News and Notes from the Village of Thorsby
Thorsby endorses Leduc County Coalition
Clarence Shields is a business owner. He is also a spokesperson for the Leduc County Coalition, which is seeking to have a fair and equitable annexation process with the City of Edmonton.
“Right now, Edmonton is seeking to annex 38,000 acres, including all of the land around the International Airport. That’s larger than the City of Red Deer,” says Shields.
The Leduc County Coalition includes business owners and residents who are concerned about the effects of annexation. Shields notes that some residents are unaware of how annexation will affect them. “The more we dive in, the more we learn the true impact of annexation. The ripple effects will be felt everywhere,” he says.
The Coalition says Leduc County will lose approximately $100 million of tax revenue in the next ten years. Students who live in the annexed area will be bussed into overcrowded schools in Edmonton. “Businesses will see taxes double. Residents will see a decrease in service and an increase of taxes between 20 and 30 percent,” said Shields.
Shields asked Thorsby Council to support the Leduc County Coalition. Council voted unanimously to support the Coalition,. “We know annexation will impact organizations. It will hit local groups hard in the pocketbook. It will affect partnerships,” said Mayor Barry Rasch. Council expressed concern over how a loss in tax revenue would impact cost-shared agreements with Leduc County for places such as the recreation centre and fire services.
Shields asked residents to get involved with the Leduc County Coalition by signing an online petition at www.saveleduccounty.com. “I don’t normally sign petitions, but I will sign this one,” said Deputy Mayor Rick Hart. A public rally is also being held on April 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ritchie Bros in Nisku.
Council welcomes new District Fire Chief
Rob Krueger, District Fire Chief for Thorsby, was introduced to Council. He reported there are 10 members on the fire department, including 7 experienced members and 3 new recruits, who will receive their training in April. To learn more about opportunities with the fire department, residents are encouraged to attend an open house being planned for the Haymaker Rodeo on May 17.
Fire training is underway for the department. Activities include joint drills and training with the Warburg Fire Department. Training is essential as the department is responding to calls. According to the monthly activity report, the Thorsby and District Fire Department responded to a motor vehicle collision on Highway 39 and RR 15.
“It is good to see activity return to the Thorsby and District Fire Department. I express my deepest appreciation to all the residents who have joined the fire department and are serving our community. I look forward to working with District Fire Chief Krueger” said Mayor Barry Rasch.
Public Works Manager, Bill Adams, confirms Thorsby’s siren has been repaired. “People have been asking what has happened to the siren. It is back up and running,” says Adams.
Spring leak—water break repairs
On Wednesday April 2, 2014 the Village of Thorsby started work on the first of two water main breaks. The first being on 45 street. Village crews started working on the break around noon and had it repaired by about 8 p.m. that same evening. The second break occurred on 52 street, 11 metres north of the railway crossing. This break was brought to the attention of Village staff at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday April 3, 2014. Work began on this leak Friday morning and was completed Saturday around 2 p.m. This leak surfaced 200 feet from where the actual leak was. There were gas lines and raw water lines to contend with during the excavation and repair of the water line that was fractured. Crews had to dig through seven feet of frost as traffic was down to one lane for the duration of the repair. Public Works Manager Bill Adams said, “I was impressed by the way the public cooperated while the street was down to one-lane of traffic. Because the residents were understanding and cooperative, it made getting the job completed faster.”
New agreement with Thorsby and District Lions Club
In the spirit of partnership, the Village of Thorsby and the Thorsby and District Lions Club have signed a new five-year agreement.
The agreement covers areas ranging from operating and maintaining the Lions campground to community baseball diamonds and rental of village facilities to joint strategic planning activities.
“This sets the footprint for how we move forward,” said Dan Culford, incoming Thorsby & District Lions president. Kelley Probe, Manager of Recreation, agreed. “It is a great starting point for our organizations. It will increase communications between us,” she said.
Council working to lower residential waste bills
Thorsby Council is working to lower garbage collection and recycling bills for residents. Through the 39/20 Coalition, a partnership between Breton, Calmar, Thorsby, and Warburg, the municipalities are negotiating a new regional waste management agreement. “We are all using the same waste management company, so it makes sense to negotiate an agreement and lower everyone’s bill,” says Mayor Barry Rasch.
As part of the proposal, Breton, Calmar, Thorsby, and Warburg are preparing to negotiate a new five-year agreement with Ever Green Ecological Services. The agreement is seeking to reduce bills and standardize services across the communities. The draft agreement seeks to reduce monthly bills by $0.50 per household per month. “We need to find savings wherever we can for our residents,” said Mayor Barry Rasch.
Thorsby Council endorsed the draft waste management master agreement. At its next meeting, the 39/20 Coalition will vote whether or not to approve the new collective agreement.
Thorsby Receives Recreation Grant
The Alberta Sport Connection provided $1,000 grant to the Village of Thorsby.