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Gymnastics may get help in 2017NEWS/Entries/2016/5/25_Gymnastics_may_get_help_in_2017.html
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African group to be formed in FortNEWS/Entries/2016/5/25_African_group_to_be_formed_in_Fort.html

Volume 21, Number 21, Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fort-first

swim lessons lose vote

This will be seen as the City Council that did nothing.

I was reminded of this once again while at the Peoples of the North Saskatchewan festival at the museum grounds last week. Thousands of students from all across the region were at the site for this great hand-on educational event.

The historic precinct will be busy again next week during the annual Legacy Park Festival. But all of that is nothing compared to Canada Day in Fort Saskatchewan when downtown gets so busy it is quite impossible to park.

The Heritage Centre would have been ready in time for this spring had Council not cancelled it.

That centre was designed to support special events at the historic precinct and the whole downtown. It would have given us washrooms, shelter, meeting space and even more parking for Fort Saskatchewan’s biggest and most important events. It would have had no impact on taxes, being funded by grants. Some of those grants are going to the new football field.

Our current City Council came into office approving the Heritage Centre and preparing to get a new pool and other facilities underway. Instead it has only approved a new outdoor football field with lights and change rooms but no grandstand. The Heritage Centre was delayed then cancelled and now the pool plebiscite has been delayed.

With luck, our expanded and improved bus system will get underway before the next election, but the organic compost program will not. Council dithered over both.

I expect voters will be as annoyed as I am over all of this come the 2017 municipal election. Just remember to blame the chief ditherers: Arjun Randhawa, Sheldon Bossert and Ed Sperling

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Big weekend ahead in JosephburgNEWS/Entries/2016/5/25_Big_weekend_ahead_in_Josephburg.html

Council failure hurts public events

Councillor Arjun Randhawa’s proposal to give Fort residents first crack at swim lesson registration was defeated by City Council Tuesday.

Only Councillor Ed Sperling  and Randhawa supported the proposal to give Fort residents a two-day head start to register for any swim lesson class starting in 2017.

Council had agreed in April to have staff study the proposal, but most ended up not liking the idea at all.

“I think it would be very dangerous to go down that road,” said Councillor Frank Garritsen, who noted that Harbour Pool was built with grants and donations as well as local tax dollars.

The proposal would hurt relations with neighbouring communities and be difficult to enforce, Fort Saskatchewan Infrastructure Manager Troy Fleming told Council.

Residents would have to prove they live here, which can only be done by providing photo identification in person, he said. Children don’t have identification and it would be difficult to prove their residency, he added.

Staff would therefore have to either take people’s word, and risk making nonsense of the rule, or investigate every claim, which would upset a lot of people, Fleming said.

Even Randhawa saw the difficulty. “It’s a simple idea that turns out to be unsimple.”

It is also unnecessary, as local swim lessons are still only 87 per cent full, and only one quarter of registrants are from out of town, said Councillor Stew Hennig. Fort residents also risk losing the ability to use programs and services in neighboring communities.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016