Council Notes From All Over

 

 
 
 
TOWN OF MILLET
 
Joanne Hagen
 
The Town of Millet regular Council meeting was called to order at the usual time of 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Rob Lorenson.
Councillor Eleanor Pydde moved to accept the minutes of the regular Council meeting on November 23, 2011.
 
New Business
Mr. Al Hegge of Hegge Holdings Ltd. approached Council suggesting the reinstatement of the sidewalk snow removal program for the Business section from 47 Avenue to 53 Avenue, citing that it would be a valuable asset to our commercial offices and outlets.  CAO Teri Pelletier said that when we get hit with hard snowfall, roads must take priority over sidewalks.  “During the heavy snowfalls of last winter,” said Pelletier, “my staff and myself shoveled the sidewalks out front.”  Councillor Mike Storey said that residential sidewalks are the responsibility of residents for their own snow removal. Councillor Pat Garrett moved to reinstate snow removal along Highway 2A.
Carol Sadoroszney presented Council with an overview on Communities in Bloom (CIB).  Having attended a CIB information symposium, Ms. Sadoroszney reported on a number of updates on sessions attended such as:
Vitality Circuit  A program that that utilizes pathways, park benches, stumps, and other items already in the park to be used as outdoor training equipment
Climate Change  The session brought to attention the threat of the Emerald Ash borer, an invasive insect species that attacks and kills healthy Ash trees.  All native ash tree species are at risk.  Estimates say the boring bug has killed several hundred thousand trees in Ontario, and eight to ten million ash trees in southeastern Michigan.  Tree loss includes ornamental, rural and woodlot trees.  “The Ash bug is not here yet, but is spreading,” said Carol.
Toured the Plains of Abraham where there is an area in which a tree has been planted for every province in Canada.
Recently the Town of Millet received recognition as one of the Prettiest Towns in Canada, gaining again five Blooms.  Sadoroszney showed the Community Exhibit Award to Council.  “The response to our Town's Blooms were overwhelming,” said Mayor Lorenson.
 
Bylaw #2011-08
This Bylaw authorizes the Council of the Town of Millet to incur an indebtedness by the issuance of debentures to the Alberta Municipal Financing Corporation for the purchase of recreational land.  
 
Millet Curling Club
The Millet Curling Club presented Council with an invitation to advertise in the club.  With the receipt of their business card and full payment for one year, the Curling Club will make arrangements for a sign to made at the initial cost of $85.00 to Council.  The sign would be approximately 3'x4' (totalling 12 square feet).  For a rental cost of $180/year the Club will rent a space to the Town in the Millet Curling rink, working out to $15.00 per month for the advertisement.
Councillor Pat Garrett moved to help with the advertising of the Millet Curling Club.
Councillor Myrna Lalonde moved to update the Town of Millet Strategic Plan.
 
Utility Account Write-offs
Every year the Town of Millet writes off an outstanding utility payments from renters that they cannot transfer to the owner's tax rolls to clear them off the books.  In 2009, the amount was $5,243.71, in 2010 the amount came to $2,869.63.  This year the amount is less due to enforcement of collections. Teri Pelletier said it is expected to go down again in 2012.
Councillor Mike Storey moved for resolution to write off the outstanding utility accounts for 2011in the amount of $2,307.21.
 
ZZZZZ
There is an Economic Development Conference to be held April 11-13, 2012, in Kananaskis, with the theme of the conference to be “Building Capacity for Future Success”.  It was discussed by Council that since they are not directly involved in any economic development, that this would be a good first step.  Councillor Pat Garrett moved to send Teri Pelletier and one elected official to attend the EDA Conference.
 
Policy #52A – Council Remuneration
CAO Pelletier looked into what other municipalities as guideline, and recommends the adjustments in monthly allowance for Council.
Mayor:  increase from $850 to $1,050 per month.
Deputy Mayor: increase from $700 to $900 per month.
Councillors: increase from $650 to $850 per month.
Councillor Mike Storey moved to accept Policy #52A as amended.
Mayor Lorenson and Council were invited to Blaine Calkins Christmas Open House on Wednesday, December 21 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  The Open House will be held in MP Calkins Constituency Office in Ponoka.
 
 
CITY OF LEDUC
 
 
Joanne Hagen
 
The City of Leduc regular Council meeting was brought to order at the usual time of 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Greg Kritscke.
 
Public Hearing
Ten to twelve taxi drivers attended the Public Hearing, many speaking at length as to why they oppose second and third reading of the Bylaw.  A number of Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce representatives were in attendance as well.  Mr. Pyrcz, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, noted that the City had received over four hundred signatures under the statement, “We the undersigned call on the City of Leduc to involve the local taxi operators in a full review process for the tax and livery Bylaw.”
After some indepth discussion, Council decided not to move for second and third reading of the Bylaw.
Josh Pyrcz told Council that administration provided an alternative recommendation that they do not go to second or third reading until further consultation and a better understanding between administration and the industry as to what the bylaw provides for.
 
New Business
Josh Pyrcz, Director IGASP, presented an overview to Council regarding EDA Visioning and its Next Steps.  The City of Leduc has completed a review of the existing Economic Development Authority and a review of Leduc's Economic Competitiveness.  Conducted by Western  Management Consultants, the report contains several recommendations which need to be detailed working with the EDA and all stakeholders to move forward.  
A go forward strategy with the EDA will blend the two reports (EDA Review and Economic Competitiveness) into a new framework for economic development in Leduc and be guided by the Western Management Consultants report.
Reconciling the two reports into one framework will solidify the relationship between the EDA and the City of Leduc for the long term and determine within the regional benefits of the EDA, what services the City needs.
An overview by the Leduc Fire Department regarding Fire Response/Development Map was presented to Leduc City Council.  Administration has worked to delineate a ten-minute response map to meet requirements of the Alberta Building Code, and recommends that Council approve the ten-minute response map outlining those areas of the community that fall within a ten-minute fire response.
 
Approval of Budget
The City of Leduc Council approved the 2012 municipal budget, including a reduction in the tax increase from 7.2 per cent down to 5.6 per cent.  With the substantial growth of Leduc over the past five years, need for fire services and emergency ambulance services have risen.  Irene Sasyniuk, Director, Finance, reported that the budget for snow removal over the last three years has been between $200,000 to $250,000 short, requiring correction in the budget.
City Council was presented information regarding the 2012 Official Municipal Census Date.  Administration will be conduction a Municipal Census in 2012 with on-line methodology capability and recommends Council proclaim April 30th, 2012 as the Official Municipal Census Date in order to provide City of Leduc residents with sufficient time to participate on-line and for staff to prepare and coordinate door-to-door enumerator visits.
Appointments 
In accordance with the Municipal Government Act and City of Leduc Bylaw 751-2010 Council must appoint three persons as members to each local assessment review board and two persons as members to each composite assessment review board.  There are currently two vacant positions on the Board, and Brian Anderson and Ms. Kimberly Carr have expressed interest in serving on the Boards.  Administration and the Board Selection Committee is recommending that Mr. Anderson & Ms. Carr be appointed as members to the Assessment Review Boards for a three year term to expire on December 31, 2014.
Subdivision & Appeal Board 
This year the board appointments for public members on the Subdivision & Development Appeal Board are being staggered to eliminate all positions expiring simultaneously.  Recommendation to Council is to appoint the following members to the Subdivision & Development Appeal Board as the Leduc Public Representatives for specified terms as follows:
1) Ms. Shelley Der to serve a one year term from January 1,2012-December 31, 2012
2) Mr. Gerald Thomas to serve a two year term from January 1, 2012-December 31, 2013.
3) Mr. Mervin Golly to serve a three year term from January 1, 2012-December 31, 2014.
4) Mr. Ron McCaw to serve as the Alternate Public Representative for a one year term from January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012.
Family & Community Support Services Advisory Board
The Family & Community Support Services Advisory Board requires one public member to fulfill a vacancy until December 31, 2012, and one public member to serve a three year term commencing January 1, 2012.
Recommendation to Council is to appoint Mr. Ron Thompson and Ms. Nahid Fani as Public Members on the Family & Community Support Services Advisory Board for the following terms:
1) Ms. Nahid Fani to fulfill a term from January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012.
2) Mr. Ron Thompson to serve a three year term from January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2014.
Leduc Parks, Recreation & Culture Board   Requires one public member to fulfill a vacancy until December 31, 2012 and two public members to serve a two year term from January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2013.
Recommendation to Council is to appoint the following Members to the Leduc Parks, Recreation & Culture Board:
1) Ms. Sherry Fraser to fulfill a term until December 31, 2012.
2) Mr. Mike Marsh for a two year term from January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2013.
3) Mr. Robert Thompson for a two year term from January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2013.
Leduc Library Board Council received recommendation to appoint Mr. David Marriott and Mr. Eugene Miller as Public Members on the Leduc Library Board for a three year term from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014.
Leduc Environmental Advisory Board Of the three public positions, two must be appointed as public members and one must be appointed as representative of the educational system.  The Chamber of Commerce declined the invitation to appoint a Chamber representative, and no application was received for student representative.
It was recommended that Council appoint Mr. Andrew Tait and Mr. Ron McCaw as Public Members on the Leduc Environmental Advisory Board for a three year term from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014.
 
 
 
CITY OF WETASKIWIN
 
 
Barry McDonald
 
Service awards were distributed to employees for years of service:  Five years Elizabeth Taje and 10 years Byron Olson 
 
Economic Development Ronald G. Holland Reported:
• Company visits for the Business Visitation Program – 144 businesses contacted to date.
• Assisted in sale of Winks Gas Bar site to an Edmonton developer.
• Attended the International Council of Shopping Centres Canadian conference & trade show. 
• Modified an advertisement highlighting the Denham Landing development opportunity.
• Met with the owners of the Wetaskiwin Mall to review their development & leasing strategies.
• Owners of a potential industrial park site have received the feasibility study from the engineering consulting firm and are deliberating whether to commence with the project.
• Continuing to work with a Calgary-based company who require a site with rail access.
• Companies who have a Wetaskiwin Business License can register and subsequently update their company’s listing on the new Shop Q/A BUYWetaskiwin Electronic Business License Directory.
• Submitted a successful nomination -  A.C. Dandy Electrical Products for the 2011 Innovation Award which is presented by the Central Alberta Economic Partnership at their annual general meeting. 
• Continuing to work on a major funding/sponsorship proposal for the proposed Multi-Purpose Recreation Facility.
 
Assessment   Preparation of the 2011 general assessment is underway which will be used for the 2012 tax year. It is anticipated to have the 2011 general assessment completed by January 30, 2012 with the assessment notices mailed on March 1, 2012.
Municipalities are required to collect and remit to the Council a 4% levy on each permit sold. Permits with a value of $14,000 or less will not be affected, however permits issued with a value over $14,000 will attract a levy of 4% of the permit value with no maximum amount. The revised permit levy will be effective January 1, 2012 and will apply to all building, electrical, gas & plumbing permits.
Building permits for January 1st to November 30th, 2011 is $19,079,965 of which $15,551,385 is residential and the balance commercial, industrial or institutional.  Permit values for the same time period in 2010 totaled $11,312,057. 
Works and Parks:
Recreation Department
• Redesign of office space to accommodate multi-users at the Civic Centre.
• Board room at the Civic Centre will be made available for community use.
• Icemen to move their downtown office into the Civic Centre January 2, 2012. Figure Skating, Minor Hockey and Icemen to share office space starting in 2012.
• Have been successful with rental of available ice to out of town users.
 
Added more times for stick and puck, shinny and public skating.
• Many compliments of new lighting in the drill hall.
• Roller Derby association have indicated Wetaskiwin as the venue of choice for derby events.
• County of Wetaskiwin have joined the City to partake in Regional Recreation Master Plan, will give us a broader scope of Recreation needs within the City of Wetaskiwin.
• Received donations from the Lions Club, Loyal Order of Moose and the Kinettes to assist with the cost of Public Skating.
 
Wetaskiwin Regional 
Airport
• Due to an increase in bird strikes through the end of July Wildlife Management procedures now require the use of lethal control methods if non-lethal dispersal methods will be considered not be effective.
• The design and engineering of the Airport Lighting System was granted to Pryde Schropp McComb, a Division of Genivar. It was the only response received in accordance with the RFP.
• Proposals were received for Winter Maintenance Phase 3 of the Airport Safety Management System implementation, has been accepted by Transport Canada.  Verification to occur before the new year.
 
Utility Costs Increase
The rate increases included in the approved budget and in Bylaw 1786-11 Garbage, Water and sewer increases for an entry level user total approximately $90.18/year.
 
$3,000,000.00 Loan Approved
For the first six months of the year the City could be short operating funds because the bulk of municipal property taxes are not collected until July 1 of each year. Council approved a loan of  $3,000,000 necessary to meet the current expenditures and obligations for the current year and until such time as  taxes are levied. 
 
Auditors Selected
In response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for external audit services sent to auditors in Wetaskiwin and surrounding communities, four proposals were received.  Council appointed Grant Thornton LLP as City auditors for the fiscal years from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015 for total fees of $256,500.00 with the option of extending for a further four (4) one year periods.
Approved Electrical Maintenance Contract approved with Wilf’s Electric Limited of Wetaskiwin. 
Barr Ryder to go ahead with the construction supervision phase of the Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatic Facility at an approximate cost of $295,000.00.
Despite the construction costs of the pool being higher than anticipated, Barr Ryder is not asking for any additional fees to complete the construction supervision phase of the project. Barr Ryder’s fees are based on the original February 15, 2011 proposal.
Council approves the write-off of accounts receivable and utility accounts totaling $72,495.52. plus any additional penalties that have been applied since the last account report. Most utility and receivable accounts are collected in a timely manner.  Some accounts are left unpaid and, despite an aggressive collection process must be written off as uncollectible. 
Council approved entering into an agreement with LPS AVIA Consulting to conduct an Economic Analysis of the costs and benefits of runway extension of the Wetaskiwin Airport, as proposed in their letter of December 7, 2011, for a total of $46,900. 
The proposal will look at four key issues:
- to measure the costs and benefits of a longer runway in the immediate term, and in the future.
- to determine realistic targets for air service and aviation activity at the Airport.
- to identify the need and/or scope of Airport investment.
- to identify potential sources of operational revenue.
An amendment removed a 5th proposed issue – ‘to assess the need of maintaining a certified Airport’.   
 
Winter Snow Maintenance Policy Has been redrafted to better reflect the service delivery in the City, to provide clear direction for City staff and to clarify to residents the priorities and level of service that will be provided. A priority chart and priority maps identify the priorities, locations, triggers and targets that will be used when providing snow maintenance in the City.
 
Main Street Revitalization- Additional Engineering Fees
Following receiving a single tender that was rejected, Genivar was instructed to 1) review the design to reduce costs 2) interview contractors to create a more favorable tender and 3) prepare new tenders.
The additional fees of $135,794.74 for the additional engineering were approved by Council.

 

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