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Town Council - Lightning strike causes damage and exposes issues with the water protection system

posted Aug 14, 2017, 9:11 AM by Kathy Carr
A lightning strike not only caused damage to the underground reservoir pump at the firehall, but also exposed some shortcomings to the water protection system. 
Mike Sudak, Town of Carberry Public Works, came to the council meeting on August 8, 2017, with a list of issues affecting the town at this time, along with the solutions that are proposed.
When the lightning struck the pump, it caused the generator to run – for nine hours, with the louvers still shut, which caused the generator to overheat.
Sudak noted that a more robust system of weekly maintenance checks should be in place at the site performed by public works. As well, there should be a detailed check twice per year, done by a qualified person or company which should be tendered and contracted.
CAO Jones noted that this incident, that caused the temporary disabling of the pump for two days, affects both the town and rural fire protection system – as the water trucks fill prior to going to any emergency call.
After consultation with local electricians, Sudak noted that there are a couple of things that would protect our fire protection better: a proper sized surge protector and an alert system that would ‘call’ if the generator has been running too long. Council will weigh the expenses prior to putting in an insurance claim.
Also on his ‘to do’ list, is dealing with 23 stumps in town on the boulevards. He could have a custom stump remover do it for a rough estimate of $1500 or rent a machine for $300 per day. He will opt for the latter, and thinks it will take two days.
They discussed the lane coming out onto Main Street between the Spruce Woods Employ­ment Ser­vices Centre and the Carberry Motor Inn. There has been issues with drainage at the site for some time. A quote was presented that included rebuilding the sidewalk, installing proper eavestroughing that would be cost shared with adjacent building owners, placing removable bollards on the Main St. side to prevent vehicle traffic, and permanent cement ones at the entrance to the N-S back lane behind the lumber yard. Highways have been contacted and are willing to do repairs to the street.
The biggest expense of the almost $5,000 cost, is the rebuilding of the sidewalk.  Though it was not planned for in the 2017 budget Council will see if enough funds are available to proceed with the plan to fix this ongoing issue. 
Another ‘wet spot’ located by a duplex near downtown was discussed that needs to be rectified. A solution and quote was presented to remove the existing sidewalk and 'fan out' the landing of the current walkway to the street at the appropriate angle and level. 
A free ‘sample’ job was done by SafeSidewalks Canada. They are a company that is expanding, and wished to demonstrate what they can do. Sudak got them to repair one bad patch in an older part of town that has been a concern for tripping.
Other areas of concern: a resident who wishes to have a culvert installed in his driveway. As this is not a necessity, it will be done at his expense. The drainage near “The Oil Guy” and the CP property, and the removal of dead/dying trees in town were discussed.
Emergency Room Closure
A letter from a citizen who is distraught over the closure of Carberry’s ER for the entire month of August challenged council on what their priorities should be. Councillor J. Anderson, an Emergency Medical Service attendant gave assurances that in the absence of ER services, two persons are taking 12-hour shifts daily to mitigate the loss of service.
The letter points out that even with ambulance on call, an accident at Spruce Woods Park – or in the dead zone between Glenboro and Carberry, could mean a delay of hours before an ambulance is able to attend – and then an hour before a heart attack or stroke victim could be treated in Brandon. What happens when the Carberry ambulance is doing a patient transfer, when an urgent call comes in? How long before help arrives?
This resident expres­sed a real fear, that this could be the first step leading to a permanent closure of the ER. She urged that council take action. Mayor Olmstead responded to the letter expressing his (and council’s) shared concern.
CAO Jones agreed with the statement that the public is very worried that Carberry will lose services. With the loss of services, staff losses follow. Her feedback is that the public would like to see a more active role in recruiting one more physician. Mayor Olmstead agreed that logistically it makes more sense to hire one more physician, than to have five or six more EMS personnel always on staff.
Councillor Barry An­der­son suggested that they should call a meeting with Penny Gilson of  Prairie Mountain Health Region. It was noted that there is a meeting Sep­tem­ber 5, with many SW Manitoba communities that AMM has set up through the health minister's office, but Anderson pointed out that with as many communities, and only two persons per community allowed, this session will be more of a ‘dispensing of information’ session and probably there will be little opportunity to address local concerns.
While Mayor Olm­stead stated he does not like the use of municipal money to perform pro­vincial work (like healthcare, roads) which are being downloaded onto municpalities the thought around the table was that the public would accept the expense. The Health Committee will be meeting to address this issue and explore options in the near future.
Prairie Mountain Health invited the community to participate in the health system by being part of a LHIG (Local Health Involve­ment Group). This allows local people to have a say in various policies and patient issues – including PMH Recruitment and Retention planning. Members of the public who are residents within the Prairie Mountain Health region are eligible to apply to become a candidate. Council is urged to identify and approach possible applicants. The office has application forms, so if you are interested, please contact a council member.
Waste removal
The town and municipality have been doing their own garbage pick-up and hauling for a few years now. With the garbage truck aging and requiring more repairs, the Town is examining op­tions that exist and to see whether contracting the work could be a better deal for the citizens.
Tim Oliver and Shawn Samels attended on behalf of MWM Environmental. Older residents will remem­ber when this company (Municipal Waste Management) looked after the town and RM’s waste in the 1990’s. 
One of the features that council seemed to appreciate, is their curbside service, that uses wheeled carts to collect garbage and recyclables. The recyclables do not have to be separated, even the glass just goes into the cart. Oliver noted that they have seen recycling increase 38% when it is that convenient for the homeowner.
They also have an ongoing place for hazardous waste, so that it does not get ‘hidden’ in with the garbage.
Oliver noted that if a resident is not able to roll the cart out, they will roll it out and take it back to the house (curbside assist). They will use their own waste site near Souris, or will work with the Evergreen Environ­mental site.
Council are just information-gathering at this point. Except for a ball park ‘per house’ cost, they do not have any concrete costs to consider or contract to inspect. They may invite MWM back with a more detailed quote at a later date.
By-laws, joint resolutions
The by-law 4/2017, joining the Whitemud Watershed Conservation District, was given third reading and became law.
The resolution from joint meeting setting the fire personnel’s wages, and set the indemnity per meeting at $25 (provided the fireman attends at least 50% of the meetings) was approved. A further clause setting compensation for attendance at conferences will be clarified.
A resolution authorizing the hiring of a part-time person for casual work for the Building Committee (up to $4,000) was approved. However, neither of these resolutions will be enacted unless approval is given at North Cyp­ress-Lang­ford’s next meeting.
The policy regarding the pool is ongoing.
Peace Officer/By-law enforcement
What good is having rules and regulations if they cannot be enforced?
CAO Jones reported on a meeting with nearby municipalities: Elton, North Norfolk Mac­Gregor, Glenboro South Cypress (Neepawa sent regrets) regarding the possible hiring and sharing of a peace officer or by-law enforcement officer.
All these municipalities find themselves in the same position: their RCMP personnel do not have the time or will to enforce the by-laws that municipalities have. Administration can send letters to offenders, but without proper enforcement they are often ignored till the issue becomes more serious.
They discussed such things as whom they might hire, and whether they should be a by-law enforcement officer or a peace officer which has more wide-ranging aut­hority to lay charges. They also discussed start up costs, which may include vehicles, radios, cameras, etc. and ongoing costs, as well as logistical issues.
Once they are in agreement, they will seek out more information and investigate the process for approval from the province.
Other business
 A request to close Fanny St./cemetery road on August 26 (for up to four hours) for the “Paint the Plains ’17” event, which will involve at least 60 runners, this starts and finishes at Art Sear Memorial Park. They are supposed to use the ditch (TC Trail) but that is not very conducive (not safe!) to running, so the Recreation Director has opted to use the road. Of course, if there is a funeral, they will have to work around it.
There is a workshop on Municipal Official Ethics and Conflict of Interest – The Boundaries on Friday, October 6th and 13th.  
An issue from the Cypress Planning District asks if the town council needs regulations for the installation of solar panels in yards. If they are considered a structure/building it could impact the amount of space allowed for building on a lot.
Council felt that most solar installations in town are on rooftops, so would not be impacted. 
CAO Jones notified council of another hacking issue that struck down all their computers for the day (August 8). This has been a stressful issue for the office, and a tech support person spent the whole day unravelling and retrieving information. For­tunately, nothing was lost.
Council discussed whether personal information was at risk, but the understanding is, that it is strictly a “ransom” issue.  The information is encrypted and unusable, and after the ransom is paid, then everything is restored, if the hackers actually follow through and provide the key to decrypt the data. Thankfully, there is a good backup system of information.
A newer, better firewall/anti-virus was installed on the server and the computers. It was noted that as fast as these are created and installed, the hackers are finding ways to circumvent them. 
This led to a discussion on having computers ‘rotated out’ on a regular basis, and the server regularly upgraded (the present server is almost ten years old).
Correspondence, Around the table
The Municipal Operating Grant, second payment of $30, 969.75 was received.
The Enhanced 9-1-1 service fee has increased to $4.21 per capita. If a copy of a 9-1-1 call is required, that costs $92.61.
Council C. Christian (RM of St. Paul) wrote concerning bullying, seeking to have this issue addressed at the next AMM convention. There is currently a policy being drafted and reviewed for all staff, employee's, and councillor's locally.
Beautiful Plains School Division sent notice of a hearing being held August 23 for a family to change their residence from the BPSD to the Rolling River School District.
Councillor John Anderson questioned why Highways has not yet installed rumble strips at the south end of Wellwood Rd, to prevent further collisions with Ramsey’s Garage. This was one of the courses of action suggested after the huge accident a few years ago, but never happened – along with a flashing light on the stop sign. A couple of weeks ago another incident happened late at night, which resulted in significant, but not as dramatic damage. As Anderson says, “A flashing light will not wake up someone who is asleep at the wheel, but rumble strips will.”
CAO Jones will contact Highways and Council will seek out letters of support from Ramsey's and other parties.
Only a partial financial statement was produced for this meeting, because of the computer problems earlier in the day. Council approved the financial statement and expenses of $44,197.73. Next meeting is a joint one (with NCL) on August 28, and the next town meeting is changed to September 5th at 7 p.m. to avoid harvest. 

by Gloria Mott