Bow Island Ratepayers Association has been spearheaded by local resident David Patrick, who wants to see locals get value for their tax dollars.
The association idea came after Patrick had been around town and saw issues such as half the sidewalk still having sand on it from the winter, while there are streets that he considers “a total disaster.”
“It’s time for us to get together and go in there (council chambers) once in awhile, attend the meetings and follow up on what’s happening a little closer and maybe ask a few more questions,” said Patrick.
There are 25 members that have signed up already and there continues to be a “strong interest from the business community.”
“It seems like the two words, public service, have disappeared,” said Patrick.
“Our parks are a total disaster, a complete mess. We had terrible snow removal last winter and it’s just time to step it up. I was down in the southeast corner of town where that greenhouse is and if I owned a business in that corner of town, I’d be expecting to have a little better streets for customers to access my business.”
The intentions of this group is to ask legitimate questions about legitimate issues, expecting reasonable answers, he said.
Henk Stuut rents farm equipment at his home near the Huck Finns convenience store and will be signing up soon enough with the ratepayers association after he tried to voice his concern to the town’s public works about the condition of back alleys in the community.
“They are bumpy,” said Stuut.
“I talked to the town foreman, he said ‘alleys are not important to me.’ I asked the town if they could bring out some gravel and they did not do that. I asked ‘can I pick up some gravel?’ and (the town said) ‘oh you don’t want to be seen picking up gravel.’”
Members will attend council meetings to see what council’s issues are.
Bow Island Mayor Gordon Reynolds spoke on behalf of council calling the suggestion of the public works department being partly committed and not caring about the community is “baseless” and “unnecessarily demeaning.”
“We certainly welcome feedback back on issues, especially if there some constructive solutions or alternatives to what maybe perceived as challenges or problems we’re facing in our operations,” said Reynolds.
“Like every community, we have those challenges. As I stated last night (May 28 council meeting), resources are always limited in terms of money. Sometimes it’s equipment, you don’t have the right equipment for things that come up.
“We have had some challenges with labour over the last six months or so with keeping all the positions filled. I want to go on to say that council truly values the efforts of our management and our staff, who believe are committed to the keep and improvement of our infrastructure and community as a whole.”