City council briefs – July 2

Thirty-two employees with the City of Red Deer’s Electric, Light and Power Department are receiving a 4.25 per cent pay increase this year.

EPL staff receive pay hike

Thirty-two employees with the City of Red Deer’s Electric, Light and Power Department are receiving a 4.25 per cent pay increase this year.

On Monday, city council accepted the mediator’s recommended terms of settlement for a one-year collective agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 254.

The union members voted in favour of the agreement on June 17.

The agreement is effective from March 4, 2009, to March 3, 2010.

The two parties met over nine days of bargaining.

Public art approved

Several city councillors are taking aim at public art deemed for the downtown RCMP detachment and the 67th Street RCMP/Red Deer Emergency Services precinct.

Four public arts projects were approved in council chambers on Monday. The outdoor, free-standing mural at Red Deer Emergency Services’ new Station 5 in Johnstone Crossing received unanimous support and so did the tactile panel art inside the Golden Circle.

The other two projects received approval following a 6-3 vote.

Councillors Tara Veer, Gail Parks and Buck Buchanan opposed the indoor art for the city detachment, along with the towering outdoor sculpture for the RCMP/Red Deer Emergency Services station.

The ceiling of the main lobby of the detachment will reference a summer sky from 1874 when the Mounties first arrived in Alberta. A fibre optic system will be used to illustrate the skies.

“My issue is with the fibre optic system and the associated costs with the installation of it,” said Veer.

She was also concerned with the 13.5-metre height of the outdoor wind-moving piece resembling a person holding two ladders. It will be installed on the northeast corner of the precinct site.

The projects are worth more than $325,000 in total.

Expropriation moves forward

The City of Red Deer is looking to take over some 135 acres as it moves forward with large-scale plans to develop the north end.

Council approved on Monday expropriation proceedings for two separate parcels of land. Both are north of 67th Street near 30th Avenue.

Expropriation involves the city acquiring land at fair market value without the consent of the owner. The city is looking over the next several decades to build a major road which would link Hwy 11A with Northland Drive, 20th Avenue and McKenzie Road. Also part of the plans is build the south regional wastewater line into the embankment of the new main road, which the city has dubbed the north highway connector.

And the city wants to extend Waskasoo Park with additional park land.

Crosswalk policy revised

All pedestrian crosswalks at signalized intersections will be painted in Red Deer.

City council unanimously endorsed on Monday a revised policy regarding pedestrian crosswalks.

With the change, painting will take place at lighted intersections, unless pedestrians are banned.

City manager Craig Curtis said the city wants to have consistency because some intersections are not marked for pedestrians.

The Public Works Department reports that additional costs of up to $15,000 annually may be needed to paint lines at increased locations.

Torch relay gala funded

A community bash celebrating the arrival of the 2010 Olympic Torch will be injected with $35,900 in City of Red Deer cash or services.

Organizers will use the support towards hosting a Jan. 15 party at Westerner Park as the torch makes a pitstop on its way to Vancouver for the Winter Olympics Feb. 12 to 28.

The city already approved $10,000 in the 2009 budget and another $5,000 is slated in the 2010 budget. Part of the money will be used to keep the grounds clear of snow and ice.

Red Deer is one of 187 Canadian communities chosen to host such a free gala.

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