Council Notes From All Over
CITY OF WETASKIWIN
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.
The 2013 and 2014 budget details are now in the Diamond Financial System.
Currently designing new financial reports and improving some process for handling financial transactions.
Phase II of the project called “Virtual City Hall” which provides for enhanced customer services is scheduled for implementation this fall.
The audit planning for the year 2013 is scheduled for December (2013) by Grant Thornton.
Aquatic Centre Fundraising:
Continued financial support for sponsorship committee.
Prepared employment offers for Office Assistant II position and Assistant Manager of Finance.
Orientation proceeding Council proceedings and procedural bylaw review.
Records Management and Archives:
Analysing options for vacant Coordinator position. Digitization project has been put on hold.
Planning for the 2014 census project.
Communications is working on the revising and updating the Communication plan, developing a community engagement strategy and formulating an internal communications plan, and are on track to complete these projects by the end of the first quarter 2014.
Created a brochure outlining the benefits of the new Manluk Centre: Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatics and Fitness along with an invitation to donate to the Community Capital Campaign. This brochure was mailed out to all households in the T9A area code the second week of November.
Revitalization of the Wetaskiwin Public Library -Ten new public access computers have been ordered. A donation of $15,000 from Canadian Horizontal Drilling enables the Library to immediately proceed with planned improvements to the library.
Nearly 7,500 children and parents have attended various programs at the library.
The Wetaskiwin Public Library currently holds nearly 40,000 items in its collections, with almost 7,000 new items added to date in 2013.
First reading of Utility Levy Bylaws first step to increasing utility costs
City Administration explained increases to utility costs as follows: The approved 2014 Municipal Budget calls for rate increases in the water/sewer/waste management utility monthly service charges to fund ongoing operations and provide funds for capital improvements.
The first reading was given approval by Council with Jo Branco opposed.
Monthly water charges:
•From $ 22.65 to $26.00 for an increase of $3.35/month or $40.20 per year for the smallest pipe.
•From $272.30 to $312.85 for an increase of $40.55/month or $486.60 per year for largest pipe.
Monthly waste management charges:
•121 liter toter/week - $16.25/month to $17.00/month for $0.75/month increase ($9.00/year).
•242 litre toter/week - $32.50/month to $34.00/month for $1.50/month increase ($18/year).
•363 litre toter/week - $48.75/month to $51.00/month for $2.25/month increase ($27/year).
Monthly Sewage charges:
•Residential – single unit
From $ 43.54 to $ 48.06 per month for an increase of $ 4.52 ($54.24 /year).
Bi-monthly from $ 81.04 to $ 89.46 for an increase of $ 8 .42.
•Cubic Meter from $ 0.551 to $ 0.608 for an increase of $ 0 .057.
Council requested a more detailed report on the collection and use of utility fees prior to the 2nd and 3rd readings of the bylaw.
Bylaw 1824 – 13 Council Procedure Bylaw
The bylaw has been drafted using the current meeting procedures bylaw as the template. Any matter that is not specifically dealt with in the Bylaw is to be decided by the most recent version of Roberts Rules of Order.
Some of the highlighted changes of the new bylaw are:
- Replacement of term Alderman with Councillor.
- Terminology changes to bring bylaw up to date throughout.
- Inclusion of section 6 – Council Review hearings.
- Inclusion of participation in Council meetings through electronic communication.
Council questioned several items in the bylaw. Administration will provide alternatives prior to 2nd and 3rd reading of this bylaw.
Wetaskiwin Public Library Lease:
The library building has been leased since January 2008. The current lease for the library building expires on December 31, 2013. Administration has been in discussions with the landlord and have made the following changes to the lease agreement:
•The term of the lease will be for five years with an option to extend a further five years.
•The annual lease rate will be $83,000.
The additional costs have been included in the 2014 budget. The budget of $77,000 included the adjustment to the lease rate ($16,600) and renovations to the building for an expanded space for public ($60,400). The leaseholder will be doing the renovations based on the priorities identified by the City.
Council questioned the business decision to lease as opposed to making a purchase offer, the length of the lease and if a library of this size will adequately provide programs and services to serve a community the size of Wetaskiwin.
Approval for Out-Of-Province Travel:
The International Council of Shopping Centres Western Canada Trade Show & Conference is occurring from January 26th to 28th, 2014 in Whistler, BC. The City of Wetaskiwin is scheduled to be an exhibitor at this event with the goal of attracting retailers and shopping centre developers to our community.
Administration recommended that Mayor Bill Elliot be approved to attend this trade show as a City representative. Approved by Council.
CITY OF LEDUC
Council was called to order at 7:04 pm with all Councillors present. There was one addition to the agenda and no public commentary.
LNEDA Strategic Plan: LNEDA Board Chair Emma Pietroleonardo and Executive Director Barbara Engelbart came before Council to present the organization's new Strategic Plan.
The plan laid out a clear focus for the coming year including six performance indicators that will be reported on quarterly.
At the end of the presentation the LNEDA informed Council that their funding request for the coming year will be $311,795.00 which is $100,000.00 less than last year. Council accepted this report as information.
RCMP Quarterly Report: Inspector Wally Lynds gave a brief report on the most recent statistics within the City of Leduc. He stated that overall there was nothing of particular note within the report other than most of the criminal statistics shown are seeing the numbers dropping. Insp. Lynds commented that this trend was projected in their spring budget report and if things remain status quo then Leduc can expect those numbers to continue dropping.
Council accepted the report as information.
Titles For Members Of Council:
Council has unanimously voted to change the official title of Council members from "Aldermen" to "Councillors". The official title of "Alderman" had been in place since 1983.
Capital Region Specific Board Appointments: As required by the CRB five different Boards had Councillors unanimously appointed as City Representatives. They are as follows:
Capital Region Board :
Mayor (Alternate Councillors Dana Smith & David MacKenzie).
Governance, Finance and Priorities Committee – Mayor (Alternate Councillor Dana Smith).
Land Use & Planning Committee – Councillor David Mackenzie (Alternate Councillor Dana
Transit Task Force – Councillor Dana Smith (Alternate Councillor Glen Finstad).
Energy Corridors Task Force – Councillor Glen Finstad (Alternate Councillor Terry Lazowski).
2014 Fees & Charges Bylaw - First Reading: During the 2014 City of Leduc Municipal Operating Budget discussion there were a few changes proposed in regard to utilities charges and fees at the Leduc Eco-Station. These proposed changes are as follows:
- Eco-Station Bagged Waste Fee - Elimination of the charge for the first bag brought to the Eco-Station, but the fee remains in place at $2 per bag for each additional bag on the same visit.
•Water Charges - Water consumption charge, per cubic meter for 15mm meter size, to increase from $1.44 to $1.57. For meters larger than 15mm, to increase from $1.46 to $1.59.
•Wastewater Charge - Wastewater consumption charge, per month, per cubic meter, to increase from $1.18 to $1.23.
Another noted proposed change to the Fees & Charges Bylaw is the addition of a Fast-Track Residential Permit Review at a charge of $500.00. This would allow developers to receive approval for their City of Leduc Development or Building Permits within 72 hours.
As well, the Stone Barn garden area, which had previously been free to use, now requires organizations or individuals to book the area for any proposed events at a rate of $250.00 for 3 hours or $750.00 for the day (12 hours).
First Reading was passed unanimously.
Emergency Management Bylaw - All 3 Readings: Fire Chief Ernie Polsom came before Council to point out the importance of having an updated Emergency Management Bylaw. He stated that the City of Leduc is lucky and has planned well. Leduc's plan has been acknowledged by industry professionals as being one of the best in the Province.
Chief Polsom had high praise for the leadership team that put together this plan by saying that they were "a very well educated group and very effective."
He emphasized his presentation with a series of photos of disasters that had happened to municipalities across Canada including the Southern Alberta floods earlier this year, last winter's 100 car pile up just south of Leduc on Hwy 2, and in particular the tragedy that happened in Lac Megantic, Quebec. He commented that with our north/south rail line passing through the center of Leduc that "There but for the grace of God..." And that we should be prepared for the worst should it ever happen.
The biggest change to the Bylaw is that formerly the authority to declare a State of Local Emergency was given solely to the Mayor. The updated Bylaw states that this authority will now be delegated to the Mayor and City Manager to jointly declare a State of Local Emergency.
All 3 Readings were passed unanimously.
There were no items in camera.
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