Council Notes - City of Wetaskiwin

June 27, 2011
By Barry McDonald

Note: for more detailed information about any of the following highlights contact City Manager, Ted Gillespie, at 780-361-4400 or Lucas Warren, Communications 780- 361- 4400.

Special Meeting of Council Annual Report
This meeting was held prior to the Regular Council meeting to review the report, conclusions and recommendations based on the 2010 – Sanitary Landfill study. Topics covered included: groundwater monitoring, surface water, leachgate, landfill gas and the corrective action plan. This report was presented to Alberta Environment on March 30, 2011.

City Council was presented with 9 recommendations following the annual monitoring program. For more information contact City Hall and ask for Rick Wheatley, Assistant Public Works Foreman or Bob Wood, Waste and Recycling Foreman.

2010 Audited Financial Statements
Grant Thornton presented the audited Consolidated Financial Statements. The Consolidated statement of operations shows revenue as $21,482,810 and operating expenses to be $22,433,736 for a shortfall of revenue over expenses to be $950,935. When government transfers for capital $4,875,667 and accumulated surplus of $84,768,138 at the beginning of the year, the city ended 2010 with an accumulated surplus of $88,692,870.

Council approved the statements and restricted surplus-reserve changes noted in the consolidated financial statements

Skyport Presentation
Mr. Byron Reynolds provided an update on the Skyport project. Skyport is a unique project that Mr. Reynolds describes as being on ‘the cutting edge”. He went on to say, “the Wetaskiwin property adjacent to the airport is the only airport  development where you can buy a lot (not lease), store your aircraft, and actually build a residence on the property”.

The development is located at N 52.57.54 W 113.24.40 just off 60th Street with direct access to a paved taxi way.

Skyport development is in Phase I of 4 Phases offering 16 smaller lots and 1 large lot. Sizes offered are 135 x 70 feet to 210 x 181 feet and are fully serviced with power, natural gas, water & sewer. Approximately 8 of the 16 smaller lots are pretty much confirmed as sold. The Skyport Website declares Skyport has opened up a world of possibilities in the aviation market. With a total of 90 free hold lots to be developed in three phases, on Wetaskiwin's Airport for aviation-related uses.
Skyport presents unique opportunities for your personal and business needs. The zoning creates the template to develop the lifestyle that uniquely suits you. Whether you are looking for a hangar with office space, the perfect seasonal retirement
setting, a weekend retreat, general aviation workshop or are an aviation enthusiast looking to incorporate a residence within a very specialized hangar, Skyport is the development for you!

Every fully serviced lot will have access to the fully lit, 3877 ft. x 100 ft. asphalt runway. Located within Wetaskiwin City Limits, Skyport’s central location between Edmonton and Red Deer also ensures easy access to the major highways and all of the regional attractions.

Wetaskiwin Regional Airport is one of the few Alberta community/regional airports maintaining Transport Canada Certification. These and many more amenities are available to you with no additional fees! The Airport is managed by the City of Wetaskiwin and your lot is a fee simple property. This means the title of the property is Yours - no condo fees, no airport access fees, and no occupancy fees, at this time.

Mr. Reynolds advised Council that City Centre Airport will be closed by 2014 and Wetaskiwin by developing airport facilities will bring new development and new citizens to the community.

He concluded by saying Wetaskiwin is located, “opportunity wise and business wise.” This development will provide services to corporate clients, especially if the runway is extended to 8000 feet from the current 3877 feet to accommodate corporate planes.

Sign Review Committee Recommendations
• A Sign Review Committee consisting of 12 members reviewed sign regulations and made recommendations to City Council on three issues.
• Off-Site Signage – The recently approved Land Use Bylaw provides adequate regulation with regard to signage forms, locations, amounts and sizes. Section 8.10 limits the off-site signage for advertising Liquor Stores and Pawn Shops. The committee recommends off-site advertising be permitted.
• Locations of Billboards – the committee recommends that additional billboard signs within some additional Industrial zones. In some cases there will be additional controls to limit negative impacts to adjacent land uses. The committee recommends the Land Use By-law define the definition of billboards and freestanding signs. Electronic Message Signs
are subject to the same regulations as billboards, freestanding signs or other sign types.
• On-Site Options for Liquor Stores –Considering considerable consultation, the Committee recommends that Section 8-10 – Liquor Stores of the Land Use Bylaw remain unchanged.

Finance Report: Revenue  and Expenditures to date for 2011
A review of the revenue and expenditures to date (May 31) show operations are projected to be over by $210,000 of budgeted expenditures. If this projection continues to year-end the overage will be covered by reserves.

Building Permit Summary:
January 1 – June 22, 2011 Commercial – 11 permits for a value of $685,000 Industrial – 1 permit for a value of $70,000
Residential – 38 new and renovations for a value of $2,984,274 TOTAL: $3,739,274

Economic Development
Negotiations have ceased between the Wetaskiwin Mall owners and a major prospective tenant. On-going discussions
with owners of Denham Landing and potential developers is continuing but nothing significant to report.

The Finance Department has issued business licenses at the start of 2011 to 725. With some cancellations the total was 698. At the start of 2010 710 licenses were issued and Dec 31, 2010 there were 782 with 57 non renewals for a total of 725.

Combative Sports Commission
Following considerable discussion and many questions of Kevin Lucas, Recreation Director and Iain MacLean, Municipal Clerk, Council directed Administration to draft a Combative Sports Bylaw for Council discussion and decision. Combative Sports include sanction boxing, wrestling, full contact karate, kickboxing or any other contest where opponents strike each other.

Action Sheet
Administration presented an Administration Action Sheet at Council Meetings showing a chart of completed items, items in
progress and overdue or delayed items. This is a ‘report card’ of Administration for 2010 and 2011. The sheet will be maintained and presented to Council monthly for review.

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