Snow removal strains Crossfield’s overtime budget
Monday, Feb 13, 2017 02:58 pm
A quarter of Crossfield’s annual overtime allowance has been spent clearing streets in the aftermath of heavy snowfall events witnessed in January and February.
Crossfield Chief Administrative Officer Ken Bosman told council during its Feb. 7 meeting the weather has strained the town’s $90,000 per year budget for overtime in a rather short period.
“It’s a bit of a rough start to the budget, but hey, it snowed,” he said. “Let’s hope we don’t have too many additional snow storms this year.”
Establishing an operations contingency fund two years ago, Crossfield has saved $40,000 per year that Bosman said could be used in the event the town spends its overtime budget before the year is out.
If the snow keeps falling, he said there might be a need to approach council in the summer to allocate a few dollars from the contingency.
“That’s exactly and precisely why it’s there,” Bosman said. “I hope we don’t have to tap into it, but so far the year has been fairly expensive.”
Council has instructed administration to look into the costs of fully fencing the off-leash dog park near Western Drive following a letter from a concerned citizen.
Though this is the first official letter Bosman has received concerning the matter, he said he has spoken with a couple of residents who would also like to see the off-leash area fully fenced.
“There’s some fencing but dogs can obviously get in and out of it,” he said.
The item would return to council once quotes were attained, Bosman said, as a well as a plan of how best to enclose the area.
If council approves of fully enclosing the area, administration would look further into budgeting the project, he said.
“We’ll take a real hard look at it in April when we do our budget refresh,” Bosman said.
Supporting health care
A letter of support was given to Crossfield Trinity Mercy Family Medical Clinic as it petitions Alberta Health Services (AHS) for grants to sponsor doctors to come to the community.
With a long-term medical plan in mind for Crossfield, Dr. Tony Ogundipe told council the community needs at least four doctors and a clinic open seven days a week.
“We need doctors in this town,” he said. “We will provide these services if we are able to secure the manpower.”
The town’s support comes with no financial commitment, Bosman said, but it will help Trinity Mercy Family Medical Clinic’s case when petitioning AHS.
Relocating doctors to rural Alberta is a “chronic problem,” he said.
“How likely it is to get these grants…is a little unclear, but absolutely we’re going to support them in it,” Bosman said.