New facelift for town office, van programs first or drivers first?

By June Norvila

At the Sept. 8 regular Bentley town council meeting a motion was passed, with one councillor against, to approve an estimated cost of around $71,700 for renovations to the town office scheduled to start in January 2010. Renovations would include new flooring and baseboards, replacement of inside doors and casings, new lighting, new filing system units, new window coverings and painting of walls and ceiling.

It was determined that when the Morrisroe Recreation Area campground attendant left on Sept. 15 that the campground would be closed for the season. The campground ran at a deficit this year with possible reasons for that discussed.

Concerns were raised regarding recreational vehicles parking overnight in the Morrisroe Recreation Area parking lot and the Blindman Valley Ag Centre area. That area is not a campground with overnight parking. A letter was sent to the BVAC committee asking them to make renters aware.

At the Sept. 22 meeting, upon recommendation, it was decided to keep a Philips Hearstart defibrillator unit that was donated to the town. Some updating at a cost of less than $600 will be required. The unit is considered to be worth approximately $3,500 new. No special training is required to use it and there should be no liability to the town if someone uses it. The unit will be stored in a secure place within the Bentley Arena and notices will indicate it is on the premises and to contact the caretaker if needed.

The annual organizational meeting took place along with the regular council meeting on October 13.

The next regular council meeting will be on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6:45 p.m. in council chambers. Meetings are always open to the public to sit in.

Van program

The Bentley Community Van Society is in a Catch-22 admitted new van society president Patti Paterson.

The society needs more volunteer drivers to be able to offer more programs, and they need more programs to make more use of their van, so do you get drivers first and then develop programs, or develop programs first and then try to find drivers.

“The new van is here to use and it should be going out every day,” Patterson said.

He wants to develop a list of those who will volunteer to drive the Bentley community van on a regular basis so people needing a driver won’t have to look for one, but will already have one pre-approved by the society. Lack of a driver won’t jeopardize the planning of a trip.

Paterson would like to see the van used around town regularly. One day a week, people could be picked up and transported around town to get groceries, get to doctor appointments, or hair or chiropractor appointments, etc. A weekly program could also be set up to take people who have no other form of transportation on a trip to Red Deer for example.

The van is already going to be used by the library to transport students to the library’s after school time at the library school. It will ensure students leave the school and arrive at the library in a safe manner and at the proper time, and will be especially welcomed when the weather turns bad. The van is also used regularly for the once a month wellness outing to Red Deer offered through Bentley Community Services.

The society will subsidize the cost of programs that qualify, making any tour / trip even more user friendly and less costly.

No special driver’s license is required. Anyone with a clean driver’s abstract is a potential driver. Free training in regard to using the van will be offered.