Sidewalk repairs coming, rain causes closure at landfill
Crime statistics, parade routes and sidewalk repairs were all on the agenda of the 13th meeting of the Town Council of Maple Creek, held July 13.
All councillors were present for the meeting, as was new town administrator Don McLeod. Mayor Barry Rudd joined the meeting via teleconference.
Council first heard from RCMP Sgt. John Phipps, who reported the Maple Creek RCMP detachment has responded to 210 occurrances in the last three months.
Break-and-enter occurances are down from previous numbers, Phipps reported. In other areas there had been “no real changes” from previous statistics.
“A lot of the numbers are coming from youth in the area, and we’re trying to reign that in,” said Phipps. RCMP officers have been regularly checking in with youths who have conditions in place, which Phipps reports is quite effective at preventing reoffending.
Maple Creek RCMP has recently added two new officers to their staff, who are working out well.
Councillor Mike Morrow noted he had seen “a lot of tagging” and other graffiti around town recently, and Councillor Tina Cresswell raised a complaint about young people speeding on dirt bikes within the town limits, sometimes not wearing helmets. Phipps said RCMP will be looking into both issues.
Phipps also warned of common phone scams, where the perpetrator pretends to be associated with Canada Revenue Agency and demands money, often in gift cards or other untraceable forms of payment.
“Don’t hand out information and don’t call them back,” says Phipps. Residents who have been targetted by scammers are advised to contact the RCMP.
Mayor Rudd complimented the job Maple Creek RCMP have been doing of late. “There hasn’t been a whole lot going on that hasn’t been taken care of,” said Rudd.
“I think these numbers look pretty good across the board,” said Morrow.
“All in all,” said Sgt. Phipps, “from our viewpoint, it was a good quarter.”
Council next heard a report from Town Foreman Neil Bookout, who has been working on valve maintenance and other water-related issues around town.
A temporary boil-water advisory was put in place for Myer Crescent and the south side of Clauster Avenue while town employees repaired valves on July 5.
“It was just a precautionary boil-water advisory,” said McLeod. “They had [the valve] changed in ten minutes.”
With the recent heavy rains, Bookout has also been pumping water at the landfill. The landfill was closed last week due to excessive water. The landfill has since been reopened for normal operations, but residents are advised to check the town website for updates, especially if there has been recent rainfall.
“Sidewalks are next on our list,” said Bookout, who has identified and prepped several areas for repair around town.
Councillor Cresswell hoped Bookout would be able to address the issues some downtown businesses have been having with the asphalt repair patches on sidewalks tracking tar into their stores on hot days.
“They want cement,” said Cresswell. “They feel quite strongly about it.”
Council next voted to make a donation of $100 to the Saskatchewan Emergency Planners Association in the name of Carl Friske. Friske, who passed suddenly July 3, was instrumental in coordinating emergency measures during Maple Creek’s catastrophic 2010 flood. Several councillors voiced their sadness at Mr. Fiske’s passing.
The town’s paddling pool will still require another inspection before it can be reopened, despite the fact that repairs were completed some time ago. Council seemed to be frustrated by the situation.
“We did everything we thought was right,” said Mayor Rudd, “and they keep changing the rules.”
“It sends the message to the public that there’s a health issue with the pool when there’s not,” added Cresswell.
Mayor Rudd described the entire situation as “ridiculous” and suggested he would be penning a letter to MLA Doug Steele on the issue. Since the meeting, Maple Creek has reopened the paddling pool to the public.
Moving into the forum, Councillor Ellaine Hawrylak reported that Communities in Bloom preparations are coming along well for the judging visit July 23, although rains have largely prevented painting and staining work from being done.
“Everything is progressing as good as we can,” said Hawrylak.
Councillor Cresswell reported that the Heritage Advisory Committee’s work on the town’s historic buildings is proceeding well. Repair work to the foundation of St. Mary’s has been completed, and the Jasper Centre restoration is now their primary focus.
Councillor Morrow thanked the mayor and council for the opportunity to speak at Canada Day celebrations. Morrow also enjoyed the SasKota Bowl, saying the event was “very well attended, and even better, we won.”
In new business, the tender for sewer main replacenet on Sydney Street was awarded to Maple Creek’s Koncrete Construction Group. The project’s completion date is set for Aug 15.
Council granted beer garden permits to the Maple Creek Agricultural Society’s Aug. 5 rough stock event, as well as to the Maple Creek Elks Club, who will be operating a beer garden at the Aug. 13 demolition derby.
“That’s going to be fun,” Cresswell said of the derby.
Next, there was some discussion of how best to divert traffic around the July 22 parade. According to Councillor Hawrylak, last year saw some incidents of people who “drove right into the parade.”
“We just need signs and volunteers,” said Cresswell.
Council carried a motion to redirect traffic around Pacific Avenue during the parade.
“We’ll try and figure out a better route for next year,” said Hawrylak.