Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A valuable bus service provided to residents of Northern Sunrise County was one topic of discussion at the meeting Sept. 14.
Council was examining the report filed by Amber Houle, director of community services, and took note of the bus [van] service provided by the Community Services Transportation Program. Although numbers were down, it was not a major concern to council seeing the service was never intended to make money.
“We are able to subsidize the service. We don’t have to raise the mill rate,” said Reeve Carolyn Kolebaba.
Marie Reine – Judah Councillor Dan Boisvert agreed.
“This is important for our seniors. Many of them have lost their driver’s licence. I believe this is very important to keep this going.
“This is not our most expensive program,” he added later. “This is a service we offer our seniors.”
St. Isidore Councillor Norm Duval noted a small increase may be in order.
“A small increase is fine but you’ll never make money,” he said.
“It’s not a huge cost to provide a service to the region. For the money it cost you may as well keep it going,” he added.
However, Nampa Rural District Councillor Audrey Gall had concerns. She said the service was “heavily subsidized” and council needed to have “a strong look at that.”
Council also noted the service was picking up people in Peace River and Grimshaw but heard only if space was available. Also noted was many of those residents were former residents of the county.
Three Creeks – Wesley Creek Councillor Corinna Williams suggested perhaps they ask the Town of Peace River for financial help but Duvall opposed saying there were more important matters to deal with regarding the Town.
“Best leave that alone,” he suggested.
Council referred more discussion on the service to the strategic plan.
The van has operated for the past 14 years and is operated in partnership with the Village of Nampa. The van will pick up people of all ages but those over 55 years are given priority.
Fees have remained the same since Day One. Round trips to Peace River are $5 and trips to Grande Prairie $20.