Press Release - Whitecourt Town Council Update March 2, 2018
Each year, representatives from local emergency service functions provide a report to Council on activities. At the February 26 Regular Meeting, Council received reports from the Whitecourt Fire Department and Municipal Bylaw Enforcement. Highlights from the reports include:
Members of the Whitecourt Fire Department responded to 328 calls, training, and the volunteers logged over 12,500 hours of service to our community. The Department will continue to promote the FireSmart Program in 2018. For current information on the Department and its activities, follow the Department’s Facebook page at WhitecourtFD.
Municipal Bylaw Enforcement continues to assist departments throughout the organization, and will be re-starting community and event bike patrols in the coming weeks.
An overview of 2017 will be presented by the Whitecourt RCMP in the near future.
The Economic Development Committee also provided an update on activities and accomplishments. The Committee and staff continue to work with provincial and local partners to attract investment and retain businesses in our community. This year, the economic development team will be conducting an online survey of the business community that will help develop future programs and resources to help with expansion and improve operations. Watch for the survey this April.
As a result of a 2018 incident in Fernie, BC, Occupational Health and Safety has been conducting site visits and audits of arenas across Alberta. A successful audit of the Scott Safety Centre was conducted in January 2018. There were four areas identified for improvement during the visit, which is exceptional. The inspectors identified only one other facility with fewer areas for improvement. The four items have already been addressed and reviewed by the Provincial OH&S Inspector.
Council scheduled a Special Meeting for April 3, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. to discuss the 2018 Budget. The 2018 Interim Budget was passed in December 2017. The final budget will include updates for provincial and federal grants, and assessment values. The Town of Whitecourt held a 2018 Budget Open House on February 28 to inform residents of proposed projects for the year, and to hear comments on priorities and where tax dollars are spent. Comments received from the event will be reviewed during final budget deliberations.
The Collision Report is prepared annually, and the 2017 report shows an overall decrease in collisions from the previous year. However, incidents along the Highway 43 corridor have increased despite decreasing traffic counts. The Town of Whitecourt will be sending a letter to Alberta Transportation, which is responsible for safety and maintenance of the highway, informing the department of the local findings.
Council approved the closure of a portion of 47 Avenue to allow for the consolidation and sale of several properties within the downtown south area.