Sunday, June 30, 2013

Outstanding job by Beiseker's Fire Department!

There wasn't a fire anywhere to be seen, however our Beiseker Fire Department was there! The Beiseker Fire Department responded to a call for assistance after parts of the village were flooded early Sunday morning. They did what they could to comfort those affected by flood waters.

They made sure that the water was able to move freely into our drainage channels and they got to work moving water away from where it shouldn't be. This all happened between midnight and 4 AM Sunday morning! In my books they are all local heroes - again!

And the Rains Came!

Flooding on Beiseker's Main Street, 1915
That was quite a storm we had last night!

It dumped a whole bunch of water on the village early Sunday morning June 30. Once again, our drainage system was overwhelmed by the volume of water in such a short period of time. Lakes formed in front to the medical center, at the intersection of second Avenue and seventh Street, and in front of the village office, as well as a few other places in the village.

The pumps were working at capacity and removing a large volume of storm water from the village.

I know some of the residents in this village had flooding problems at their residences.  As I have mentioned before in my blog, Beiseker has always had a drainage problem between the two rail lines. Today, flooding is nowhere as serious as it was more than half a century ago.  I know that's not much consolation to those with flooded basements, today!  It is important for this Council and future village councils to continually address the flooding problems
I'm going to be asking Council at our next meeting to start a flood task force. This group will be charged with finding new ways to address the flooding issues primarily in the older parts of the village.

If you experienced flooding and flood damage during this past storm, I'm asking you to leave your name and address at the village office - either by dropping in or calling 403-947-3774.   We need this data to help formulate a plan.

Storms that used to occur every 100 years now appear to be occurring every few years! We need a new plan and we need it now!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

More Aqua7 Water Woes

At last Monday's Council meeting I voiced my concern that the Town of Drumheller had raised their water rates to the Aqua7 Regional Water Services Commission by 10% over the past two years. They have asked for part of this increase to start in July of this year, even though our contract with them stipulates increases must take effect in January of each year.

It appears everything costs more these days, but I'm wondering if such a huge increase in water rates from Drumheller is really necessary.  I hope that we will be able to meet with representatives from Drumheller in the near future to discuss these increases.  They need to explain to us why such an increase is necessary at this point in time.

I and the rest of the Aqua 7 water commission need to know that the increases in the water rates will be used to pay for upgrades in the water treatment plant and its supply line to our Kirkpatrick reservoir - and not to upgrade the water supply infrastructure within the Town of Drumheller.  We also need to know that we are getting a wholesale rate on our cost of water from Drumheller, and not a different retail rate.

It has been suggested (again) that Beiseker might be able to go back on its well water system if Aqua7 water becomes too expensive.  In my opinion, though, that possibility is totally out of the question.  The aquafer from which Beiseker drew its water from has been severely depleted by increased use over the past ten years.  Without drilling a series of new (and expensive) wells, I doubt we could pull enough water out of the aquafer to supply our growing community. 

We also signed a contract with Aqua7 at its conception that we would do our part in supporting the system and paying down its debt.  We would still be responsible for our share of the debt as agreed to in that agreement, even if we stopped using the pipeline.

I truly believe that Aqua7 Regional Water Services Commission will continue to grow and prosper.  I am sure Rocky View County will be able to buy and sell Aqua7 water in the future.  I am confident that the provincial government will one day finally wake up, smell the coffee and realize they treated the Aqua7 folks very, very badly and make amends as recommended in their own study made a few years ago!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Southern Alberta Flooding (and Drinking Water)

photo by Andrea Savoca, via Flickr
Our internet connection was lost there for a bit, but it's back up now!

It's been a very exciting few days in this part of the world, with the terrible flooding in southern Alberta. Before I go any farther, I would like to offer best wishes to everyone in Canmore, Calgary, High River, Medicine Hat, Drumheller, the Siksika and Stoney First Nations, and everyone else fighting the flood waters.  I wish them a successful cleanup and a speedy return to normal!

We here in Beiseker escaped the severe damage done elsewhere in the province. The constant rain caused a few floodings around town, but we fared pretty well. The extra moisture has caused the grass to grow and the mosquitoes to hatch! They're particularly fierce little devils this year!  It's hard to go outside!

As of tonight, Monday, June 24, our water system is safe and sound. The flood waters have not compromised the water treatment plant in Drumheller.  Clean, chlorinated and clear water is entering our pumping station at Kirkpatrick. From there, the water is chlorinated again and pumped up the hill to our communities.

I think every community on the water line chlorinates the water a third time before it enters their local distribution systems. I think the Aqua7 water system is probably one of the safest water distribution systems in the province!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Seniors' Tea coming up!

Mark down Thursday afternoon, June 20 on your calendar!  That's when the Beiseker Station Museum Society is holding their annual Seniors' Tea. 

We'll have tea and coffee, along with some goodies to eat.  Add to that some lively entertainment, and you've got a great afternoon!  This year we're celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Beiseker CPR Station which now houses the Beiseker Village Office and the Beiseker Station Museum.

The activities start at 2:00 p.m. in the Golden Years Town & Country Club on Fifth Street across from the Arena, here in Beautiful Downtown Beiseker!

See you there!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

School Playground Replacement

photo by Raymond Wong, via Flickr
I very much enjoyed meeting the new administration for Beiseker Community School at a Council meeting, last month. They and our school trustee, Norma Lang came in to introduce themselves to Village Council.

One of the topics we discussed was the fate of the playground structures at Beiseker Community School. I was most distressed to hear that the north playground was slated to be demolished later this year.   Our school board has also decided that each school shall only have one playground structure on their school grounds!

The north playground at school is not that old, and when it is demolished it will be up to parents and communities to raise the funds to replace it.  Also, when that happens, I assume the other playground on the east side will be demolished and not replaced.

Students in Beiseker community school come from families in in the Beiseker,  Irricana, and Kathyrn area.  Geographically this is a large area but with a small population . Asking them to continually replace playgrounds is absurd.

A playground structure can cost over $100,000.   If the school division demolishes it after 20 years, that means the cost of of that playground was more than $5000 per year to the community!

I am not a safety expert, but I think the school division is becoming a little paranoid about safety on these playground structures!  The structures can't have become unsafe over the few years that they have been constructed, nor have the regulations changed that much as to their safety standards.

I believe the school division should readdress this issue!  Small communities like ours cannot afford to continually replace playground structures at the whim of the school division!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The 2013 Beiseker Country Fair, Best Ever!

If you missed the 2013 Beiseker Country Fair yesterday, you can start kicking yourself right now. In my opinion, it was the best fair we've ever had!

The weather cooperated, and the organizers outdid themselves this year. I'm not a Lions Club member, but I think the Beiseker Lions Club is probably one of the smallest.  That doesn't stop them from putting together a fantastic Country Fair day! We started the day with a great pancake breakfast, enjoying it with about 585 of our closest friends.  

I thought the parade was a little shorter this year, but that certainly didn't curb the enthusiasm of those participating. Beiseker's new fire truck also made its first official appearance in the parade!

The kids dug out coins out of the Money Pit while the 4H Club showed off their calves.  After the show, I had the opportunity to try my hand at milking a cow!  I came in third in the field of four - and my friend Dave Fagan came in first!

This year I picked a pretty little 1966 Ford Mustang as the Mayor's Choice at the Main Street Show 'n Shine.  Chris Heighton of Heighton Restorations does an incredible job of  putting together the Main Street Show 'n Shine every year.  After the car show, it was over to the Golden Years Town and Country Club for coffee and pie.  I missed seeing the skydivers both in the parade and jumping into Beiseker, early in the afternoon .

Health concerns make it important that I eat on time.  A minor glitch in the hall kitchen meant that supper was a bit late, there, so I was unable to join everybody for a Beef on a Bun supper. 

Everybody went home tired, but happy, when the festivities finally ended early Sunday morning!

Wow! What a day!  Everyone who volunteered yesterday take a big bow!  You are awesome!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

(Baseball) Diamonds are Forever?

I need your help!  I've noticed that the baseball diamonds in Friendship Park are drastically underused! They take up a very large area of the park, but I understand that most of the local teams now play in Irricana.

The big diamond is used a few hours a week, but I hear there is no bona fide league in Beiseker at this time.  We need to get the best bang for our "recreation dollars."  Are we getting that?

The question is: do we still need two baseball diamonds in Friendship Park?  Please tell me what you think - by making a comment to this post, writing me an email, or on Facebook

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Beiseker's Fire Truck on Global News

Deputy Fire Chief Jim Fox, Councillor Warren Wise and I were interviewed a couple of days ago for Global News Calgary's report on the Beiseker Fire Department.  Thanks to Global for coming out to our village to report on this story!

And if you want to donate toward the new fire truck, you can make a donation at the Mountain View Credit Union on Main Street.