By Kenyon Stronski
Westwind Weekly News
The following are selected briefs from the March 28 regular meeting of Magrath town council.
Magrath’s CAO James Suffredine came forward to inform council about the resignation of former Coun. Mark Bennett. Afterwords a motion was begun by Coun. Ken Baker to set a by-election date for May 29, 2023 and the nomination date to May 1, 2023. Advance polls will begin on May 25, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.. The hourly pay for election workers will be $22 an hour.
In lieu of Bennett’s resignation, Coun. Aaron Zaugg was assigned to the Sustainable Agricultural Partnership, Coun. Darryl Christensen was assigned to the Magrath and District Regional Water Services Commission, Coun. Cynthia Ralph was assigned to the Magrath and District Ag Society Board, and Coun. Gerry Baril was assigned to the Municipal Planning Commission Board.
Administration and the planner were motioned to respond with a letter to Cardston County regarding their public hearing and the proposed rezoning to existing intermunicipal agreements.
Beginning administration’s report, Suffredine spoke how the 2023 budget and Tax Rate Bylaw are now prepared for council’s review. He also noted that Public Works has started their seasonal street sweeping, tree trimming and pothole filling. The annexation open house was held on March 23. Suffredine said a good number of residents came to ask questions and view the displays, saying the general response of visitors about the plan was positive while one was concerned about future irrigation utility requirements.
With the summer season fast approaching, students and young adults are looking for summer jobs while they wait for their fall semester to begin. However, Suffredine said the town has been having trouble hiring university-age seasonal staff to begin a few months ahead of their high school students. He also noted one of the factors of this issue may be due to a shortage in the labour market.
Baker attended the Magrath and District Recreation Committee and the Local Society Coordinating Committee. While sitting on the golf board, Baker said he will inform them about who received the Charity Golf Tournament.
For Remembrance Day he also noted the committee will be having a meeting coming shortly.
Baril attended the Chinook Health Foundation, the Magrath and District Emergency Services, Oldman River Regional Services Commission and the Seniors Society.
Coun. Darryl Christensen attended the Chinook Arch Regional Library Board, Magrath Library Board and Municipal Planning Commission among other boards.
While at the Chinook Health Foundation meeting, Ralph said Diamond Willow requested a letter of support from council to support a community garden when applying for grants. Council suggested the foundation come as a delegation for the project.
Zaugg sat on the Magrath and District Emergency Services Board where he reported they have applied for a grant for additional training and the fire department also completed ice water training, pump operations and wildfire training. While on the Museum Board, Zaugg also mentioned Brook Harker will be stepping down as chair following this term.
After the councillors, Mayor Byrne Cook elaborated further on his past two weeks, saying he has been continuing to work with AHS to find healthcare solutions for Magrath and stated he will also be participating in Magrath’s Grade 7 science projects.