Bentley Community News: new community van for Bentley

June Norvila

It is official now. The new 15-passenger white community van has arrived in Bentley. It was driven from Red Deer to Bentley by society president Cheryl Farnden and made its first public appearance in the local parade on August 7.

Some had seen it before that though. After the society’s July 31 regular meeting, some attendees at the meeting got a demonstration and received the first group ride.

Black and white lettering was decided upon, and the possible location of logos of supporters was discussed.

The total cost was approximately $66,000, and with a 40 per cent down payment required at the time of order, the final payment was about $42,000.

A list of volunteer drivers will be developed.

The Bentley Community Van Society and Bentley Community Services are going to try to coordinate events and services to make the most possible and best use of the van.

At its meeting, the van society also announced they had made over $800 at their hot dog sales. Those funds were designated to go to the Bentley Volunteer Fire Department rescue van fund.

They have also just completed a casino August 4, 5 in Red Deer in the Cash Casino and expect to again do very well. Uses for the money have already been approved.

Bentley accepts final rescue truck cost

At the July 22 regular Bentley town council meeting, council decided to apply for provincial funding for affordable housing as an umbrella group under the Lacombe Foundation rather than as an individual municipality. Bentley’s part would be to consider possible sites within Bentley and to consider relaxing a portion of the property taxes on a project should one go ahead.

The final cost of the new Bentley Volunteer Fire Department rescue truck with additions / changes was accepted. The contract amount is $222,000 plus tax and will be paid for with $174,772 from a Municipal Sponsorship Program grant, $12,780 from the local fire department and $17,324 each from the town and the Lacombe County.

Additions and upgrades will cost a further $40,969 and will be covered by the fire department with $18, 000-$19,000 from a Community Initiatives Grant, and the rest through fundraising and donations from corporate sponsorship and individuals.

Two items were deferred to the next meeting. By-law No. 127/2008, regulating the proceedings and transactions of the town business by council and Policy No. 27/2008 establishing polices and guidelines for Community Services staff and what they should respond.

A report about the condition of the shifting arena floor in the winter season was received from Stantec Consulting. It was a relief to note there is no danger of the floor collapsing into a sinkhole. The possibility of having to replace the entire concrete floor slab, not just the part that has not already been dug up and replaced, was mentioned. Cost estimates will be gathered and given consideration for next year’s budget.

Alberta Transportation has talked with the town Chief Administrative Officer regarding land needed for the proposed highway bypass when it comes through. Preliminary indications are that only about six acres of town land will be needed. It was also indicated that the town lagoons and transfer station will remain intact although access in to the transfer station may have to be changed, but that the town’s compost area may have to be moved.

After evaluation, it was agreed to move the town’s Chief Administrative Officer up one step on the salary grid.

The dignitary’s luncheon for parade day was organized.

At the July 8 regular Bentley town council meeting the following items were dealt with. Bentley will continue their membership with Alberta Municipal Services Corporation (AMSC) and thus remain in their Energy Aggregation Program effective for 2009-2013 for both electricity and natural gas.

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Effective July 1, a policy amendment to Policy No. 24, 2007, regarding the Council Remuneration and Expense Policy took affect. Council, staff members, and citizen members-at-large who attend meetings, conferences, work shops, courses, etc will be reimbursed mileage based on 50 percent of the last price of fuel purchased by the town from Bentley Shell as stated on the town’s monthly invoice.

At the Public Works meeting of June 30, it was noted that the tree and compost area run by the town, located near the waste transfer station, is for the use of town residents only. It is a facility run by the town, with no cost sharing with the county or anyone else, and is therefore restricted for town resident’s use only.

Bentley has filed 10 separate applications for funding under the 2008 Municipal Sustainability Initiative Program (MSI).

In the Open Question Period, Councilor Sandra Smyth asked what the policy was regarding how letters addressed to mayor and council are handled and was told administration is to direct issues/concerns to the appropriate authorities. A Procedural Policy will be forthcoming.

The next regular town council meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 12 at 6:45 p.m. in council chambers.