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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 20, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Luxuries trimmed, old age high-rise job goes to Poole Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON Trimming the cost of a senior citizens' high rise tor Lethbndge by more than "was no easy says Hank Starno, Alberta Housing Corporation's man in charge ot construction But Mr Starno said Friday the quality of the building still far exceeds what private enterprise is building No changes in design were made to cut corners The corporation negotiated the price down to 56 million with the low bidder, Poole Construction The company's original bid was 1 million and bids ran as high as 4 million The 56 million compares with original cost estimates of 9 million, more than a increase But, says Mr Starno, "by the time we could have altered the building to get a better price, costs would have gone up again So the corporation has agreed to "simplification" of millwork in the building and alterations to a host of mechanical details An "elaborate" rooftop garden has also been eliminated Most visible of the changes will be the absence of arbonte coverings foi drawer fronts and cabinet sides Pipes, valves and controls were some of the mechanical items changed "The luxuries in that building were the negotiable items-, he said But Mr Starno said the amenity space remained as good or better than that provided in similar projects "It's all grade A quality which is far better than private enterprise is using Some of the triple A quality was simply cut back He said the standards of private enterprise high rises were "totally unacceptable" for a government project 'It s a 50 year type project which can't be compared to 15 year private projects He said maintenance costs to build to lower standards would be too high Poole Construction will be on the site near the Civic Centre Monday and expects to begin excavating by Wednesday It will be sited on an angle on property at 6th Avenue and 8th Street S The 10 storey building will accommodate 160 tenants in 122 bachelor and 19 one bedroom suites Construction is expected to take 12 to 14 months Stereo, TV reported missing About 500 worth of entertainment equipment was missing Friday ni-ght following a break in at a suite in the Ashgrove Apartments, 1411 Ashgrove Rd A stereo, television, records and tapes were reported taken from the apartment of Douglas Bobmec after someone apparently picked the lock of his suite And city police are also investigating the disappearance of a ladies' wristwatch during another break-in Friday night at the 7 Eleven Store, 2006 Mayor Magrath Dr The watch is valued at about District SECOND SECTION The Lethbridjje Herald Lethbndge, Alberta, Saturday, April 20, 1974 Local news Pages 13-20 With construction just months underway, the foundation of Lethbndge Centre seems well laid The pillars on the left and the cranes indicate the project Lethbridge Centre foundations rising skyward will soon reach skywards Construction on the mil- lion project which includes the Woodwards complex and a to million government building began in January RICK ERVIN photo The project covers five square blocks and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 1975 At that time it is expected to provide 500 permanent jobs Council girds itself to resolve power issue By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer Rumblings emanating from city hall indicate council is about ready to grab the tiger by the tail and make up its mind on the municipal power plant issue The main impetus behind this move seems to be to take the stripes off the beast before the summer doldrums set in, leaving a suitably lengthy interval between decision day and election day Opinion But in all likelihood the power plant issue won't exit quietly before Oct 19 Certainly, if council opts to sell to Calgary Power, those members seeking re-election in the fall, and the preliminary signs are that most of them will, could very well be putting their political futures on the line The February public hearing showed opposition to the sale of the plant is vocal, well-informed and quite ready to jump on any council decision to sell By making such a decision within the next six to eight weeks rather than putting it off until after the election, council would be demonstrating a bit of intestinal fortitude if perhaps a lack of political wisdom by ignoring calls for a referendum on the issue aldermen would in effect be telling voters that if they don't like their decision they'll have every opportunity to exercise their democratic right to throw them out of office in the fall It would be much easier politically to put the decision off or to decide to keep the city in the power production business If there are any people opposed to keeping the plant they haven't surfaced yet And possible bad side effects of a council decision to upgrade city power production, such as higher utility bills and higher property taxes, would not be felt until long after the election A decision the other way will mean a lot of noise right now That may change the future of some aldermen, but it won't however, change the future of the power plant The biggest task facing council in the event of a sell decision will be to convince everyone they got the best possible deal from Calgary Power and that it was the right decision in the first place Given the complexity of the issue that will be no easy job If past performances are any indication, the aldermen will undertake their task together The final decision will be made in public, with ample opportunity for public comment But the aldermen, having ironed out any differences in private, can be expected to present a united front on this one Open burning bylaw bids to be warm issue Monday The open burning ban bylaw tops a short city council agenda for Monday night's regular meeting The bylaw, which is up for all three readings and is likely to spark more aldermanic debate, allows council to declare a "Lethbndge Clean- up Week" for two weeks each spring and fall During Clean-Up Week, open burning would be permitted during certain Cemetery hours set Gates at the city cemetery will be open for motor vehicle traffic from Sam to 8 p m May 1 through Sept 30, the community services department announced Wednesday A 10 m p h speed limit is enforced on cemetery grounds hours provided it's carried out in a safe manner and under adult supervision, the bylaw states It also excludes from the ban, barbecueing, burning in an incinerator which does not permit the escape of spark's, ash, or dense smoke, burning in fireplaces m or attached to dwellings, or fires in contained campground and picnic fireplaces and stoves m city parks There are also six letters OP council's agenda, four opposing the burning ban, and two in favor of it Council will deal with the issue towards the end of its agenda when bylaws are read Another bylaw which also provoked some controversy when it was introduced in Jan- uary is back before council for second and third readings Monday It s aimed at "unsightly and untidy" premises and is intended to enable the city to require property owners clean may Widen up premises judged to be in Monday to approve a contract with Calgary Concrete Ltd for sidewalk curb and gutter work this summer and a contract with Canadian General Electric for 200 50- kilovolt transformers required by the city electric department Other business includes a request by St Michael's Hospital Board to allow angle parking on the west side of 15th Street S between 9th and 9th A Avenues, passage of a bylaw officially setting the 1974 city tax rates and passage of a bylaw to rezone 1618 13th St N from single family to multi family residential Board's control Assessor says it's unfair Change in small holdings taxation urged Many owners of small land parcels in rural municipalities are eluding taxation by having their land classed as a farm, the assessor for Red Deer County said Friday Speaking to delegates attending the annual convention of the Alberta Assessors' Association in Lethbndge Ed Neiss said sections of the Taxation Act dealing with assessment of small landholdings are vague enough to give their owners tax loopholes they don't deserve If a "livelihood (a term poorly defined in the act) is gained from a wide range of agricultural activity on a parcel greater than 20 acres, the buildings, including the home, aie exempt from taxation, he said Raising livestock is an agricultural activity so a small land owner raising show horses or dogs, both considered livestock, can claim tax empt status for his buildings if the proceeds from his operation net more than what the courts consider a livelihood "Raising dogs or Arabian horses has absolutely no connection to agriculture, yet the land owner gets an exemption Mr Neiss aid He said 90 per cent of the problem in assessing small parcels could be resolved if the act was changed to remove tax exemptions from all buildings, even on bona- fide farms Steve Denecky, a Lethbridge lawyer and president of the Lethbridge County Ratepayers Association, told the workshop dealing with small holdings assessment that both the Alberta Assessments Appeal Board and the courts have avoided properly defining, in dollar amounts, what a livelihood is The term should be defined so both assessors and ratepayers know where they stand he said Mr Denecky claimed the present system of rural assessment is unfair and agreed with Mr Neiss that all buildings should be assessed If a person in the country, living in a large house, can claim he receives a livelihood from farming operations, he is getting a large tax break he doesn t deserve, he said 'As a taxpayer and a lawyer, I want to make sure everybody pays a fair he said He said the present legislation, now under review by a provincial government task force, also gives a tax break to feedlot operators by allowing them to claim tax status as farmers In fact, Mr Denecky claimed, custom feedlots are a commercial business and should be assessed as such He said owners of small holdings can still keep their farm assessments if they rent the land to someone who will farm it While that encourages owners to keep their small parcels in agricultural production, it also allows speculators to evade taxes by doing the same thing, he said Mr Denecky suggested special categories should be created in the taxation legislation to cover both feedlots country residence sites Country residences should not be assessed at the same level as homes in cities, he said, because the level of municipal servicing is lower But if people want the benefits of country living, they should have to pay for them, he said Land use guidance sought FOREMOST (Staff) The County of Forty-Mile council Friday called for citizen participation in the Alberta land use forum Coun William George McFall urged that the forum's guidelines be sent to chambers of commerce, Urufarm groups, service clubs and women's organizations so they can offer guidance to the county committee now preparing the county brief for the forum The committee is comprised of councillors Ed Torsher, Frank Romeike and McFall that state or face a maximum fine Council ordered the bylaw redrafted after it was given first reading Jan 14 Some aldermen wanted clarification of what was meant by unsightly and untidy" premises The bylaw now defines unsightly and untidy premises to be those not in keeping with the surrounding properties within a one block radius of similar zoning, or premises in a residential area in which A motor vehicle used for stock car races, a motor vehicle which has all or part of its superstructure removed, or a motor vehicle or its parts which are in a dilapidated or unsightly condition are kept outside The bylaw would permit a city building inspector to inspect premises on receipt of a complaint and to issue a clean-up order should they fail to comply with the bylaw The owner can appeal the order to council but after a hearing council can, if it feels there is an infraction, order the clean-up and have the city do it at the owner's cost if he docs not do it himself An owner has final recourse to the Alberta Supreme Court Council will also be asked Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The provincial government is giving ''very active consideration" to bringing alternate uses of natural gas within Alberta under the control of the Energy Resources Conservation Board Premier Peter Lougheed told Opposition Leader Bob Clark in the legislature Friday that in the meantime, large gas users such as a proposed fertilizer plant near Lethbndge would have to meet environmental regulations Mr Lougheed told the legislature that either a ministerial statement or legislation setting out a development strategy for natural gas use would be before the house "in the very near future The government repeated its statement that any products produced at plants like the giant proposed complex would have to meet Afberta and Canadian needs first Mr Clark suggested a few weeks ago that the Energy Resources Conservation Board should have its powers extended Gas co-op meeting Friday Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON Troubled natural gas co-operatives meet in Lethbridge next Friday to discuss escalating costs of gas installations Ray Speaker (SC Little Bow) who raised a spectre of farmers opting out of the co- ops in the legislature Friday says costs of installing lines from to He was told in legislature by Roy Farran minister of telephones anc utilities that the government did not plan to increase its help of a 300 grant anc 700 loan per installation Mr Farran has said tha even escalating costs have no changed the fact farmers an well-off when they switch t ;