Town office sale or lease on hold

Council has not yet made up its mind as to the best option regarding the library expansion and a proposal to sell or lease

Council has not yet made up its mind as to the best option regarding the library expansion and a proposal to sell or lease the town offices to the library board.

At its March 25 meeting, council voted in favor of a motion by Coun. Gayle Rondeel to postpone a decision until its next meeting.

Rondeel would like to make the decision when all councilors were present, noting Coun. Paul Payson was being Skyped in.

The motion came on the heels of a report by CAO Tony Goode that a petition presented to the town by Reuben Giebelhaus asking for a referendum on the sale of the town offices for $1 had been deemed insufficient by Brownlee LLP, Barristers and Solicitors.

The petition has been deemed to be insufficient due to lack of clarity as to the nature of action sought and to the subject matter of the petition, the lawyer stated.

The petition started circulating throughout town after council agreed to sell the town administration building to the Rimbey Municipal Library Board for $1.

Giebelhaus, who spoke to council at the meeting, said he was not surprised the petition was found to be invalid, however, he stood behind his belief the town should not sell or lease the town offices to the library board and he urged council to consider public opinion.

“The people who signed that petition are not in favor (of selling or leasing). And you are still paying in a roundabout way for the upkeep of this (building). There is no saving dollar-wise.”

Giebelhaus said the public response he has received to his petition has been positive.

“You have no idea how many people contacted me and have patted me on the back for what I was doing.”

Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson, who voted against the motion to postpone the issue, warned Giebelhaus to make sure the question was clear and concise if he should start another petition.

“If you don’t like the decision we make (regarding the library expansion), be very careful if you start another petition. Get professional advice and be very clear on your question.”

Administration reviewed the petition and found 394 of the 455 signatures were valid.