Alberton fun day postponed until fall

A fun day originally scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at the Alberton recreational complex has been postponed.
Alberton council made the decision at its regular meeting last Wednesday night when it became apparent some of the planned activities could not take place due to construction delays of the new pavilion caused by the wet weather over the past few weeks.
“We can’t finish the pavilion on time,” noted Reeve Mike Hammond, who then reluctantly recommended to council that the event be postponed until sometime in September.
Council supported the motion.
Alberton Fire Chief Cory Jewell then made a presentation to council concerning the recent activities of the volunteer fire department there.
Chief Jewell reported his crew took part in a co-operative training exercise with the La Vallee Fire Department back on May 28, during which some minor difficulties were encountered when the two trucks were hooked together.
He noted both trucks performed perfectly independently, adding the problem only occurred when they tried to combine the units.
Chief Jewell also said his firefighters have begun a door-to-door smoke alarm survey throughout the township. The survey is in response to new provincial regulations requiring working smoke alarms in all residences.
The province has given Alberton $50,000 to help it comply with the regulations. Chief Jewell noted the smoke alarms are inexpensive (as low as $10) and as a goodwill gesture, his department is conducting a monthly draw for a free one.
Tickets are available free of charge at the fire hall.
The chief also recommended to council that a portion of the provincial money ($5,000) be set aside in the fire department’s budget to cover the cost of mutual aid training exercises, such as the recent one conducted with La Vallee.
“This should keep it [the exercises] going for four or five years,” he reasoned.
Council approved the recommendation.
Coun. Barb Cournoyer then gave a report on the recent Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board meeting held May 19 in Fort Frances.
One of the items discussed there was the question of whether volunteer firefighters would be allowed to drive ambulances in the event the paramedics were tied up with patient care.
Coun. Cournoyer informed council the opinion reached at the meeting was the firefighters would be permitted to drive, but would not be covered by liability insurance in the event of an accident enroute to hospital.
Two other matters that fall within the DSSAB’s mandate—day care and public housing—also were addressed at the May 19 meeting.
Coun. Cournoyer announced that an early childhood education initiative (Best Start) will be getting underway shortly. As well, the DSSAB will be trying to sell some excess public housing units currently sitting vacant in Atikokan.
Next, Coun. Louis Collier gave a report on the May 26 general meeting of the Rainy River District Municipal Association.
He reported that the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre currently is trying to raise $2.6 million from the districts it serves, including Rainy River District.
Coun. Collier added the RRDMA raised issues with the facility’s reluctance to allow people from rural communities to access its services.
Later, Roads Superintendent Larry George gave his spring report. He noted portions of Frog Creek Road and Stewart Road are in need of extensive repair, but the rest of the township’s roads are in good shape.
Two driveways were washed out by the recent flooding, but George said they have been repaired.
“Overall, I’m happy with the roads,” he reported, though noting he was aware of a petition being circulated complaining about the state of one road.
Consequently, George proposed posting a large map in the municipal office showing the history and location of maintenance and repair work being done by the roads crews.
Coun. Mike Ford took that idea one step further by suggesting council re-establish a roads committee that would tour the district at least once a month.
Coun. Collier raised the idea that the township might benefit from having larger culverts installed to deal with excess run-off during flood events and recommended going to 24-inch culverts.
Most culverts in Alberton are 18 inches in diameter.
At the conclusion of George’s report, council resolved to accept the bid by Harold McQuaker Enterprise Ltd. to provide the repair work on a stretch of Stewart Road.
In other business last Wednesday night, Alberton council:
•passed a resolution authorizing a payment in the amount of $35,317.39 for accounts payable, payroll, and Visa;
•adopted the chief building official’s official code of conduct;
•passed a bylaw to confirm taxation rates for new construction on capped properties;
•supported a resolution from the County of Essex requesting the provincial government provide more equitable funding for community colleges along the lines of that provided to universities;
•supported a resolution from the United Steelworkers Local 1330 requesting the provincial government pay more attention to matters concerning the northern economy;
•supported a resolution from the City of Cambridge recommending an amendment to the Occupiers Liability Act to protect municipalities and landowners by designating trails as “use at own risk”; and
•supported a request from the Northern Ontario Municipal Association requesting Bill 133 be repealed or amended in such a way as to protect those who make accidental non-hazardous discharges into the environment from unreasonable and arbitrary fines.
The next regular meeting of Alberton council is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m. at the municipal office.