Council briefs


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April 21, 2015 8:15 AM

Civic Centre Auditorium rental rates to rise over three years

Anyone planning on renting out the Centennial Civic Centre Auditorium for a special event is going to have to reach a little deeper into their pockets.

At its meeting on April 13, Lloydminster city council voted to raise rental rates at the city-run venue. Starting in 2016, the cost of a one to four hour “half-day meeting” rental will rise from $250 to $275, while meetings longer than five hours will see a $50 bump from $450 to $500. Banquets and dances that run from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and have fewer than 75 attendees will cost $425, up from $375, and if more than 75 people are present the fee will be $700, up from $650. From there, all rates will all rise by $25 in 2017 and again in 2018.

“Administration did some research, we looked at what other rates are being charged ... at facilities within the city that do offer the same service and we were comparing our rates to what they are currently charging,” said community services director Don Stang. “That was the rate that is very comparable so that’s what was chosen.”

Stang says the 350-person capacity facility is in high demand and is currently 75 per cent booked for 2015. Most booking are made a year in advance in order to ensure that patrons are able to secure their desired dates. Stang says the rate hike will not affect current bookings.

He says all revenue generated at the Civic Centre Auditorium funds the operation of the facility. Booking rates were last raised in 2013. Last year total revenue at the Civic Centre was $57,415.

City awards $200,000 contract for Community Facility Master Plan

At its meeting on April 13, city council voted to award the consulting contract for the Community Facilities Master Plan,valued at just under $200,000, to WSP Canada.

The city’s 2015 capital budget only allocated $100,000 for the project, so the remaining $98,580 will come out of the 2016 budget. The project is expected to take 18 months, finishing in September of next year.

“It will look at all of our city facilities,” said Stang, referring to the master plan. “It will look at all the condition assessments and determine where they are in their lifespans (and) what capital projects are going to be required over the next 20 years so we can do some forward planning. We are looking at current facilities and what the potential will be and requirements for the city in the future.”

The project will assess the needs of three types of facilities: educational, protective services and cultural, recreational and parks. Stang says cultural, recreational and parks facilities will be examined this year because they compose the majority of facilities, while the remaining two categories will be studied in 2016.

“Some of the things that’ll be looked at, and I’ll speak to public safety, is there are requirements for how far your fire halls can be from residents,” he said. “So this facility’s master plan will look at our needs as the community grows, where strategically we should be putting future fire halls or police station detachments.”

The project will also involve consultations with the public. Stang says these forums will either come in the form of open house-style meetings or surveys.

City purchases four new vehicles for $130,000

At its meeting on April 13, city council voted in favour of spending $130,000 on three new vehicles and one replacement vehicle.

One Ford Explorer from Boundary Ford was purchased for $34,052.25 for the deputy fire chief and three Jeep Grand Cherokees, totalling $94,632.75 in value, were bought for engineering, mail courier and custodial service workers. Prices do not include goods and services tax.

“The city will never be done buying vehicles. It’s just the nature of the business when you’re looking after the city and 30,000 people ” said Coun. Ken Baker. “A lot of (city vehicles) are going around the clock and they life out and they have to be city street safe.

Baker says as long as the city continues growing, the need for municipal vehicles grows with it. He says this is especially the case with emergency vehicles.

“In the fire dept the city’s added an additional deputy fire chief and he has to have a vehicle. He’s on call 24/7,” Baker said. “(Firefighters) have to have them at home with the engine running almost so that we can provide emergency services when required.”

All purchases were previously budgeted by the city.

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