Council Notes From All Over

Thorsby Village Council
January 24, 2012
Linda M. Steinke

Administration Reports
 CAO—On January 20, there was a water main break on Highway 778 between 48 and 46 Avenues. The Thorsby Public Works manager and Kana Environmental water operations consultant took the lead and repaired the leak to the high pressure water main within 45 hours.
 “Public Works staff, working alongside Taz Excavating and Badger HydroVac Services, did an excellent job in effecting this most difficult repair in a very timely manner,” said CAO Wynne.  “We also deployed the Thorsby Fire Department, including their Emergency Management Director, to direct traffic on the highway and plan contingencies for getting water to residents, main street businesses, the seniors lodge and schools had the leak not been repaired by Monday.”
 Water treatment plant has been up and running effectively for four weeks producing high quality potable water. Council will be briefed regarding the final construction status of the water treatment plant and plans for operating the plant at the February 7 committee-of-the-whole meeting.
 CAO updated Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Water, at the December 20 Open House in Calmar. They discussed the completion of the water treatment plant and plans for developing phase II—the bulk water distribution facility. Wynne reports McQueen is “most supportive” of Thorsby’s initiatives “to deliver the highest quality water to not only our residents but, through bulk water distribution, to Leduc County residents and beyond.”
 A joint Emergency Management Preparedness meeting was held between the CAO and Thorsby Fire Chief Osness, EM Director Mutch, and Executive Director of Leduc and District Victim Services Gord Sands to discuss potential collaboration between LDVS and EM. “By developing a direct relationship between Thorsby EM and LVS, the latter is able to assist in the event of disasters, support for some fire call-outs, and support for municipal emergency situations.”

Corporate Services—CSM and Acting CAO Christine Burke
 The Village office staff and administration faced some challenges with furnace and electrical issues during the mid-January week of low temperatures according to Burke.  In fact, due to the number of small electrical heaters going at one time throughout the building that created circuit issues, there were times when the choice had to be made between power for computers or heat.  Furnace repairs were necessary.  Because the furnaces are “not particularly old,” said Burke, a recommendation for replacement is not an option; rather, assistance or advice on updating or modifying the heat distribution may be required.
 An agreement has been signed with Townlife (a municipal website designer) to develop the new Village website. Townlife is asking Council to choose “five things to showcase” that will best represent Thorsby.  Townlife’s professional photographer will be in town this spring.
 Burke reports that Farmer and Associates Consulting Inc. will assist Council in the Town Manager succession process. Council invited Senior Managers to take part in the process, guided by Farmer & Associates, by identifying qualities needed from a staff perspective.
 Public Works has implemented a preventative maintenance program as a cost saving initiative with all servicing on the grader, skid steer and trucks done in-house to reduce the cost.  “All other repairs and upgrades that are deemed feasible will be done in-house by the staff at public works whether it’s on equipment or public buildings.”
 The pressure switch on one of the furnaces at the Village office was not working so there wasn’t adequate heat.  Williams plumbing was called in and repaired the problem.

Thorsby Family Community Support Services
 Community Advisory Committee: “I’ve been informed that Marty Hooper () has returned to his duties,” but TFCSS Coordinator Kathi Walker had not yet advised when the next meeting will be held.
 Christmas Elves: 38 hampers were delivered. Planned a meeting for January 25 with volunteers to discuss and get feedback for the operation of the program and plan for next year. “I have requested that Thorsby Village Council help with the costs of this dinner. Otherwise, the costs will come from the FCSS budget.”
FCSS Advisory Committee   Next meeting is February 9, 2012. a request was submitted to Council by Keri Waters to obtain approval to join the committee (it was approved). Walker will be making a presentation at a Parent Link session “soliciting for FCSS Advisory Committee members who are parents of young children.”
 Volunteer Appreciation Week was discussed. Received input about applying to Volunteer Alberta for Enhancement Funding to go toward Volunteer Week events.
On February 6, Walker and Inge Dueck will attending Volunteer Income Tax training.
 Seniors: Canadian Diabetes Assn. will make a presentation at the Seniors’ Birthday Party on February 8.  Monthly Movie Nights is in the planning stage.
 Youth: The Be Cool program continues with the February 3 session which deals with “how to take the ‘cool’ approach when dealing with bullying.”
 Parks & Recreation: Coordinator Bettyann Gibsonsays trying to accommodate the large numbers of Provincial Game requests for ice scheduling to be quite a challenge. All available ice has been sold to March 17/18.
 Health inspection of the Community Hall kitchen has been completed by Alberta Health Services.  The report indicated a few minor maintenance requirements; otherwise, the inspector was impressed with the cleanliness and general condition.
 Previously, no criminal record checks were mandatory for any service providers operating out of the complex. However, that has changed and letters have been sent to program providers renting the recreation complex regarding mandatory requirement for criminal record checks. They are due by the end of February 2012.
 1575 All Program Guides have been distributed within Thorsby and surrounding communities.
 Gibson reports she was successful in applying for Thorsby to be one of 12 Alberta communities taking part in the ARPA Service Excellence Program. Leduc County Community Facilities Supervisor, Roxanne Gingras, will accompany Gibson to the workshop held in Red Deer.  This volunteer program involves a process that will help communities assess and develop programs to revamp their parks and recreation operations in order to enhance individual wellbeing and community vitality, economic sustainability and natural resource protection and conservation.  Other communities attending:  Airdrie, Calgary, Canmore, Devon, Hinton, Settler, Wetaskiwin and the Counties of Lac La Biche and Strathmore.
 Leduc & District Victim Services (LDVS) Executive Director Gordon Sands met with Council to present an overview of the services offered to the public 24/7, 365 days-a-year.  Sands reported that 45 volunteers have successfully completed a variety of training programs.  “Volunteers have donated 9500 hours of their own time to the program.” He notes LDVS has transitioned from attending workshops to hosting workshop events (with FCSS) covering such topics as domestic violence, alcohol in the workplace, taking care of caregivers—“It’s a high stress job! There is a need for caregivers to take care of themselves.” LDVS volunteers offer skilled and compassionate assistance to victims of crime or tragedy. All this takes money.  Two important fundraisers are coming up shortly:  March 1-3 the Annual RCMP Western’s Charity Hockey Tournament and April 25 evening with Stanley Cup Champion and Gold Medal Olympian Theo Fleury, “Moving Forward.”

Miscellaneous 
 Council approved hiring an independent or professional appraiser to establish market value on two Tax Recovery properties in order for Council to set reserve bids for the upcoming land sales.
 A discussion about Ever Green Ecological Services curbside waste collection services has been deferred to the next Committee of the Whole.
 Council discussed various service contracts and agreements (Fire with the County and Sundance Beach, Recreational cost-share with Leduc County, Leduc County Rec Advisory Bylaw, and Garbage) that are pending.

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