Council changes meeting times

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Black Diamond citizens who want to see the town council at work can expect some changes for meeting times and location.

Black Diamond Town council agreed at its Oct. 24 organizational meeting to move its council meetings from 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month and its daytime meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month to 9 a.m. The changes come into effect Nov. 1.

“It was something that was on the minds of the most previous council and those of us who won re-election again,” said Coun. Brian Marconi. “It was something that was discussed. This year there were more people that wanted to change the time.”

Marconi said the earlier start allows council to finish its public meetings a little earlier. Some meetings have gone past 10 p.m.

Council chambers have also moved to the lower level of the municipal building now that renovations to the former library are complete.

“It was a much-needed renovation and it is really working out well,” Marconi said. “We can see the gallery and the gallery can see us a little bit better because we don’t have our backs turned to them.”

Council meetings were previously held in the upper level of the municipal building. The councillors were seated in a horse-shoe shape and the gallery was along the wall, facing the backs of some councillors’ heads.

Sharlene Brown, chief administrative officer, said the main level of the building was used for years as the Sheep River Library. The room remained vacant and unutilized when the new library building opened in Turner Valley in 2011, she said.

The town received $150,000 from a Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant earlier this year to renovate the main level.

“The opportunity came forward to use grant dollars to be able to retrofit the town office,” she said.

Work began in July and council met in the quarters for the first time last month. The chambers include a raised council seating area, a kitchen area, updated bathrooms and four cubicle work stations, said Brown.

“It’s great that the council chambers has a more professional feel to it,” she said.

“It delineated the staff and council so there is a delineation between floors between what happens politically and administratively. We do serve different purposes.”

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