If someone tells you there is no stress in being the Mayor, don't believe them. Many of the items that we have to deal with to make High Level a great town can cause sleepless nights; my job on Friday not was not one of them. I was fortunate enough to be one of the judges for the Iron Chef competition.
Who would have known we had so many excellent cooks in town! They were all vying for the title of High Level's first Iron Chef, a title that comes with the honor of representing us at the provincial champions. Garth Martins from Alberta Health, the Echo's Mike Stamou and I were tasked with sampling six excellent main courses and six desserts.
Thery were all very good and the cooks and their assistants are to be commended for their creations. Only a couple of points separated first place winner Ben Kung and the cooks who tied for fourth place on the Friday night. Councillor Barry Gladders stood in for me on Saturday and was subject to more great food tasting. Their winner, Jackie and Ellis Coban, went on to become High Level's Iron Chef... by a mere half a point. Congratulations to all the contestants for a job well done and good luck to Jackie and Ellis in Edmonton and if you happen to catch up with Laura McCarron, thank her for putting on an excellent event.
Another item of note is the bio-energy project that has been going on now for the last three years. Discussions with a couple of companies are looking very good and the ablility to utilize all of Tolko's waste wood that would otherwise go to the burner is taking some exciting turns with ongoing discussions moving ahead. More news on that as time progresses.
Almost all of our projects (including paving, water treatment plant upgrades and sidewalk repairs) this year are either completed or will be finished shortly and have come in nicely on or under budget and the town is looking pretty good. Unfortunately we could not proceed with the arena renovations due to tender pricing. This however, has started a discussion around council and the public that maybe we should consider some other avenues for our recreation facilites. Council will be considering whether to proceed with a creation of a master plan study at budget time which could take serveral months to complete but will give us a better idea of the needs and wants for our recreation facilities well into the next 20 years. We know the facility users were looking forward to the improvements but we want to make sure we get it right.