Council Notes From All Over



Lorna Lowe

 Council was called to order at 1:32 pm, with Councillor Schonewille absent.
 There were two additions to the agenda, and no public presentations.

Warburg Region Initiatives:
 County Manager Brian Bowles made a presentation to Council with four recommendations based on recent meetings with the Village of Warburg. Declining populations in that area of the county due to the special circumstances of the Genesee Coal Field Expansion, it was being recommended that to prevent undue financial hardship to the Village, that as of January 1, 2013, Leduc County amend their recreational cost sharing with Warburg and freeze the County Population Percentage at 74% based on the year 2000 statistics, which was prior to the Coal Field Expansion. It was also suggested for the County to partner with the Village on contracting for services and materials, enter into service agreements together where mutually beneficial, and that Leduc County would be designated as the Weed Inspector for the Village. Council voted unanimously to accept these recommendations.
RR 263 Project Update:    The Director of Public Works and Engineering for Leduc County, Des Mryglod, came before Council to give an update on the project concerning RR 263 south of Hwy 39. He stated that discussions on the part of the project concerning a weigh scale were still ongoing but that it didn't look like it was going to happen. So he was requesting Council to make a Resolution to enable them to reallocate the funds set aside for the weigh scale and move them over to improving the basic project itself. The project is still predicted to come in within budget.
 Councillor Stumph commented that he was aware how essential this project is but questioned if it could be finished this year as it was already so late in getting started.
 Des replied that they should begin moving dirt this week but even so, no, the project will probably not be completed this year. However, he went on to say, it is a "vital" piece of roadway and the County needs to get it underway.
 Council unanimously approved the reallocation of funds.
Amending Wizard Lake ASP:
 County Manager Brian Bowles came before Council to say that administration felt that due to the high number of feedback items from residents, that further public meetings should be held before he felt comfortable returning to Council with suggestions from the focus group. He asked for a deferral of this issue, and Council agreed to bring it back at the November 27, 2012 regular council meeting.
Pigeon Lake Door To Door Garbage Pick Up:
 The President of the Mission Beach Ratepayers Association, Michael Gaian, made a presentation to Council on behalf of the group concerning the possible cessation of door to door garbage pick up at Pigeon Lake unless an agreement could be reached between Council and residents.
 Mr. Gaian brought forward concerns that there had been no dialogue on this subject, and that the County had been "heavy handed" in their approach to this issue by alerting residents by mail that the service would cease on September 31st.
 He stated that historically garbage collection had been an item included within resident's land taxes for the last sixteen years, so in essence the costs had already been paid, but now the County was telling them they had to pay more or lose the service. He stated that residents feel they are already receiving underpar services for their tax dollars. Mr. Gaian also claimed that according to his research that the new pay rates the County was proposing in order to continue the service far exceeded the actual cost of providing the service.
 The reply from County Administration was that the costs of providing the service had increased over the years and the price that had been charged through resident's land taxes had not covered the cost of operating the service for a long time. Therefore, when the service contract came up for garbage collection out at Mission Beach residents had a choice; pay more or end the service. The County then asked if the residents would consider a decrease in the proposed new rate to $10.00/month all in, a fair rate for the service?
 Councillor Stumph was quite agitated with the ongoing discussions and at one point commented that in speaking with other county residents, discovered they were quite unhappy to learn that part of their tax dollars were going to pay for this one area's door to door garbage service when the rest of the county does not receive the same service. He stated that he would be "thrilled" to pay $10.00/month for garbage pick up at his residence.
 It was decided to hold a public meeting for residents on October 13th, where a vote will be held to determine if this new rate proposal is acceptable.
 Councillor Glassman motioned that $10.00/month all inclusive door to door garbage collection will commence at Pigeon Lake on January 1, 2013, unless voted as unacceptable by residents on October 13, 2013. If voted as unacceptable, the County will cease services as of December 31, 2012 and residents will become responsible for their own garbage disposal. The motion was carried with Councillors Mackay and Harrison against.
Highway 19 Alignment:
 As a follow up to a presentation that the Sprucedale Community had made to Council regarding the proposed realignment of Hwy 19 in order to incorporate a third runway into the Edmonton International Airport, Council had drafted a letter to be sent to Alberta Transportation which included four key points. Namely that the realignment cannot negatively effect the cultural heritage, churches or cemeteries in the Sprucedale Community, and that the County would provide assistance in coordinating a town hall meeting between residents and senior representatives from Alberta Transportation and the EIA.
Councillor Mackay motioned for approval and Council carried it unanimously.
Home Internet Services For County Councillors:    Due to the fact of the Internet being indispensable to the work that County Councillors do, a recommendation was put forward to amend the Fees an Expenses Policy to allow Council members to receive an allowance of $60.00/month toward home Internet costs. This item was passed unanimously.
Additional Item - Resolution For Public Access to Alberta's Lakes And Rivers:
 Councillor Harrison made a motion to submit a letter to the Pembina River District for consideration at the AAMDC encouraging them to urge the Province towards strengthening the legislation to provide continued public access of Alberta's lakes and rivers by protecting existing public lands. The Resolution passed with Councillor Stumph against.
Council was adjourned at 3:31pm, with no items in camera.

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