Saturday, November 23, 2013

Back from AUMA Convention

I'm back after a very good Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) convention in Calgary.  I think this year's convention was one of the better ones as far as Beiseker is concerned.

We met with three provincial government ministries (Transportation, Environment and Municipal Affairs) with positive results from each.
  • Transportation:  We discussed traffic control (mostly speed controls) along Highways #9 and Highway #72.  It was decided that we try a number of different strategies to control the speeds along these highways.  We asked that the "Engine Retarder Brakes" sign on the west side of  Beiseker on Highway #72 be removed.  We want to see if it makes any difference at all in the use of those annoying engine retarder brakes (also known as 'Jake brakes') on those big trucks entering Beiseker.  In my opinion, the sign did nothing to convince many truckers from not using their retarder brakes within village limits.   We have to address this issue because the problem is getting worse!
  • Environment:  We discussed ways to control melt water and storm water in our village centre.  The lack of grade is the main factor in our inability to quickly move water out of the downtown core, and into the drainage system on the village's east side.  We decided to find ways to solve this problem over the next summer season.
  • Municipal Affairs;  The main topic of discussion here was fire protection.  Councillors Karen Ursu and Dave McKenzie did us proud, clearly discussing the issues we are having operating our volunteer fire department.  Municipal Affairs Associate Minister Greg Weadick was most helpful with suggestions on how we might proceed in solving these issues.  We also informed him that we would be actively seeking mutual aid agreements with the counties of Rocky View, Wheatland, and Kneehill in the near future.
On the trade show floor, we found information on playground equipment, safety equipment, rail safety, street furniture, and a host of other products and services for Beiseker.

Councilors Dave and Karen, assistant CAO Gail, and myself with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi
  One of the highlights of my convention was the City of Calgary Reception held at Calgary's City Hall.  Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was a most gracious host for the evening.  Fine food, good music, and guided tours of the newly re-opened Old City Hall (after June's devastating floods) made for a great evening.

Overall I was most pleased with A.U.M.A. Convention 2013.  Next year, the convention will be held in Edmonton in late September.  I'm already looking forward to it!

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