County council denies request for parking lot

Buck Lake groups are welcome to raise funds and return to council

County of Wetaskiwin council denied a request from some Buck Lake groups who want a new parking lot for some community facilities. Councilors made the decision at their Public Works council meeting Dec. 10.

Public Works director Neil Powell presented the request to council.

“On November 26, 2019, County Administration received letters from the Buck Lake Seniors Drop-In Center and Buck Lake Agricultural Society requesting the lawn between the ball diamond and the road to the north of the Seniors Hall be graveled for use as additional parking.

“The area is approximately 35,000 sq. ft.

“Snow Clearing and Maintenance Services for Community Centers/Agricultural Societies Policy states, ‘Upon written request, an Agency can seek County assistance for minor maintenance work at their facilities. This will be limited to work in and around the facility grounds that may include blading and shaping with a motor grader or skid steer. The supply and delivery of gravel is separate from this policy and is addressed in Policy 32.1.13 Gravel Donations. The Director of Public Works will have the discretion to approve each request based upon the work so long as the total value of the work does not exceed $1,000 for the supply of labour and equipment. Valuation for the Work shall be the County’s internal hourly rates for labour and equipment.

“Each Agency is allowed one request per calendar year. Request for work exceeding $1,000 in value shall be brought forth to Council for consideration.

“Currently, through Gravel Donation Policy 32.1.13, the County offers a donation of one (1) load of gravel to a maximum of 30 tonnes annually, upon request, to Community Centers, etc. for the purpose of maintaining their parking lots.”

Powell noted what the county does for one group, it has to offer to all, plus, the cost of such a parking lot would be substantial.

“There are 18 Community facilities within the County. If the County were to develop an RV parking lot at the Buck Lake Senior Drop-In Center, this may pave the way for numerous similar requests,” he stated.

“Administration performed a preliminary work estimate to determine a probable cost for the proposed work. To construct a parking lot measuring 3,250 m2 would be an approximate cost (of $40,000).”

During discussion, councilor Kathy Rooyakkers stated the groups need to find more partners or revenue sources to help pay for the parking lot then come back to council. “I think they need to raise money and come back to us with a proposal,” said Rooyakkers.

Councilor Lyle Seely agreed the groups need to raise funds and investigate whether grant funds are available.

Councilors unanimously denied the request, but stated that the groups are welcome to come back once they have a business plan and cost-sharing plan for the project.

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