County of Wetaskiwin reeve said conference was free of west-east rivalry

County CAO says survey reveals harassment issue

A number of different and interesting reports were given by council and staff at the County of Wetaskiwin regular council meeting June 6.

Reeve Terry Van de Kraats said the recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference at the end of May in Quebec City. He said municipalities from across the country were represented and he didn’t feel any west-east anxiety or rivalry at the conference.

County CAO Rod Hawken said he recently attended the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators conference in Quebec City where social media was a much-discussed topic.

Hawken said on the subject building and supporting a more positive and respectful workplace was discussed while social media harassment is a growing concern.

He also noted “How to make your workplace a safer place” was discussed. The CAO also mentioned to councilors that CAMA discusses an odd survey that suggests 75 per cent of municipalities surveyed indicated they had issues with councilor harassment.

Councilor Dale Woitt noted he recently attended a watershed synergy group meeting where it was mentioned that an oil patch company recently walked away from their oil wells. Hawken noted that defunct oil and gas companies owe the County of Wetaskiwin about $1 million in unpaid taxes. Councilor Kathy Rooyakkers noted taxpayers still have to pay school requisition tax to the provincial government even when the county’s portion hasn’t been collected.

Financial indicators

Director of Finance Eric Hofbauer and Hawken presented to councilors “financial indicators graphs” provided by the provincial government for the years 2012 to 2017.

Hawken explained these graphs compare the county against 18 other municipalities with similar profiles.

Hawken stated the graphs show the County of Wetaskiwin is in good financial shape and sound decisions were made in the past. He pointed out, though, the county’s non-residential mill rate is above median.

It was also noted the county enjoys a 96 per cent tax collection rate.

New vehicle

Councilor voted in favour of acquiring a replacement vehicle for one that was written off in a collision.

A report was given to councilors by Hofbauer that stated, “In 2017, Unit T5907, a 2007 Ford F150 4×4 was involved in an accident and the vehicle was written off by insurance. A payout of $8,133.00 was received by the County.

“This unit was used by Public Works road crew and is required to for daily duties; therefore, Administration delivered a Request for Quote (RFQ) to replace the unit to Legacy Dodge, Brentridge Ford Sales, Denham Ford Sales, Adams Pontiac, Toyota City and O’Connor Fleet Vehicle Sales & Leasing.

“The RFQ closed on May 10, 2019 with the following two bids received: O’Connor Fleet Vehicle Sales & Leasing – 2015 Chev 2500 HD Double Cab Long Box, with 69,000 km for $35,006.25 O’Connor Fleet Vehicle Sales & Leasing – 2017 Ford F250 XLT Ext Cab 4×4 Short Box, with 66,000 km for $37,006.25.”

Staff recommended buying the Chev 2500 with the insurance money and a transfer from capital reserves, which council approved by a 6 to 1 vote.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

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