Mayor John Whaley called the Leduc County Council meeting of June 2 to order at 1:33 p.m.
The agenda for the meeting and the minutes from the May 26th meeting were accepted with additions and corrections.
During a public hearing resident Travis Nelson indicated the he and several other county residents were concerned about apparent “unprofessionalism” regarding county police officers. When they have received answers to questions regarding tickets they claim to have received different answers to the same question or, in some cases, not had their messages returned at all. County administration immediately arranged a meeting with enforcement services to resolve the issues and develop improved communications.
Cindy Cvorak, Director of Corporate Services and Darcy Hale of Jubilee Insurance reviewed the coverage options available for community centers. After the review the county decided to accept it as information and to seek the input of the various community groups that would be affected by any changes the council might consider.
Director of Finance Cam Van Mackie presented the budget outline proposal for 2016. After Mayor Whaley pointed out that specific dates were needed to be included the proposal was accepted as information.
In the public hearing regarding the amendment to the County Land Use Bylaw #07-08 Section 7-19 Home Occupations, the county heard from a number of residents that questioned the changes and one who spoke in favor of the amendment. There were many who were disappointed with the lack of communication and suggested that letters to all landowners should have been sent, claiming too many were unaware of the newspaper ads or the public meetings held earlier this spring. They also felt the afternoon county meeting made it too difficult for residents who work to express their concerns at the meeting. Concerns ranged from the size of vehicle allowed, to the size of land for the various categories, and a fear that this amendment could result in many “Mom and Pop” businesses not surviving or having to move out of the county. One spokesperson questioned whether the changes were needed at all. Then he suggested “don’t fix what’s not broken.” County administration responded by explaining the amendment’s intent was to clarify and bring consistency to the bylaw. Administration stated it used public meetings, ads in a local newspaper, and a survey in their attempt to have the public contribute to the bylaw’s development.
During the business section of the meeting the county council decided to defer any decision until the administration could gain additional information and more consultation with the public.
Council approved a Development Permit D15-119 for SE 28-49-24-W4 for clay extraction.
Administration presented a request for $200,000 to develop an agricultural strategy for the county. This request was made so the county could continue to develop policies, programs, and services which support and foster agriculture in the county. The agricultural sector employs 15 per cent of residents in the county. The main agricultural activities in the county involve the production of oilseed and grains; forage; beef cattle; dairy; and other livestock. The agricultural strategy would further cement the value and role agriculture plays in the county and allow Council to establish policy for agriculture and land use within the county.
Council accepted the recommendation and agreed to allocate up to $200,000 for the development of the strategy.
Council then went into an in-camera session and when they came out of the private session council received a number of oral reports and items of information before adjourning.