COUNCIL NOTES FROM ALL OVER
COUNTY OF WETASKIWIN
By Barry McDonald
Town of Millet Recreation Agreement - Cost Sharing Invoice
The County of Wetaskiwin and Town of Millet entered into a joint Recreation Agreement to provide for the operation of recreation facilities for the benefit of residents of both parties. On June 28th, 2011 the County received the Town of Millet’s Recreation Agreement cost sharing invoice for the Millet arena in the amount of $73,388.55. This is an increase of $18,536.35 over the prior years invoice. The variance comes in the total deficits for the two years. In 2009 the arena deficit was $120,586.51 and in 2010 the deficit was $161,072.20.
Council is concerned about what appears to be unreasonable expenses/revenue and requested a delegation from Millet to advise Council about the details of the increased expenses and to provide more information about the revenue. Further, Council recommends that surrounding communities with similar facilities be approached to provide their operating expenses and income.
Funding for the Maywood Hall
At the May 3, 2011 meeting Council was presented with the Zone 4 Recreation funding requests. Discussion ensued regarding the Maywood Hall’s request for funding as it was noted they have a surplus in their account resulting from funding received under the 2008 Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) provincial grant program.
On June 20, 2011 administration sent a letter, via email, to Heather Betlamini, who does the Hall bookings for the Maywood Hall. Since she was the person who submitted the application seeking funding, Council requesting additional information. Ms. Betlamini responded that the County of Wetaskiwin would need to contact the Secretary for the Maywood Hall. The Secretary for the Maywood Hall advised Council that Maywood Hall has sufficient funding ($28,000.00) to complete the work on the one room Hall. Council denied the 2011 funding request to the Maywood Hall.
Buck Lake (Warehouse) License Agreement
On July 4, 2011 correspondence was received from Alberta Infrastructure regarding the License Agreement for the Buck Lake (Warehouse) lease agreement between the County of Wetaskiwin and Alberta Infrastructure. The agreement provides the lease of 16.4 m2 of office space in the Fish and Wildlife Storage Warehouse and Office Building located at Buck Lake. The lease agreement expired March 31, 2011. The new agreement states: "Alberta Sustainable Resource Development supports the use of space in the Building by the Licensee for a 3 year term, commencing April 1, 2011 and expiring March 31, 2014, at no cost to the Licensee."
Council approved the renewal of the Lease Agreement between Alberta Municipal Affairs and the County of Wetaskiwin.
Agriculture Service Board Grant Agreement
The ASB Grant Program provides for "legislative funding" to support ASB activities in meeting the requirements of the ASB Act and "environmental funding" and to support ASB activities in the development and delivery of environmental extension programming and the enhancement of environmental stewardship. Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) has requested two copies of the grant agreement be signed and returned. Once ARD has endorsed the agreement the County will receive $209,788.03 in grant funding from April 1st 2011 to December 31, 2013.
Council approved the Grant Agreement
Mutual Aid Agreement between Leduc County and the County of Wetaskiwin
The County of Wetaskiwin is serviced by six rural fire departments, providing fire services to a population of 10,535 permanent residents. Leduc County has a similar fire services structure that includes a 50 mile border shared between the two Counties.
Leduc County has recently approached the County of Wetaskiwin with a draft fire Mutual Aid Agreement. For services provided under this agreement, each party would agree to pay the other party the sum of $300 per hour or major fraction for each fully manned pumper truck, tanker truck or rescue truck responding to a call for assistance.
Council approved to enter into agreement with Leduc County for mutual aid firefighting services.
Pigeon Lake Regional Wastewater System
The Pigeon Lake Regional Wastewater Planning Committee is comprised of the municipalities of the County of Wetaskiwin, County of Leduc, Maskwacis Cree, and the Summer Villages of Ma-Me-O, Sundance, Grandview, Norris, Poplar Bay, and Crystal Springs, as well as the North East Pigeon Lake Regional Services Commission.
The Committee exists to address wastewater issues surrounding Pigeon Lake, and the associated environmental and health concerns by constructing and operating a Regional Wastewater System.
An engineering pre-design study for the Regional Wastewater System was completed in November of 2009 addressing issues such as lift station location/design, pipe size, flows, lagoon requirements, and costs. The study has been adopted by the Committee as the basis of moving forward with design and construction of the project.
Correspondence has been received from Luke Ouellette, Minister of Transportation, indicating that funding has been approved in the amount of 92.86% of project costs, up to a maximum of $10,307,400 for Phase One of the project. This will fund the expansion of the Mulhurst Lagoon and the construction of a regional wastewater line running from the lagoon, south around the west end of Pigeon Lake. The remaining 7.14% of project costs are the responsibility of the Planning Committee member municipalities.
Council approved entering into the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership Agreement – Pigeon Lake Regional Wastewater System Phase I between the Province and the County of Wetaskiwin
Road Allowance Lease Renewals
Several Road Allowance Leases are due for renewal and should Council approve the renewals, the Lessee would be responsible for paying the lease fee of $15.00 (plus GST) for the upcoming three (3) year term.
Contact the County Office for Road Allowance Leases due for renewal
Council approved the road allowance lease renewals as presented.
TOWN OF MILLET
By Joanne Hagen
Public Hearing - Land Use Bylaw #2011/05
Mayor Lorenson opened the Public Hearing, explaining its purpose to address concerns on the proposed Town of Millet Land Use Bylaw 2011/05. As no one spoke to the issue nor were there any verbal or written submissions regarding the bylaw, reported C.A.O. Pelletier, the Mayor closed the Public Hearing at 6:15.
Appointments & Delegations
Millet Fire Department
Millet Fire Chief, Kerry Palmerchuck, presented an update to Council on the Millet Fire Department. Mr. Palmerchuck reported that the department currently has 30 active members; during daytime hours there are only six to eight available locally. The Fire Chief stated that approximately twenty percent of the residents have come forth for fire permits so far, since the new Fire Bylaw was adopted.
Millet Tourism Committee Appointments
Councillor Lalande moved that the following are appointed to the Millet Tourism Committee for a term of one year:
• Tourism Manager - Lisa Schoening
• Recreation Representative - Geoff Lynch
• Council Representation - Pat Garrett, Ron Buchaski and Eleanor Pydde as an alternate
• Communities in Bloom Representative - Carol Sadoroszney
• Business Sector - Karien Rempel and Kim Norby
• Public at Large - Zella Gardiner and Vicki Pyle
• Visitor Information Center - Tracey Leavitt
Councillor Garrett moved that the Millet Fire Department Reports be approved, as presented.
Bylaw 2011/05 - Land Use Bylaw
Councillor Storey moved that Bylaw #2011-01 be given second reading. Councillor Pydde moved that recommended amendments to Bylaw 2011-05 be accepted, as presented. Councillor Storey moved that approval be granted for the presentation of Bylaw #2011/05 for third reading at this meeting. Councillor Pydde moved that Bylaw #2011-05 be given third and final reading.
Grey Matters Seniors Conference
Council asked that this information be sent to the Millet & District Seniors for consideration.
Family & Community Support Services Grant Policy
The purpose of this policy is to establish terms of reference for the FCSS Grant Program. Councillor Garrett moved that the FCSS Grant Policy be accepted, as presented.
Pink Shirt Day Meeting
Councillor Buchaski moved that Councillor Pydde attend the Pink Shirt Day Meeting on September 20, 2011.
Geoff Lynch - Budget Request
Mr. Lynch presented Council with information regarding the Agriplex Parking lot lights not being operational, an unbudgeted item. Councillor Storey moved that the request for funds, in the amount of $3,500 to repair the Agriplex Parking lot lights, be approved.
Tri-Municipal Golf Tournament
Councillor Pydde moved that any Council and staff who wish to, may attend the Tri-Municipal Golf Tournament on September 17, 2011.
Peace Hills Lodge Invitation
Councillor Buchaski moved that Councillors Pydde, Garrett, Lalande and C.A.O. Pelletier attend the Peace Hills Lodge Grand Opening on July 20, 2011. Councillor Pydde made a motion that the Town present the lodge with a picture for their Grand Opening.
Pat Garrett - Harvest Fest Request
Councillor Pydde moved that the Town support the efforts of the Millet Tourism Comittee if they wish to enter a booth in the Harvest Fest Trade Show. Councillor Storey moved that the Town advertise for the Millet Harvest Fest Trade Show.
VILLAGE OF THORSBY
By Linda M. Steinke
Council unanimously and enthusiastically approved a roadway agreement between the Village and the Black Gold Regional School Division #18 Board (BGRSB). CAO Wynne points out the roadway is to be considered an “in-common roadway” for 25 years.
BGRSB agrees to excavate, pave and improve the roadway between the schools at its sole expense. The Board will maintain project oversight, obtain permits and insurance, and be responsible for any damages.
Rather than a “formal lease,” the “language used is actually a development agreement.” The roadway will remain a tangible asset of the Village.
Child Care Modular
Alberta Child and Youth Services has been advised that the Thorsby Early Learning and Child Care Centre project is no longer operational. FCSS Parent link Coordinator, Carol Langner, and Thorsby’s new FCSS coordinator, Kathryn Walker, along with CAO Wynne will be developing child-related programs to be offered at the facility this fall.
Water Treatment Plant
“The second we go on-stream, that’s it for the old plant,” said Wynne. Presuming construction completion by July, Wynne anticipates the commission schedule start up by the first part of August. Pumps should come on stream July 23. Water production should commence in October or November. According to the agreement with Alberta Environment, the old plant must be decommissioned within six months. “There is no back up for a state-of-the-art system.”
Welcome to Chris Legault, Thorsby’s new Public Works Manager!
Have you taken advantage of the service for grass clippings disposal? A bin will be placed in the Recreation Complex compound one week each month from now through September.
Parks and Recreation
Summer programs for children and youth are in full swing. New programs for July: Thorsby Theatre, Bus-to-Swim Day Camp, Fine Arts Camp, and Extreme Adventure. Attention boys: a program similar to the popular Girls Rule program is in the works.
A company recently rented the Recreation Complex field house, bowling lanes and dining area for a staff event. Another corporate inquiry was made for a similar occasion.
Information and Discussion Items
Mayor Rasch asked about the meter reader upgrade. According to the CAO, there has been a bit of a setback due to obtaining the right radio frequency license. Corix has reapplied for licensing for a “dedicated frequency” and is awaiting confirmation that Industry Canada has granted approval.
No Smoking Bylaw
Council discussed the recent City of Leduc no smoking bylaw (when in a vehicle with children). Until this becomes Provincial law, municipalities are enacting their own laws. Councillor Hart agrees that people should not smoke in confined spaces with children present. He notes many municipalities are taking things “one step at a time,” citing the Province bringing in Distracted Drivers legislation in September.
A letter was received from a ratepayer outlining property tax concerns. “The value might be realistic but the tax rate, which can’t be appealed, is out to lunch,” states the letter. “This rate is based on fully serviced property....This land is merely a hayfield.” (with “absolutely no services”) The letter goes on to say that Thorsby’s tax rate is scaring new businesses away.
It also addresses safety concerns regarding older buildings on Main Street.
After the ratepayer asks, “Ever wonder why nothing ever happens in this Village?”, Mayor Rasch expressed disappointment that the “full picture is not being shown.” He said he would be happy to discuss these concerns with the ratepayer, but a phone number was not included.
Water Drainage Plan
Councillor Hart said, “We need to take a good hard look this fall to get something done to alleviate the water drainage problem. It’s backing onto the Haymaker Centre, running into yards and into the Recreation Center play area.” Hart called for a proper study to fix the drainage issues adding it would help with the mosquito issue as well.
CAO said the Haymaker and Recreation Centre areas are both “on the plate” for road rehabilitation. Wynne added there are “a lot of little trouble spots with drainage” in the Village, and that he hopes to be working on a whole village drainage study.
“Granny, git your gun!”
(NOT!) We refer here to one “solution” to the messes being made by magpies and crows. It is a very real problem. Mayor Rasch said in his area, “It’s like they can’t wait for Wednesday garbage pickup to make a mess. A couple of people have asked for options.”
CAO quipped, “Unlike in Sundance, there will be no deputizing folks to go shoot crows.” More likely, two options will be considered. The first, a trapping campaign as used in larger centres. The second, allowing residents to trap in their own yards and dispose as they will.
Councillor Williams added, “The key is finding a humane way to dispose of them.” He mentioned humane traps can be made by residents.
Councillor Hart stated, “We don’t want people setting out poison because it may harm other animals.” He also said because crows do not stay in one place, trapping becomes even more effective with more traps set.
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