Crowsnest Pass council briefs

Crowsnest Pass council approved a number of items during its Sept. 27 regular meeting.

Pass Powderkeg school rates

With the number of school visits to the Pass Powderkeg increasing over the last several years to include not only weekly trips but also full-day events and afternoon visits, the ski hill recommended altering the per-student rates for lift tickets, rentals and lessons.

The new rates were formed based on previous experiences with local schools, information from other ski areas in Alberta, and the ski hill’s own calculated costs for programming.

Council approved the recommended price adjustments.

The rates are split between a local student rate and a regular student rate. For local schools visiting PPK, the cost of a lift ticket, equipment rental and lesson is $45 for a full day (five hours or more), $37.50 for a half day (2.5 to 4.5 hours) and $25 for less than 2.5 hours.

Local students who own their own equipment will be charged only $35 for a full day of skiing and a lesson, $26.25 for a half day, and $25 for less than 2.5 hours.

In comparison, out-of-town students visiting the ski hill will be charged $50 for a full day, $37.50 for a half day and $28 for less than 2.5 hours. If students don’t need equipment, a full day is $37, a half day is $27.75, and less than 2.5 hours is $28.

The above prices do not include GST.

Ranchland mutual aid

After more than 15 years of negotiations with the neighbouring MD of Ranchland, a mutual aid agreement for emergency response services has been approved. The MD approved the agreement Sept. 20, with Crowsnest Pass council ratifying it a week after.

Previously, Crowsnest Pass Fire/Rescue provided services in the backcountry north of the municipality up to Dutch Creek. Compensation was only ever secured if an insured vehicle was involved in the incident.

The agreement gives a mechanism for Crowsnest Pass to receive fair compensation for emergency service calls, as well as detailing when the municipality can turn down calls it is unable to perform.

The prior lack of agreement, said Mayor Blair Painter, had long been a point of frustration for Crowsnest Pass, since responding to calls in Ranchland took emergency services out of the community, usually without any compensation.

“It is just something that they expect[ed],” he said. “As I said, super disappointing that it has taken this long for them to approve a standard document. There’s nothing weird in here.”

Sygutek statement

In relation to previous comments about businesses not being open on weekends, made during the Aug. 23 council meeting, Coun. Lisa Sygutek read a prepared statement as part of council member reports.

“I made a comment at a council meeting and the reason I made the comment was because I believe our community needs to create an environment that is tourist-friendly,” she said.

“As a councillor and a representative of our citizens, I could've used more appropriate language to communicate the message.”

Daina Lazzarotto, president of Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce, spoke during the public-input period of the meeting about a few of the “many issues the business community is facing” in regard to staying open on weekends.

“The biggest I’m hearing is a shortage of staff and a lack of affordable housing,” she said, adding that lack of housing for her employees at the golf course resulted in her needing to close Mondays and Tuesdays.

Moving forward, Lazzarotto continued, the chamber remains optimistic about working with council to address such concerns and strengthen the business community.

Next meeting

The next regular council meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1 p.m. in council chambers.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze