The headache that is parking at the Mont St. Joseph Home continued on Tuesday, revealing council’s frustration over the situation.
© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Coun. Rick Orr chairs Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The issue has to do with Terry Simpson Lane -- a stretch of road in front of the long-term care facility that staff tends to fill up from sunup to sundown, limiting nearby parking opportunities for volunteers and guests.
There’s ample parking in the back, Mont St. Joseph Home chairperson John Swystun told council on Tuesday.
“We do have staff parking at the back -- it’s electrified … I believe the charge is $30 a month, and a number of the staff choose not to avail themselves of that parking,” he said.
With Terry Simpson Lane right in front of the building, it’s become a first choice for staff members who arrive for work at about 7 a.m.
“They’re there for the whole day,” Swystun said. “It’s a very challenging issues -- there’s no way we can force them not to park there.”
A four-hour time limit on that stretch of road means that staff members get out during their break to move their vehicle, while another staffer refilling the spot.
“It bothers me -- it disturbs me that we’ve got staff members who don’t have respect for the volunteers and for the visitors that come to the home, to be quite blunt,” Coun. Martin Ring said.
With Coun. Ted Zurakowski noting that parking has been an issue for a few years now, no decision was made on Tuesday.
Instead, further discussion between the Mont St. Joseph and the city will take place, including discussion of initiating a permit structure for Terry Simpson Lane, wherein only volunteers and visitors can receive a permit.
The issue will come in front of council for a final decision after consultation has taken place.
The following are some additional tidbits of information shared during Tuesday’s city council meeting that remained unreported.
• Investment opportunities are going to be looked at, as per a recommendation by Coun. Don Cody.
As of Sept. 16, the city’s general bank account had a balance of $10,398,021, Cody noted, saying that this is “a lot of money to have sitting there at a time.”
To finance director Joe Day’s agreement, Cody noted that there are likely higher-interest opportunities than a general bank account -- opportunities Day will investigate in a future report to council.
• Tree trimming has become a priority in Prince Albert, interim community services director Jody Bolay told council.
It bothers me -- it disturbs me that we’ve got staff members who don’t have respect for the volunteers and for the visitors that come to the home, to be quite blunt. Coun. Martin Ring
Within this year’s budget was $189,900 allotted toward increasing the city’s urban forestry staff to deal with its aging canopy of trees.
In August, Coun. Lee Atkinson alleged that the money had not gone toward its intended purpose.
"We put money in our budget for 2013 ... about a forestry crew, so the question is, where are they and why aren't these being addressed?" he asked.
Things have picked up in the last couple weeks, Bolay told council.
Of the 404 inquiries in their system this year (including 153 carried over from last year), 294 tree-trimming projects have been complete.
Although Bolay said that he can’t guarantee the balance of the inquiry list will be completed this year, he said that “they are a priority.”
Coun. Ted Zurakowski took special note of the community service department’s recent championing of the tree-trimming initiative, as per the established ask of council.
“For the last few weeks, anyway, it sounds like lots is getting done,” Zurakowski concluded.
• Little Red River Park is coming along Mayor Greg Dionne told council.
With help by interim community services director Jody Bolay, the city toured the park on Monday, during which a visual update was provided on the park, which saw extensive damage this summer as a result of high floodwater.
Downhill ski enthusiasts ran rest assured, because the bridge connecting the hill to the parking area will be reinstalled prior to winter, allowing the hill to open for the season, Dionne said.
• A new rubber tire excavator will be purchased in the amount of $221,767, less the trade-in value of $28,967 of the city’s current piece of equipment.
As per a suggestion by Coun. Tim Scharkowski during the previous week’s executive committee meeting, the balance of the city’s vehicle fleet will be reviewed in order to determine whether there are any unused equipment that can be sold at or before next year’s city auction.