Bentley campground in the red, more programs at library

By June Norvila

Sandra Smyth was sworn in as Bentley’s new deputy mayor at the annual organizational meeting of Bentley town council on Oct. 13.

The dates, times and location of regular meetings remain the same, as do the auditor Collins Barrow Chartered Accountants and assessor Rod Viske of Wildrose Assessment Services.

Most committee members remain the same.

A five-year lease agreement for $500 per year will be renewed with the Bentley Drop-In.

The distribution fee to be collected by Fortis Alberta on behalf of the Bentley municipality will again remain at zero per cent. Some municipalities do collect varying rates as per their decision and notification to Fortis.

A five-year agreement will be signed with Stantec Consulting Limited for general engineering services.

A motion was made at the Oct. 13 meeting to withdraw the Recreation Infrastructure Canada Program application for future arena upgrade funding as the town may no longer be able to meet the criteria for payment if its share.

The town’s campground operation showed a net loss of almost $16,000. Some of it was due to start up costs that will not be necessary next year.

Jerry Dickau was appointed to the municipal planning commission following his application.

The town will renew its Special Constable Services Agreement with Lacombe County at $69.17 per hour (about a 10-per-cent increase) to commence Jan. 1, 2010.

Second reading was given Nov. 10 to the Town of Bentley/Lacombe County Intermunicipal Development Plan following a public hearing at the Nov. 9 regular meeting, at which only one written submission was received. First reading was on Oct. 13.

The number of odor complaints to the NRCB regarding Kingdom Farms has not decreased, according to information received for July through September.

Lacombe County Coun. Keith Stephenson made a presentation to the town acknowledging the town’s support and involvement with the agriculture tour the county hosted.

Financial indicator graphs for 2008 from Municipal Affairs indicate Bentley is average or very close in most areas with municipalities of similar size. Bentley’s equalized assessment per capita is 42-per-cent higher than the average though, but the long-term debt per capita is well below average.

Bentley remains higher than average in accessing operating grants. Reserves remain lower than the average. Salaries, wages, and benefits are higher.

The town will write a letter to the provincial government supporting a standardization of school zone times stating they should be in force from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days instead of the varying times in various municipalities that causes confusion that as is the case now.

The next regular council meeting is Nov. 23 at 6:45 p.m. in council chambers. Meetings are always open to the public to sit in.

Many programs at Bentley library

Many programs are ongoing at the Bentley Municipal Library.

“Mother Goose on the Loose” is for children up to three years old with a caregiver and runs on most Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11 a.m. It is designed to aid in the development of youngsters in a play environment. There is no charge.

“Little Sprouts’ is for the three- to five-year-olds with a caregiver. The program is free and runs most Wednesdays from 1 to 1:30 p.m. It centres on stories and poems for the pre-school child.

BLAST (Bentley Library After School Time) gives the grades 1 to 6 student a chance to socialize while completing homework or reading on Thursday afternoons. Transportation is provided from the elementary school to the library via the Bentley Community van.

A Teens Only teen drop-in night for grades 7 to 12 will take place Nov. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. with full library services available.

Free movie days continue. An adult movie, Passhendaele, will be shown Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. and a family movie, The Iron Giant, Nov. 21 at 1:30 p.m.

On Nov. 27 at 1:30 p.m. Kung Fu Panda will be shown for the little ones, and at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 28 Tropic Thunder will be shown for the teens.

The Bentley Library Book Club meets the last Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The reading list is available at the front desk.

The library board annual general meeting is Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to everyone.

Call the library at 403-748-4626 for information on any of the programs.