Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hospital Parking!

Photo courtesy of the Calgary Sun
The cost of parking at Alberta's hospitals and health care centres is appalling.  When one visits a family member or friend in a hospital in this province, they are subjected to artificially high parking fees!

There is no option but to pay up.  Visitors are a captive clientèle!  They need to visit their sick or injured friends or family members. Thee is nowhere else to park around many hospitals.  Many facilities do not have decent public transit access (which is moot for us out-of-towners, anyway).  You want to visit a hospital; you pay!

I have learned that in many cases the revenue generated by parking fees accounts for less than 1% of the total revenue for that hospital!  That appears to be a lot of hate and discontent generated over such a paltry contribution to the overall budget. 

I have also learned that some health facilities hire private companies to operate their parking facilities.  These companies are allowed to attach huge fines to those who park longer than they should.  In some cases that penalty fee goes directly into the coffers of the parking company - the hospital doesn't see a dime of that money.

I believe there should be a small fee for parking at a city hospital or medical clinic, but I think those  fees are getting completely out of hand!  Maybe our Minister of Health (Fred Horne) needs to check out this situation.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weed Spraying!

Some of you have voiced concerns over the Village's weed spraying these last couple of days.  The concerns were posted on various social media sites, but none were communicated to the Village Office! 

If you have a concern about something happening in the Village, please communicate that concern to the Beiseker Village Office by calling 403-947-3774.

In the meantime, I am checking into our procedures regarding herbicide spraying in the Village. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bassano Station and the old School Playground

photo courtesy of the Rocky View Weekly
The Bassano Station fiasco appears to be waning!  

It looks like the railway museum group which started the project is less than active at this point in time.  But other parties with a vested interest in completing the project are stepping up to the plate! 

If all goes well, the building will be moved onto its foundation within the next few weeks.  After that has happened, the building will be made more presentable, secure, and weatherproof until more funding is obtained.

When the plan was presented to me I thought back to our very own Beiseker CPR station, now our Village Office and Museum, and its history.  The Village was given the station by the CPR on the condition that we move it from the track right-of-way.  We built a foundation, turned the building around, placed it on the foundation and made it more presentable, secure and weatherproof until more funding could be found.  It sat on its new foundation, its windows boarded up and painted white, waiting for quite a while! 

The necessary money was found (partly through the efforts of the original theatre group called Stage East) and the building was restored to as you see it today.  I hope the Bassano Station will see a similar future.

The old School Playground will become village property in the next few days.  The village is making plans to have it dismantled and removed from the school yard. 

Initial examination shows that most of the structure is in excellent condition, but wood portions will have to be replaced.  The parts of the stucture will be taken down to our public works yard where it will be cleaned and repaired. 

Council is asking for suggestions on where this piece of equipment might be re-installed.  If you have any suggestions, make them to the Beiseker Village Office (403-947-3774) or here to me, through email or by using the Contact Form on the right side. 

We are looking for volunteers to help disassemble and relocate the structure.  If you can help us here, let Councillor Warren Wise know through the Village office.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summertime Reminders

With the warmer weather coming, I'd like to just post a few reminders;
  1. Grass clippings and garden waste do not belong in the garbage!  Please, either compost it on your own property or bring it down to the communal composting site behind the Public Works Building.
  2. Extended camping is not permitted on vacant lots within the village.  We have an excellent camp ground for those campers who wish to stay here more than a day or two.
  3. Off-road motor vehicles must stick to the 15km/h speed limit within village limits.
  4. Large plastic items such as large toys and sandboxes cannot be recycled with the rest of the plastic.  Please check with the person at the drop off site before disposing of these items.
  5. Most village streets have a posted speed limit of 30 km/h.  Let's keep all those kids safe!
  6. All vehicles parked on public streets in the village must have a current registration and a licence plate. 
  7. We do not have regular water rationing here in the village, but water is quite expensive when compared to places like the City of Calgary.  If you plan to water your lawn often, prepare for a higher water bill.
  8. Summer Fun is a program to give the kids good things to do during the summer holidays.  Check with the Village Office (403-947-3774) for dates and times.
Let's have a safe and happy summer season.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Clean Up Day in Beiseker!

Saturday, May 10 is Clean Up Day in Beiseker.  It's the time when we pick up all that which the ice and snow left behind.  

If you wish to take on an assigned area, check in at the Village Office and they'll give you an area of the village to clean up.  They'll also have supplies for you there. 

If you want to help out a little less formally, please help pick up in the public areas around your home or in your child's playground.  Every little bit helps! 

I'm taking my wife to a re-scheduled appointment in Calgary tomorrow morning but I hope to be back to help out in the afternoon. 

Thank you in advance for making Beiseker just that much better a place to live!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Tale of Two Trails

I am excited about the prospect of two trail systems being created in and around our village! 

The first trail system would follow a route around Beiseker itself, connecting many important parts of the village.  A meeting was held the other evening to discuss the re-organization of the committee to spearhead the project. 

Councillor Dave McKenzie is the Council Liaison for this committee, and I'm looking forward to his report regarding this project.  He'll be reporting during his councillor's report at our next meeting.  If you are interested in becoming a part of this pathways project, call and give your name to the Village Office (403-947-3774) and they'll make sure Dave gets it.

The other project is also pretty awesome!  It involves the creation of a pathway between Beiseker and Irricana along the old CPR right-of-way.  I attended a preliminary meeting the other day and I was most impressed with what I heard. 

This would be a pathway for non-motorized traffic.  There are many question which need to be answered, but we've made a start here, too.  Right now, I'm the Council Liaison on this proposal, so if you're interested in helping here, get me your name in the comments below, or through the Contact Form at right. 

And stay tuned on both of these exciting projects!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Friend Lost

I lost a friend, yesterday.  I was shocked to learn that air show pilot and friend Eddie Andreini was killed yesterday at an air show at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, California

Eddie was an incredible pilot and performer.  He was small in stature but big at heart.  He performed in many different aircraft but he was probably most proud of his recently acquired P-51 Mustang.  During the past three or four year,s he's flown the gleaming P-51 at many air shows to thrill so many. 

Eddie was killed in an accident involving an inverted ribbon cut.  He was flying another of his aircraft, a beautiful Stearman, at the time.

My thoughts and prayers go to Eddie's family.  We have certainly lost a great man.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Road Work is Expensive!

During and after the Town Hall meeting last Monday evening, the condition of Beiseker's streets has been mentioned several times.

We have a few critical streets here in the Village which need some serious work.  Here's the ones I can think of, in my personal order of priority -
  • The mud bog at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street.
  • The Beacon Heights Road from Beaver Place to the Public Works Yard.
  • First Avenue from the Public Works Yard to the CN tracks.
  • Fouth Avenue from Friendship Park to Seventh Street.
  • Seventh Street from Fourth Avenue to First Avenue.
  • Sixth Street from Third Avenue to Fourth Avenue.
  • There are also some lane-ways which need work.
But, a huge amount of road work could mean increased property taxes.  I for one am opposed to such a property tax increase.

There are some provincial grants available.  The old grant for improving streets has a new name, but it's still offered.  There are also the Municipal Sustainability Grants available, although significantly reduced by the province.  We on council would like to continue our Main Street upgrade project with a big chunk of that money, but maybe we should be looking at that decision again.

There is also the option of naming a portion of a project a local improvement and assigning a frontage tax on those properties directly affected by street improvements.

What do you think? Let me know here; it's free.  I would like your input.