Council Notes From All Over

TOWN OF MILLET COUNCIL
Lorna Lowe

    Council was called to order at 6:00 pm, with all Councillors present and wearing pink shirts to support anti-bullying.
    There was one addition to the agenda and no public commentary.

Agriplex Floor Headers:     The Town received notification that the Agriplex Floor Header project is to be fully funded up to the amount of $87,400.00 from the MSI capital funding allocation.

Random Acts Of Kindness Week: Council proclaimed that April 21-27, 2013 will be Random Acts Of Kindness Week in Millet. There are posters being printed up to be placed around town that encourages residents to do something kind and unexpected for other people. Suggestions include shovelling someone's sidewalk, helping to carry groceries, giving someone a ride, offering to walk their dog, or buying someone a coffee. 
    The Town asks that if someone offers you a random act of kindness, that you let the Town know about it by writing it down and submitting it to Town Office. These stories will be printed in the Town's newsletter, and the person who did the random act of kindness will be entered to win a prize. There will be one youth and one adult prize to be won.

West Central Planning Agency: At the November WCPA budget meeting the board made a decision to increase the membership fee to the five owners by 10%. It was noted in Council that there had been no increases for several years so this increase, if taken into consideration in that light, was not excessive. The previous membership rate was $5,639.20/year and has increased to $6,203.12. Council unanimously agreed to accept the increase.

2014 Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall Of Fame Inductees: Mayor Lorenson stated that he would be attending the Banquet as he had played with a lot of the members of the 1986 Wetaskiwin Sabres Football Team, who were one of the inductees this year. Council also agreed to take out a 1/2 page ad in the program again this year at a cost of $200.00.
    The 2014 inductees are: Athletes Ron Duncalf and Garry Dorchester, Athlete/Builders Al Sandahl and Ross MacEachern,  Builders Bill Bathgate and Bill Milnthorp, and Team the 1986 Wetaskiwin Sabres Football Team.

Request To Waive Agriplex Banquet Room Fee: The Millet Lion's Club requested a waiver of the fee on the Agriplex Banquet Room for their annual Charter Night on April 27, 2013. Council unanimously agreed to waive the fee.

Recreation Committee Recommendation: The recreation committee, formed to plan for the possible uses of the 26.72 acres behind the Agriplex, presented a plan to Council to turn 20 of the acres into a campground to be run by the Millet & District Lion's Club, and the remaining acres left as it is. The campground would include 6 trailer/motorhome sites, a parking/tenting area, a playground, volleyball court, office, and wood and equipment shed. Council unanimously motioned to accept this report.

Additional Item - Millet's Pink Shirt Day: Council declared February 27, 2013 to be Pink Shirt Day to support anti-bullying.
Council adjourned at 6:25 pm to go in camera.

LEDUC COUNTY COUNCIL

Lorna Lowe

    Council was called to order at 1:30 pm, with Mayor Whaley out sick and Councillor Stumph chairing the meeting.
    There were three additions, one deletion, and no public commentary.

Staff Introduction: Kim Barkwell, the new manager of the Sustainable Agriculture Program was introduced to Council. Ms. Barkwell resides out by Gwynne, has been involved in the pork industry for the last 15 years, and is anticipated to bring a producer's perspective to the job.

Additional Item - Upgrade To Fire Services Communication System: The County is proposing to switch to a DMR dispatch system for their fire service dispatch which will enable them to better communicate with other municipalities during larger scale emergencies. The new systems would be installed in three phases beginning with mobile units for the vehicles, and costing a total of $300,000.00. Council unanimously approved the new system.
Beaumont Annexation: After a recent meeting was held between the County's Intermunicipal Liaison Committee and representatives from the Town of Beaumont, it was suggested that the services of a mediator be retained to facilitate discussions. The cost would be split into thirds with the County, Beaumont and Municipal Affairs equally sharing the cost. Council unanimously agreed.

New Sarepta Agriplex Funding Agreement: There were two items placed on the table before Council in regard to the Agriplex Funding. The first was asking Council to approve the Class B Budget that shows a detailed breakdown of costs in the expansion, as well as where the proposed funds are to come from. In it, there was also a recommendation from the County's Director of Parks and Recreation, Dean Ohnysty, that Council continue to use Clark Builders to complete the project. Gaining approval of the budget would mean that construction could begin as early as the end of this month, possibly have the new change rooms ready for the start of hockey season this fall, and be fully completed by February 2014. Council unanimously approved the Class B Budget.
Item #2 was asking Council to approve the Funding Agreement. This agreement would mean that Council would, in principal, agree to the signing of a completed funding agreement for the expansion with the New Sarepta Agricultural Society. The formal agreement is expected to be completed at the end of this month, which includes all the details and specific wording required in a final agreement.
    Dean stated that the intent of the agreement is that the Ag Society would keep the facility clean and safe, and continue to run it as they do now. The Society would continue to pay the majority of operational costs with a bit of help from the County. Dean also pointed out that the New Sarepta Agriplex costs the County 1/6 the amount of money to run as any other arena in the County, and complimented the New Sarepta Ag Society for their excellent work in running the Agriplex.
    Councillor Harrison stated that she could not say anything bad about this project, and that she thinks the residents will be proud of their new building, and that she is proud of it too. Council voted to unanimously support the in principal signing of the funding agreement.

Grant To Pigeon Lake Watershed Association: Late last year the PLWA had applied for a funding grant of $15,000.00 to Leduc County, and Council had been open to the request but asked that the PLWA give a presentation to Council outlining what the funds would be used for. Representatives from the PLWA brought this information to Council at this meeting.
    With a large and detailed strategic plan that continued through to 2014, the group showed Council the many ways that their money would be used. This included the creation of a new website, GIS watershed mapping, a water quality modelling program with samples taken and analysis done at the University of Alberta, module development for research and technical support, and community outreach projects.
    Their total budget for 2013 is $66,000.00 and the $15,000.00 from the County would go towards making up their current budget shortfall of $36,850.00. Council unanimously agreed to release the funds.
    City Of Leduc ASP: This item was deferred until the March 26, 2013 meeting of Council.
    Council was adjourned at 2:58 pm to go in camera.    

WETASKIWIN COUNTY COUNCIL

Barry McDonald

Alder Flats Community Agricultural Society - Review Funding: The Alder Flats Community Agricultural Society received $8,412.00 in recreational funding from the County of Wetaskiwin in 2012 to assist with four renovation projects to the hall:

Library funding: At the March 15th, 2012 County of Wetaskiwin Library Board Meeting general discussion ensued on the current Library distribution percentages and how additional per capita County funding could be allocated to the Libraries to help them remain sustainable. Council approved an 18% municipal funding increase to the County of Wetaskiwin Library Board and will include this allocation in the 2013 Municipal and Operating Budget deliberations. Council chose to approve a flat rate operating subsidy of $2500 each for the Alder Flats, Lakedell and Winfield libraries for a total of $7500 to be included in the 2013 Municipal and Operating Budget deliberations.

West Central Planning Agency 2013 requisition:
On January 30, 2013 a letter was received from West Central Planning Agency (WCPA) advising that at their November 28, 2012 meeting the WCPA Board approved a 10% increase to their annual requisition for planning services. Council approved the 10% increase of the 2013 WCPA requisition for a total of $31,296.76.

Review of proposed Open House date and events: The Open House for 2013 be held on Friday, May 3 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m... Premier Redford and local MLAs will be invited to attend.

Request for Tax Forgiveness - Edmonton & Area Land Trust: On January 28, 2013 correspondence was received from Pam Wight, Executive Director for Edmonton & Area Land Trust, requesting Council provide them tax forgiveness or donate $10,000 to offset their direct obligations on lands they own within the County of Wetaskiwin - NE-34-46-23-W4M (Plan 0624490; Block 1; Lot 1).
    The Edmonton & Area Land Trust (EALT) is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to conserving the natural heritage of the region. 
    Council denied the request for tax forgiveness on the subject property in order to be equitable with other land trusts, such as Ducks Unlimited within the County of Wetaskiwin.

Road Allowance Closure and Lease: On December 19th, 2012 a request was received from Wetoka Farms (Michael Roth) for Council's consideration to close and lease an undeveloped "forced" road allowance between the SE 24-47-26-W4M and NE 24-47-26-W4M (Twp Rd. 473A and Rge Rd 260). 
    Council approved to proceed with Wetoka Farms - Michael Roth's request for the closure and lease of the "forced" road between SE 24-47-26-W4M and NE 24-47-26-W4M (Twp Rd 473A and Rge Rd 260) conditional as follows: Mr. Roth provide written confirmation they will accept responsibility for all costs associated with the road closure including; Advertising of the Public Hearing; Title searches required for notification of referral agencies (Not refundable); All other charges relating to closure of road allowances; No objection being received from any person who would be prejudicially affected by the proposed road closure; Approval of the Minister of Alberta Transportation; Provision of a correct and acceptable description of the closure area from an Alberta Land Surveyor, if required.

Scott Middleton - Request to Purchase Road Plan 3448 BM: On December 19th, 2012 a letter was received from Mr. Scott Middleton requesting Council's consideration to close and sell Road Plan 3448 BM that travels through the adjacent land SE 31-47-26-W4M. This road plan provides him sole access to his property (NE 31) and currently Mr. Middleton has a twenty-five year road allowance lease with the County. Mr. Middleton advised his intent would be to consolidate the road plan into his land and that this road plan has been closed for many years following the development of Secondary Highway 616 and 795. This road plan terminates at his property and has no continuance, is currently maintained, upgraded and insured by Mr. Middleton.
    Administration has concerns with closing the road plan and selling it because it severs a portion of the SE 31-47-26-W4M. The request is difficult due to the fact two different landowners are involved and historically this road plan has been a very contentious issue between the two landowners. To complete the road closing process, the landowner of the SE 31-47-26-W4M may have to become involved to endorse the required documents necessary for registration at Alberta Land Titles.Council denied the request 

2013 Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall of Fame: In January 23, 2013 a letter was received from Mr. Dale Palmer and Mr. Don McMillan, Directors of the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame advising that their annual banquet is being held on March 23, 2013. This year’s inductees are:
Athletes: Don Duncalf, and Garry Dorchester.
Athletes/Builders: Al Sandahl, and Ross MacEachern
Builder: Bill Bathgate, and Bill Milnthorp
Team: Wetaskiwin Sabres 1986 Football

VILLAGE OF THORSBY COUNCIL
Linda M. Steinke
 
        Thorsby Communities in Bloom (CiB) Committee member Mary Ann Rosenau met with Council to ask for a Letter of Support for the 2013 Walmart-Evergreen Green Grants Program.

    Council agreed to do so.  The community greening program supports community development, environment stewardship and urban agriculture projects across Canada. If CiB is successful with its grant application, it hopes to place five clusters of native species shrubs and trees near the playground area along the North and East side of the Arctic Spas Recreation Complex. Also, two interpretive signs will be sited that will feature native plants and animals, a scavenger hunt, recycling facts and organic living. There was discussion by Council regarding the need for the fence between the building (Arctic Spas Rec Complex) and the parking lot, and the gate. Originally it was put there because of safety regulations; however, Town Manager Payette noted he has not seen children playing in that area.
        City of Leduc resident Mark Tamagi, Founder and President of Blackgold Broadcasting Corporation along with members of the management team met with Council to announce the launch of a new FM radio station covering Leduc and Leduc County.  CJLD, 93.1 FM, The One will feature “Leduc’s Best Country” and top-of-the-hour news including a focus on Leduc and Leduc County news. Ryan Peterson is the news director and Mike McGuire will be program director and on-air host. Peterson noted Thorsby is one of the fastest growing communities in Western Canada. “The only time we hear news around Leduc County is when tragedy strikes.  We want to break that mould.” Peterson notes The One offers “immediacy” that others do not. Councillor Williams noted this will give Leduc County region residents our own identity.
        Four community residents will be honoured in an award presentation on February 26, 2013, at 6:30 PM in Council Chambers. For their contributions to the community, Ted Bilar, Sam Kobeluck, Phyllis Madiuk, and Norm Osness will receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal marking the 60th Anniversary of her Majesty’s accession to the throne. Congratulations to each of you.
        A motion was been made to amend the Municipal Policy regarding Properties Disposal # 2013-001 to read properties with a dollar value of $1,000 or greater must be brought before council for approval before disposal. Mayor Rasch said he is happy to have this policy in place.
        Thorsby Planning & Sustainability Advisory Committee Bylaw #2012-11 drafted to provide terms of reference for the Advisory Committee,  was given first and second readings. Third reading is tabled until February 26 Council meeting to allow the changes brought forward by Councillor Pharis to be added—a provision to allow a sub-committee to strike an ad hoc committee.  This saves the group time. 
    Animal Control Bylaw #2012-06 has had a legal review and several updates and changes completed. Town Manager Payette says it is fully enforceable now.  Council passed first and second readings.
        Bylaw 2013-01, a bylaw to amend BY-LAW 2006-08—Section 5 NOISE was given first and second readings.  The amendment will allow contractors to perform Commercial property snow removal during any weekday and on any weekend during the winter months. The By Law also deals with allowable noise levels according to decibel (dB) levels as opposed to an item such as a noisy hot tub or air conditioner. Allowable levels: Residential—between 55 dB and 65 dB (refer to the Bylaw for the times and days, and  which applies when); 75 dB at all times in business, commercial and light industrial areas; 90dB for vehicles GVW over 6000 lbs.; 86 dB for motorcycles; 80 dB for all other vehicles. 
        Council approved the Collective Agreement between the Village of Thorsby and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Union (CUPE) Local 30 for the period of January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015. Mayor Rasch noted there were solid bridges built. “It was a bit of a learning curve for me.  I have not negotiated with the Union before.” He described the process as educational, great energy and even “fun”.  “Both parties feel good and there’s a sense of accomplishment,” said Rasch. Town Manager Payette added this agreement is one year longer than previous agreements.
        Council approved the appointments of Glenn Taylor, Kim Chung and Cindy Marquardt to serve as members on the Thorsby Recreation Advisory Committee.
        The Communities in Bloom Committee has submitted a request for financial assistance in the 2013 Budget to help with ongoing maintenance and project assistance.  Plants-$1500 (additional), Landscaping - $1500, Labour-$500, Travel-$100, Provincial Judges Tour - $400 = $4000. CiB works very hard to find outside revenues such as garage sales, plant sales, Adopt a Barrel Campaign, BBQs, Raffles, working events, and Fresh Wreath sales. In 2012, CiB provided: moss planter courses, Natures Keepers bird feeder workshop, and a composting course.  There are many more ideas coming forward in 2013 according to Treasurer Reg McDougal. The group provides valuable community service in areas of marketing, community clean up, town planting, trying to secure grants, providing Trail funding, help with bottle recycling, garbage can grant, community enhancement, and cell phone recycling options. The request will be referred to Council budget deliberations.
        Councillor Osness requested more information regarding a request from the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance Society for a $0.05 per capita contribution to NSWA’s operations in 2013 in order to make a reasonable decision.
        Mark your calendars:  Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at the Thorsby Community Hall. Doors open at 5:00 PM. Facilitated conversations run from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. Albertans are invited to participate in a province-wide water conversation hosted at twenty locations around the province by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. This three-hour facilitated session will cover four topics: healthy lakes; water use in hydraulic fracturing (fracking); drinking water and wastewater systems; and water management; but any water-related question will be welcome. For more information go to www.waterconversation.alberta.ca.

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