By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A special meeting of Taber town council occurred July 26 — where budgeting of the various departments and services of the town was presented.
The Taber Police Service has an annual car replacement, to which it was asked to increase that budget by $5,000 due to the cost of vehicles and equipment. They’d also like to move their civil fingerprinting out of the cell block and into the front of the police station — as when prisoners are being housed, they aren’t able to bring civilians back into the jail.
Chief Graham Abela noted they usually house around 360 prisoners a year. There is also a pistol replacement, along with the additional cost of having two new officers, and their tasers and intoxilyzers need replacing.
The Taber Fire Department has two new projects shown at the meeting. The first is building repairs, with new windows and new flooring. The second is related to the department and its Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus or SCBA — the tanks and the packs are at the end of their 15-year life expectancy for a municipal fire department, and thus the department requires new ones. They are able to be traded in and used by other organizations.
The Economic Planning and Development Department has one new project — which is the gateway plan endorsed by council in 2020. This will replace gateway signage, including the Taber welcome sign, the downtown signage and twinning signage. This will cost $200,000 and is paid for over multiple years.
For surface works the town started off with the sidewalk replacement program — which is competed every even year. The sidewalk assessment for 2021 was just finished and there have been a lot more repairs recently. There is a policy — where sidewalks cannot be raised half-an-inch and there are 160 locations around Taber, where it needs to be fixed.
There are also requests for new lights in the water treatment plant, new SCBAs, new mowers for the town and new GPS equipment — as the town can’t update its current equipment. Transfer station upgrades are also in discussion, as a lot of concrete has deteriorated at the front of the facility and it’s not big enough for people to back in and out.
For the Recreation Department, there will be an aquachange tile replacement, a leisure pool tank replacement and replacements to the lockers in the Aquafun Centre — as some are beginning to rust and rot in the bottom. That will be split between 2022 and 2023. The department is looking for a new floor scrubber to do mainly inside the auditorium.
The department is proposing to put a storage shed at the Trout Pond, so things can stay out there, and for the Kiwanis Park — there needs to be an upgrade to the playground, as well. The department is also requesting a mower replacement for better upkeep of the parks.
Finally, the department is looking at putting a camera system in at the Sports Field, as there is increased traffic due to the new campground, and the department believes it could help a lot in deterring any bad activity.