South Peace News
Tax auction proceeds Nov. 25
The Town of McLennan is proceeding with a tax auction on three properties Nov. 25.
Council heard at its Oct. 13 meeting that two of the properties are vacant while the third has a vacant mobile home.
“It’s been vacant for 2-3 years,” said CAO Lorraine Willier.
Council set the reserve bids but they were not disclosed.
Agreement with ag society ends
The Town of McLennan is pulling out of their agreement with the Smoky River Agricultural Society.
Councillor Sue Delaurier attending a recent meeting of the ag society and told council most of the existing partners agreed to pull out.
Part of the reason, she said, was the ag society needed their existing money to operate the facilities they own, leaving little or no money for other ventures.
Councillor Marie-Anne Jones added most of the ag society’s business did not pertain to the Town of McLennan any longer because the ag society operated no facilities at McLennan.
Delaurier added she also did not mind helping the ag society in the future, if possible.
“I don’t see a reason for keeping the agreement,” she said.
The motion passed unanimously at the Oct. 13 meeting.
Council OKs gravel haul
McLennan town council is doing its part to help the Northern Alberta Railway and Historical Society install a gas line.
Council heard at its Oct. 13 meeting that the society received a donation of pit run gravel from Nemadar Ranch, but the only problem left was how to transport it to McLennan.
“Ten trips, a few a day, I don’t have any problem with that,” said Councillor Dwayne Stout.
Councillor Sue Delaurier went over the budget and was pleased to see the society “spread around” the work to help the local economy.
“It’s nice to see,” she said. “They all get a little piece of the pie.”
In separate motions, council agreed to pay for fuel to transport the pit run, and to give $3,000 to the society to help cover installation costs.
CAO Lorraine Willier said the money would come from the donation portion of the budget.
Job offered, council awaits
The job of administrative assistant at the Town of McLennan has been offered and council awaits a decision.
CAO Lorraine Willier told council at its Oct. 13 meeting an offer letter was sent Oct. 9 to the successful applicant and she hoped to hear back before the meeting.
Willier was pleased that 11 people applied for the job. After shortlisting to four, Willier and Mayor Michele Fournier interviewed before making a decision.
Council agreed at its Sept. 14 meeting to hire the assistant, after deeming the work in the Town of McLennan office was too much for the CAO to handle alone.
The job involves a three-day work week from Monday to Wednesday at seven hours per day.
The successful applicant stats Nov. 2 and is on probation for three months.
Volunteer appreciation planned
McLennan’s annual volunteer appreciation will see a much smaller celebration this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council agreed at its Oct. 13 meeting to recognize the winners with a plaque and gift certificate at its January 2021 council meeting.
“How do we want to handle it this year?” Mayor Michele Fournier asked council in opening debate.
Councillor Sue Delaurier suggested presenting awards at the January 2021 meeting.
“Seems we won’t have a public event,” she reasoned.
CAO Lorraine Willier agreed, adding the recipient[s] would also receive a plaque.
Council was not entirely pleased they couldn’t hold a public dinner like last year, but decided something still had to be done to recognize the efforts of its volunteers.
“Too bad we had to do it that way,” said Councillor Dwayne Stout.
“Maybe we can give them a supper?” suggested Councillor Marie-Anne Jones.
“A gift certificate,” said Delaurier. “We can buy them a gift certificate somewhere.”
“And a plaque,” added Stout.
Doyle and Company new auditors
An Edmonton company was awarded a three-year contract to provide auditing services to the Town of McLennan.
Doyle and Company was awarded the job at council’s Oct. 13 meeting at $20,500 per year.
CAO Lorraine Willier recommended the company after receiving two bids.
“They do Hines Creek and Rycroft,” she said, noting they were similar sized municipalities. “Hines Creek has used them for 15 years.
“And they’re the cheapest.”
Another “huge benefit” is that Doyle is familiar with McLennan’s software system.
Council heard the price is similar to last year’s services.
Remembrance Day service proceeds
Councillor Sue Delaurier reported the annual Remembrance Day Service Nov. 11 will proceed despite the pandemic.
She said the service will be a “short 15 minutes in front of the cenotaph.”
Usually, a service is held inside the McLennan Community Elks Hall but restrictions due to the pandemic made the usual plans impossible.
This and that…
…Alberta Health Services has rented the McLennan Elks Hall until June. Council was pleased with the revenue the rent will provide.
…the McLennan Library has re-opened, much to the delight of the public. Council heard there is still a desire for the library to open Saturday, but it is unlikely that will occur.
…the McLennan Recreation Board is exploring the possibility of hiring a STEP student next year to work at the sports court and campground, and help public works in their spare time.
…the popular Octoberfest celebration was cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead, as a fundraiser for the McLennan Recreation Board, cash calendars will be sold. They will be available for purchase in November. Look for them around town very soon.