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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 7, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Aging city hall poses million question for aldermen Monday By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer For an estimated million about the cost of the city's new library Lethbridge could have a new, or nearly new city hall. There seems to be general if not unanimous agreement on city council that something needs to be done about city hall. It's too small, unable to house all the city departments, council chambers are a disgrace and parts of the 1947-vintage building are antiquated, the argument goes. The real question facing council is do we need it now? It was a dead issue until En- vironment Minister Bill Yurko offered to pick up the cost of a major expansion of city secondary sewage treat- ment facilities if industrial effluents are controlled. The money council would have had to borrow next year for that project suddenly became available. Though it wouldn't cover the entire amount, the city would have some to spend on the addition. What would the city get for million? Expansion of all city hail's operating directorates, and a new council chamber that would seat more than 100 peo- ple and be adequate for years to come, according to Aid. Steve Kotch who chaired a committee formed in 1973 to investigate city hall expansion needs and alternatives. Preliminary plans and a sketch drawing prepared for the committee by architects Robins, Watson and Associates shows an addition of two wings to the rear of the present building, Aid. Kotch said. The wings, one of which would house the new council chambers and the other ad- ministration offices, would be elevated above the parking lot behind city hall, he said. The project, which would include worth of renovations to the present building, would nearly double ite floor space, according to a report from the architects which went to council last November. "There's no question expan- sion is needed." Aid. Kotch said. "I'm disappointed the peo- ple at city hall have to work in such cramped conditions. It may not be necessary in terms of people doing their jobs, he said, but improved working conditions would promote productivity by lifting employees spirits and morale. "And it would increase ef- ficiency by getting everything under one he added. "The city is growing and the bureaucracy is growing. It needs room to grow." Aid. Kotch agrees that "perhaps government should set an example and not spend in a tune of but adds: "I still want to see it happen." "We've been talking about it since the year before I got on council in he said. Deputy Mayor Vaughan Hembroff raised the inflation question during council's dis- cussion of city hall expansion last month. Dead set against the pro- ject, he argued that one contributing factor to inflation is government spending and the city hall project would certainly be setting a bad ex- ample in that light. He's also not all that con- vinced that city hall offices are that bad. City Manager AHister Findlay is the first to admit he has no complaints about his office. But he can point to inade- quate facilities all over the building, like the small room where four appraisers work cheek by jowl, it's impossible for a resident to discuss his assessment in private. Or the jammed-ap area where engineering and utility department draftsmen work on the second floor. Ihe lack of counter space at the tax department during tax time rushes, a basement staff eating area that doesn't have running water. There is no public washroom at city hall? Of course the city communi- ty services department is off in a building of its own, although it's lot was improved when it recently moved into the renovated sooth-side library. That move brought all the community services employees into one building at a cost of District The LetKbridge Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, September 7, 1974 Pages 19-36 IN SOME OFFICES WORK CHEEK BY JOWL Truckers to ask council for truck route changes Representatives of some 40 independent truckers will be at city council's meeting Mon- day to ask for changes in the city's truck routes. A submission from the truckers says the truck routes proposed in an amendment to the city's traffic bylaw up for third reading Monday are un- feasible and unless modified in some way will result in increased prices. The truckers suggest 13th Street and 5th Avenue N. or 9th Avenue N. should be included as truck routes, while saying some of the designated routes are imprac- tical either because of traffic considerations or the poor conditions of the roadway. Streets in the latter category are the northerly most area of Stafford Drive. 26th Avenue N.. 28th Street N. and 43rd Street, they say. The bylaw amendment, which was brought to council Aug. 12 when it was given first and second readings, is ac- tually aimed at toughening the section requiring truckers to take the shortest route on deliveries and pickups to and from designated truck routes. It was sparked by protests from residents of 9th Avenue N. .whose complaints about heavy vehicles on their street Committee seeks old sweats The 1914-1918 war veterans committee is looking for names of soldiers who fought in the First World War for the 20lh and 39th Batteries and the 113th Highlanders. Committee chairman Mary Haaland says she has dis- covered no one has list of names of these soldiers. Anyone with an old newspaper clipping or list of the men may contact her at 327-8270. A list of men in each battery will be kept by the committee for future CITY TRUCK ROUTES prompted police to start issu- ing tickets. But the tickets were thrown out of court because of the wording of the bylaw section. It said truckers had to go to and from truck routes by the "most direct and practicable route" which was deemed a question of judgment. The new wording will simply say by the "shortest" route. The independent truckers argue that the amount of heavy vehicle traffic in any particular area of the city depends on where the major construction areas are at any given time. Two such major areas at present are the northeast residential area and the north side industrial park area, they point out. They propose that the bylaw include provision for a review of truck routes at least once a year to take this factor into account, and authorization of alternate temporary trade routes surrounding or in the vicinity of such high development areas. Cycle mishap kills man A 23-year-old Claresholm man was killed instantly at 9 p.m. Friday when the motor- cycle he was driving was crushed between a car and a half-ton truck. Terry Gene Mark was southbound on OaresholnVs main street, riding his motor- cycle in front of a half-ton truck and behind a car. In a collision with the truck his motorcycle was driven into Ihe back of the car. The driver of the track, Hugh G. Macodrum, 19, of is in satisfactory condition in Claresholm hospital recovering from in- juries sustained in the ac- cident. WALTER KERBER photos CORNERSTONE FOR PRESENT CITY HALL WAS LAID JULY, 1, 1947 Addition to city hall recommended Findlay City Manager AHister Findlay will recommend to city council Monday that it give the go-ahead for draw- ing of detailed plans for a major city hall addition. Mr. Findlay is rec- ommending the move even though an error in compilation of capital budget figures means less money will be available for the project next year than thought a month ago when the project was first revived. The error was in computing the amount of money the city will have to borrow through sale of debentures to the Alberta Municipal Finance Corp. in 1975 to meet its share of Sportsplex costs. The city will have to borrow as much as for the Sportsplex next year instead of the projected and as a result only about in further borrowings from the AMFC would be available for a city hall addition. But the project could still be undertaken in 1975 says Mr. Findlay. through temporary borrowings until sale of 1976 debentures to meet the rest of the estimated million, cost. If council goes along with Mr. suggestion and approves the resolution of its special requirements com- mittee tabled on Aug. 12, architects Robins. Watson and Associates will be asked to present detailed plans for city hall expansion by Jan. 31. The extra amount for the Sportsplex was already included in its total cost, but was missed in computing the capital budget figures. Mr. Findlav said. MAYOR ANDY ANDERSON'S OFFICE ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT COULD USE ELBOW ROOM Hearing urged for Radburn subdivision City council will be asked Monday to call a public hearing on the question of strict enforcement or abandonment of restrictions imposed on the city's Rad- burn subdivision. The unique laneless subdivision, in {he city's southeast end, consists of six cal-de-sacs. known as Huron Place, Michigan Place. Aspen Place. Birch Place. Cedar Place, and one cul-de-sac still to be developed. Work began there in 1969. The initial concept of the subdivision, says city development officer Tosh Kanashiro. in a submission to go to council, was to create an area within the city for residential development in a park-like setting with a series of walkways situated between buildings, rather than the conventional method of sidewalks adjacent to streets. "The residences were to be designed to create an attractive appearance on both street and walkway frontages, and to generally encourage construction of as little fencing as possible to retain the open-space effect." To achieve this end. restrictions were registered against each lot. but a number of violations have occurred since the start of development Mr. Kanashiro says. The restrictions include: Garbage cans, receptacles, or clothes drying equipment must be screened or enclosed within buildings: No walls, fences, or other struc- tures are permitted within 20 or 30 feet of walkways and no trees, shrubs or other plants are permitted within a 10 or 20 foot area from the paths and fences are also prohibited within 10 feet of street frontage: Private driveways may be constructed across the 10-foot area ad- jacent to the street, but the area may not be used for the storage or parking of vehicles other than private passenger vehicles; The owner is responsible for removal of snow, ice. slush or debris on sidewalks constructed over his proper- ty within the walkway easement, and he is also responsible to ensure there is no accumulation of dirt dust, weeds or debris in the areas defined in the se- cond rule. Many property owners in the area wish the city to clarify its position on the original concept. Mr. Kanashiro says, noting that city departments have never attempted to enforce Ihe restric- tions since action can be taken by in- dividual property owners. "I have discussed the matter with a number of residents in the area and suggest that, because of the varying opinions regarding the desirability of maintaining the original concept, the mailer be referred to city council and possibly hold a public hearing allowing all residents in the area to express their opinions." he says. The two alternatives are rigid en- forcement by the city requiring all offending property owners to correct the violations, or removal of all restric- tions allowing property owners to use their land in accordance with general provisions of the city zoning bylaw, he adds. ;