Local briefs – August 14

Police have destroyed a 675-kg bison bull that had been wandering loose in and around Lacombe.

Lacombe police officer puts down bison bull

Police have destroyed a 675-kg bison bull that had been wandering loose in and around Lacombe.

Believed to have escaped from a nearby feedlot, the animal had showed up in town on the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 4. It successfully evaded police and disappeared into nearby woods.

Lacombe Police report that one of its officers located the animal two days ago and put it down.

Insurance costs rise for Lacombe County

Lacombe County is facing a sharp increase in insurance costs that could add $35,000 to its budget.

Jubilee Insurance Agencies Ltd., which provides insurance coverage to Alberta counties and municipal districts, warned its members to expect a 60 to 65 per cent boost in insurance rates.

Tim Timmons, the county’s manager of corporate services, said on Thursday that such an increase would add about $35,000 to the county’s current $50,000 insurance bill.

“We’re going to see a fairly significant increase.”

The increase is a result of growing property damage claims from member municipalities. Fire losses contributed to the problem, but avoidable heavy equipment and emergency vehicle losses were the biggest factor, say insurers. Property replacement values have also soared over the years.

Insurers are developing a program to help municipalities to reduce the number and cost of claims.

Feds announce grant for Ponoka Aquaplex

The Ponoka Aquaplex will be upgraded after more than $60,000 in funding from the federal government that was announced on Thursday.

The renovations will include adding new windows, tiling the pool deck, changing the chlorine systems and replacing water filters that will improve energy efficiency and water quality.

The money comes from the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program, which is part of the federal government’s economic action plan. The program will invest $500 million into recreational facilities across Canada over the next two years.

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