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  • Vermilion Voice

Town Council

Two delegations were held at Vermilion Town Council on May 2, including presenters from Community Futures and the Vermilion Public Library.

Kirsten DeSchover discussed Community Futures Lloydminster and Region via Zoom, and councillor Paul Conlon joined online as well.

“Last year we put on Lemonade Day in Kitscoty and Vermilion and this year have expanded into Lloydminster as well. It introduces youth to entrepreneurship; and encourages them to save some, spend some, and share some. The youth donated over $12,000 helping charities in northern Alberta last year. Local businesses participate pairing with them and leasing them space. The whole goal is to show the children all the steps of running a business,” said DeSchover.

She asked council for $750 to cover the cost of prizes in Vermilion, provide business licenses to the participants, as well as interact with them June 6, and judge them on Lemonade Day, June 7.

Mayor Greg Throndson said, “That is some great information. This is an excellent activity; last year the kids put excellent effort in. I think we would be happy to see this continue on in our community.” Deputy Mayor Joshua Rayment said, “The children have a lot of excitement and passion.”

DeSchover noted that there are currently 29 applicants in the whole region, and a couple will be travelling from Mannville to participate in Vermilion as well.

A staff recommendation with funds to come from a community initiative fund will be made at the next council meeting.

The Vermilion Public Library delegation was delivered by manager Stuart Pauls, board chair Justin Thompson, and board member Brad Gallamore.

Gallamore said, “You (the town) are our number one benefactor. We came to discuss the potential accessibility lift (elevator) and announce that we are applying for a grant.”

“Distinctly fewer people have been inside the library basement; less than 10 per cent when compared to the main floor. We try to get feedback from renters and accessibility is a recurring concern. With much of the programming being in the basement, it can serve quite a challenge for those who are elderly or have mobility issues, or eliminate those users all together,” said Thompson. “The first initiative was to expand the entrance for the wider mobility scooters we see these days, and the second initiative is this mobility lift which will allow access to the basement. We researched and were surprised at how little it would cost. We are quite motivated to see this project through as it has been a concern for decades at this point.”

“Most of our library programs are in the basement. This year we had a master gardener, 90 years of age who wasn’t able to participate in our Seed Swap, and a child we didn’t know had accessibility issues could not participate in a STEM program. This project is adding to programming that is such a heart and key of this community,” said Gallamore.

They have a few other grant opportunities but said this one would cover the majority of what they are looking to acquire.

“This project was in existence when I was first hired 12 years ago. It was always important but got delayed by other priorities. There are two possible locations either the back door which would be more expensive or the front door option which would be where my current office is. The front is the location the board wishes to put it,” said Pauls. “The lift project would cost $132,000, and the board added a 15 per cent contingency making it $152,000. If supported by the Town at $76,000 (from two existing reserves), we will apply for a matching CFIPP grant.”

Councillor Robert Snow said, “I want to applaud the library for taking a leadership role, thinking of accessibility and promoting it within our community.”

Councillor Robert Pulyk said, “A lot of work has already been done upstairs and downstairs and the town’s residents have contributed. The cherry on top will be to have that elevator.”

A motion to create a letter of support was carried.

Mayor Throndson read two proclamations; one declaring May 8-12 International Economic Development Week, and one declaring May 21-27 National Public Works Week.

With an addition to the agenda, council members discussed the potential for revisiting chicken bylaws. Deputy Mayor Rayment said, “It’s been brought to my attention that we are not allowed to own chickens because they are considered livestock, but you are allowed to have up to 75 pigeons. There seem to be similar bylaws in other communities such as Red Deer and Lacombe in regards to limiting noise and mess.”

Councillor Pulyk noted the existing bylaws may be intertwined with the IDP and have some time before they are scheduled to come up again. He said, “In the event we were to become a community that supports all types of animals, we would have to keep in mind that whether for hatching or broiling they are sensitive to avian flu and if by chance there was an outbreak, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) would have the authority to quarantine which would have a huge impact to our community. I think even the City of Edmonton tried it, but whether or not it was successful remains to be seen. There is a risk.”

Some noted that pigeons also carry disease and that the community was trying to remove them as pests a few years ago, and some wanted to limit the number feeling it would limit the risk. Administration will be bringing back the current bylaws to inform council before any further decisions are made.

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