Council Notes From All Over

 

CITY OF WETASKIWIN
 
 Barry McDonald
 
The City of Wetaskiwin welcomed Mr. Chris Cambridge as the new Director of Engineering. Mr. Cambridge joined the City on September 17th, 2012  Chris is a Professional Engineer with over 19 years of experience in the engineering, planning and public works fields. He also has military experience and positions of Interim CAO and General Manager of Public Works and Engineering Services for the City of Fort Saskatchewan.
 
Service awards  
The following individuals were recognized for their years of service: 
5 Years 
•Harvey Ganske Waste & Recycling 
• Marcia Peek Recreation 
10 Years 
• Helen Friesen-Kilosky Finance 
15 years 
• Peter Pullishy Utilities 
20 Years 
• Carrie Suchotzky Protective Services
Early Child Development Mapping Project Presentation
For every dollar we invest into services for children aged 0-5 years there is an 800% return.  For every dollar invested in school aged children the return drops to 200%.
The purpose of the project is to measure the health and development of populations of children so that communities are better able to assess how well they are doing in supporting early child development. The Wetaskiwin & Area Early Child Development Coalition was created using seed grant money from Alberta Education. Wetaskiwin & Area and includes the City and County of Wetaskiwin and the Town of Millet. The stakeholders committed to the healthy development of our community’s children. The presentation was accepted as information.
City Council authorized administration to enter into an agreement with Corix for the 2012 to 2014 meter replacement program 
The total cost of $250,000.00 in 2012, with funding for the 2013/2014 portion of the project in the amount of $436,000, which includes Master meter purchases and Corix installation fees, be from Utility Reserves.
The City of Wetaskiwin has approximately 4,400 water meters. A meter replacement program was initiated in 2008 to both change out old meters and introduce new technology (radio reads). There are approximately 2,400 meters that still need to be replaced. 
The City’s goal of switching to the automated meter reading system is to reduce labour cost, increase employee safety, increase accuracy and efficiency and decrease energy use. An automated meter reading system will allow the opportunity to switch to monthly billing which would mean that billing problems will be identified earlier, resulting in fewer complaints and fewer uncollectible accounts. 
Council approved the 2013 Electric Distribution System Franchise Fee rate remain at 10%.
In October 14, 2008 Council approved a 10% Electric Distribution System Franchise Fee that is currently in effect. Fortis Alberta has requested that Council approve the 2013 Franchise Fee Rate. Administration is recommending that the current rate remain at the 10% calculated on the transmission and distribution costs. 
Council approved that the public (property with tax arrears) auction be held on December 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM in City Council Chambers, and that the terms of the sale require payment by cash or certified cheque receipted at City Hall prior to close of the business day of the auction. 
  Council approved that the reserve selling price for each property be set at the current market value assessment, at the date of the auction, being December 5, 2012.
There are thirty-nine (39) properties and three (3) designated manufactured homes within the City of Wetaskiwin with tax arrears that have progressed through the collection process and are eligible for public auction. Council must establish a date, time, location and any terms and other conditions that apply to the public auction. 
Council approved sending the RCMP Staffing Levels in Municipalities Letter to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Honourable Jonathan Denis 
Excerpt from letter: During the August 24, 2012 Mid-Sized Cities Caucus of Mayors and CAOs, several municipalities shared their challenges related to having insufficient RCMP staffing. 
Many RCMP detachments have been operating at below the identified officer strength level for long periods of time. Much of this situation is due to officers being on extended leaves for various reasons. Officers in charge of detachments are challenged to balance the needs of the community as they attempt to provide quality policing services with these staffing shortages. Excessive overtime creates both human and financial costs. It is understood that when an officer is away from the detachment for more than 30 days, the municipality is not being billed for that officer; however, this does not address constant staff shortages which negatively impact police service levels.
City Council authorized Administration includes the County of Wetaskiwin in the Mutual Aid Fire Agreement for services between the City of Wetaskiwin and Ermineskin Cree Nation, Louis Bull Tribe, the Montana First Nation, and the Samson Cree Nation.
City Council Authorized Administration include the County of Wetaskiwin in the Mutual Aid Disaster Services Agreement between the City of Wetaskiwin and Ermineskin Cree Nation, Louis Bull Tribe, the Montana First Nation, and the Samson Cree Nation.
The mutual aid agreements are for Fire services and Disaster services between the Muskwachees First Nations, the County of Wetaskiwin and the City of Wetaskiwin. 
These agreements formalize the method and process that mutual aid will be requested and responded to. 
The County has been involved in developing these agreements. 
 
TOWN OF CALMAR
 
Lorna Lowe
 
Council was called to order at 6:57 pm with all Councillors present.
There were no changes to the agenda, and no public presentations.
Leduc RCMP Quarterly Report: S/Sgt Colin Campbell presented an overview of the quarterly report to Council. S/Sgt Campbell admitted to Council that the detachment had not met the goals they had set for themselves at the beginning of the year due to several different reasons, one of the main reasons being that the Leduc detachment is currently short eleven positions.
Some of the statistics reported that are specific to Calmar were, from January 1, 2012 to September 16th, 8 impaired drivers, 7 property crimes, 7 B&E's, 2 arsons, and 36 false alarms. In total there were 344 calls for service within the Town of Calmar.  
Request For Support Of Private Member's Bill: A request for a resolution of support for Private Member's Bill M-400 was placed before Council. This bill encourages government to establish a financial support system that would encourage rural home owners to upgrade their septic systems in an effort to improve water quality, lake protection and public health.
Councillor Wiancko commented that he was split on this bill as it would help the Province's lakes and creeks, but it would cost taxpayers more money.
Mayor Faulkner and Councillor Borodawka agreed that the wording of the bill was pretty vague and would like the request to be accepted as information.
Councillor Yachimetz made a motion to support the bill, and the motion was defeated.
Calmar Minor Hockey Association Funding Request: A request came from the CMHA for the Town of Calmar to share the cost of the annual maintenance fees for the CMHA website. The Town's portion would be $300.00/year, and the CMHA was asking for perpetual support for as long as the group existed. 
Councillor Wiancko motioned to support the cost sharing of the website but only for the 2012/13 season, and to be reviewed next year. Council voted unanimously to approve the motion.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Mayor Faulkner Proclaimed the month of October 2012 as "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" in Calmar.
Restorative Justice Week: Mayor Faulkner made a statement to Council on how he is a strong supporter of restorative justice for first time offenders and for young people. With Councillor Bartlett opposed, Council voted to approve the Mayor's proclamation of Restorative Justice Week from November 18-25, 2012.
Front Curb Garbage Pick Up: Beginning November 1, 2012, all garbage pick up within the Town of Calmar will occur at the front curb. New rolling waste carts will also be delivered to each house in Calmar during the second week of October. There will be no cost to residents for the carts. Starting on November 5th, only waste placed inside the carts will be collected, with the exception of recycling placed in blue bags. The blue bags are not to be put inside the new waste carts, and they will still be collected on every second Monday at the front curb.
Council was adjourned at 8:17 to go in camera.
 
CITY OF LEDUC COUNCIL
 
Lorna Lowe
 
Council was called to order at 7:00pm with all Councillors present.
There were no changes to the agenda, and no public commentary.
Presentation By MLA George Rogers: Deputy Speaker Rogers gave an update to Council on initiatives currently being undertaken in government that directly concern Leduc and area.
MLA Rogers first presented a new pamphlet that is being released requesting the public's input on healthcare, finance, and social policy. He stated that the government is very serious about integrating what they hear from the public. For example, they would like to hear some suggestions on how everyone would like to see the Heritage Trust Fund handled. He informed Council and the gallery, that copies of this pamphlet could be picked up at his office in Leduc.
He then told Council that fears of the MSI Funding Program ending prematurely were unfounded. MLA Rogers stated "At this point we will remain with this program to the end of the ten year commitment that was originally made." In 2012 MSI contributed $351,000.00 in operational funding, and over $4 million in Capital Funding to the City of Leduc.
As a final point of interest, Mr. Rogers said that he was happy to still be working with the City to lobby for the forward movement of the 65th Avenue and QEII interchange project. He informed everyone that it is currently not on the three year plan of upgrades for Alberta Transportation, but he is still talking to the Minister of Transportation, trying to convince him of the importance of this project and can hopefully get it moved up.
Leduc Achievement Award for Leduc LINX Connect Centre: The Leduc LINX was presented with a Leduc Achievement Award for their community spirit and for all the ways they are involved in making Leduc a better place to live. Some of the community initiatives that Leduc LINX individuals are involved in are Communities In Bloom, Earth Day Neighbourhood Clean Up, the Christmas Child Project and recycling to name a few. 
Mayor Krischke congratulated the group and said, "It means a lot that you are so active and committed to our community."   
2012 Telus Cup Final Report: Mr. Jim Jones came forward to give the final report to Council on the outcome of the 2012 Telus Cup that took place in April. He first thanked the City for all the support they gave, as well as thanking the public and local businesses for getting behind the event. 
A portion of a 25 minute slide show was played for Council, and then individuals involved in organizing the event came forward to share their experiences.
Jim then presented Council with a fun quiz about the event that had 18 questions with multiple choice answers, as a unique and entertaining way of sharing various facts on the outcome of the Telus Cup. Organizers had originally hoped to raise about $30,000.00 with this event, but in actuality it ended up realizing over $100,000.00 in profits. The total economic impact assessment of holding the Telus Cup in Alberta was $6.122 million, and the direct benefit to Leduc was $4.228 million.
In closing, the organizational team for the Telus Cup presented Council with a framed photograph as a thank you for the City's support.
Potential Sale Of 4432 - 47 St. In Leduc: Councillor Smith had to excuse herself from these proceedings as a possible conflict of interest.
There had been an offer made on the property for $375,000.00, which could not proceed without approval from City Council.
It had been proposed to use the proceeds from the sale of this property to help finance the purchase of the lands for expansion in the west end of the city.
Councillor Finstad motioned for acceptance of the sale and Council agreed unanimously.
Collective Bargaining Mandate: Administration came to Council asking for approval for the amended mandate that will allow the bargaining team the parameters to negotiate the first collective agreement with the International Association of Firefighters. Council approved unanimously.
Development Agreement For West Haven Stage 5B & 5C: Council voted unanimously to enter into a development agreement with Melcor Developments for West Haven Stages 5B and 5C. These developments are located within NE-28-49-25-W4.
Inaugural Mayor's Youth Leadership Recognition Initiative: A luncheon will be held on October 3, 2012 at the Best Western Denham Inn in Leduc, honouring 70 young people that have shown exceptional leadership abilities in different areas within our community. Mayor Krischke shared that "Our vision was to put something on to celebrate the youth that will one day be our leaders. This is hopefully the start of an initiative that will continue on for years in Leduc."
Transit Update: Mr. Kevin Wenzel gave Council an update on the transit services within Leduc. He stated that the new C-Line routes in Nisku are getting a great response from both users and employers in Nisku. As an example, on the first day of the new route Halliburton dropped off a cheque for $3,500.00 for employee bus passes. 
The City has also received more than 90 calls in the last 4 weeks requesting additional routes and services, but each additional trip costs approximately $120.00/day, so at the moment no additional trips are planned.
LATS has seen an increase in usage of 21% in the first three weeks of September, and there is also an expected increase of 29% in trips for 2013. There had been a rate increase for LATS in 2012 from $4.00/trip to $4.25/trip, and Kevin said that there could be another small increase for 2013, but he hoped that could be avoided.
A big question that had been raised was if the City was ready for an internal transit service, and Kevin stated, unequivocally, no. He used Airdrie as an example, where as a city of 47,000 people, they have an internal transit system of three buses. Last year their transit system cost the city $1.2 million, with a cost recovery of just 6.8%. So Kevin closed his update with the joke of being careful what we wish for.
Council adjourned at 9:55 pm with no in camera items. 
 
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