There was a lengthy discussion at the regular Bentley town council meeting of June 10 regarding the future direction of the Lacombe Regional Fire Service society, how their role may or may not be affected by the provincial restructuring of fire services now going on, and the LRFS impact on Bentley.
One of the main benefits of membership in LRFS for Bentley so far has been the development of the policy handbook and of standard operating procedures. Bentley would like the LRFS to help more with fire inspections and would like to be able to work more closely with them. Council feels a monthly report to council by the Regional Fire Chief would give them more insight into just what the regional fire chief does.
Councillor Cliff Knutson will attend the LRFS June meeting representing Bentley council.
* One delegation was in attendance. RevMasters Car Club director Greg Beavis asked for financial assistance with the cost of putting on the fireworks display that the club has coordinated for the past three years and that has become a much anticipated part of the annual August fair and rodeo.
He asked for an increase to $2,000 from the town and mentioned that is a toonie per citizen based on 1,000 town residents.
Total cost of the fireworks will be $4-5,000. He is in the process of gathering club/group and private donations. He explained that $4,000 is the base price to get the company out to do the fireworks and that anything over the $4,000 base price is ‘in the sky’ meaning more actual fireworks.
Council will discuss the request at a later date and inform him of their decision. A $2,000 donation was not in the budget.
* Just how the ambulance services being taken over by the provincial health system effective April 1, 2009 will affect the town is unclear. For this year the town will once again receive their approximately $5,000 grant as in the past few years. Lacombe will continue to provide the service to Bentley.
* Some work will be done on the arena again this year. Work will include a new roof over the lobby, cement pad at the west overhead door, new cement floor and retaining wall under the bleachers on the north side, some new wall on the north and south side of the rink, some eavestroughing, two new steel walk-in doors, etc. at a cost of about $158,250. There has been a $100,000 commitment from Lacombe County and a CFEP grant has been applied for.
More arena work will be needed and budgeted for in 2009.
* A written assessment and recommendations and estimates of repair regarding the shifting arena floor and the wet road problem north of the arena will be gathered for possible inclusion of the costs of repairs and upgrades in the 2009 budget.
* Possible road bans on Dick Damron Drive to the north and south end of town was mentioned. The recent rains have made those roads very soft and heavier truck traffic causes the roads to break down which is costly for the town to keep repairing each year.
* Councilor Sandra Smyth asked if a ‘Question Period’ could be added to the agenda of regular meetings at which time councilors could ask general questions. It was agreed that would be a good idea.
* Paving in the Moore Subdivision has been scheduled.
* Weed control is needed on the 44 annexed acres to the north of town. The owners were contacted and the problem will be addressed.
* A new Public Works employee, Richard Davey, has been hired as of June 16.
* It is time for the annual Chief Administrative Officer’s evaluation and it will be done by council following the July 8 council meeting.
The next regular town council meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 24 at 6:45 p.m. in council chambers. The public is welcome.
Bentley girl chosen Saskatchewan valedictorian
A former Bentley student, Kari Ree, is leaving her mark at the Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute (LCBI) in Outlook, Saskatchewan. She was chosen as the class of 2008 valedictorian.
“It was such an honor to be able to have a voice to express appreciation for everything that everyone has done in our lives,” said the seventeen-year-old Grade 12 graduate after being told she was named valedictorian. “I learned love for them (my parents) and I learned more lessons than I can even count. They (long time family friends Phil and Gail Berg and their children Joel and Kirsten) developed in me a sense of fun and are incredible mentors in my faith life.” She also mentioned the impact some others have had on her life including her Grade 10 Bentley English and Social Studies teachers, as well as staff at LCBI.
After delivering her speech though she said it will be a bittersweet moment, as it will mean she is closer to leaving LCBI and her incredible friends.
After completing grade 10 in Bentley, Kari decided she wanted to complete her last two years of high school living in residence at LCBI and had to convince her parents.
“It was hard to make the decision to let her go,” said mother Joan of her youngest child then just 15, “but we had to think of what was best for her and what she wanted.” In the end “she loved the whole atmosphere and the opportunity to do things.”
“It is a Christian community with emphasis on academics and music,” said father Mark. There is lots of encouragement for music and drama, but sports is not forgotten. The school won the provincial championship for basketball in their category this year. They also have football and a variety of opportunities.
Kari maintained a high academic standing and was the top Grade 12 student. Her favorite subjects were creative writing and math her mother says.
Kari was very involved in extracurricular activities as well. She was in the touring Concert Choir that just finished a trip through Calgary, Red Deer and Wetaskiwin a short time ago and had earlier performed in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Ree was part of the high school drama club. They put on two productions this year, one with a cast of 50 students! Not bad participation for a school with 120 students.
During ‘spring break’ Kari went on a mission trip to a Mexican orphanage where they delivered over 1000 toques and pairs of mittens the school had collected. They helped in the kitchen, with maintenance, doing garbage pickup, and shelling and packaging macadamia nuts, or what ever had to be done. Two vanloads from the school went including about 12 students and four chaperones.
One Tuesday each month, “Take Out Tuesday”, the entire school populace including the Grade 10’s, 11’s, 12’s, and the staff, go out into the community to do community service of some kind that has been requested. It could be singing at a hospital, reading to seniors, shoveling snow, painting a fence, picking litter, helping with children, almost anything.
GO team activities through the school give students a chance to interact with other churches.
Kari was also the acting Yearbook editor this year and provided leadership on campus.
Over the two year span Kari has attended LCBI, parents Mark and Joan Ree, who live west of Bentley, have made many trips to the private school to take in different school functions and productions, and taking Kari back and forth when she came home on vacations and holidays.
LCBI graduation ceremonies were held over the May 9, 10, 11 Mother’s Day weekend and Mark and Joan were able to attend the entire event.
Kari is unsure what she will do later, but for now she wants to take some time off from schooling and work before planning a career or going on to university.