Council Notes From All Over

 

CITY OF WETASKIWIN
 
Barry McDonald
 
Wetaskiwin City Council invites the public to attend their regular meetings in Council Chambers (4705 - 50 Ave). The following are brief highlights of the City of Wetaskiwin meeting. For more detailed information contact City Manager, Ted Gillespie at 780 361 4400. 
Long Service Award.
Service awards are distributed each year commending employees on years of service to the City of Wetaskiwin. Although not present, Virginia Lehman was recognized for her 25 years of service that commenced on August 24, 1987. 
 
New entrance sign design unveiled
As of August, 2012, all five of the entrance signs were removed due to their poor condition. The existing frames have been painted and are ready for new signage.  The recommendation is to replace the entrance signs at all five locations using consistent messaging. Signage will incorporate the new branding and entering the City will state “Welcome” across the top, and “Come Again” exiting the City. It was recommended that the sign on the south side of the City have the text in Cree syllabic. 
 
Road closures for Ag and Arts Festival September 15th 
Administration met with Mr. Brady Weiler to discuss the road closures for the Ag and Arts Festival on September 15, 2012 for the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. The attached map outlines the areas of 50th Avenue from 50th Street (TD Bank) to 53rd Street (Johnson’s Eyecare) that are proposed to be closed.  All intersections will be open to vehicle traffic. 
Pending the final event planning, the areas identified may be reduced but will not exceed those identified.
The ICSC Conference is attended by shopping centre developers and owners, retailer, real estate brokers and suppliers to the shopping centre industry. There has been an increased presence from municipalities in recent years as they discover the benefits of being able to present retail opportunities directly to retail industry decision makers. Through past attendance, Wetaskiwin has developed an on-going positive relationship with a diverse array of ICSC attendees. 
The Manager of Economic Development will be attending this conference. In the past, the Mayor and one or two members of Council have also attended. It is the City’s policy that out-of-province travel for Council members requires a motion of Council. 
The motion put forward by Alderman Glenn Ruecker to Council stated Mayor Bill Elliott and Alderman Patricia McQuarrie would represent the City. The motion was amended a few times suggesting alternative representatives such as Alderman McFaul and City Manager, Ted Gillespie. Following lengthy discussion and debate, the amendments and original motion were defeated. A new motion to send the City Manager was tabled pending further thought and consideration. 
Concerns were raised by Alderman Ruecker about the lack of productivity of attending the conferences in the past and Alderman Crabtree about the lack of information available to Council about the entire process.
This is the first time the conference will be held in Ashoro, Japan. The City of Wetaskiwin has been asked to send representative(s) to this conference.
Representatives from Ashoro attended the Alberta Twin City’s conference which was hosted in Wetaskiwin by the Ashoro Friendship Society earlier this year. City Council approved Mayor Elliott and Alderman Ruecker to attend this conference.
 
At the June 27, 2011 Council Meeting, Council authorized Administration to draft a Combative Sports Bylaw
Although originally considered by Administration to be a simple process, drafting a Combative Sports Bylaw has required some discussions with legal counsel. Research has also been done with communities that have bylaws in place. 
The research has indicated that communities that have approved this bylaw have found that approximately 50% of an employee’s time is spent working with the groups. Legal fees to finalize this bylaw are estimated to be approximately $5,000 to $7,500. 
It is estimated that to finalize and operate this function, costs incurred by the city will range from $40,000 - $50,000 annually. Due to the fact that these figures will impact future year’s budgets, it is was requested that Council confirm the direction to proceed with this bylaw. Approved.
 
Main Street Revitalization and the Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatic and Fitness Centre updates – City Manager, Ted Gillespie
The City is currently undergoing two major projects, the Main Street Revitalization and the Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatic and Fitness Centre.
A detailed progress report will be provided in a future edition of the Pipestone Flyer. 
 
Closed to public
Council moved to an in camera session. Councils and Council committees, may close all or part of their meetings to the public if a matter to be discussed is within one of the exceptions to disclosure in Division 2 or Part I of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
 
TOWN OF CALMAR
 
Lorna Lowe
 
Council was called to order at 6:58pm, with all Councillors present.
There were no build presentations and the agenda was accepted without changes.
NewGen Energy Presentation: Larry Peters, one of the founders of NewGen Energy gave a presentation to Council of how the Town of Calmar could potentially become a power provider to it's own community. The proposal would entail the Town purchasing power at a rate of 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour over a low variable rate from NewGen Energy, and resell it to residents who choose to purchase their energy from the Town. In return, the Town of Calmar would receive 0.75 cents for every kilowatt hour sold, back in profits. To take advantage of this offer the Town of Calmar would be required to give NewGen Energy a security deposit equal to two months of projected usage. Council received this presentation as information at this time.
39/20 Alliance Partnership Resolution: An update on the communities involved in the Alliance found that Thorsby has passed the Resolution, as of meeting time Mayor Faulkner had not heard from Breton, and Warburg reportedly had some issues with the Resolution and were still in discussion. A motion was made for Calmar Council to move forward with the signing of the resolution and it was passed unanimously.
Donation To The Yachimetz Family: With Councillor Wally Yachimetz being awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in Ottawa next month, a motion was made to donate $500.00 to the Yachimetz family to assist with travel costs. Councillor Yachimetz was not allowed to take part in the discussions surrounding this motion and and also abstained from from voting on it. 
Councillor Borodawka stated that with Wally's 20 years of service to Calmar in fire services and Town Council, and with the medal being presented in such a high profile event which also brings honour to the Town of Calmar, that she felt very strongly this small contribution should be approved. Councillor Bartlett motioned for approval of the donation and Council passed it unanimously. Councillor Yachimetz thanked Council for the donation on behalf of himself and his family.
Listing On Tax Recovery Lot: The vacant lot at #10 Westview Drive in Calmar had been acquired through tax recovery a few years ago, and the Town has had it listed for the last 2.5 years at a price of $98,900.00. The Town has an interest in the lot to a value of $142,789.29, including back taxes, demolition, clean up, and ongoing maintenance. Other comparable lots within the Town are selling between $70,000.00-$90,000.00. Over the last 2.5 years that the lot has been listed, there has been very little interest in the lot, and no offers coming in. A motion was placed before Council to decrease the price to $80,000.00 in order to generate immediate interest in the property and bring about a sale, to prevent incurring ongoing costs of maintaining the lot. The motion was passed unanimously.
Direct Control Proposal On 4707-49 Avenue: A prospective buyer had expressed an interest in purchasing the lot at 4707-49 Avenue in Calmar, providing the Town would allow the formerly commercial lot to become residential. Considerable discussion ensued about the future planning of this street and whether it would remain residential or if at some point it might be incorporated into the downtown plan. 
A motion was made to allow the lot to be sold as residential so as not to prevent the sale, as the interested party would not purchase the lot as a commercial property. The motion was passed with Mayor Faulkner against.
Forfeited Construction Deposits: A listing of 33 construction deposits received between the years of 2004-2009 totaling $29,900.00 was presented to Council. These deposits were received from companies that have since moved, gone out of business, or were not in compliance. A recommendation was made to officially forfeit these deposits to the Town of Calmar and place the monies into General Revenues. The motion was passed unanimously. 
Building Name For New Calmar Affordable Housing Project: Leduc Foundation placed before Council a list of twelve proposed names for the new building, that the Board of Directors from the Foundation had presented for consideration. Six of the names began with "Calmar", and the other six began with "Shkola". Shkola is the Ukrainian word for "school", and Council felt it was a very appropriate choice considering the new building is close to both of the schools in town. However, Council agreed that they would respond back to the Foundation with their own naming suggestion. Council is notifying Leduc Foundation that their suggestion for the naming of the new Affordable Housing Project be "Calmar Shkola Suites".
Bylaw For Green Lights On Volunteer Firefighter's Vehicles: All three readings of Bylaw #2012-09 were before Council this night, to vote on the placement of green lights on volunteer firefighter's personal vehicles. The green lights would be used when responding to a fire alarm or other emergency, but do not give the operator of the vehicle any right to contravene the Highway Traffic Act. Councillor Bartlett questioned the value of the lights, and whether there is actually a benefit to a community by using them. When asked, Thorsby Fire Chief Troy Mutch, who was in attendance in the audience, responded that the experience of using the green lights in Thorsby over the last two years, was that they have proven to be very effective tools.  He also gave examples of several other smaller communities in Alberta that have been using the green lights for an even longer period of time, and how those communities have found value in them. 
The First Reading went to vote and passed with Councillor Bartlett opposed. Further Readings were deferred to the next regular Council meeting in order to gather more information from communities currently using the green light system.
Land Use Bylaw 2004-16 Amendments: Several amendments were proposed to Calmar's Land Use Bylaw, including changes to Development Permits, Rules and Procedures subsection 3.2(1), General Provisions 1.10 Building Exteriors, and an addition of Schedule D - Commercial Districts Site and Architectural Design Guidelines. 
The First Reading was passed with Councillor Bartlett against. Details of the proposed amendments can be requested through the Town Office.
Council was adjourned at 8:39 to go in camera.
 
TOWN OF MILLET
 
Tom Dirsa
 
The August 22, 2012 Millet Town Council meeting was opened by Mayor Ron Lorenson with all members present at 6pm.
The July 25th 2012 Council minutes were approved as corrected.
The Council then heard from Comrade Joffre Plaquin as to the Millet Legion Post Branch #229 requests that the Town honor the various heroes including members of the armed forces, police officers, firefighters, E.M.S, individual citizens and veterans by adding the name “Heroes Memorial Drive” to 52 Street. 
The proposal also included adding each of the various hero types to a street sign where the various Avenues meet 52nd Street. The Legion is prepared to cover the costs for adding the signs, but would appreciate assistance from the Town for installing the new signs.
This proposal does not require the Town to change street names only to add the designation to each street. This is similar to how Manitoba calls a section of the Trans-Canada Highway the Highway of Heroes.
Mayor Lorenson thanked the Legion committee for their proposal and the Council expressed a positive reaction to the proposal.
After the Legion delegation left the Council returned to Town business by accepting a number of reports and congratulating Councilwoman Pat Garrett for her success to become a Restorative Justice Grad. 
Restorative Justice focuses on repairing harm where a minor who has broken the law can be held accountable for their actions through system that brings together various members of the community to decide what is best for the minor and the victim.  
 
NEW BUSINESS: 
The Council decided to investigate the ramifications of the Legion’s request for adding Heroes Memorial Drive to 52 Street and to work with the Legion so a motion could be advanced in the near future.
Council approved an amendment to Appendix A of Policy #46 after some discussion and clarification. Policy #46 is in regard to the Town of Millet’s Annual Performance Review CAO.
The Town Administration then introduced a Community in Bloom Policy that established the bases for town expectations to participate in the Communities in Bloom program.  Council passed the policy.
The Town Council then accepted Ms. Joyce Gavan’s resignation from the Municipal Planning Committee (MPC) with thanks. Council approved the advertising of this position.
Town Council then appointed Teri Pelletier as Secretary for the MPC.
The Council has cancelled the September 26, 2012 Town Council meeting as it was in conflict with the annual Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Convention and Council members had difficulty in finding a reasonable alternative date.
The request by Muscular Dystrophy Canada to declare September Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month was approved Council.
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