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To Hythe Council at Large

I have just read the minutes from the last few meetings and believe some honesty, in what Hythe has to offer, is needed.  These are the comments people make about Hythe, even my own children.

Reality Check

  1. Village stinks – either sewage, smouldering burning pile or sulfur in the water

  2. Main streets look like a GHETTO

  3. Water is UNDRINKABLE – people don’t want to haul heavy bottles or water

  4. Internet is way too slow

  5. People move here because its cheap but are stuck with a house they can’t sell

Hey fixing the roads is great and ongoing, snow removal is awesome  and with a grocery store and gas station we have what we need but HYTHE’S first impression is awful.

Now the concern I really have is why precious tax dollars are being dumped into an arena when we do not have the demographics to support it.  This building, like many in small communities, is an underutilized relic from the “I remember when” days and many taxpayers are tired of supporting luxurious projects, so a few can play hockey.

Let the hockey families pay for the Arena Manager not tax payers!

Go play in Beaverlodge on their way to Costco for their cheap groceries.

Council could give BIGWAY a forgivable loan to spruce the place up, or hurricane shutters to secure TAGS or put town water in – something for everyone.

But its already ingrained we have to have an arena.

OK let’s see if it can be made useful.  Maybe look into making it accessible to more people with sledge hockey and electric hockey.  These sports make hockey way more inclusive – different ages, abilities and genders can play together.  Perhaps there’s some high school students that can build the sledges and keep the cost down and if others don’t offer the sport it makes our arena unique.  Hythe is an affordable place to live for families with special needs. Keep in mind 1 in 66 Canadian children have autism, Alberta has the highest incidents of MS, and the population is aging there aren’t too many NHL players in these groups.  I hope things work out of this building is destined to become a money pit!

Look at the Reality Check List again.  Hythe has some major issues to overcome to attract new people and businesses.  All we ask is you use our money wisely.

Thank you



Reply to: Anonymous letter to Hythe council at large -   Reality Check     

  1. Village stinks – either sewage, smoldering burning pile or sulfur in the water


Reply

  1. Sewage – in the spring when the ice starts to break up in the sewage lagoon gases that have accumulated over the winter are released, resulting in a smell in town for approximately a week.

  2. We have discussed different options for the compost pile, rather than burning it.  That matter is still under review. As well as options to eliminate unwanted garbage in the burn pile are being considered including elimination of the site, not a favored option but one that must be considered if other options are cost prohibitive or ineffective.


Actions & Possible Solutions

1.1 We have implemented a new sewer treatment program. This system includes automated treatment injection, high quality injectable biochemical, and regular monitoring of system performance

1.2 We have not yet investigated whether we can install a system that would release the gases throughout the winter, but it is on the list now because your letter caused us to think about the cause of the sewer smells and possible solutions.


  1. Main street looks like a Ghetto

Reply

  1. We don’t agree with this statement. We would not use the word ghetto but; we believe we get your idea. Later in your letter you also comment on the poor first impression that Hythe has on many. We believe the two ideas are interconnected and will deal with them as such.  We believe that there is not one single solution to this problem or a quick fix available. We also believe with a focused council and community working together we can make Hythe an even better place to live, work, and play.


Actions and Possible solutions

2.1 We believe that the best way to attract business, that will fill the main street again, is to make Hythe a more attractive place to live work and play. Small business owners are more likely to run their businesses where they live or would like to live. There are currently 163,116 small businesses in Alberta that contribute 35% of Alberta’s GDP. We believe that attracting small business is essential to the long term viability of Hythe.

2.2 We have implemented an intensive mowing program for all town properties such as highway frontage, back alleys, ball diamonds, arenas, etc.

2.3 We have enforced yard clean ups and mowing through enforcement of bylaw # 513 , 22 times, including CN

2.4 We are currently drafting a new, more effective unsightly premises bylaw.

2.5 The Community Beautification Committee has organized two separate community clean ups resulting in the removal of 40 cubic meters of scrap steel, 3 truckloads of appliances, 240 cubic meters of garbage, as well as many loads of downed trees and branches.

2.6 The Community Beautification Committee also had two work bees which resulted in painting of the campsite buildings, campsite fence, campsite wood box, campsite tree trimming, installation of new fire pits and new tables

2.7 The Community Beautification Committee placed 4 benches, 2 cigarette butt receptacles  and 3 garbage containers

2.8 The Community Beautification Committee along with public works organized the installation of the Elks playground equipment.

2.9 Bill Guise has picked garbage throughout town (Could we all give him a hand to keep our town clean)

2.10 We have a policy that if a property owner wants a derelict building remove the town will assist with its equipment and manpower. One building gone this year

2.11 We have approached some local small businesses to offer help and we have approached other small businesses from out of Hythe to open dialogue on how we could help them move to Hythe. This effort will intensify, Hythe is open for business.


3.    Water is UNDRINKABLE – people don’t want to haul heavy bottles

Reply

3 In this case we presume you are referring to well water in Hythe that comes from privately-owned wells. The water in Hythe is considered high quality groundwater by Alberta Environment. We agree that the smell from some private wells can be less than desirable.   The water that we produce in our municipal system is certainly drinkable. We test it daily

Potential Solutions

3.1 Drilling deeper can access water without the undesirable smell.

3.2 Building a holding tank that lets the water degasify, thereby eliminated the undesirable smell.

3.3 We could hook everyone in town up to the treated water system but, we believe the cost would be far more than anyone wants to pay. If everyone wanted to pay we would get it done.

4.  Internet is way to slow
Reply

4  We agree!

We believe part of making Hythe a better place to live, work, and play is faster internet. With that in mind we have been negotiating with fiber optics suppliers to provide service to Hythe. We are hopeful that installation will begin this spring. After negotiations with suppliers are completed the program will be presented to the residents of Hythe for their input prior to signing a service agreement.


5   People move here because it is cheap but are stuck with a house they can’t sell

Reply

5 We do not agree, 19 houses changed hands in 2017 and 15 have so far in 2018. We believe with a focused council and community working together we can make Hythe an even better place to live, work, and play. We also believe that this strategy will increase property values and shorten real estate listing times.


6.    Why precious tax dollars are being dumped into the arena when we do not have the demographics to support it. This building like many in small communities, is an underutilized relic from the “I remember when” days and many taxpayers are tired of supporting luxurious projects, so a few can play hockey.
Let the hockey families pay for the Arena Manager not the taxpayers.

Reply


6 We have 14 hockey teams using the arena this winter, and it runs seven days a week.  We believe the hockey arena is a valuable and historic building to Hythe. We agree and believe that spending tax dollars cautiously is our duty. We also agree the arena can be utilized much better than it is currently, with a very large opportunity in the summer months. The groups that utilize the arena pay a large portion of the operating costs. The Village of Hythe and the County pay the remaining portion. The community is also provided public skating times at no cost every week. The arena manager is not an extra employee for this year, just an employee with the responsibility of managing and operating the arena. We invite you to council to discuss your ideas of alternative utilization further as we would love to utilize the facility better


In summary, we don’t agree exactly on each issue but through discussion we can understand each other better. Collaboration is the only way we can make our village a better place to live, work, and play. Thanks for the heartfelt letter.   

We also invite anyone who has concerns, ideas or thoughts to come to council, chat with us on the street, send a letter or email whatever you are comfortable with. Identifying problems is helpful but, possible solutions are even more useful. No idea is a bad idea. We need your thoughts, ideas and efforts to make Hythe a better place to live, work, and play. It is your town – get active in its future!

Respectfully;

Village of Hythe Council

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