City of Wetaskiwin - Council Meeting - January 31, 2011

 City’s Health & Safety Plan editing

Alderman MacQuarrie declared a conflict of interest on the following item and left the meeting at 5:13 p.m. 

The City is currently undertaking a major re-write of the Health and Safety Plan and requires services of a Technical Editor to proof-read the document to correct grammatical errors, ensure that the document reflects the intended meaning and meets the professional standards that the city requires.

Alderman MacQuarrie’s mother, Jane Trotter is retired, but was a professional editor working for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, correcting documents very similar to the City’s Health & Safety Plan. She was also an editor and writer for the government of Alberta. She is willing to take on the project as a “part-time project” and would charge a rate of $30.00/hour.

Because Jane Trotter is Alderman MacQuarrie’s mother, to ensure transparency, approval to contract Jane Trotter was given by Council, and not by Administration

Fixed off-site and billboard signage review committee

A letter was received from Alberta Inns and Suites regarding an on-site advertisement of the liquor store that will be located in their new building. The Land Use Bylaw states that a fascia sign is the only method of signage permitted for a liquor store. 

At the December 13th, 2010 council meeting, a motion was made to establish a committee to review Section 7.6 of Bylaw 1747-09 being the Land Use Bylaw. . Given the nature and timing of this request from Alberta Inns and Suites, it is recommended to include this item in the mandate of the Sign Review Committee. The objective of the committee is to review the billboard locations, on-site signage types for liquor stores and fixed off-site signage. The Committee will make recommendations to Council.

It was moved that Council establish a Sign Review Committee based on presented terms of reference at an estimated cost of $25,000 for a facilitator, meeting space rental, advertising and other expenses to be funded from unspecified reserves. The committee will be comprised of a total of eight members which include a facilitator, two advisory role positions and five regular members. The estimated time frame for this review is 4 to 6 months. People can expect to hear about the committee and be asked for input during the next 4- 6 weeks.

The Ad Hoc Sign Review Committee Terms of Reference was amended to appoint three members of Council to the committee. Alderman Branco, Alderman Ruecker and Alderman McFaul were appointed to sit on the Sign Review Committee.

Arena one and curling rink compressor

The Recreation Department has identified the need for a new compressor for the ice plant of arena one and curling rink. The existing compressor failed last year and was rebuilt as a temporary measure. 

Council approved administration to contract the purchase and installation of a new compressor package to Gateway Mechanical Services at a cost of $95 520.00. The existing rebuilt compressor will be kept as a backup compressor for the ice plant. The installation will commence at the end of the 2010 / 2011 ice season.

Council Remuneration and Expense Reimbursement states that remuneration shall be adjusted annually by inflation.

The City of Wetaskiwin uses the Alberta CPI (from Statistics Canada) from December to December for the purposes of annual inflation. The percentage change for December 2009 to December 2010 is 0.8%. 

The approved changes made to the policy are as follows: 
$ 37,243.32 to $ 37,541.26 per annum for fees and 
$ 18,621.60 to $ 18,770.57 per annum for expenses 
$ 55,864.92 to $ 56,311.83. 
$ 17,876.75 to $ 18,019.76 per annum for fees and 
$ 8,938.40 to $ 9,009.90 per annum for expenses 
$ 26,815.15 to $ 27,029.66. 
Grant In Aid Policy
Administration undertook a review of the Grant-In-Aid Policy to better address the application and final reporting process. The following changes were made:
  1. The application deadline is earlier so that events that take place at the beginning of a fiscal year would have the opportunity to apply, and eligible applications be approved prior to the event taking place. The Deadline will be February 28 for 2011, but will be moved to the fall for the 2012 program.
  2. The policy includes a final reporting mechanism to ensure that funds were be expended as indicated in the application form.

Municipal Census

The City of Wetaskiwin’s current policy on municipal census states that a municipal census will be conducted every two years. The last municipal census was in 2009.

Administration recommended that a municipal census be conducted every three years. The next three census dates will not duplicate a federal census nor will they be conducted in election years. This program will assist in keeping the annual administration project budget requirements at a reasonable level while still balancing the information needs.

It was identified that there will be a Federal Census completed in 2011. Therefore in the interests of providing fiscally responsible information, there should not be a municipal census conducted this year. Administration was directed to review the policy and bring back recommendations.

Main Street Revitalization

On January 17, 2011 Genivar presented the cost of the various options for reconstruction of the Main Street Revitalization Project. At that time, they were asked to provide more detailed numbers and information.

Genivar has provided a more detailed set of estimates for the main street project, including  new proposed scheduling as follows;

Phase 1 - 48 Street to 50 Street (2011) (Downtown)

Phase 2 - 50 Street to 53 Street (2012) (Downtown)

Phase 3 - 47 Street to 48 Street (Future Year)

Phase 4 – 53 Street to 56 Street (Future Year).

Administration does not believe it is economically feasible to complete the entire project within three (3) years, nor to commit to the entire project in 2011 as was originally proposed.

The project can be re-evaluated after completion of the downtown sections, and either continue immediately with the final two phases or wait a year or two until financing and other factors favour construction. With the aging infrastructure in place, it was determined the delay should not be too long.

City Council authorized administration to proceed with the completion of the detailed design as proposed, and to initiate a call for tender process for Phase 1 and 2 as identified above. Once tenders are submitted and Council receives firm pricing, it will be in a position to decide whether or not to proceed with the project.

Multi-Use Recreation Facility

The City of Wetaskiwin, in partnership with Wetaskiwin County, and with assistance from a project steering committee, retained Barr Ryder Architects to develop alternatives for a multi-use recreation facility to replace the aging Wetaskiwin Aboussafy Aquatic Centre.

Several design alternatives, along with the recommended options were presented to the public at an open house January 18th. The estimates ranged from a high of $27 million dollars for an Aquatics and Fieldhouse Multiplex to a low of $200,000 to simply close and demolish the Wetaskiwin Aboussafy Aquatic Centre.

The preferred option, however has an estimated cost of  $18.6 million dollars and includes construction costs, all architectural, engineering, site work, parking development, as well as a contingency and inflationary factor. This is an “all in” cost if construction begins in 2011. Current estimates are that the cost would inflate due to increased construction costs by about $1 million dollars per year if the project is delayed.

The proposed Centre is designed to accommodate the addition of a future Field House and future spray park, and includes a common entry area, lobby, reception, administration facilities, a viewing area, tots pool, flow rider, water slide, zero entry hot tub, lazy river, leisure pool, program tank, competition pool, steam room, concession area, party room, change rooms and mechanical areas.

Council pass a motion to support, in principle, the option of the construction of a new aquatics facility as proposed by Barr Ryder, in a location east of the Wetaskiwin Aboussafy Aquatic Centre, at a total estimated cost of $18,600,000 million dollars. Final costs will not be available until tenders are received.

With the design concept approved in principle, administration and council may now proceed with finding more funding partners for the facility.  Promotional material, including a 3D Walkthrough video will be prepared to both educate the public, and to “sell” the facility to potential funding partners.

Once discussions and negotiations have taken place with all potential partners, and the community fundraising feasibility study is completed, a funding plan will be put forward for public consultation and ultimate Council approval.

Meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

For more information about any of the Highlights contact City Hall at 780-361-4400.



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