The Outlook town council met for a scheduled meeting on Wednesday night, January 11. In attendance were Mayor Ross Derdall, councillors Floyd Childerhose, Maureen Applin, David Simonson, Kyle McLeod, and Maureen Weiterman, as well as administrator Trent Michelman, assistant administrator Laurie Lemon, town superintendent Luke Lockhart, and recreation director Jordy Jones. Absent was councillor Donna Smith.
A number of topics were discussed, including the following highlights:
The provincial government’s decision to eliminate the Community Rink Grant meant that a possible $2500 for recreation purposes in Outlook is no longer an option for funding.
There was some loose discussion on an idea presented that would involve installing planters down Franklin Street in Outlook in order to accomplish two things; beautify a section of the downtown business corridor, and try to cut down on motorists pulling illegal driving maneuvers. However, before this idea moves on to reach another stage, there would have to be a discussion with the bylaw officer, as well as find out what liability issues there might be.
A deer that had been hit in town recently caught the eye of a local resident, who snapped a photo of the animal before taking the matter to Facebook and sparking a heated discussion on whose responsibility it should become when a situation such as this arises inside town limits. In this situation, the local conservation officer (CO) was unable to assist as he wasn’t in the vicinity, and ultimately it was Luke Lockhart, along with Dalas and George King who tended to the matter involving the removal of the deer. A CO is the authority in a unique situation such as this, and only he can give authority to someone else in order to destroy an animal; in order for town employees to have the authority to deal with an issue such as this in the future, the CO would need to authorize them. It was said that in the future, if an issue such as this happens again, anyone who calls on town employees to address the problem will be told that the town can’t legally be involved and it’s the job of the CO to deal with it. Ultimately, the discussion shed light on the need for more of a local presence by the CO.
The Canada 150 Committee put forth a proposed budget of $25,000 in order to celebrate the country’s monumental birthday later this year, and a motion was passed to “find the money”, as Mayor Derdall stated that this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Though a list of planned events couldn’t be confirmed at this time, the celebration is currently expected to be a two-day affair.
There was talk on the possibility of installing a plastics pick-up depot at the town landfill, as Outlook is already a leader in recycling. Administrator Michelman was to investigate this further for a likely discussion at a future meeting.
With Canada’s 150th coming up, including an influx of summer visitors and tourists coming to Outlook, it was said that a new, updated map of the town is needed, especially for the new in-development town website coming in the future. A motion was carried to update the town map.
The Outlook Housing Authority expressed concern over the $10 water increase, but council feels it’s very fair considering how little Outlook pays for its water; it was said that the town is actually the cheapest as far as water prices across the province, if not virtually the entire country.
On the Outlook airport lighting issue, it was said that if the town buys the equipment and does the necessary trenching by March, they’ll still be eligible for the provincial grant money, worth over $20,000. A motion was carried and passed to contract a specialist and get a list of equipment needed.
The old ‘Welcome to Outlook’ rainbow signage, which is classed as original artwork, may have an interested local buyer. The town is going to speak with the local arts council on what they wish to have done with them, as they were the organization that commissioned the pieces.
A more thorough discussion on another location for the new swimming pool was tabled until the next council meeting, but it was revealed that the future facility may be moved to the property behind the curling rink instead of the skating rink.