Town partners with hospital to improve parking for long vehicles

Parking for long vehicles at Stettler Hospital and Care Centre will be provided by the Town of Stettler on town property.

At its regular meeting Sept. 7, town council decided to upgrade the town right-of-way south of the hospital parking lot along 47 Avenue that became a mudhole during the wet spring and summer.

Recognizing that many people are driving long vehicles and pulling agricultural hauling trailers, town and hospital officials continue to work to provide adequate parking along the north side of the street adjoining the parking lot.

“This is an issue we need to address,” said Mayor Dick Richards.

“We are in a rural community and we need to provide parking for longer vehicles.”

Hospital site manager Peggy Hearonemus consented to determine whether the hospital could provide some funding in the partnerships.

“We do need parking for longer vehicles,” said Hearonemus as she discussed the concern with council.

“The issue is with longer vehicles – not an overall lack of parking space.”

Several members of council agreed that the area to cover the town right-of-way be covered with a hard surface, not gravel, which would be difficult to maintain during winter.

“It’s the town’s land so we should do something to provide parking for longer vehicles,” said Councillor Redford Peeples, who raised the issue at town council meeting in early August.

“We have to recognize there are oversize vehicles,” said Councillor Dave Dennis, retired town development officer who measured the parking spaces at the hospital and concluded that they are designed for small cars, not larger vehicles.

Earlier this year, the issue was already discussed among town and hospital officials.

“It was determined that there is sufficient parking space for both staff and patrons,” said Peggy Hearonemus, who discussed the issue also with Alberta Health Services in June.

Rather than the town paying to improve the right-of-way, the ground south of the hospital parking lot will be repaired by the hospital and Alberta Health Services, she said in a letter to council dated Aug. 31.

Breathing air compressor

A new breathing-air compressor and storage system will be added to Stettler Regional Fire Station as part of a major renovation project after council awarded the tender to Whole Sale Fire and Rescue for a cost of $48,858.19, the second highest of four bids.

“The other three bids do not conform to our bid-request specifications,” said Fire Chief Mark Dennis.