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Budget bids begin: Museum and Habitat pitch to council

Jasper Museum and Habitat for the Arts gave budget presentations to the municipal council this week  | File photo

Fuchsia Dragon |

It’s that time of year again.

Jasper Municipal Council is about to start working on its 2020 budget and heard the first two presentations of the year on Tuesday.

Jasper Museum asked for $65,000 for 2020, up $16,000 from this year, but showed council its efforts to become sustainable for the future.

Since 2013, visitor numbers have increased every year at the museum and this year 16,000 people walked through their doors.

Hubick said the increased funding from council would allow the museum to facilitate a sustainable and strategic planning process and the board has been in talks with an outside company about building that process.

The funding would also help the museum secure its exhibits coordinator and help address the backlog of items that need cataloguing.

Habitat for the Arts’ Marianne Garrah and David Baker also presented their budget request to council this week and asked for the same funding as last year – $35,000.

Garrah and Baker showed presentations on the work Habitat does, including workshops and performances, and said income has grown 40 per cent this year with a total income of about $30,000 and net income of $956.

That income is generated from sources like grants, pottery, theatre, room rental, and workshops.

Further budget presentations will be held on November 26 and 27 at 6 p.m. in the Quorum Room at Jasper Library and Cultural Centre.

Peace officers

Services and bylaws Jasper peace officers should enforce were discussed by councillors in a special extended committee meeting this week.

Four of Jasper’s councillors were at the meeting: Helen Kelleher-Empey, Paul Butler, Bert Journault and Jenna McGrath, with councillor Rico Damota arriving towards the end.

A list of services and bylaws peace officers currently enforce was presented in sections including traffic, conduct in public places, domestic animal and smoking bylaws, permits and business licences.

Councillors said bylaws like noise complaints and conduct in public places were “too risky” and should be dealt with by the RCMP.

Peace officers currently help clear routes for snow removal, finding the owner of cars by looking up licence plates or knocking on doors, but Kelleher-Empey said door-knocking “is creating a risk” and cars should just be ticketed.

If municipal tickets are not paid in Jasper peace officers can pursue them provincially, but if council decides to strip peace officer status and have municipal compliance officers instead, they will not be able to do this.

McGrath said she believed municipal ticket infractions shouldn’t take up provincial court time, but Butler said he had concerns with creating a scenario that meant the town wouldn’t have the ability to enforce its bylaws.

Fighting fires

Jasper’s surrounding landscape will change again this winter as further FireSmart work takes place.

Fire chief Greg Van Tighem told council on Tuesday that fire reduction work is about to commence and the department is looking to work on 40 hectares around town this winter.

Locations that will see trees chopped include the area by the Sawridge, west of the intersection of Highway 16, areas of Pyramid Bench by the reservoir, and further work on the escape routes of Jasper.

Return of the studs

A rebate program that gave Jasperites discounts on studded bicycle tires will return this winter.

The municipal launched the program in February this year, towards the end of winter, but on Tuesday unanimously voted to repeat it this year and start it soon.

Once coupons are printed, residents can pick up two $50 coupons, one per tire, at the town office. 

Take the coupons to one of the town’s three bike shops and pay full price, then take the coupons and the receipt for the tires back to the town office for cash.

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