Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 12, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Health unit presses Fairview to find cure for sewage disposal ills By TERRY McDONALD Herald staff writer Pools of sewage on the ground's surface. General contamination of the water table, some of it leaking into basements. Sewage polluting a nearby irrigation canal. Multiplying of potential disease-carrying insects. These are the pressing public health problems forcing Barons-Eureka Health Unit officials to strongly advocate a solution to the sewage dis- posal woes of the Hamlet of Fairview. The medical health officer, G. R. C. Palmer, feels the conditions could cause serious outbreak of disease in the tiny hamlet. The issue has been smoldering in the hamlet, just outside the eastern fringe of Lethbridge, in the County of Lethbridge, for some years. The public health concerns there have always been of just less than crisis proportion not quite enough to force improved sewage disposal on public health grounds alone, Ken Blom, Barons-Eureka health inspector, said in a Herald interview. The problem is that the 40 or so households and businesses in the Hamlet dispose of their sewage through spectic tanks. Sewage runs through tanks, then is released into the ground. The large size of the lots in the hamlet has been just enough that when the septic tanks are working properly, residents' water consumption is moderate and the water table at normal levels, then sewage is disposed of adequately. It is when individual septic tank systems malfunction, residents increase water consump- tion and the water table is raised by rainy weather or spring thaw that the problems occur. The best solution to the sewage disposal woes in Fairview is a conventional sewage system. But the size of the hamlet lots brings the cost of installing a system to about per connection a year. Hamlet residents were told early in 1974 that the cost would be about per connection and they balked. The cost has since increased "from 15 to 25 per says Wes Fillo, the Underwood, McLellan consulting engineer who compiled the original cost report a year ago for the County of Lethbridge. The system outlined would connect with a new system being installed for the federal government's Lethbridge Research Station and the provincial government's Lethbridge Correc- tional Institute both also located outside the city's eastern fringe. Cost to the county of the Fairview proposal was about last fall. That cost will also have risen considerably over the past year, Mr. Fillo estimates. The cost per service could be cut substantially if the lot sizes were reduced since there would be more residents sharing the costs. Sub-division, therefore, which would essentially be an altering of the life style associated with large yards, becomes a major consideration for Fairview residents. The possiblity of the City of Lethbridge annex- ing the hamlet in the immediate future must also be taken into account. Mr. Blom says it appears the health will have to be the catalyst that gets the planners and municipal politicians moving towards determin- ing the future development of the hamlet. Meanwhile, a recent boost in the health inspec- tion staff in the health unit means the situation will get a closer examination than ever from strictly a public health point of view. Whether the health hazards are such that the health unit will be forced to order better sewage disposal in Fairview making planning and political considerations secondary is something that requires more consideration. Mr. Blom says. "So far there has been no definite relationship between any higher amounts of sickness and the sewage problems. But the potential is Mr. Blom told The Herald. Second Section The LctMnridgc Herald Lethbridge. Alberta, Thursday, September 12, 1974 Pages 17-32 Tax penalties may be increased CLARESHOLM (Staff) The Willow Creek Municipal District Council Wednesday decided to take a step that may lead to greater penalties for tardy taxpayers. Council approved a resolu- tion that will be taken to the Oct. 7 Foothills Little Bow Municipal Districts Associa- tion annual meeting, asking for an increase in the penalty on unpaid taxes from eight to 12 per cent. Reeve George Whitehead said the resolution will be "kicked around at the Little Bow meeting" scheduled for p.m. at Sven Ericksen's Family Restaurant at Lethbridge. Asked Reeve Whitehead: "Do you think 12 per cent is Coun. Jim Lowe of Nanton said, "It is enough now but I don't know for how long." Coun. John Housenga of Fort Macleod made the mo- tion to take the resolution to the meeting. Coun. Lowe said he thought the rate should be adjusted every six months but secretary-treasurer Rudy Hattfelder said it must be done annually because the MD only mails out tax notices once a year. Eight per cent is now the maximum penalty the MD council can charge. The MD must pay lite per cent interest on the money it borrows to operate. In the words of the secretary-treasurer: "The cost of money now exceeds by the penalty that can be charged by the municipality." The resolution asks the provincial government to amend its legislation to allow municipal taxing authorities to levy a 12 per cent tax penalty. Coun. Lowe advised that it be "at least equal to the current bank rate it should almost be a floating thing." Then he said, "I would almost set a rate of one per cent above the current bank rate." Council hopes the senior government will act on the measure before the next batch of tax notices goes out in March, 1975. At an earlier meeting Coun. John Zoeteman of Fort Macleod suggested the increase upon.hearing the borrowing rate had jumped effective July 22. He said some ratepayers would take advantage of the eight per cent rate. BILL GROENEN photo Getting ready It looks like just a hop, skip and a jump to cross the Oldman River in this telephoto shot of 6th Avenue bridge construction. Workmen are seen readying the bridge pillars for the laying of steel girders to span the river. The crossing is scheduled to open at the end of December. The bridge deck will be concrete, with an asphalt overlay put down next spring. Just visible at the top of this picture is the finished roadway to University Drive'complete with centre and shoulder lines painted on. Crews have one more asphalt overlay to put down on the east side approach road. CGA seeks candidates to run for civic office Strike talks reported Representatives of Alberta Brewers Agents Ltd. and 200 striking beer deliverymen were to meet today in Edmon- ton. The Herald has learned. Sources close to the dispute indicated the parties were meeting in an effort to end the two-week-old strike which has virtually dried up the supply of beer in the province. The men, members of the International Union of United Brewery workers, have been involved in a dispute with the delivery sytem since Aug. 29. ABA is jointly owned by the three major breweries, and handles all beer in Alberta ex- cept Uncle Ben's. The Civic Government Association will hold its open nomination meeting at the Yates Centre Monday at 8 p.m. The meeting is designed to find candidates for every civic office city council, school board and hospital board in the Oct. 16 civic election and is open to everyone, said A. W. Shackleford, a CGA organizer and former mayor and alder- man. Sole aim of the organization, which exists only at election time, is to find candidates for al! the positions. Mr. Shackleford said. Nominations will be taken from the floor and "the more the he said. If more than the required number of nominations to fill the positions are received, a ballot is held and in the case of city council, for example, the eight people getting the most votes become the CGA alder- manic slate. People defeated for the nominations are free to run as "independents." The CGA is completely independent itself, Mr. Shackleford insits. "It's more independent than the independents." he said, "because once the election is over we disband." "Someone has to organize to get candidates." he said. The CGA also solicits cam- paign contributions which go into a pool to buy advertising for CGA candidates, whose only obligation. Mr. Shackleford said, is to list themselves as CGA can- didates. Anyone can come to the meeting at the Yates and make nominations, Mr. Shackleford said. At the last election in 1971, some 300 people turned out to nominate CGA candidates, he said. Elected to council as CGA candidates last time were Mayor Andy Anderson and Aldermen Steve Kotch, Tom Ferguson. Cam Barnes, Bill Kergan and Chick Chichester. Trustees support liquor age rollback By JIM GRANT Herald staff writer A move to increase the minimum age from 18 to 20 years of age for the legal purchase of liquor for off- premise use was supported Wednesday by the separate school board in a close vote. The request for off-premise use was supported Wednesday by the separate school board in a close vote. The request for support was made by the County of Vulcan school committee, which is also requesting similar support from all school boards in the province Birth control publicity ruled out Publicity about the birth control centre will not be per- mitted in Lethbridge separate schools, a meeting of the trustees decided Wednesday. The separate board took the unanimous stand in response to a letter from the Lethbridge Collegiate In- stitute's student newspaper that requested the board's position regarding the centre. The board pointed out that it was in the process of introduc- ing its own sex education program into its schools as part of the family life educa- tion curriculum. The public school board took similar stand in a closed .meeting Nov. 13 on the grounds that it was "not in the best interests of young people in this community to permit the advertising of the birth control centre in our schools." The public school board also suggested the information provided by the centre tends to emphasize a relatively small portion of sex education "to the exclusion of larger more important areas." The public trustees also felt the material distributed by the centre was inappropriate for use by the 15- to 18-years age group. Meanwhile, the separate school trustees agreed to meet Oct. 2 to study the fami- ly life education program be- ing proposed for introduction at the Grade 8 level. The special meeting was called when Trustee Steve Vaselenak said his conscience wouldn't permit him to vote for the program until the board as a whole had the op- portunity to study the program. Parents and teachers of separate school students have worked on the development of the program during the summer months and produced a course outline. Parents of separate school Grade 8 students are to meet Sept. 23 to review the course content. Residents must register to vote Oct. 16 Residents who are not property owners but are eligible to vote in the Oct. 16 election still have more than a week io register at city hall. Deadline for voter registration is Sept. 25. Property owners are automatically on the voters" list but everyone else has to register at city hall's assessment office during office hours. According to city hall officials only about 500 people had done so by Wednesday. Anyone is eligible to vote who is 18 on or before Oct. 16. is a Canadian or British subject, has resided in Alberta for six consecutive months before nomination day and is a resident of the city on nomination day. Nomination day is Wednesday. To date there are no declared can- didates for the mayorality chair, although incumbent Mayor Andy Anderson is expected to announce his intentions shortly. U of L political science professor Roger Rickwood is also known to be considering contesting the chief magistrate's chair. Five newcomers have so far announc- ed they'll seek council seats, while five incumbent aldermen have said they'll seek re-election. Only one alderman Tom Ferguson has he'll likely step down, anile one aldermanic posi- tion has been vacant since the resigna- tion of Chick Chichester in 1973. In the 1971 civic election 17.984 residents were eligible to vote and 47.8 per cent turned out to cast ballots for two mayorality candidates and 15 aldermanic candidates. and has already approached the provincial government with a request for a legislative change. The Vulcan board called the "drinking and drunkeness among the 15- to 17-year age group" a grave problem that has been of concern to the board for about two years. The provincial government reduced the minimum age for the legal purchase of liquor from 21 to 18 years of age in 1971. In supporting the stand taken by the Vulcan com- mittee, Trustees Paul Matisz, Steve Vaselenak and Frank Peta suggested the problem is also of concern to them and it is time trustees take a stand on the issue. Trustees Ron Fabbi and John Boras opposed the Vulcan boards position suggesting a change in the minimum age would also affect a lot of responsible 18- year-olds. The Vulcan committee, in a letter, admits that its propos- ed legislative change is contradictory in nature by permitting the consumption of alcohol beverages by 18- and 19-year olds while restricting them for its purchase for offpremise use. But, the Vulcan committee members argue, with the reduction in the minimum age and the change in social behavior those in the 18- and 19-age group are purchasing liquore for those in the 15-to- 17-year age group. Prior to the change in the minimum age, 21-year-olds supplied liquor to those in the 18-to 20-age group but seldom was liquor ever supplied to those under 18, they claim. Surely, the letter continues, "we have a very real and pressing moral responsiblity to attempt, in some very direct way, to stem the increasing flow of alcohol that is reaching the 15-to-17-year age group and leading them on to eventual disaster." Beer strike spin off 3 The strike by 200 Alberta beer deliverymen and warehousemen con- S; tinued today, but it may Sj have had some benefits. :g Lethbridge City S Police report a slight S decrease in the amount of drunkenness since the strike began. The police have notic- :S ed no increase in :S bootlegging, said Insp. A; Michelson, since beer is Si unobtainable. Fluoride measure approved The separate school board agreed Wednesday to support the fluoridation of city waters and commended city council for placing the fluoridation question on the Oct. 16 civic election ballot. The board also agreed to en- courage its ratepayers to sup- port fluoridation and request separate school teachers to "spread the truth" about fluoridation. Trustee Paul Matisz in- dicated he was prepared to stand for re-election on the fluoridation question. "I don't want to be supported" at the polls by people who oppose fluoridation, he maintained. Only Trustee Steve Vaselenak opposed the Matisz motion. Trustees trade barbs over building delay A fellow trustee has blamed Trustee Steve Vaselenak for the separate school board's failure to take decisive action about two years ago to obtain government funding for renovations and an addition to the Assumption School. Trustee Paul Matisz said the board could have received sufficient funds to complete the construction project before the department of education put its freeze on school building construction had not Mr. Vaselenak held up the proposal. Mr. Vaselenak denied the charges and questioned how his efforts to delay a decision on the construction proposal until parents with students in the school had a chance to study the plans could be cited as the reason the board has to pay a larger poition of the cost today. There have been several delays for a variety of reasons during the past couple of years, Mr. Vaselenak pointed out. Mr. Matisz made his ac- cusations after Mr. Vaselenak refused to support a money bylaw to fund the renovations and addition until a meeting was held with the Assumption parents to inform them of the changes that had to be made in the building plans. The original plans for ex- pansion had to be modified after the provincial govern- ment refused to sponsor some of the proposed alterations to the school building. Since a unanimous vote was required to pass the money bylaw. Mr. Vaselenak's negative response forced the board to accept his suggestion of a meeting with the parents. The money bylaw will not be read again until after that meeting. The meeting date was not set Wednesday. The total renovation and ad- dition project is estimated to cost with the provin- cial government contributing According to Mr. Matisz, the school board would not have to be paying anywhere near the portion of the project it now is responsible for. Also, instead of just rearranging the existing building, a much larger addi- tion to the school could have been built had the delays not occurred, he insisted. The renovations to the school, as approved by the provincial government, will convert the existing kitchen, lobby and storage area to ad- ministration offices, a library and adjacent classroom to a storage area, the boys" playroom to a science classroom, the girls" playroom to a library and the gymnasium storage area to a physical education office. The re-foot addi- tion to the school will be used for gymnasium storage.