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Fort Macleod town council to meet at library with time for public input

Fort Macleod residents not only have easier access to council on Monday, Nov. 24, they can have their say too.
Council will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. at Fort Macleod RCMP Centennial Library, with 30 minutes for public comment on the agenda.
The change of venue from council chambers in the Town of Fort Macleod office is at the request of Mayor Rene Gendre.
Gendre told council last month that some people had indicated they are deterred from attending meetings by the number of stairs they would have to climb to reach the second floor of the Town Office.
People have also expressed interest in the chance to speak directly to council on issues in Fort Macleod, without appearing as an official delegation.
Council decided last week to act on the recommendation of chief administrative officer David Connauton to hold the Nov. 24 meeting at the library.
Connauton explained that location was proposed by librarian Laurie Huestis during a staff meeting.
The library would be available to council at no cost.
Connauton told council it would cost $250 to $275 to hold its meeting at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
Another option is the Welcome Mat at a cost of $100.
Council decided at its Nov. 10 meeting to try out the library as an alternate location.
“If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work,” Coun. Brent Feyter said.
Connauton agreed.
“We won’t know until we try,” Connauton said.
Council also decided last week to allocate a 30-minute period in the meeting for public presentations.
Anyone who wants to address council can do so for up to five minutes, in order to provide opportunity at the meeting for several people to speak.
Deputy Mayor Trish Hoskin suggested asking people to register their participation prior to the meeting.
“I think that’s a good idea,” Coun. Keith Trowbridge said.
Hoskin said registration would determine an order in which people can make their comments.
Gendre wasn’t convinced having people sign up was a good idea.
“We don’t want to formalize it too much,” Gendre said. “It might put people off.”
Council decided there had to be some order put to the public presentations.
“I think a little bit of formalizing might be good,” Coun. Gord Wolstenholme said.

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