Alberton sending old fire truck to China

The Township of Alberton formally has authorized the donation of its old fire truck to the China Project, where it will be used to supply water to two remote villages in the mountainous area of that country.
Since acquiring a new fire truck late last year, Alberton council has been weighing a number of options for disposing of the old one.
At its regular meeting last Wednesday night, council authorized the donation on the condition the truck be accepted on an “as is” basis to provide water for consumption and crops in the villages of Shiwenggou and Matodianzi.
The China Project is headed by Dr. Norm Becker, an engineer in Windsor, Ont., and involves the efforts of Fort Frances lawyer Larry Eustace.
No date has been set yet as to when the truck will be sent on its way.
Also at last Wednesday’s meeting, OPP S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis briefed Alberton council on the policing activities in the district. It also gave him an opportunity to say goodbye as he is retiring in June.
“This is my first—and as it turns out my last—presentation to this council,” he noted. “I recommend these sessions keep going with my successor.”
S/Sgt. Dennis told Alberton council the OPP came in under budget for 2004 even though there was a spike in the crime rate due to a series of armed robberies in Fort Frances last fall and winter.
He estimated the community policing budget for 2005 will be in the $73,000 range—up from last year’s estimate of $67,000.
Meanwhile, Roads Superintendent Larry George told council most of the township’s roads came through the winter in good shape. The exception is Stewart Road, which George said will require some grading.
“There’s not a lot to be done this year. It’s pretty straightforward,” he remarked.
George also said he has been extremely busy over the past few weeks tending to complaints from residents regarding clogged culverts. “My phone was just smoking,” he said.
Such problems have been reported all over the district, and appear to be the result of heavy rains in December followed by a sharp freeze.
Later in the meeting, Chief Cory Jewell presented the Alberton volunteer fire department’s 2005 strategic plan for public education and awareness for council’s approval.
Council agreed to assist the fire department in its public education and awareness plan through the township’s newsletter.
Alberton council also proposed to hold a fun day and jamboree on Saturday June 25. More details on that will be available at a later date.
Also last Wednesday night, Alberton council:
•passed a resolution authorizing the payment of $135,793.94 for accounts payable, which included a payroll of $3,749.88 and a Visa bill of $791.81;
•made a donation of $250 to the Northern Ontario Medical School Bursary Fund;
•declared May 1-7 to be Emergency Management Week;
•declared June to be Seniors’ Month, and named Bob Gadd as the 2005 Senior of the Year in Alberton;
•supported a resolution passed March 17 by the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board regarding land ambulance funding, in which it requested the province acknowledge the financial crisis created by the provincial government in Rainy River District and to fulfill its obligation of a full 50 percent cost sharing;
•supported a March 17 resolution from the local DSSAB petitioning the premier and health and long-term care minister to return delivery of land ambulance services to the province as soon as possible;
•agreed to hire Brittany and Cale Hayes to fill the position of student municipal grounds keeper;
•confirmed its policy regarding the harvesting of wood on municipal road allowances, which requires persons who wish to do so to enter into an agreement with council prior to harvesting;
•passed a bylaw establishing the capping options to be used during the 2005 taxation year regarding commercial and industrial properties;
•authorized Couns. Doug Mitchell and Mike Ford, as well as Reeve Mike Hammond, to attend the NOMA conference April 27-30 in Kenora;
•authorized clerk/treasurer Dawn Hayes to attend the pay equity seminar taking place in Fort Frances on June 8;
•supported a resolution from the Association of Municipal Tax Collectors urging the province to amend the legislation for next year to specify that once a property reaches current value assessment taxation, it remain at the that level regardless of future assessments;
•authorized Reeve Hammond and Coun. Lou Collier to attend the “How to Complain Effectively” seminar to be held April 21 in Fort Frances;
•authorized the payment of $343 to the Rainy River Veterinary Assistance Trust Fund; and
•authorized the removal of pine trees along the highway on the property of the municipal office since they were determined to be scraggly and unattractive.
The next regular meeting of Alberton council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. in the municipal office.