Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Great Expectations in the Crowsnest Pass! Realized or still just Smoke and Mirrors (Part 3)

Next issue on the agenda was the Protective and Community Services Reorganization which is available at the address below.


Next after just what everybody needed to make the evening a little long (Coffee Break) the Mayor turned the forum over to Mr Robin’s the Interim CAO, I give the guy credit despite what sounded like a terrible cold he did a very clear precise presentation.

Mr Robin’s first spoke about what a wonderful job all the people in the fire and rescue department do, he made it clear that there was no intention to get rid of fire departments just to make the coverage we had better. He spoke to how there was  rumors floating around that a lot of people were upset with the new approach. After ten minutes he gave me the impression that all the affected parties were on board with the only issue left to be resolved being setting up a roster to provide the necessary coverage. Which he was waiting for the fire chiefs to bring back to him.

Then the question was asked by a member of the audience how many new positions were being added to which he replied one the full time Fire Chief which will come at a cost of $105,000 (Wages and Benefits)

Now I’m not buying that the cost of this is going to be $105,000 a year. Let’s go through the different additions at the end of 2010 there was the following in this department:

Director of Community Services who was making less than the proposed amount for the Fire Chief.
There was no Fire Chief there.
Under FCSS there was one full time person.
Under Recreation there was one full time person.
Bylaw Officer there was one position.
Agricultural Fieldman was a part time position.

So what additional costs will be incurred? These are my estimates but I would have no problem being “proven” wrong.

Director of Community Services who will now have his position expanded to cover the Protective Services area. Minimum at least $30,000 (Wages and Benefits)

Fire Chief $105,000 (Wages and Benefits) plus lets not forget the cost of a pickup, cell phone, uniform, courses, computer, etc $30,000)

One additional full time person under FCSS $61,000 (Wages and benefits)

One additional full time person under Recreation $61,000 (Wages and Benefits)

Bylaw Officer I only see one on the chart? council is in the process of changing this to a community peace officer with the indication that a further peace officer will be hired $86,000 per year plus the cost of a pickup, cell phone, etc $30,000

Agricultural Fieldman used to be a part time position which the former Director found grant money for to turn it into a full time position the only question here is what happens after the three year grant runs out.

Total additional costs for next year:
Director $30,000
Fire Chief $135,000
FTE FCSS $61,000
FTE REC $61,000
Peace Officer $58,000 (Only used half year cost)

Total additional costs $345,000 per year this makes no allowance for additional increases in honouriums, on call allowances, or increased hourly rates for firemen or rescue squad members.

Where will the money come from?


Anonymous said...

What about the building Inspectors job?

Anonymous said...

Maybe just a consultant does not understand the Crowsnest. Probably a lot different and smaller than some of the places he has been.
Money, money, money. And they don't seem to have to account to anybody.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have any idea what these consultants are costing us?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what all of these studies/reports did cost us, including all of what happened during last council such as the cuff report and the fight over the crowsnest centre. Dean, care to elaborate?

Anonymous said...

I have read some dumb crap on here and I really get tired of listening to all you rich retiree's and coal miners whine whine whine.
I agree with 90% of whats in this report and I could care less if taxes go up 25% to get it all done.
It will be a struggle for myself but for 90% of the tax payers here it will just mean taking a few extra dollars, out of those over flowing bank accounts to bring this town in to the present no longer the past.


Anonymous said...

Sorry one last comment Part 41 of the plan "eliminate whinning"


Anonymous said...

I also am a little upset over all of these consultants. I see my tax dollars being wasted. The mayor says that they use consultant because they are not experts. But I thought that is why we elect 7 people to put there heads together and come up with solutions.If you need a consultant for everything, then why bother with elections, just have a consulting firm tell us what we need to do.
An example is the hotel idea from a consultant for the Crowsnest centre land.So does that now mean that if a big box store approached us for that land we would turn them away? Probably not. Wasted money on a consultant if that was the case.
I actually think the Crowsnest should be approaching many hotel chains and big box stores and offering them an opportunity for that land and also other land that is available.

Anonymous said...

25% tax increase is a lot, if you do not receive any extra services in return. You must ask yourself where that money is going, and someone needs to be accountable, which is not presently happening. It would be okay I guess if you work at the municipality or the government office. Not for ordinary people I don't think; shocking item is that a lot of people here work for minimum wage which is horrible.

Anonymous said...

There are lots of savings to be found in CUPE's agreement that will finance many of the items on this list.
They are just like ripe cherrys waiting to be picked.

Anonymous said...

There was mention of revising the land use bylaw and the "next generation of the General Municipal Plan".

Here are the land use (zoning) maps from the CNP website converted to JPGs for easy browsing.

Anonymous said...

Anon Wed Nov 16, 09 wrote:

"I actually think the Crowsnest should be approaching many hotel chains and big box stores and offering them an opportunity for that land and also other land that is available."

Here is a list of 147 Major Canadian Retailers. Only a few of them will locate in small population towns or regions. We already have our regional Walmart, Brick and Rona - is there any other retailer on that list that would locate in the Pass?

I was thinking possibly London Drugs, but looking at the Store Locator page on their website, their smallest location in Alberta is Grande Prairie, pop 50,000 (+20,000 in region).

The list doesn't include automotive and RV businesses and a few other types, but I don't see any likely big box stores there.

Anonymous said...

Cupe is not going to give up anything easily.I doubt very much that a new contract will end up saving the municapality any money.
9:57 I agree with you that it will be very difficult to attract any thing. That is why I said we should not limit the CC property to just a hotel.
Just a thought about the increase in the tax penalty for those that pay late.I would not change a thing.They say they are owed about 1 million, which will be paid at the end of the year with a 10% penalty, bringing in about an extra 100,000$.Are you not better off borrowing a million for 6 months and paying the interest at 3% which would work out to 15,000$. Seems to me that you gain about 85,000$.

Anonymous said...

I just checked out the link to "147 Major Canadian Retailers" and see Costco. Maybe they'd like to build in the Pass? Would get a lot of BC customers to avoid paying tax. Closest is Lethbridge......

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. Costco would be awesome!

Anonymous said...

Wondering when Costco will be making it to a location near you? I’ve got a list of all upcoming store openings, as well as links to news stories regarding new locations.

New Locations Opening Soon: (Updated 2011.11.05)
AUGUSTA, GA November 16, 2011
YAWATA, KYOTO, JAPAN December 9, 2011
ZAMA, JAPAN December 10, 2011
PHARR, TEXAS March 2012
UKIAH, CA Late 2012/Early 2013
WHEATON, MD Early 2013

Do you really think Costco would locate in a town of 5000 people when there is a store only 130km away?

Anonymous said...

Further to that lost comment check out this link


See any community in there with a population of less than 40,000?

There needs to be a degree of reality in the speculation check out BC, or Saskatchewan.

Anonymous said...

Well, regarding COSTCO, they have opened one in Okotoks, population about 17,000. Never know.
Shoppers Drug could also be a good option - they like small towns.

Anonymous said...

Below is a link to a proposal that I put before mayor and council some ten years or more back when I was on council. I thought it was the best bang we could get for our buck back then, and believe that is still true today.



Anonymous said...

That link doesnt work for me, is it one of these: http://www.johnprince.ca/documents/?

Anonymous said...

Try this...

Crowsnest Centre Proposal

Anonymous said...

We are like a Crow waiting for the old stale piece of bread in the Sobeys dumpster to appear, then we shall pounce.