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Raymond could get new Westwind school

Posted on March 1, 2018 by Westwind Weekly
Westwind Weekly file photo Raymond Elementary School

Jeremy Appel
Westwind Weekly News

Raymond town council voted in favour of sending a letter to the province in support of Westwind School Division’s proposal for a new school in Raymond at its Feb. 20 meeting.
Mayor Jim Depew said Raymond’s growing, young population is putting a strain on its school system, necessitating a new elementary school.
“Our elementary school is bubbling, it’s bursting,” said Depew. “They’ve got too many students in rooms and now they’re going to start moving them to the junior high and high school.”
Depew said, if approved, the new school would be open in 2021 at the soonest.
“I’m just guessing,” he emphasized.
Westwind superintendent Ken Sommerfeldt told the Westwind Weekly that the board’s proposal is still in its draft stage, so he couldn’t provide any specifics.
“We are not in a position to identify any potential locations, and we are not in a position to even discuss costs, design, or any of those particulars,” he said.
“At this point, Westwind is examining the enrollment data and trends in growth in the Town of Raymond.
“We are working from these projected enrollment figures to create a case to be considered by the government for a request for a new school.”

Beautification Committee Bylaw passes final reading

Council also passed the second and third readings of its beautification committee bylaw.
The committee is composed of Coun. Joan Harker and six members of the general public.
The second reading included the addition of a vice chair position, which was done at Harker’s request.
“She just wanted to make sure that if she was out of town or something happened that there would be a vice chair,” said Depew.
Harker is now tasked with compiling a list of people she wants to serve on the committee, one of whom will be appointed vice chair.

Sports and Achievement Committee Bylaw passes first reading

Council unanimously passed the first reading of its bylaw to establish a new committee that recognizes residents’ achievements in sports and other activities.
“It’s something that we need in this town, just to recognize people who go to the next level in whatever they do,” Depew said.
“It’s not just all sports. We’re just trying to recognize other people that do other things.”
He cited music and theatre as two examples of non-sports-related activities that warrant recognition.
The committee’s duty is to establish how the town will go about recognizing these accomplishments.
The town is soliciting public feedback prior to the second and third readings of the bylaw.

Economic Development Committee Bylaw amendment passes first reading

Council sought to amend its existing Economic Development Committee Bylaw to double the members of the public who sit on it.
“When you do an amendment, you have to do all three readings again,” explained Depew.
If the bylaw passes its second and third readings, the committee will be composed of one member nominated by the Chamber of Commerce, four members of the public appointed by council and two councillors, as well as a non-voting adviser from the County of Warner if necessary.
Previously, the composition included two members of the public, as well as one member nominated by each of the Raymond Rotary and Lions Clubs.
Depew said council eliminated the Rotary and Lions positions due to a lack of participation on their part.
It’s preferable to have “citizens from the town that are engaged in businesses, rather than have someone there who’s not going to show up anyway,” he said.

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