, isnow equipped as one of the top water search and recovery teams in the area.Ken Struss, who is with Cancorp andan owner of the Wildower Ranch de- velopment, spent some time on the boat with SFD members recently andsaw a way he could help them.“What I said was, I would donate$10,000 and use it for equipment for the re hall,” said Struss.“They had a couple of emergencieslately and they were lacking someequipment, so I inquired about whatsome of the equipment was. It’s a sonar system and a radio system because the boat is so loud you can’t communicate.” There were 10 calls last year to SFDfor a water rescue and/or recovery, andmembers of the department say they are already over 10 this year. With the addition of this equipmentthe SFD will be one of the front linecrews in the area. Most of the sur-rounding re departments, if not all,do not have side sonar capabilities asfar as they know.“It’s super advantageous because, atpresent, most of the radio receptiondrops out at the river,” said Ryan Par-kins, with the SFD.“With this new system not only willit be noise cancelling so we can hear other guys on the intercom, but we’llactually be able to communicate withany dispatch that’s talking to us at thetime, whether it’ll be Calgary or Strath-more. It will help us coordinate efforts better and therefore make our workmore efcient and safe.” With the new sonar equipment theSFD will have a better chance of hav-ing more rescues than recoveries. SFDreghter and president of the Strath-more Fire Fighters Association, JamieLaChance, said it was like having noeyes and looking in the dark, to sud-denly having a spotlight on everything.“Before what we had was just a sys-tem that allowed us to see just the bot-tom, directly what was underneath the boat out to maybe ve feet on either side of the boat,” said LaChance.“The side sonar now creates an im-age almost 180 degrees to the boat and150 feet of the centre each side, so your scope of view is massive, it just becametremendous.”Calgary, Brooks and now Strathmoreare the only three communities in thearea which have the side sonar equip-ment.
Fire department able to purchase much needed equipment
Page 2
Strathor TmeS Sptbr 16, 2011 www.StrathorTis.co
Westmount fundraising efforts easy on everyone
Shannon LeCLair
Times Reporter 
Fundraising can be a tough and te-dious task, and there is always the con-cern not enough people will say yes tohelp. Westmount Elementary School, incollaboration with Sobeys, has found aneasy way to fundraise by offering some-thing everyone needs, groceries.“We approached Neil (Kennedy) justto see if there was some kind of a fund-raising thing we could do with Sobeys.He broached the idea of this grocery 
Ken Struss, left, gave the Strathore Fire Depart-ent a cheque for $10,000 to buy new equipentfor the rescue boat. mayor Steve Grajczyk, secondleft, Jaie LaChance, SFD, Ryan Parkins, SFD.
Shannon LeClair Photo
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card program with us,” said WayneFunk, principal of Westmount. “Neil’sgoing above and beyond for the amountof work that he’s doing with us and it’s just a phenomenal fundraiser for us, re-ally easy and great partnership for usand Sobeys and it’s lucrative for us, it works well.”Families can sign up for a predeter-mined amount of groceries a month,for example $400 a month and they canpick up the gift card at the store at thestart of the month. The families pay theschool directly for it, and Sobeys givesthe school a 10 per cent discount. If afamily were to buy a gift card for $500 amonth for 12 months, they would raise$600 just by buying groceries, with nonegative cost to them.“It’s a program we will offer to any non prot group, so it’s not somethingthat’s just exclusive to Westmount. They are the only group in town that has ever participated in it, and I guess I got in- volved mostly because that’s where my children go,” said Neil Kennedy, owner of Strathmore Sobeys.By the time all of his children aredone school he will have had one at Westmount for 19 years, which he saidis why he thinks he pushed a little hard-er with them.“We tell parents, if you spend $800 amonth on groceries, well don’t buy an$800 card, buy a $400 card so you havesome exibility. If you know you’re go-ing spend at least that minimum $400 to$500 it’s an easy way to fund your chil-dren’s school, or group,” said Kennedy. The cards don’t expire and can beused at any Sobeys in Western Canada. At Westmount it is school council orien-tated, and Funk said everything is run-ning smoothly with it now. Last year theschool managed to raise over $11,000using the program, and eliminating theneed for other fundraising initiatives.“For the most part it’s a really slicksystem now, it works really nicely. Peo-ple are buying their groceries locally and helping to support the school at thesame time. It’s a win-win no brainer,”said Funk.“If we can fundraise through thisSobeys plan $13,000, then the schoolcouncil feels they have no other needto fundraise.”Most people sign up for nine months, which is the school year, or can do a12-month commitment as well. Funkhimself uses the card and said every month a portion of the money he spendson groceries comes back to the school.“They are open to people who aren’t Westmount parents as well. If there aregrandparents or anybody who buystheir groceries at Sobeys and wants tochip in they can stop in before the 18,”said Funk.
 The nal day to get an order in for the cards and to help the school isSept. 18, though anything that comesin the morning of the 19, will still beaccepted.
 
Shannon LeCLair
Times Reporter 
MP Kevin Sorenson madean announcement on Sept.9 that Strathmore has beenapproved for a low-cost in-frastructure loan. Sorenson,on behalf of the Honour-able Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources andSkills Development and Min-ister Responsible, made theannouncement for CanadaMortgage and Housing Cor-poration, CMHC.“Drinking water is an es-sential service that peopledepend upon and communi-ties are faced with a constantstruggle to keep up withgrowth and maintenancepressures within limited -nancial resources,” said May-or Steve Grajczyk. The loan, which totals justover $4 million, is a low costloan from CMHC’s MunicipalInfrastructure Lending Pro-gram, MILP. Chief Adminis-trative Ofcer for the townDwight Stanford said thetown is borrowing at ve per cent below administrationcosts. Though the announce-ment took place on Sept. 9,the funds have already beenused to upgrade the water supply system, including theconstruction of the water pipeline from Calgary.“We were pleased to re-ceive funding through theMunicipal InfrastructureLending Program from Can-ada and Mortgage HousingCorporation for just over $4.1 million,” said Grajczyk.“With 13,000 residentsand a forecast for continuedgrowth, the new waterline will support the anticipatedgrowth and Strathmore’scontinued goal to be a truly sustainable community.”“Our government under-stands the importance of in-frastructure in maintainingstrong and prosperous com-munities,” said Sorenson.“This program opened thedoor here in Strathmore andin municipalities across Can-ada to meet their housing-related infrastructure needs.Canada’s Economic ActionPlan will continue to create jobs and stimulate the localeconomy here in Alberta, andin all corners of the country.”Canada’s Economic ActionPlan has provided $2 billionover two years in direct low-cost loans to municipalities. The loans were available toall municipalities in Canada,and were a way to provide anew source of funds to investin housing-related infrastruc-ture projects. Project eligiblefor the low cost loans in-cluded infrastructure relatedto housing services, such as water, power generation and waste services. It also includ-ed transportation infrastruc-ture, within and into resi-dential areas, such as roads,sidewalks, lighting, re hallsand residential green spaces.
Sptbr 16, 2011 • Strathor TimeS •
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Continued from page 1
Grajczyk said if the town were to borrow $10 million it willput Strathmore approximately 108 per cent in debt, some-thing he said the town couldn’t afford either.“Personally I feel that the risk we have currently assumedis high. The storage that we have in town, I don’t feel is suf-cient. As the town continues to grow we are only assumingadditional risk in my opinion,” said Parker. The more homes that come onto the line, the higher thedemand is and the less storage there will be available. Parker said they have assumed a signicant amount of risk already  by allowing the current reservoir to fall below the capacity of two days of storage in the event of an emergency.If the break were to happen in Calgary the town wouldhave four days worth of water in the line. The time frame would shrink the closer the break in the line is to Strathmore“I realize we’re looking at a lot of money here, but a lot of people in Strathmore are not 100 per cent happy relying on apipeline…out of Calgary to feed us the water. If we don’t havea backup system in place here, if we can’t get some more stor-age in place here, then I don’t know” said Councillor Rocky Blokland.Blokland also questioned if there was a large re, if the townhas the water capacity to put it out. Parker said they would beable to with the current source. However, there would likely  be watering restrictions imposed in people’s homes.Chief Administrative Ofcer for the town, Dwight Stanford,also stated that previous re chiefs have said if the storage were to run out, they would be able to pump water out of Kinsmen Lake.Stanford said nancially the town is okay on the design sideof things, but as for the construction the nances haven’t been worked out, something the town accountant is working on. There has already been money budgeted into the 2011 bud-get for the design phase of this project.Parker said it’s not that the system is going to fail rightaway, but it’s a matter of how much risk are they willing totake. There is the possibility that if things take too long to getstarted the town may have to put a moratorium on the con-struction of the new homes.“Off-site levies will fund the project, the design as well asconstruction. We do not currently have a water reserve suf-cient to fund the project,” said Parker.Still, the question of how to get the money and the risksinvolved remained the sore spot of the discussion. After lengthy debate council agreed to award the Wildower reser- voir engineering services contract to Associated Engineering with a condition that construction may be potentially delayedfor a maximum of two years, for an amount not exceeding$898,158. Whether Associated Engineering will accept thecontract remains to be seen.
mP Kvin Sornson was happy to bring good nws on Spt. 9, whn hannouncd Strathor has bn approvd for a low-cost infrastructurloan as a part of Canada’s econoic Action Plan. Kvin Sornson, lft,mayor Stv Grajczyk, right.
Town receives low-cost infrastructure loan for waterline
Shannon LeClair Photo
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