Good news for pet owners as shelter set to open

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After years of hard work and fundraising efforts, the Wildrose Humane Society (WHS) will open a shelter in Didsbury in January 2017, WHS President Dean Orlando told Airdrie City council at its Nov. 21 meeting.

“We’re in the process of purchasing a building and land in south Didsbury,” Orlando said. “It’s going to be our first shelter. We’re going to have full-time operations.”

The WHS was founded in 2007 as the Airdrie and District Humane Society, changing its name to better reflect the area it serves in 2011. The WHS provides services from Airdrie to Innisfail, west to Sundre and east to Highway 21.

Orlando said the WHS will offer adoption and foster programs out of its new building to complement the programs it already provides, including a low income spay and neuter program and animal safety education program for adults and children.

“Obviously, we’re going to expand a lot with our new increased operations as we take possession of the building in December,” Orlando said.

Council unanimously approved a motion to accept the report for information.

Dare to Care

Council heard a presentation by Lisa Dixon-Wells, founder of the school-based anti-bullying program Dare to Care at its Nov. 21 meeting. Dixon-Wells requested $21,000 from the City go towards providing her program in local schools.

Councillors, including Candice Kolson and Fred Burley, as well as Mayor Peter Brown and Deputy Mayor Kelly Hegg, questioned whether council was the appropriate entity to approach for what is essentially a school program.

“How come Rocky View Schools (RVS) wasn’t here tonight, asking for this, because I’m just not sure how City council can tell RVS trustees that this is something they need to implement in their schools,” Kolson said. “I have no problem supporting the ask in partnership with RVS but we need them to be at the table to have those discussions with you.”

Dixon-Wells said she has not presented information about the program to RVS, but she has provided Calgary Catholic School District with the information.

Brown asked if there are already existing anti-bullying programs in the schools and said he would not be able to support the request until he knew the answer to that question. He said he also had concerns the program is only for school kids, whereas initiatives the City already supports through North Rocky View Community Links and the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie are for people of all ages.

Burley said he would expect Dare to Care to go through the same kind of request for proposal process other groups have gone through to get funding for anti-bullying programs.

A motion to differ a decision about providing funding to the Dare to Care program until the school divisions have been contacted by the organization was unanimously approved by council.

Public Recycling

Tracy Pagenhardt, multifamily education co-ordinator, outlined the City’s plans to phase in recycling in parks and public facilities to council.

According to Pagenhardt, a pilot project at Airdrie Town and Country Centre (T& C) is underway as part of Phase 1 of the project.

Pagenhardt presented a request from staff for funding of $202,600 for 2017 to implement Phase 2 which would include rolling out the recycling project to Genesis Place Recreation Centre as well as four city parks and the arenas, creation of standards for all new construction and an audit at Genesis Place, Chinook Winds Regional Park and the T& C. Phase 2 is expected to begin in January 2017.

Council unanimously endorsed staff’s recommendation to include the funding for Phase 2 in the 2017 budget deliberations.

Water Conservation

Glenn Archer, team lead City of Airdrie Water Services, provided council with information regarding the City’s water conservation initiatives. Archer said his department was directed by council to provide the information, including suggestions for additional water conservation strategies at council’s June 6 meeting.

The strategies are being considered to ensure the protection of Airdrie’s watershed and to continue to provide residents and businesses with ideas and tools for conserving water.

Council unanimously approved a motion to accept the recommendation of the City’s Environmental Advisory Board to draft a water conservation as well as a water conservation bylaw.

Correspondence

Council unanimously approved a request from Volunteer Airdrie to proclaim Nov. 29 as Giving Tuesday in Airdrie. This national day of giving encourages people and businesses to give back to their communities through volunteering.

Council also accepted and agreed to file a letter from Airdrie resident Richard Herdman regarding the Airdrie Health Foundation.

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