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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta District The LetKbridge Herald Local SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Tuesday, June 18, 1974 Pages 13-2'r Mayor Andy Anderson was official time-keeper Speaker Roger Rickwood and others were allowed-15 minutes BILL GROENEN photos City defers decision on use of old library A decision on future use of the vacant Gait Gardens library building was deferred by city council Monday. Council asked for a further report on the matter by Community Services Director Bob Bartlett. Bartlett had recommended that the old library .be viewed as a temporary art museum only and that long- range planning begin to integrate an art gallery-- museum. Isabel Hamilton, a spokesman for the Citizens for a Lethbridge and District Art Gallery, which has been trying since February to get the old library converted to an art gallery, expressed disappointment at council's decision Monday. Money available for an art gallery-museum through the National Museums of Canada would not be granted for a temporary location, she said. The community services advisory committee had earlier recommended to council that the library be converted to an art gallery. Learning deficiency program approved Council passes massage parlor A massage parlor probably wasn't the kind of business city fathers were thinking of when they passed Bylaw 3075 business licencing bylaw. But. if necessary approvals are forthcoming from the police, fire, health and development departments, the Velvet Touch will open its doors at 1285 3rd Ave. S.. complete with a business licence. Aid. Steve Kotch said Monday night city council doesn't have the legal right to :refuse to grant a licence, "even if we have a secret wish to turn down an operation like this." Keith Parkinson, who runs a similar operation in Calgary, appealed to council to overturn a decision bv the development department not to grant licence. Aid. Kotch said he has never seen council deal with business licence applications and "I don't see why we should now." After reading a formal appeal drafted by Doug Maxwell, a city lawyer. Aid. Vera Ferguson said she could see no reason why the application was rejected. She said it appeared as if someone in the development department didn't want to make a decision and sent it to council by rejecting the application. Aid. Kotch said if the massage parlor, which will probably be renamed the Lethbridge Health Spa. is not run properly, the city can deal with the problem when, and if, il arises. A project designed to help students entering Grade 1 at George McKillop School overcome learning deficiencies was approved Monday by the public school board. The needed to operate the project for two years is to be taken from the department of education's educational opportunities fund, providing the department gives its stamp of approval to it. A lack of communication skills, very short attention span, inability to complete a small task, extreme shyness, lack of basic number concepts, poor physical co ordination and speech habits, inability to look after personal needs and a lack of background experiences are some of the learning deficiencies the project is to overcome. Of 76 Grade 1 students who attended George McKillop School in the 1973-74 school year, 38 were judged to have learning deficiencies and the staff of the school estimates that more than a third of all children entering Grade 1, would be deficient in at least one area. The development of the thinking process and hearing, visual, body movement and social skills are the areas the deficiency problems of youngsters are divided into when they enter school. Under the proposed project, Rehab Society given 2 acres The Rehabilitation Society of Lethbridge will get two acres of serviced land worth free of charge from the city. City council Monday agreed, after some discussion concerning the society's work and its co ordination with other groups in the field, to make the donation to the society. It's being made, however, on the basis that provincial government funding for the project also be provided. Council was told the province is very receptive to matching community resources on a dollar for dollar basis. In making the decision to support the project council also agreed to the society- retaining it's present facility at 12612nd A Ave. N. It will be used for providing "life skills" training, while the new facility will essentially be a vocational training centre. An earlier agreement between the city and the society called for a land swap arrangement with the city- getting the old property. Don Dalke. a society- director, told council the society hopes the new facility, estimated to cost about will be under construction in July and operating in October. all children entering the school would be tested and those with deficiencies would be placed in a special learning class specifically geared to help them overcome whatever deficiency they do have. The McKillop program is almost identical to the Lakeview School's early learning program which was in operation during the past school year. George Bevan. director of curriculum, claimed in a report to the trustees that students are benefiting from the Lakeview project and it is showing "great promise." Teacher awareness and proficiency in dealing with beginning Grade 1 students who are not quite ready for grade school has also improved, the report stated. Another project designed by the Lakeview staff was rejected by the school board because its educational opportunities fund does not have sufficient funds to finance the two year project. The proposed Lakeview project would have expanded its Grade 1 early learning program into Grade 2 .and provided other educational opportunities for the "more able" Grade 2 and 3 students. The eight EOF projects now- underway in public schools and the McKillop project have absorbed of the that was made available to the school board for the next three years through the department of EOF fund. Voters7 list deadlines approaching Some critical deadlines are fast-approaching for voters in the July fl federal election. The first deadline. Wednesday, is for rural voters (including ones in centres with less than population i. They must inform their enumerator if their name is missing from posted preliminary electors' lists or risk losing their right to vote. Unlike urban voters, rural electors missed from the list and who niiss the Wednesday deadline to correct the omission, can be sworn in as a voter on election day. But they face Ihc inconvenience of having a second elector in the electoral district accompany them to the poll to vouch for them. And they can't vote in advance polls June 29 and July 1. Urban voters face a Friday deadline this week to get their names on the electoral lists or Jose their right to vote with no second chance to be sworn in aJ the polls on election day. or at advance polls. Those lists should be arriving addressed to heads of households in the electoral district by mail today and Wednesday if they have not already arrived. The lists are also posted in public places. If your name does not appear and you are an eligible voter, you should phone the returning officer for your electoral district immediately. The number is available through the information operator. Lethbridge electoral district returning office numbers are 328-0552 and 328- 0653. If either rural or urban voters wish to vote in an advance poll, they must get on the electors" list. Not even rural voters will be sworn in a1 the advance polls, says Edwin Davidson, returning officer for Lethbridge elecloral district. To gel on the list, urban voters should phone their returning officer who will send "revisal agents" to their home. The two agents will assess Jhe voter's eligibility and submit an application to a revising officer. Revising officers will sit Wednesday. Thursday and Friday to judge applications. The missed voters can appear in person if they wish to make an oral application without having an agent submit an application. Smaller errors such as a mistake in a name, profession or address may be changed by the returning officer if the voter gels in Imich with him. These are the urban courts of revision in Lethbridge: GiJberl Patterson School. polls 86 to 121. revisal officer Joe Lakie; Leinbridge Curling Rink. 911 6th Ave. S.. polls 122 to 157. revisal officer Ralph Tennant: 416 mh SI. N. opposite Westminster Shopping Centre, polls 158 to 194. revisal officer Reg Turner. Rural revisals arc carried out by the enumeration officers. The urban courts of revision aro open 11 a.m. until noon and again from 8 p.m. unlil 11 p.m. Wednesday. Thursday- and Fridav Hearing hostile to sale of plant By WARREN CARAGATA Herald Staff Writer A vocal, applauding and sometimes hostile crowd Monday night heard speaker after speaker challenge the motives of city council and the calculations of consultants recommending sale of the city power plant. Some 100 people turned out for the public hearing, called by city council to give citizens a final chance to express their views before a decision was made on sale of the power plant to Calgary Power Ltd. While the low turnout was mentioned several times by those making submissions, it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the speakers or listeners, who reserved their jeers and taunts for city officials and their applause for residents and groups presenting briefs, all of whom opposed immediate sale Of the plant. Most briefs suggested the city should, at the very least, postpone a decision on the future source of electric power. John Mclnnis told the meeting council should publicly explain its apparent haste to resolve the issue and said the recommendation of council's power supply committee to sell the plant was based on "half-truths and false assumptions." "There is enough he said, "to cast serious doubt" on both the recommendations of the CH2M-Hill report and the power supply committee report. He said he was "deeply distressed that aldermen seem to have made up their minds to sell the referring to the comment made at the last council meeting by Aid. Cam Barnes that most aldermen already have decided how they will vote on the matter. Council signed a bad contract in 1969 with Calgary Power, and failed to return profit from power generation. back into the plant, he said. "Does council now want to make a third blunder to make up for the other two." Mr. Mclnnis and Roger Rickwood, who presented a brief on behalf of the Save Our Power Plant Committee, both suggested the city should be able to obtain provincial assistance for capital expenditures for plant expansion from increased oil revenues. every potential source of capital funding been Mr. Mclnnis asked. While Mr. Rickwood's group supports expansion of the plant with an addition of a 66.4 megawatt gas turbine (Plan he told council it would be more economical to retain municipal ownership until 1977. He estimated the city would make about by- keeping the plant in operation for another three years, which is the amount Calgary Power offered to buy the facility for now. Under such a plan, he suggested, the city could continue to investigate other alternatives and could pay out in debentures still outstanding against the plant. City Manager Allister Findlay told the meeting later the debentures, which Mr. Rickwood earlier claimed were about were charged against the river diversion for both the city water supply and the power plant. Mr. Rickwood pursued the question today and after searching the Statutes of Alberta decided there is no provincial legislation which allows the city to sell a utility. The Municipal Government Act provides for construction or purchase of a utility, he said. A municipality may buy out a franchised utility operator. "But there is no specified power to sell a utility." he said. He charged city officials were using "terror tactics" to frighten residents into accepting the conclusion of the power supply committee. When Mr. Findlay referred to the necessity of borrowing about million to finance a new plant, he was talking about the most expensive alternative, Mr. Rickwood said. But Plan D would cost only million and could provide power cheaper than purchasing all city requirements from Calgary Power, he said. City Solicitor John Hammond said today there are a number of provincial acts which touch on the power plant sale. The right to sell a utility is not exactly spelled out. he said, but it is implied. Several of the briefs criticized the consultants' report, prepared by an American consulting firm at a cost to the city of which recommended purchase of all power needs from Calgary Power as the cheapest alternative available. The report was done before the provincial government announced it would limit increases in the price of natural gas for Alberta consumers. Robert Comstock, whose remarks were supported by the Chamber of Commerce, said if price increases are limited to 5 per cent a year, the city could save about million over 14 years, compared with the cost of buying all power from Calgary Power. Mr. Comstock also challenged what he called a misconception in the power plant discussion that the Energy Resources Conservation Board would not approve continued use of natural gas as a generation fuel. Under Plan D. fuel consumption would increase only three per cent by 1988 "and it is difficult to imagine the conservation board refusing permission to continue to use gas at about the existing level of he said. Sam Kounosu. who had some trouble getting permission from Mayor Andy Anderson to ask a series of questions he prepared, said ff. local citizens had "seriously questioned the validity" of the CH2M-H111 report and that the report of the power supply committee avoided answering issues raised at a public hearing on the power plant in February. L. C. Watson, business agent of the International Union of Operating Engineers, representing workers at the plant, said citizen briefs had fallen on deaf ears. Aid. Vaughan Hembroff, said he had "dozens of ques- tions" to ask those presenting briefs, but "it would be of no value to ask them." He said later he supported the concept of public ownership of utilities but added municipal governments "aren't the kind that should be running power plants the province should." Council to listen" By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer Selling the city's power plant to Calgary Power is not in the best interests of the city, said Save Our Power Plant Committee chairman Rodger Rickwood following city council's decision Monday. "The question now is whether we continue to keep people that made the decision to give Lethbridge higher power costs and less reliable service." said Mr. Rickwood. He charged that council refused to listen to the citizens, "even when their facts were seriously challenged, not just by us, but by the Chamber of Commerce." And. he said, some evidence council used in its decision was never submitted to public scrutiny, such as the anticipated refusal from the Energy Resources Conservation Board. "We were told the city probably wouldn't get approval (to expand its power plant.) We would like to see that report." Mr. Rickwood said the province and the city will lose industry if they do not get cheaper power. Calgary Power rates are higher then those of BC Hydro and Saskatchewan Power, he said, and Lethbridge will be getting more expensive power than Calgary. "But." he added, "the final contract with Calgary Power better be good. If it's not we'll challenge it before the Public Utilities Board." Mr. Rickwood. would not say. however, if the Save Our Power Plant group would make the power plant sale an issue in the fall civic election. And. he said, it was too early to say if he would run for council himself. There have been rumors that he would be a mavoralitv candidate. Meeting adjourns to Yatcs Centre Power plant audience overflowed city council chambers ;