The Town of Rimbey had a crew working New Year’s Day at around 6 a.m. to clear roads that had become excessively narrow due to the last extensive snowfall

Snow removal high on priority list for new mayor

When Rick Pankiw was campaigning for mayor last fall he promised snow removal would be high on his list of priorities.

When Rick Pankiw was campaigning for mayor last fall he promised snow removal would be high on his list of priorities.

Unfortunately, he had no idea how much snow he would be dealing with.

Meeting in the Review office for an interview during the last few days of December, Pankiw simply shakes his head when chatting about the amount of snow Rimbey has experienced.

“We have done everything in our power to move the snow,” he said. “Now we are running out of places to put it. We have been dumping at the recycle, but that’s getting full.”

While Pankiw did not know, offhand, how much the town has exceeded its budget for snow removal, he said residents can rest assured that it has far been surpassed.

“We continue to clear on an ongoing basis. We promised we would do our best regarding snow removal and we believe we’re delivering on that.”

Pankiw encourages anyone who has questions or concerns about snow removal to call his cell at 403-783-9878 or stop by the town office.

He said public works crews deserve kudos for their efforts to keep the streets cleared.

He also noted that the Alberta Department of Transportation has promised to step up their snow removal policy on Hwy. 53 running through town.

“They have told us we can schedule times for them to clean when we deem it a necessity,” he said. “We are grateful for that.”

As he begins the new year as mayor, Pankiw is looking forward to completing the budgeting process and getting on with council business.

He noted council will be working with a new CAO due to the retirement of Tony Goode. He said Goode has promised to stay with the town until the budget is completed, however a new CAO will probably brought on board later this month.

One of the first tasks at hand will be to work with the new CAO to develop a plan designed to attract new businesses to town, he said.

He did not rule out tax incentives as a way to bring new business in.

“I would be willing to look at anything that ads to the tax base bottom line for the town of Rimbey,” he said.

Pankiw believes the incubator program encouraged by the chamber has potential.

“I think it is a great idea. The concept is really good.”

He said he has found the mayors’ meetings he has attended to be helpful and informative.

“It gives me a chance to let everyone know we are open for business here in Rimbey,” he said.