By Tim Kalinowski
The Suffield Community Association hosted its AGM last Thursday evening at the community hall. Coun. Alf Belyea from Cypress County was also in attendance at the meeting. Decisions were made on several issues.
One of the biggest issues discussed was the problem in attracting enough volunteers on Sundays to sit watch at the community dump. Cypress County pays the community association $902 per month to supply 16 hours a week in the summer time, (slightly less in winter months), to ensure the dump is well attended. The community association relies on volunteers to fulfill the obligation so the funds can be used for programs at the hall.
Various suggestions were put forward by those in attendance: To, perhaps, add hours to existing weekdays or evenings and cancel Sunday dump hours entirely. To add an extra day during the week. Ultimately no new combination of hours satisfied the membership that they could find the extra help they needed anymore than keeping Sunday hours open. So no changes were made. The community association will hope to find more willing volunteers this coming summer.
It was also announced by Coun. Belyea that Cypress County would be delivering new recycling bins to the dump site in the coming weeks for locals to use.
There will be a by invitation Volunteer Appreciation Night held at the Suffield Community Hall on March 11. Chinese food will be on the menu. The event will also be used to honour Suffield’s Citizen of the Year: Sam Lehtonen. The award has not been given out for several years, but the community association is hoping to change that from now on.
March 26 will be the Suffield community Easter Party. This event is open to the public and will have an emphasis on kids activities and family fun.
Suffield Community Association members opted not to purchase a larger gen-set in a swap and trade with a private home owner in the area. Members felt the current gen-set was used so seldom that to invest in a new one, or swap for another bigger used one, was not warranted. The hall has to have a gen-set because it is a designated shelter in the event of disaster or storm.
Members also discussed what to do with the proceeds from its annual casino. New chairs will be purchased for the hall, a new roof will be put on the municipal garage and new laminate flooring will be purchased for the hall kitchen. Members also debated putting future moneys aside toward a new playground set in Suffield as the current one is quite old. Coun. Alf Belyea said he would look into what funding options the project might have available through the county’s rec. fund should members decide to do so.
Members also asked Belyea about the potential for the restoration of subsidized funding from the county for local families to use the Ralston Pool, which is mainly used by military families and offers a discounted rate for anyone living in the area with a military connection either currently serving or retired. Any family without those military credentials pays a bit more per month. But since the price of the non-military rate for families living in Ralston and Suffield is $40 per month, fairly modest compared to pool fees in Medicine Hat or seasonal fees in Redcliff in the summer months, Belyea did not feel the county would likely agree to reinstate any such subsidization.