By Anna Smith
With the organizational meeting less than a month away, Cypress County was looking to make the home stretch this year a memorable one at the Sept. 19 County Council meeting.
Council allocated up to $195,000 towards the 2024 Capital Budget, with funds coming from the General Administration Equipment Replacement Fund.
Collecting and keeping up to date orthoimagery is an integral contribution to the day-to-day operations of all service areas in the County. This would include tax and property assessment, planning and development, economic development, public works (roads and utilities), agriculture, asset management, as well as emergency and protective services.
Speaking on services, Council also approved the sole-sourcing of a collection of shelving units for the Irvine Community Resource Centre.
The collection of chairs and tables comes from consultation with Short Grass Library
and their expertise on interior library configurations.
Also on the table is $20,000 for the rehabilitation of the pickleball courts in Elkwater, provided that they receive a CFEP grant that they applied for earlier this year for the same purpose.
CFEP grants are noted to be matching, requiring another source of funding in order to be effective.
The On-Call Fire Stations Policy was amended to better reflect the reality of the Elkwater and Onefour fire stations operating as an amalgamated fire station, as per a motion made by council at the Sept. 6 meeting, to “direct Administration to collaborate and engage with the Onefour and Elkwater Fire Stations on providing emergency services south of Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park as one unified station.”
Likewise, a secondary motion was made to accept amendments to the Fire Levels of Service policy to correspond with the change, as well.
A report on the training space in the Dunmore Fire Hall was received for information.
This project has been in the works for a long time coming, and continues to see thousands of manhours each year from volunteers with formal education, as well as regular training on various topics such as medical response skills, firefighter tactics videos, information sessions, tabletop exercises, exams, and meetings.
Currently, the space requires work for a separate air system to meet standards, but going forward, the space will be available to other associations to benefit the community. Dunmore Fire Hall is central as a hub space for the Cypress Emergency Services, but is also home to the Prairie Rose Fire Academy in Cypress.
Currently, they are seeking out fundraising and grants to broaden their scope and further improve the teaching environment, and are hopeful for a CFEP grant of their own on the project.