City of Armstrong scales back office hours

Council voted unanimously to close the office at 4:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. effective Nov. 1.

Armstrong City Hall is closing up shop earlier.

Council voted unanimously to close the office at 4:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. effective Nov. 1.

The move comes as the city continues to phase out a “flex-day” program.

“Years ago the flex day system was put in to extend city hall working hours by a half-hour each day,” said administrator Patti Ferguson. “Right now only one exempt position and one utilizing staff are using it so, as we hire new people, we’ve been phasing it out.”

The extra hours basically meant that city employees would work nine days out of a 10-day period.

“Union staff can only work seven hours a day so we had to stagger staff and we only had two people,” said Ferguson. “It makes it easier if everyone works the same time.”

City hall will continue to open at 8:30 and will be open over the lunch hour.

Road closure

Council agreed to a request from the Downtown Light Up and Parade committee to close Pleasant Valley Boulevard on both sides of the railway tracks from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29.

“This will allow for safe access by participants to various businesses, concessions and the Spirit Square which will be the main staging area for the event,” said Coun. Ron (Sully) O’Sullivan.

Pleasant Valley Road from the liquor store to Mill Street will also be closed in order to have Santa Claus arrive safely at the staging area.

Centennial recognition

Worthy citizens will get special recognition during Armstrong’s centennial in 2013.

“Staff came up with an excellent idea to recognize somebody each month with a special honour,” said Coun. Paul Britton.

Every second meeting each month, somebody from the city’s business, academic, athletic, social, cultural and political communities will be recognized for the outstanding work they do.

Council also voted to recognize the city’s many volunteers.

“We’re going to look at possibly coming up with an idea that coincides with national volunteer week (April 21-27, 2013),” said Britton.

And, to further celebrate the city’s 100th birthday, council unanimously and enthusiastically agreed to reenact the city’s inaugural council meeting.

That will take place on March 26, 2013.

Interim basis

Gentech Engineering has been contracted to act in the capacity of manager of public works for six months.

The move comes as Pat Hickerson is on medical leave.

Gentech is no stranger to how the City of Armstrong operates as it has been providing contracted engineering design and construction management services for the city’s annual infrastructure upgrading program since 1989.

Gentech will be available for a maximum 24 hours a week, consisting of three straight eight-hour days.

Library friends

The Friends of the Library will be hosting its annual book sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the seniors centre.