Reflections

Reflections
Reflections By Bonnie Hutchinson

By Bonnie Hutchinson

The power of kindness
 
I had some good news this week. Someone I cherish has received a diagnosis that, while serious, is not as life-threatening as originally thought. When I received the news, I realized I’d been holding more tension than I knew. Tears started running down my face. Relief and gratitude. I realized something else–how powerful and comforting it has been to be surrounded by friends and family members who care about us and are there for us, in many different forms. Over the past weeks, family members and close friends, acquaintances and even people we don’t know have been sending support, thoughts and prayers. I could feel the web of support and it made a difference.
***
In that web of support are people we can talk to if we wish. People we can choose not to talk to if we wish, but just be in their presence. People who look after mechanics and logistics. People who bring food and run errands. People who make us laugh. People who hug us–or who, respectfully, don’t hug those of us who aren’t huggers.
As I’d been contemplating what kind of strength we’d need if our worst fears turned out to be the case, I came to the realization that all of us involved would be okay. Not without pain or fear or grief, but okay. I experienced a place of deep peace that would hold no matter what external circumstances might unfold.
That web of support was part of it. As I have before, I experienced that when the crunch comes, when the worst happens, most of us rise to the occasion most of the time–and when we cannot, other people rise to the occasion on our behalf.
***
I once was in a room with people who had lost beloved family members–through murder. I could not imagine. I did not want to imagine. And I listened as best I could. One man said, “It’s been almost five years and I can’t get rid of the anger.” He knew that, however justified, his rage was poisoning his life and his relationships with those closest to him, but the rage seemed a bottomless pit. That actually made sense to me, which meant I too must have a bottomless pit of rage. Scary to realize. Useful to realize.
Here is what else I observed that day. People could talk about the horror, the shock, the terrible facts. They could speak all of that. But what moved them to tears was describing acts of kindness.
The man who was filled with rage talked of the kindness and courtesy of victim services people who were with the family at the time of the murder, and who made sure the family was informed of court proceedings. That kindness helped.
One story I remember especially vividly: a police officer crossed the scene-of-crime tape which kept out family members, to gather some decent clothes for the sister who’d been murdered by her husband, so she’d have something nice to wear in her coffin.
Her family forever remembers that act of humanity, which somehow made the unbearable a tiny bit less unbearable.
***
Lew Goddard had a similar message in a letter to the editor a few weeks ago, after the Humboldt crash.
“Look at the response from our entire country. Look at the response from nearly one hundred countries in our world. I expected a response from the world it was inevitable. But the number of countries and the generosity is amazing. I include myself in that…
“The positive physical things that have happened show that we help our neighbors: the organ donations, the extra blood transfusions and the support from all over…
“We now have a better view of the fact that there are very good people in our universe.”
***
If you have comments about this column or suggestions for future topics, send a note to Bonnie@BonnieHutchinson.com.

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Professional advisors assist BRCF endowment fund

By Murray Green

The professional advisors are very important  people to the Battle River Community Foundation.
“We greatly appreciate your continued support of this event and more importantly your support of our mission to accept and manage  funds of community minded folks who choose to give back,” said Vivianne Grue, chair of the Foundation board.
“Last year, I shared with you some of the remarks made by our then Governor-General David Johnson addressing our Community Foundations national gathering. Part of his remarks include ‘Your efforts to build communities where everyone belongs have flourished. Together, as a movement, you are a force for generosity, innovation, dialogue and caring among neighbours.”
He went on to say we should make giving intrinsic and innate so that we give simply because it’s established right behaviour.
“Today I simply want to re-iterate the vital role professional advisors play in this movement. You play a singularly important role in helping the client realize and create a personal philanthropic vision,” said Vivianne.
Financially successful Canadians are eager to give back to society and they need their advisor’s help to put effective philanthropic plans in place.
“I have never heard anyone say ‘And half of my wealth I bequeath to Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, because they’ve always been there for me.’
Charitable giving requires careful planning and intentional choice.
 Research shows seven per cent of Canadians would leave money to charity in their will, in the absence of a specific discussion around charitable giving. However, the figure rises—more than a three-fold if the issue is raised with them,  when drawing up a will or financial plan.
“That is significant! Studies also show that only one in 10 advisors are raising the subject of philanthropic giving with their clients. The reasons stated are:  they don’t think they have the expertise; they think they’ll lose assets under their management; they have difficulty broaching the topic with clients or they think it’s none of their business.”
Some financial planners stated that advisors who don’t believe they have the expertise to help their clients integrate charitable giving into their financial plans might want to familiarize themselves with these topics  and/or develop networks of professionals to whom they can refer clients.
“As for the concern over losing assets under management, as one financial planner lawyer put it: ‘We’re here to serve our clients, and if we do it right, the assets will take care of themselves, adding ‘many gift planning initiatives are financially remunerative to advisors, such as insurance strategies.’ Another planner went on to say:  Advisors who choose not to discuss philanthropic giving with clients risk losing them to the competition. Canadians, especially the baby boomers, want to give back and leave a legacy. They want to move from success to significance,” said Vivianne.
“These statistics  really drive home the profound  impact each of you as professional advisors can have on planting the seeds for charitable giving in the minds of your clients, or being able to assist those who come with their own  ideas, and to facilitate making their wishes  come true. This  enforces for me the importance of keeping our professional advisors informed of Community Foundations and the role they can play for their clients. Thus, the relationship between professional advisors and the community foundation is key to enhancing the service we provide to individuals who want to give back to their communities.
“Together we can make giving easy. Everyone wins when we work together.  Advisors forge deeper client relationships. Clients benefit from tax advantages. And our communities are better supported.
“All of these gifts  help build stronger communities. Last year, was a milestone year for the BRCF as we exceeded the $5 million in grants made since its inception, all of which go to strengthening all aspects of community life. In the past year alone, there were 20 new endowment funds established, some of which involved estate gifts and were the direct result of client / professional advisor consultations.”
The Foundation’s assets are fast approaching the $15 million mark, ensuring an ongoing legacy of giving.
“There is much to celebrate! Thank you again and always for your generous support and continued good works in building a philanthropic mind set.”

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Professional advisors assist BRCF endowment fund
BRCF ADVISORS Battle River Community Professional Advisors attended a luncheon on May 9 at the Camrose Heritage Railway Station and Park to raise funds for the Administration Endowment Fund. Back row from left to right, Scott Farnham of Farnham West Stolee Kambeitz, Jon Stolee of Farnham West Stolee Kambeitz, Doug Tien of Investors Group, Corey Kudrowich of Investors Group, Grant Nahirniak of Investors Group, Josh Mohr of Knaut Johnson Francoeur, Scott Garnett of Harberg Wood Garnett Radchenko, David Sheets of Vision Credit Union, Dean Inman of Kroeger Joyce, James Mayer of Central Agencies, Steve Kambeitz of Farnham West Stolee Kambeitz, Dan Cunningham of The Co-operators Camrose Insurance Service, Wayne Throndson of Fielding and Company, Luke Kelemen of The Co-operators-Camrose Insurance Services, Greg Joyce of Kroeger Joyce and Darren Daniels of Central Agencies. Front row from left, Norm Mayer of Central Agencies, Catherine Jones of Vision Credit Union, Cindy Cook of RBC Investments, Beth Kushnerick of Grant Thornton, Ashley Radchenko of Harberg Wood Garnett Radchenko and Martin West of Farnham West Stolee Kambeitz. Other contributors who were unable to be present include Dave Chamberlain of Sun Life, Janice Zimmerman of H and R Block, Debbie Orcheski of Orcheski Wealth Advisory Group-BMO Nesbitt Burns, Brandon Kroeger of Kroeger Joyce, Steph Jacobsen of Jacobsen Financial and Linda Norman of Linda Norman Professional Corporation.

Golfing ‘fore’ a good cause

Golfing ‘fore’ a good cause
OPEN DOOR GOLF Some of the Camrose Open Door team members get ready to swing into the annual Open Door Golf Tournament. From left to right, executive director Jessica Hutton, case manager supervisor Wayne Wilson, outreach navigator Brianne Lockhat and youth support worker Moose size up some clubs.

By Lori Larsen

It’s a hole in one for The Camrose Open Door when members of the community once again come together for the annual Open Door Golf Tournament on May 26 at the Camrose Golf Course.
“Last year we raised over $25,000 and our tournament has sold out five years in a row,” said Open Door executive director Jessica Hutton.
There are different levels of sponsorship and residents are also encouraged to put in teams for the fun event. Registration is required by emailing Alison at alison@camroseopendoor.com.
“Every hole will have something interesting and fun going on including two hole in ones,” said Hutton.
Along with a riveting game of golf, participants will have opportunities to cash in on some amazing prizes donated by local businesses including a million dollar hole and closest to the pin prizes.
“Not only is this one of our most important fundraisers, but is really a lot of fun. We are looking forward to having a fun time on the golf course and raising money for supporting the youth who need to use the many programs and facilities of The Open Door.”
The tournament will begin with registration at 11 a.m. at the Camrose Golf Course and shotgun start at 1 p.m. Dinner will follow golfing windup at the clubhouse.
The evening will also feature a 50/50 draw and a raffle for a firepit.
Polish up the clubs, put together a team and join in  the fun.
The Open Door is a regional non-profit organization that offers support services and hope to youth in need between the ages of 11 and 24.

Tax assessments mailed out soon

By Lori Larsen

City of Camrose tax assessments are being prepared for mailing out on May 18 and residents can expect a total tax increase to typical residential property owners (including the change to the education and lodge levies) of 3.06  per cent and typical non-residential property owners an increase of 1.59 per cent after requisitions.
City of Camrose assessor Travis Lantz explained that Alberta has four assessment classes including residential, non-residential, farm land, and machinery and equipment.
“For residential and non-residential properties we are required to assess them at market value which includes two important dates. A condition date of Dec. 31, 2017 includes any changes a home owner has made to their property throughout 2017 which will be reflected in their 2018 assessment notice. The other very important date is the valuation date of July 1, 2017.
“As the real estate market is slow or in recession, some might say, it is important for property owners to remember the tax and assessment notice they get may not reflect the current value of their property, but the value of their property on a year ago on July 1.”
Depending on the properties, tax bills could include four components.
The first and most common part of the tax bill is the municipal tax levy, which is set by council to fund the costs of City services.
The second component of the tax bill is the lodge authority requisition which, in 2018, accounts for $29,014 an increase of $402 over 2017 of $28,612.
The third component of the tax bill is the provincial education requisition. This amount is not set by council but is collected by the City on behalf of the province for funding the school system with two separate amounts collected,  one from residential and one from non-residential.
“The residential properties were hit hard this year with an increase in their school requisition,” said Lantz.
“In 2018, Camrose has .38 per cent of the residential property in Alberta. Last year, Camrose had .35 per cent, a slight increase. Because the school tax is a tax that is shared by of all Alberta, and as the rest of Alberta was hit a little harder by the recession than we were, our percentage of the provinces assessment base grew a very slight amount as a result of that small change We (City) are now required by the province to collect an extra $458,373 for residential and farmland and $57,480 for non-residential.”
Regarding the review of 2018 assessment roll Lantz said values are on a decline. “The residential base shrunk by $108,489,340 and the non-residential rate shrunk by $28,196,050. The assessment base  shrunk because residential property values fell by 5.8 per cent, non residential property values fell by 5.2 per cent.”
Lantz said while Camrose has seen some growth, residential growth just under one per cent and non-residential growth .8 per cent, isn’t as significant as previous years.
“When we talk about tax increases I always like to remind our citizens, in addition to whatever tax increases are approved by council and is dictated by the requisitions, if you have changed your property performed, real growth, you will see some extra tax increases there as well.”
 Using a typical home, Lantz illustrated the impact of the tax increase on a property valued at $277,913 in 2018 compared to $295,000 in 2017. Municipal taxes would increase $35, education levy would increase $54 and the lodge levy would have no increase for a total of $89 or 3.06 per cent.

Local cyclists Ride to Conquer cancer

By Murray Green

Mark Lindberg and Colin Scheerschmidt will be cycling in the Ride to Conquer cancer on Aug. 18 and 19.
They are looking for other riders to join them to form a local group to cycle about 200 kilometers in two days to raise funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The ride covers 100 km per day, for two days.
“I’m a financial advisor and I wanted to do something that helped me get in shape and help out a worthy cause at the same time,” said Mark, on why he decided to cycle.
“It all started out as a fitness goal for me. I’ve been doing that for a while, but was never really quite getting the results I wanted. So I thought, I’ll pick a road cycling ride that raises funds for a good cause. Something hard enough I’ll have to train for. This stops me from wimping out on doing my fitness.”
This is the 10th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer and in the previous nine years riders have raised $66 million for research and treatment delivery at 15 different care facilities across Alberta.
“I don’t have a connection to cancer in my case, but I had a tumour. Initially the doctors thought that it might be caused by cancer. Remembering that brought back a flood of emotions I hadn’t thought about for over 20 years. It prompted me to want to help others.”
Each rider raises $2,500 for cancer. Mark achieved his total, but increased his goal to $5,000.
“I’m riding to raise money for the researchers who are making new scientific discoveries and turning cancer diagnoses into memories. I’m riding because I want to help turn fear into a memory.”
Achieving his goal was the easy part for him. His focus is finding Camrose people to train with him to push his limit.
“We’re looking for donations and in particular riders to come and join us. It’s important to recruit riders now, so they’ll have time to raise funds and train. If people are interested in joining us for training rides we’d enjoy their company. Creating a team helps us to fundraise together, in fact we are planning on hosting a silent auction and raffle some time near the end of June,” said Mark.
He is in favour of the MS Bike Tour that travels from Leduc to Wetaskiwin and Camrose, but he wanted to ride somewhere where he could see the mountains and have different scenery. Mark also liked the fact that it is 100 km a day as opposed to 75, to give him a bigger challenge.
“There are several ways to reach us and we do have a team page both on Facebook (Team Ride4Life  The Alberta Ride to Conquer Cancer) and through the official event website (http://ride.conquercancer.ca/alberta/) once they are on the main website, anyone can just click the blue ‘donate’ button on the top banner and search for us as individual riders by searching our names: Colin Scheerschimdt, Mark Lindberg, or they can look up our team name: Ride4Life,” added Mark. “I want to promote prevention as well. What can we do to help prevention? Exercise and eating right will help. I’m not a poster boy for eating right, but I’m working on getting better.”
Training rides, presentations and fundraising events will be posted on the team Facebook page.
“Both Colin and I have personalized web pages on the main website as does our team. You can find more information there. Potential riders can call me at 780-298-0287 to train with us.”
He also wants to hold a silent auction and an awareness event in Camrose with someone from the Ride to Conquer Cancer office to speak to people in Camrose.

Bridge project

By Lori Larsen

The 48th Avenue Bridge project is well underway. However, while the warmer weather helps to keep construction moving, spring run off slowed it down.
“The contractor continues working diligently on the project, although the spring runoff put them behind schedule by a week or more,” said City of Camrose director of engineering.
“PSA is trying to reschedule tasks and bring in additional equipment to bring the schedule back on track. At this time, there is a risk that the project will not be done until early September, rather than late August.”
If you have any questions or concerns, contact the engineering department at 780-672-4428 or at engineer@camrose.ca.

Summer long scavenger hunt on Lucky Highway 13

By Lori Larsen

If you are looking for a fun way to pass the time this summer while discovering amazing little places around Camrose and Camrose County, the Lucky Highway 13 Tourism Initiative is a perfect fit.
Starting the May long weekend (May 19), everyone is invited to join in on a summer-long road trip that will have participants visiting the communities of Amisk, Bawlf, Camrose, Daysland, Flagstaff County, Hardisty, Lougheed, Killam, Provost, Sedgewick, Strome and Wetaskiwin.
Each of the communities will have two iconic locations where participants are required to take a photograph to prove they visited both sites within the community. One of the photographs must include at least one of the participants. If you are travelling alone, hone up on your “selfie”-taking skills.
The photographs can then be uploaded to the website luckyhighway13.com for later judging by an independent organization. Lucky Highway 13 is open to anyone wishing to participate and discover wonderful hidden gems off of Highway 13.
“There will be four different levels of prizes,” noted Tourism Camrose executive director Jennifer Filip. “Just in case people are unable to get to all 12 communities.”
In order to participate in the contest, a minimum of three communities must be visited throughout the entire event which runs until Sept. 30. Winners will be announced on Oct. 13.
“This year, we have added another fun component to the tour,” said Filip. “A poker rally.” The rally will take place on July 21 beginning at 8 a.m. at Visitor Information Centre (4910-55A Street) in Wetaskiwin.
Participants will be required to stop in various communities at designated checkpoints where they will draw a card from a deck of cards that are recorded on their event scorecard which will then be stamped.
The event will end at 4 p.m. at Crescent Point Place (4205-53 Avenue) in Provost with a barbecue, where two more cards will be drawn, similar to Texas Hold ‘em, and the highest standard poker hand will determine the winner of the $1,000 prize.
Participants of the Poker Rally must be 18 years of age or older and are required to register online by June 30.
For complete details on the Lucky Highway 13 scavenger photo contest and the Poker Rally event, visit luckyhighway13.com.

Aquatic Centre project sparks discussion at council

Aquatic Centre project sparks discussion at council
City of Camrose administration reported an update on the Camrose Aquatic Centre renovation and upgrade project and requested council provide direction specific to the timing and funding of this project during the May 7 committee of whole meeting.

By Lori Larsen

City of Camrose administration reported an update on the Camrose Aquatic Centre renovation and upgrade project and requested council provide direction specific to the timing and funding of this project, during the May 7 committee of whole meeting.
Background
In 2015, with the help of BR2, the design contractors, the City selected to propose the design of a new swimming pool, presented administration with a high-level estimate in the mid $20 million range, resulting in a rethink of the project towards a renovation as opposed to brand new facility.
The initial estimate, by BR2, of a basic renovation project, came in at $12 million, which included a six lane pool, retrofit to the existing swim tank to improve water filtration, the reuse of existing HVAC with some addition to account for the extra building area, some cosmetic upgrades and a splash park relocation.
“As we went along the project grew because we had a lot of community feedback,” said City community services general manager Ryan Poole.
The results of further consultation, in 2017, with residents, Camrose Sea Serpents Swim Club, the Synchro Club, Life Saving Sport group, Triathlon  Club and Seniors Aquafit Club on the desires surrounding the Aquatic Centre project indicated a desire for more substantial scope of services including eight lane competition/multi use pool with spectator seating, leisure pool including lazy river, water slide, in ground accessible hot tub, completely updated change rooms and front lobby and expansion of the family change room.
A new design, including the aforementioned desires, was proposed at a cost of $17,022,816. The final tendered cost, as of March 2018, is $17,233,503. This would require an additional $5.2 million in funding that was not budgeted, not including the proposed $2.64 million County contribution subject to the acceptance of the Recreation Agreement.
Council asks
Councillor Wayne  Throndson inquired as to what was eliminated to get from the initial tender of approximately $19 million to $17,2 million, adding that one of the initial plans had cement bleachers in the new pool area which had now been eliminated.
Poole replied, “We went out to tender and came back higher, so we went back to the drawing board and determined things we could eliminate that wouldn’t affect the life and quality of facility, but will bring the cost back to the $17 million mark. One was the cement bleachers which were a fairly pricey item approximately $150,000.” He indicated that less expensive options, such as aluminum bleachers, could be considered.
Throndson said, “The mistakes we have learned  in the past, especially with  the past pool, is we start to try to cut and before we know it we are two inches short in the depth of the pool, or we don’t have proper diving boards or blocks for the swim club. My concern is if we start cutting are we impacting the functionality.”
Poole explained, “We are not trying to find $2 million by cutting out functionality and most important quality.” He noted that other areas, such as cutting back on high-end, unneeded insulation on indoor piping and not adding new panels to the ceiling of the existing pool which were strictly for esthetics, were scaled back or eliminated.
Throndson, out of concern raised to him from the community, asked if the dressing rooms would be completely revamped or rebuilt entirely.
Poole replied, “They are getting a full esthetics rebuild including new lockers, tile, sinks, vanities toilet partitions and showers. The big change will be the a large family change room.”
Throndson asked “Will you be getting rid of the moisture issues, smell and other gunk. Is that just going to come back?”
Poole said, “The big plan there is to improve the ventilation.”
Councillor David Ofrim inquired as to the possibility of building a brand new Aquatic Centre, rather than renovating the existing facility.
Councillor Throndson agreed with Ofrim. “It raises the possibility of having a new pool attached to the field house. There is lots of space, it could accommodate a true multi-purpose facility that enjoys advantages of different streams of government money and has the added benefit of not having to take the existing pool out of commission. And I worry about the costs and surprises of remodelling.”
Mayor Norm Mayer said that he is in favour of seeing the Aquatic Centre renovation and addition project, at $17.2 million, proceed. “I would like to see council consider moving forward as outlined with the proposed funding and carry forward required debt until we are able to negotiate with the county.”
Councillor Greg Wood stated he preferred the cost of $17 million over the cost of a brand new facility, stating that room needs to be left for vital infrastructures projects.
Based on the option of shutting down the pool from September this year to November 2019, Poole estimated the operational costs, comparing status quo (remaining as is) with renovations.
Revenues based on Status quo 2018 would be $673,400 (with $150,000 County contribution) and based on renovation would be $506,700 (with $150,000 Country contribution). Status quo 2019 would be $673,400 (with $150,000 County contribution) and based on with renovation would be $198,550 (with $150,000 County contribution).
Expenses based on status quo 2018 and 2019 would total $$1,196,065 each year. Expenses during renovations, if the project progressed, in 2018 would be $819,100 and $450,900 in 2019. “We estimated our  expense overall impact would be around $560,000. There is actually a savings during that shutdown time.”
Poole also explained the estimate of future operational costs with total revenues for 2018 at $673,400 and post renovation of $776,440 and total expenses for 2018 $1,196,065 and post renovation of $1,552,460. “We are estimating a $253,355 increase in operating the new facility over operating the existing facility.”
Impact on taxpayers
City administration proposed funding the additional $5.2 million with a $4.3 million debt, $200,000 of general capital and $700,000 of MSI grant funding.
According to City of Camrose financial service general manager Travis Bouck, the debt servicing costs on the $4.3 million debenture (over 15 years), increased operating costs and funding alternatives would impact the average household (approximately $300,000) by $55 annually and non-residential properties, for each $100,000 in property value, $32 annually.
Councillor Max Lindstrand asked if the net cost of operation (post renovations) of $776,020, included debt servicing costs.
Bouck replied, “The debt servicing costs are not included in that $776,020, that is just the operating deficit. The debt servicing costs for the Aquatic Centre, assuming the debt is $4.3 million over 15 years, is about $354,000 a year.”
Bouck went on to explain the impact an additional $5.2 million would have on the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) upgrade project and possible resources available for funding, including MSI reserves, capital reserves built up, and some capital from the County.
“If the WWTP project goes from $40 million to at least $60 million, we have $25 million to find. Our levies on the utilities generate $4 million dollar of surplus to build a reserve. That $4 million could cover the costs of the WWTP if we fund it in the manner recommended, however, we might not be putting away enough for the future for other large projects.
“I don’t think we can not raise utility rates given the WWTP effect coming in and still be in a good situation for capital projects.”
Bouck described a summary of the funding model for the City covering the upcoming period through 2020 including a $60 million WWTP, $17 million Aquatic Centre, $8 million public works building, the remaining $4.8 million for the 48 Avenue bridge replacement and $7 million of other capital projects within the City. The funding sources include various capital reserves, user fees, grants and debt. “In general, the City would be able to fund the proposed projects; however the capital reserves decrease from over $27 million to approximately $16 million and debt increases by over $21 million. None of the numbers noted in the summary include any capital contribution from the County for the Aquatic Centre.”
The Aquatic Centre upgrade and addition project matter will come back before council during the regular council meeting on May 22.

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Waste Water Treatment Plant project waiting on province

By Lori Larsen

The City of Camrose is still awaiting word from the province on whether the City can proceed with its planned upgrades to the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).
Work on this project started back in late 2008. After an initial meeting with the province, as well as extensive environmental testing of the City’s wastewater and the background conditions within Camrose Creek and the Battle River, the City submitted a proposal to the Province regarding the level of treatment that would be provided in an upgraded WWTP.
After receiving initial approval from the province in 2012, the City and its engineering consultant reviewed technologies that would help administration meet the tighter restrictions that would be applied to the WWTP. The City submitted various updates to the province over the years, including a conceptual design report in 2014 and a preliminary design report in December 2017.
The City also provided annual updates to the Province regarding the project status, and had multiple meetings with Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) staff.
According to City of Camrose engineering director, Jeremy Enarson, the proposed upgrades to the WWTP would allow the City to remove the majority of ammonia and phosphorus from its wastewater, including better treatment of the carbon and solids that are already being removed from the wastewater.  “While the upgrade would not produce water that was totally clean, it would be a significant improvement over the level of treatment currently being provided (at the WWTP), and would reduce the impact that the City’s wastewater has on the environment.” The upgraded WWTP would continue to use the City’s existing aerated lagoons, but would add a number of mechanical processes to help remove the ammonia and phosphorus.
The proposed $40 million upgrade was also designed to be expanded in the future, should tighter environmental restrictions be imposed on the City down the road.
After submitting the preliminary design to the province last December, the City was surprised to receive a response from the province in February 2018 indicating that the level of treatment required for the WWTP would need to increase significantly.
After reviewing the recent direction from the province with its engineering consultants, administration determined that it would need to advance a number of the future upgrades into the current project in order to comply with the tighter treatment limits.
Enarson said this would increase the cost of the current project from $40 million to between $60 and $65 million.
After many meetings with AEP staff and with the Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA Bruce Hinkley, the City submitted a formal request to AEP on March 28, asking them to reconsider the level of upgrades required at this time.
“While we recognize that the level of upgrades being requested by the province will ultimately be better for the environment” says Enarson, “We are concerned of the impact this drastic change in direction will have on the WWTP project, as well as the City’s ability to finance other priorities within our community. Also, as the current design for the WWTP would allow for further upgrades in the future, we were hoping that the province would allow us to continue with the planned upgrades in the short term, and then work with other upstream users to improve the background water quality in the Battle River before imposing further restrictions on the City.”
Administration hopes to have a response from the province within the next few weeks.

Stagger returns for Bailey show

By Murray Green

Leeroy Stagger has been one of Alberta’s fastest rising stars over the last five years.
He has made several appearances in Camrose after being nominated for a Roots Solo Recording of the Year in 2013 for his album Radiant Land.
This former BC and now Lethbridge Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter will be making a return visit to Camrose on Thursday, May 24 for an 8 p.m. show opening for Buffy Sainte-Marie at the Bailey Theatre.
Stagger’s 11th studio recording, Love Versus, was released April 7, 2017. The album includes performances from drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello), guitarist Paul Rigby (Neko Case), keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst (the Deep Dark Woods) and Stagger’s longtime bassist Tyson Maiko. Stagger’s back-home style is reinforced with strong musicians on his latest work.
The first single “I Want It All” was written as a meditation on being grateful for what one has.

Legendary Sainte-Marie to perform

By Murray Green

Buffy Sainte-Marie is a Canadian music icon. She will be performing in Camrose at the Bailey Theatre on Thursday, May 24 after opening act Leeroy Stagger takes the stage at 8 p.m.
This is a rare treat for local music fans. She was born on the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan.
Since her debut album in 1964 It’s My Way, the Cree singer/songwriter has been a trailblazing, tireless advocate, innovative artist and disrupter of the status quo. Her achievements as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, social activist, educator, philanthropist and visual artist are truly unique. As a humanitarian, she has toured the world working tirelessly for decades to protect and honor indigenous communities.
Buffy has written pop standards sung and recorded by Barbra Streisand, Cher, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Donovan, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. She penned “Universal Soldier” the definitive antiwar anthem of the 20th century.
She was the first First Nations artist to be awarded an Academy Award (Best Original Song for “Up Where We Belong”) and has also received four JUNO Awards, a Golden Globe, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, a BAFTA Award, Polaris Music Prize, Queen’s Jubilee Medals and Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.
She is the recipient of the Order of Canada and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.
The American Indian College Fund presented Buffy with their Lifetime Achievement Award, in part to acknowledge her work with the Cradleboard Teaching Project where she uses her multimedia skills to “create accurate, enriching core curriculum based in Native American cultural perspectives.”
Buffy said there’s still work to be done, and that work is featured in her latest album Medicine Songs (2017), a collection of front-line songs about unity and resistance. These are themes she has been writing about for over 50 years and her message has remained relevant throughout generational and cultural shifts. She is a dedicated voice to inspire, encourage and influence positive change globally and at home.

Western Canadian Music Awards

By Murray Green

Several western Canadian bands and musicians that have performed in Camrose were nominated for top awards.
The Western Canadian Music Alliance announced the talented artists and members of the music industry who have been nominated in the 2018 categories. The winners will be honoured this fall at BreakOut West in Kelowna, BC, which takes place from Oct. 10 to 14.
This is shaping up to be an exciting year for the WCMAs with nominee representation from all six member associations as well as Nunavut. Winners of the artistic categories will be announced on Oct. 11 at the WCM Awards Reception in Kelowna, and Industry and Specialty Award categories will be presented on Oct. 13 at the Industry Awards Brunch at the Delta Hotel in Kelowna.
Blues Artist of the Year: Jesse Roper, BC; Jim Byrnes, BC; Steve Kozak, BC; The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer, BC; and Tracy K, MB. Both Byrnes and The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer have played at the Bailey Theatre (Rose City Roots Society). BreakOut Artist of the Year: Attica Riots, MB; Megan Nash, SK; Shred Kelly, BC; The Dead South, SK and The Jerry Cans, NV. Shred Kelly (Bailey-Rose City Roots Society) and The Dead South (Big Valley Jamboree, Bailey) have played in Camrose.
Children’s Artist of the Year: Bobs & LoLo, BC; Fred Penner, MB; Jessie Farrell, BC; Rockin’ Robin and The Magical Tree, BC and The Kerplunks, BC. Bobs and LoLo (Bailey and Lougheed) and Penner (Bailey) were hits for local children.
Country Artist of the Year: Blake Berglund, SK; Brett Kissel, AB; Jess Moskaluke, SK; The Dungarees–AB and The Road Hammers, AB. Berglund (Bailey, Rose City Roots Society), Kissel (BVJ and Community Centre), Moskaluke (BVJ), Dungarees (BVJ and Bailey) and Road Hammers (BVJ and Bailey) have all played in Camrose.
Recording of the Year: Attica Riots, MB; Ben Sinister, BC; Dear Rouge–BC; Kacy & Clayton, SK and Leeroy Stagger, AB. Stagger ((Bailey, Rose City Roots Society) has played in Camrose a few times and he will be opening for Buffy Sainte-Marie on  May 24.
Rock Artist of the Year: Band of Rascals, BC; Bend Sinister, BC; Close Talker, SK; nêhiyawak, AB and Scenic Route to Alaska, AB. Band of Rascals ((Bailey, Rose City Roots Society) and Scenic Route to Alaska (Bailey) have played in Camrose.
Roots Duo/Group of the Year: Big Little Lions, BC; Kacy & Clayton, SK; The Dead South, SK; The Deep Dark Woods, SK and The Jerry Cans, NV. The Deep Dark Woods (Bailey, Rose City Roots Society) have appeared in Camrose.
Roots Solo Artist of the Year: Kim Beggs, YT; Leeroy Stagger, AB; Little Miss Higgins, MB; Matt Patershuk, AB and Slow Leaves, MB. As well as Stagger, Little Miss Higgins and Slow Leaves have entertained (Bailey, Rose City Roots Society) in Camrose.

Restored Chevelle finds place at local car shows

Restored Chevelle finds place at local car shows
CHEVELLE CLASS Ben Schiere stands by his sleek 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle at the first Bawlf show and shine. He drove several Chevelles when he was younger, now he has a restored version to enjoy again.

By Murray Green

When Ben Schiere was young he went through quite a few Chevrolet Chevelles along the way. So when it came time to find a vehicle to restore he didn’t hesitate.
“I found a 1972 Chevelle just beside us down the street (formerly Online Sales) and bought it for $3,500. It was more money than what I wanted to pay, but I was looking for a 1968 to 72 because that is the body style I liked the best. I just liked the way they looked—the fastback style,” said Ben. “It is a common model with a straight bench seat, automatic on the column and a stock 350 motor.”
The Chevrolet Chevelle is a mid-sized automobile, which was produced by Chevrolet in three generations for the 1964 through 1978 model years. Part of the General Motors (GM) A-Body platform, the Chevelle was one of Chevrolet’s most successful nameplates.
“I had to rebuild the whole thing and took the body right off the frame. I bought this one because it was complete. I wanted the bench seat so I can take company out with me. I wanted to build the car back to original as possible,” explained Ben.
 Body styles include coupes, sedans, convertibles and station wagons. Super Sport versions were produced through the 1973 model year. The Chevelle also provided the platform for the Monte Carlo introduced in 1970. The Malibu, the top of the line model through 1972, completely replaced the Chevelle nameplate.
“The extras I did put on it were chrome wheels and new AM/FM radio. When you look at it, it looks like the original radio, but it is after market. I updated the rubber floor mat because it had a plain- jane, carpet was added, I changed the seats from vinyl cloth to vinyl and a few little updates like that.”
Chevelles were also assembled and sold in Canada. While similar to their Stateside counterparts, the convertible was available in the base Chevelle series, a model never offered in the United States. The Chevelle was the basis for the Beaumont, a retrimmed model sold only in Canada by Pontiac dealers through 1969.
“I like to go to the local shows. I don’t like the long shows in the heat all day. I like Camrose, Round Hill, Johnson Beach and this year Bawlf,” said the Edberg area resident. “We might go to a few more this year if my wife arranges it around her work.”
The Chevelle Super Sport, or SS represented Chevrolet’s entry into the muscle car battle.
“I like to look at everyone else’s vehicles and share stories. I have a book, combination photo album and scrapbook, that shows the restoration. People like to look at that,” he added.
Chevelles featured single-unit parking/side marker lights on their front fenders, outside of a revised twin-bar grille in 1972. The 1972 Chevelle series had wide enough appeal to qualify as America’s second-best-selling car.
“I have the car valued at about $25,000 now, but if you total up the hours I put into it, I’m still not ahead. I tried to do as much as I could myself. I had someone build the automatic transmission for me because it has been awhile since I did one of those,” Ben said.
With that V8, the Malibu Sport Coupe was the top seller by far starting at $2,923. The six-cylinder version ran $90 less.
NASCAR drivers Cale Yarborough and Benny Parsons also had great success with new look 1973 Chevelles on the track.

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Powerline Baseball League opens with nine teams

By Murray Green

The Powerline Baseball League will have a new look this year with nine teams in the fold.
The Edmonton Expos and Camrose Axemen joined the league that featured regular squads of Armena Royals, Camrose Roadrunners, Holden Blue Jays, Leduc Milleteers, Rosalind Athletics, Sherwood Park Athletics and the Tofield Braves.
The season opened with four games last Saturday. Tonight the Expos are in Leduc, Roadrunners are in Holden and Armena is in Tofield.
The home opener for the Axemen is on May 16 with Rosalind visiting Harry Andreassen Field in Kin Park. On May 17, the Expos are in Camrose to take on the Roadrunners.
Tofield meets the Axemen on May 23 and the Axemen play again the next night against the Roadrunners. All games start at 7 p.m. An all-star game is proposed for July 8 in Camrose.

What’s up at the Camrose Public Library

By Lori Larsen

Camrose Public Library offers residents a variety of interesting adult programs from which to learn, have fun and socialize in a safe and comfortable setting.
Regular programs
Come and practice your Spanish on Mondays from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m.  during the Spanish Circle. Everyone from beginner to advanced is welcome and snacks will be served.
Also on Mondays from 1:30 until 2:30 p.m., strum up some excitement with Got Ukulele. Bring your own or borrow one from the library. Music is supplied.
Make and Take  Greeting Card Event happens the second Tuesday of the month, from 1 until 2 p.m.
Bonjour! The French Circle runs every Wednesday starting at 6 p.m.  Adults of all levels are invited to join in for casual conversations in French.
Death Café invites anyone to join in open conversation in a natural, comfortable setting on the third Thursday of the month.
Special events
If you are looking for  a little something else to do, the library also offers special date programs and events.
Click the knitting needles together and come out to Double Knitting With Maria on May 27 at 1:30 p.m. You must have some knitting experience and registration is required by phoning 780-672-4214 to reserve a spot and get a list of materials.
There will be a Mirror Lake Bridge Info Session on Tuesday, May 29 at 1 p.m. The City of Camrose director of engineering will be presenting information about the need for the Mirror Lake Bridge replacement project, as well as how the work is progress.
For more information on any of the programs available at the Camrose Public Library, telephone 780-672-4214.

Camrose ready to host 55 plus Games

By Murray Green

Get ready to welcome the Alberta 55 Plus Spring Provincial Games to Camrose on May 18 to 20.
Registration begins on May 18 at the Mirror Lake Centre from 1 to 4 p.m. and then a welcome banquet will be held at the Camrose Resort Casino followed by the opening ceremonies.
Action begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday with various competitions at the Norsemen Inn, Royal Canadian Legion and Mirror Lake Centre. Crafts will be open for viewing at Mirror lake Centre from noon to 4:30 p.m. Craft medals will be presented  at 7:30 p.m. at the Legion.
On Sunday, the competition goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the crafts will be on display from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Camrose will attract between 275 to 300 participants to the Games, including friends, spouses, volunteers, provincial and zone board members.
Events include cribbage (singles and doubles), floor curling, 8-ball, military whist, snooker, contract bridge, scrabble and cultural events including quilting, scrapbooking, woodworking, decorative and native arts, mixed media and photography. Two of these events–contract bridge and Scrabble–are qualifiers to advance to the Canada 55 Plus Games as well.
Mirror Lake Centre will host the activities of floor curling, snooker, contract bridge, Scrabble and cultural events on May 19 and 20. The Camrose branch of the Royal Canadian Legion will host cribbage as well as the medal presentation for the cultural events on May 19. Norsemen Inn will host 8-ball and military whist on May 19 and 20.
Zone playoffs to qualify for these games have been completed, with 10 from Camrose and County of Camrose advancing.
“Our future looks bright. Cold Lake has agreed to host the Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games in March 2019, which we are doing on our own. It is a big undertaking for our seniors’ group, but we are up for the challenge. We are close to announcing a community to host the 2019 Alberta 55 Plus Summer Games. These games are a combination of active and passive activities as they were up to 2015,” said Rosella Snopek, activity director for Silver Willow Association, Zone 4.
“Our organization is committed to keeping Albertans healthy and vibrant, both mentally and physically.”
For more information, or to learn how to volunteer, contact Rosella at zone4activi ties@alberta55plus.ca or phone 780-608-1391.

School boards share busing

By Murray Green

Battle River School Division (BRSD) and Elk Island Catholic Schools (EICS) see eye to eye on student busing. The boards are in agreement to provide joint busing to students in Camrose.
In order to provide safe and caring transportation services in a fiscally responsible manner, EICS and BRSD have successfully agreed to combine transportation services in the Camrose area for students in both divisions.
EICS students who were accessing yellow bus services with contracted providers will be provided transportation on the BRSD bus service commencing in the 2018-19 school year.
This move is an example of the fiscal responsibility and collaboration that both divisions feel is imperative in publicly-funded education throughout Alberta. As well, significant work within both divisions has resulted in a largely parallel school calendar for both EICS and BRSD. Having similar professional development days and school breaks will positively impact the merging of transportation services within the Camrose area for all students.
“We’re very pleased to work cooperatively with Elk Island Catholic Schools to ensure that all students in the Camrose area have access to timely and efficient school bus service,” said BRSD board chair Kendall Severson. “It makes sense in terms of budgets and it helps both of our school divisions be better stewards of environmental resources as well.”
For students within EICS, there will be very little change from previous years in accessing bus services. Parents will still request bus service/charges and fee payments via the EICS transportation department. Bus passes will be assigned to all urban Camrose riders by BRSD and can be picked up from the BRSD transportation office just before school starts next fall. Rural riders will not be required to have a pass.
BRSD riders will find the system to be business as usual. “This is a fantastic opportunity to work together as school divisions and provide safe transportation within both school divisions in the Camrose and surrounding areas,” explained EICS board chair Justine Wright. “By working together, we can ensure that not only are we fiscally responsible, but are also providing the best level of service available to all students.”

Year end dance shows held at Lougheed

By Murray Green

Several year end dance shows will be held in Camrose at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre.
Camrose Academy of Dance will have two Year End Shows on May 26, at 11 a.m. and again at 5 p.m.
The Dance FX will present Take on the World with two shows on Saturday, June 2 at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.
A Dance FX showcase will hit the stage on Sunday, June 2 at 10:30 a.m.
Ballet Camrose will present two shows as well. A Dance Extravaganza will take place at 6:30 p.m. with ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, tap and hip hop on Saturday, June 9. Then the next day, they will present Alice in Wonderland.

Births and Deaths

Births
- No births

Deaths
- Norma Ruth Lucas, of Camrose, formerly of Elk Point, on May 6, at 74 years of age.
- Edward Robert Fuller, of Camrose, on May 7, at 85 years of age.
- Edith Doreen McCarthy, of Tofield, on May 7, at 76 years of age.
- Rheinhold Leroy Ollenberg, of Edmonton, formerly of Drayton Valley, on May 8, at 74 years of age.