Council Notes From All Over

Lorna Lowe

    Council was called to order at 7:00 pm with all Councillors present. There were three additions to the agenda and no public commentary.

National Dementia Strategy: 
    Council received a letter from MP Claude Gravelle notifying them about a Municipal Resolution he hoped that they would pass in support of Bill C-356. This is a Bill that he has introduced that calls for legislation for the creation of a national strategy for dementia. The bill is designed to develop strategies for primary health care, care partner engagement and investments in research amongst other things. 
    The request was for Council to pass their support of the Municipal Resolution in support of the Bill and to send letters notifying their support to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Health Minister Rona Ambrose. Council unanimously supported the Resolution.

Library Board Appointment: 
    Council unanimously appointed Ms. Alicia Swan to the Library Board for a three year term.
Request To Waive Ice Fees: The Calmar Figure Skating Club sent a request to Council asking for a waiver of the ice fees for their 40th Anniversary Carnival. The carnival will be taking place on Sunday, March 16th from 11am-3pm. The cost for the ice time is $81.20/hour for a total waiver request of $324.80.
    Councillor Wiancko said that he recognized that it was a local group and he felt Council should support them by approving the request. 
    Councillor Yachimetz stated that he had reservations about approving the request as he felt it might set a precedence for other local groups to then make the same request.
    Councillor Donovan motioned to send this request to the Recreation Board for their recommendation. Council unanimously approved the motion.
    Adopt-A-Hydrant Program: On behalf of the Calmar Fire Department Fire Chief David Brooks presented a proposal to Council to begin an Adopt-A-Hydrant program in Calmar. The program would be free for residents who wished to participate and would ensure the Town's hydrants were continuously monitored, the snow was cleared away from them in the winter, and the "adoptive" groups would also have the option to paint the hydrants and add to the beautification of the Town. If approved the program would allow families, groups or individuals to apply at Town Hall for the hydrant of their choice. 
    Town Manager Rodberg pointed out that it was still the responsibility of Public Works to keep the hydrants clear of snow in the winter and Chief Brooks replied that this program could enable it to be done more often and faster. 
    Council unanimously approved the program with Mayor Faulkner adopting the first hydrant.

Tablet Purchases For E-Council: 
    A motion was made to purchase Dell tablets for Council so that all Town business could be installed, downloaded or dealt with by email electronically on the Town’s owned tablets. 
Councillor Wiancko suggested that the purchase of tablets could be postponed a year or two until the Town was not in such a financial "pinch" as he found the quote to be a little "pricey". He also requested a recorded vote on this motion.
    The motion was defeated with only Mayor Faulkner voting in favour.  
Council was adjourned at 8:23pm with Council going in camera to discuss a personnel item.



Linda M. Steinke
        Council voted unanimously to rescind the Council Code of Conduct Policy #2012-006 and begin the process of adopting its replacement—Bylaw #2014-02—after Ms. Tonna, policy and bylaw expert with Transitional Solutions, reviewed the Policy and indicated that a Bylaw would be more appropriate. The bylaw addresses ethical standards expected from Council Members and will include members’ signatures acknowledging they’ve read, understood and accepted the expected ethical standards. First reading of the new Bylaw should take place at the next Council meeting.
        At the Organizational Meeting, Council voted that each Councillor serve a one-year term as Deputy Mayor. However, current Bylaw states each Councillor will serve a three-month term.  Council agreed to amend the contradicting sections of the Bylaw in order to maintain the one-year term decision made at the Organizational Meeting. 
Council Motion Tracking Sheet:
          Each week, Council examines the progress made on their motions via the Motion Tracking Sheet. As of the January 28th Regular Council meeting, nothing is “behind schedule” or “critically off schedule.” 
Completed: Road Warranty Work at 53rd St.; 
    WPS (formerly Genivar) has reconsidered their previous decision and agreed in writing to share the cost of the Kran Invoice.  Administration believes this concludes the Village’s business with WPS; record made of destruction of documents as per Retention Bylaw; meeting arranged and made with MP Blaine Calkins; 
communication with Community Fit regarding event details.
On going: Individual Mutual Aid agreements with Warburg, Calmar, Brazeau County and Mulhurst Bay. 

Recreation agreements; 
Assessment Open House Policy to be drafted; create Community Standards Bylaw; Krueger Road right-of-way access; ideas on formation of Hall Committee; 
cost out exploration of underground survey of service lines on Hankin Street; contact Genivar to explore preliminary costs for East Industrial Park servicing with “Time extended” Letters to be sent to businesses.  Engineering plan cost/quote to be included in the 2014 budget process; walking trail: research and confirm land access rights, research other concerns that may impact the Village. 
On Schedule:
Transitional Solutions contract for services; Capital Region Communities in Bloom 2012 National Conference Legacy Fund Grant—Work between the Village and local CiB will be required in 2014 to complete the terms and reporting for the Grant.
Uncollectable debt write-off: 
        Council agreed to write off $6,528 as an uncollectable debt to the municipality for the 2013 year. All avenues taken to recover the outstanding revenues have been made and were unsuccessful.  The uncollectable debts are from 2010 ($1,863); 2011 ($3,465); and 2012 ($1200). 
        The amount is “totally for ice rental and facility rental, not back taxes,” said Acting CAO Christine Burke. 
        Kelley Probe took the position of Thorsby Parks and Recreation Director in 2013. She entertained questions from Council and discussed the safeguards that are now in place.  Rental agreements are made with the Hockey Association.  One time users or those with no part in rental agreements will pay up front.         
        Acting CAO Burke noted that this year’s up-front money for the concession is collected for a period of six months, and booking requests from the hockey association that defaulted will not be accepted in the future.
$149,000 Grant: 
        Leduc County has been approved for the 2013-14 Regional Collaboration Program (RCP) Grant of $149,000 in support of its project: Regional Sustainability and Governance.  The communities of Leduc County (Leduc County, City of Leduc, Beaumont, Calmar, Devon, Thorsby, and Warburg) applied for the grant under the Regional Collaboration component of the Provincial RCP. Mayor Rasch said, “Many partners look forward to see how to use the dollars to benefit our communities.” In his letter, Leduc County Mayor John Whaley recognized the Honourable Diana McQueen, MLA, Drayton Valley-Devon, and George Rogers, MLA, Leduc –Beaumont, for their continued support for this project.
Budget Talks:     
        Council invites the public to the following Budget and Strategic Planning Meetings  February 11 and February 13 from 7pm to 10pm at the Community Hall; and, if needed, on February 22 (moved from February 15 date)  from 9am to 3pm at the Community Hall.
        An email was received from a Thorsby resident that restated the three requests made last spring by representatives from each of the four different groups who have cemeteries within the Village Cemetery during a tour with Mayor Rasch and then CAO R. Payette:  1) the west side entrance gates need to be replaced with new gates, 2) installation of a portable toilet for all four groups involved, and 3) that the village cut the grass on the east side of the cemetery and to the west of the auction mart.  “There is a road allowance which would be nice to have another access for gravediggers and monument people to get into the graveyard,” said Cathy Kuzio on behalf of the Our Lady of Victory Catholic church cemetery group. This has been deferred to the budget process.
Community Hall: 
          Thorsby Parks and Recreation Director Kelley Probe brought to Council three options for setting up a committee/Board to run, manage or administer the Community Hall.
        Her first recommendation is to do a building assessment.  Then, determine which society or organization would be right for the hall.
        The following options were shared with Council:
1)   Friends of the Hall Committee—local volunteers who would fundraise.  The drawback is they cannot apply for grants, but they can partner with a local non-profit organization to apply for grants. 
2)   A Non-Profit Organization (NPO) is a simple set up, though it would take close to a year to set up and get approval through Alberta Registries. They can apply for grants and work casinos. Need bylaws, internal audits which can be done by a neutral party.
3)   A Charitable Organization can issue donation receipts. Reporting requirements are greater. It must be audited by a professional.
4)   Sub-Advisory Committee to the Parks and Recreation Committee—has its own set of terms of reference and reports to the Parks and Rec Chair.  
    Mayor Rasch said there’s a need to do this right and it takes time; but, he added there are still some small things that can be done at the hall immediately. 
            Ms. Probe said HP Electric discovered one reason for the power outage at the Malanka celebration in January—a 70 Amp breaker feeds all the lights, the kitchen, stage, and plug-ins in the bar. The bulbs will be changed out to LED bulbs (35 Amps were going to the lights alone). Council will consider an option to increase the breaker service to 100 Amps.  Users will be notified to limit power.
            The out-of-service elevator is to be repaired the first week of February. Until it is fully serviced, it will be disconnected for safety reasons.  
            The electrician looked into the issue with emergency lighting. 
            Operations Director Bill Adams was asked about the grader breakdowns and the best way forward. A Public Works poll showed most believe that a loader would help reduce wear and tear on the grader. Mayor Rasch said the purchase of a loader or another grader should be added to the budget discussion. Councillor Hart said this has been talked about for years and stressed the issue must be addressed. 
            Mayor Rasch said, “I’m concerned about sticking $6-thousand into it only to trade it in three months. We’ve had three breakdowns in the last year….It works hard and it must deliver service when it’s needed.”  
Snow Woes :
    Mayor Rasch questioned the snow removal on 52nd Street and the narrow access due to the snow windrows. Operations Director Adams said that Highways is responsible for removing one swipe of snow on either side of the center line.  The Village is responsible for one (eight-foot) pass of snow to the curb. Adams said the windrows are allowed by policy to remain. He added there is a large cost involved in hauling snow. “We’ve been lucky with the warm weather.” 
            A letter was received from Leduc County Mayor John Whaley regarding clarification on its involvement in critical regional transportation projects in response to “incorrect information…presented and reported on—at the Realtors Association of Edmonton’s 2014 Housing Forecast Seminar held Jan. 8, 2014.”  In part, the Leduc County letter states the County “will significantly fund regional roadways running to and from to the QE II Highway and 41 Avenue SW interchange.”  The County is “funding the $73-million Nisku Spine Road—a four-lane road linking Nisku Industrial Business Park to the 41 Avenue SW interchange and the new CP Intermodal Yard in the City of Edmonton.  Future development will connect the Nisku Spine Road to the Leduc Business Park.”  The County has also offered to “share (with the City of Edmonton) the estimated $6-to-$8-million cost to upgrade the portion of the 41 Avenue running east from the 41st Ave SW interchange to the Nisku Spine Road.”


Barry McDonald

Partial Penalty Cancellation Request – Hahn:
    In September 2013, Mr. and Mrs. Hahn dropped off five post dated cheques for their property legally described as SW-12-47-26-W4M. The final payment  (cheque) dated January 15, 2014 was at the top of the pile and previous dated cheques were not entered into the County system creating a ‘late’ penalty. Council approved the request for partial penalty cancelation in the amount of $10.59 for an administrative oversight. 

Penalty Cancellation Request – Fani:
    On January 9, 2014 Mr. Fani inquired about his payment of $577.42 that the County had received on August 23, 2013 for his property NW-10-47-24-W4M. The 2013 property tax levy was $577.42, but the subject cheque was entered into the County system as $557.42.   On January 13, 2014 the County applied $20.00 to the Fani tax account leaving an outstanding balance of $2.68. Council approved the request for penalty cancelation in the amount of $2.68.

Community Futures - Diane Szumlas - Economic Development Initiative:
    Community Futures is a non-profit organization guided by a volunteer Board of Directors and staff with business professionals to provide some of the following opportunities:
• Business Advice
• Business Training
• Alternative Lending – up to $150,000 
• Specialized Programs 
• Community Economic Development 
    Council accepted the presentation from Diane Szumlas, General Manager of Community Futures, as information and that the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) will contact Community Futures for involvement if required.

Chamber of Commerce - Wetaskiwin & Pigeon Lake Annual Review:
    Ms. Judy Best from the Wetaskiwin and District Chamber of Commerce (WDCC) and Mr. Rick Southern from the Pigeon Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (PLRCC) attended the Council meeting to provide Council with their annual review. Annually, the County of Wetaskiwin approves grant funding and in 2013 both Chambers of Commerce a grant of $12,500.00 each.

RCMP K-Division Delegation Meeting:
    Municipalities around the Province have the opportunity to meet with the RCMP Commanding Officer, his Management Team, and representatives from the Solicitor General's Public Security Division at the AAMD&C Convention, March, 2014. Inspector Tod has advised that as part of the planning process, the RCMP require a list of concerns or requests each Municipality wishes to discuss with the Delegation at the convention.

2013 Enhanced Policing Report:
    Wetaskiwin RCMP have an agreement to provide Enhanced Policing Services to the County of Wetaskiwin No. 10 for a total of 550 hours. As per the agreement, they are required to provide Administration with reports outlining the enhanced services they have provided to the County of Wetaskiwin. In 2013, Wetaskiwin RCMP provided the County of Wetaskiwin with 497.25 hours of Enhanced Policing.

South Pigeon Lake Lease Agreement:
    The County provided living quarters and one bay for ambulance services at the South Pigeon Lake Fire Hall at minimal rate of $1,500.00 per month. This allows residents throughout the County to be provided a
higher level of service. Council approved an amended lease agreement for Associated Ambulance for a five (5) year term beginning April 1, 2012 at a revised rate of $1,641.12 per month beginning January 1, 2014 for the rental of the secure additional office space in the administration area of the fire hall.

Term Expiration for Zone "B" member:
    Council approved appointing Mr. Floyd Johnson to the Library Board for Zone "B" for the area from the S.H. 771 east to Highway 2A, until October 31, 2016, effective immediately.

Campaign Finance Disclosure:
    On October 25, 2013 a letter was sent to each of the candidates that ran in the 2013 Election stating the following:
    If your entire campaign was funded exclusively out of your own funds, and does not exceed $10,000, then you are not required to file a disclosure statement with the municipality.
    However, if you received a campaign contribution, as defined in the act, including but not limited to money, property or in kind donations you must file a disclosure statement by March 1, 2014, to the County of Wetaskiwin.
    Council received the Campaign Finance Disclosure correspondence from the Government of Alberta as information.

2013 final Business Plan reporting (Interplan):
    Administration presented Council with the final report from 2013 updating the status of the Strategic Business plans. In the third year of implementation, action progress showed that of the 231 actions, 82% were completed or 'on track'. 18% were considered 'off track', and could not be completed because of items such as a shortage of resources or time, staff changeover, budget not approved or no grants available. Administration is pleased with the commitment of staff and Council towards the business plan reporting. In 2012, of 254 actions, 85% were completed and 15% were 'off track'.

Photo Contest held throughout 2013:
    Two photo contests were organized, one for resident amateur photographers and one for County staff . Winners of the seasons are: Fall - Alie Forth,  Winter - Alie Forth,  Spring - Denise Hargreaves,  Summer - Alie Forth, Fall - Darlene Parchewski,   Winter - Laurisa Kakoschke,  Spring - Ronda Myers, and  Summer - Ronda Myers . The Grand Prize winner is Alie Forth.

Ambassador Information Session 2014:
    The Ambassador Information Session has been scheduled for Friday, March 21, 2014 at the Reynolds Alberta Museum from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The purpose of the session is to share information with all staff regarding the various departments and to substantiate the importance of each person’s role in the organization and the services provided to citizens.

Set 2014 Open House dates:
    Council approved the May Open House to be held Wednesday, May 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the County shop, with a bbq and displays and that an Open House be held in August in conjunction with the tax collection.

Review of Communications Device Policy for Council - options:
    Council discussed an amendment to current policies Technology Asset Management Policy #1212, Communication Device Policy #2203 and Computer Network and Internet Usage Policy #1209 to remove any reference to Council members regarding technology use and direct Administration will draft a new policy that will provide Council with technology options that will best suits their needs.

MSI Funding Approval:
    Council accepts the Honorable Ken Hughes, Minister of Municipal Affairs, notice of that the Buck Lake Senior Citizen's Drop in Centre received $5,000.00 for renovations and the Lakedell Agricultural Society received $62,215 for hall upgrades were accepted as qualifying projects under Municipal Affairs capital funding guidelines as information .

Park Attendant Contracts - Proposed COLA increase
Proposed COLA increase - therefore the meeting should go in to In-Camera

Procedural By-law Review Committee – Appointment
    Work is underway to provide a guideline and provisions  regulating the conduct of business during Council Meetings and Council Committee Meetings. To proceed with the Procedural By-law Review Committee Council must appoint new Council representation to continue the review of the draft by-law.  Re-appoint members of Council and Staff to continue the review of the contents of Procedural By-law 2013/11 and bring the by-law back to Council for review and adoption.

Honourable Robin Campbell re: County & APLM:
    Council accepted the letter from the Honourable Robin Campbell, Minister of Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development regarding Council's decision to withdraw the County's membership from the Association of Pigeon Lake Municipalities as information.

APLM Governance Model, Terms of Reference for "In-Lake Technical Subcommittee": 
    Council tabled a decision on APLM's application to Municipal Affairs’ under the Regional Collaboration Program (RCP) for grant funding for their project titled "Improving the Health of Alberta Lakes — An In Lake Investigation, Plan and Pilot Project" pending outcome of the meeting with the Ad-Hoc Committee established by County Council on January 7th,2014 to discuss the "Governance Procedures" for the Association of Pigeon Lake Municipalities and "Terms Of Reference" for the "In-Lake Technical Subcommittee.

Joint Leduc / Wetaskiwin County Council Meeting:
    Council will provide Administration with any additional items to discuss at the joint Leduc/Wetaskiwin County Council on February 11th, 2014.  

Road Allowance Closure and Lease:
    Council approved to proceed with closure and lease of the undeveloped road allowance adjacent to Lindsay Bolton's property described as NW 32-47-27-W4M.

Pe Sakastew Centre - Citizen's Advisory Committee – appointment:
    Council appointed Councillor Terry Van de Kraats as representative for the County of Wetaskiwin on the Pe Sakastew Centre - Citizens Advisory Committee and appointed  an alternate member for the 2014 year.

2014 Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall of Fame:
This years inductees are:
Athletes: Don Siler & Martin Sonnenberg.
Elvin Kopp
Builder: Bob Hartnell
Team: Pigeon Lake 
Playboys Softball Team

    Council will continue to sponsor the Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall of Fame event. 

Alder Flats Post Office - Potential Change of Hours:
    Canada Post is considering closing the post office on Saturdays and adjusting the hours open Monday to Friday.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) – Convention:
    FCM annually hosts a Conference and Trade Show and the 2014 conference is May 30 to June 2, 2014 in Niagara Falls, ON. Attending will be Reeve K. Rooyakkers and Councillors L. Seely and L. McKeever. 

Procedure of Addressing all Incoming Correspondence Policy #1213 – Review:
    "The Council of the County of Wetaskiwin deems it necessary to adopt a Policy to address the practise of the way Administration will open all mail sent to the County of Wetaskiwin’s mailing address. The practise of opening all mail addressed to the County of Wetaskiwin (which includes mail marked to a specific “Councillor” or “Council as a Whole”) will alleviate certain issues being time sensitive and deadlines missed due to the time delay of when correspondence is received to when that particular Council member attends the office to review his/her basket."

Joint City/County of Wetaskiwin Meeting:
    Council approved March 11th, 2014 as a date to host a Joint City/County of Wetaskiwin Council meeting at the County building.

More Stories:
  • Council Notes From All Over March 23, 2015 Arenas: The ice plants will be shut-down for Arena two on March 22, 2015 and Arena one on March 27, 2015. Curling Rink: The ice will be coming out on March 26, 2015. Ball Diamonds / Soccer Pitches: End of April ...
  • Council Notes From All Over County of Wetaskiwin March 3, 2015 Alberta Municipal Affairs - Financial Indicators 2013: Financial indicator graphs and data prepared by Alberta Municipal Affairs were presented to Council. The Indicators can serve as a ...

  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia