An agreement between the County of Wetaskiwin, Ponoka County and the Pigeon Lake Regional Emergency Management Partnership (REMP) has been signed for the purpose of emergency mutual aid.
Wetaskiwin county council approved the agreement and authorized reeve Kathy Rooyakkers to sign at its Feb. 7 meeting.
The agreement gives the involved parties, including the summer villages around Pigeon Lake, the authority to invoke mutual aid in case of a disaster or emergency that would affect the parties to such a degree local resources would not be adequate.
CAO Frank Coutney says this came forward as part of the county working on updating some of its agreements.
“Why isn’t Leduc (County) involved in the summer villages?” asked Coun. Larry McKeever, who was concerned neighbouring Leduc County was not included in the agreement.
Mike Zajac, director of emergency services, says he could see a similar agreement with Leduc County coming in the future.
McKeever was also concerned the County of Wetaskiwin is committing to an aid service to the summer villages but those communities would only have to pay for it in case of an actual emergency. “I was just wondering if they could chip in to a training exercise. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.”
Mutual Aid Fire Control Agreement
Councillors also signed an updated Mutual Aid Fire Control Agreement and Annual Mutual Aid Fire Control Plan during their meeting.
The county of Wetaskiwin entered into the agreement in 2010.
“And it states it is good forever,” said Zajac.
However, on Feb. 2, 2017, county administration received notice from Agriculture and Forestry, Forestry Division requesting the Annual Mutual Aid Fire Control Plan and Mutual Aid Fire Control Agreement be reviewed and updated.
A re-signing was required due to an amalgamation of ministries in the provincial government and the changing of names of various departments.
Wizard Lake Weir Agreement
The County of Wetaskiwin has approved a formal five-year agreement with Leduc County for a 50/50 cost share of the Wizard Lake Stabilization Project.
Councillors also approved paying the 2016 invoice to Leduc County in the amount of $1,095.
The County of Wetaskiwin is scheduled to pay $1,043 for 2017.
“We’ve been paying on the handshake agreement, and sometimes there’s been an agreement,” said Stephen Majek, director of agricultural services.
In 1993 a resolution was passed by the municipal committee at Leduc County that the County of Wetaskiwin share 50 per cent of the cost for the future fish ladder and weir on Conjuring Creek, where the water leaves Wizard Lake.
As indicated in the Aug. 11, 2005, County of Wetaskiwin general meeting minutes, no formal agreement was ever put forth by Leduc County and since 2000 the County of Wetaskiwin had not been paying into the maintenance of Wizard Lake. At that time, council agreed to pay one-half of the 2005 budget, as provided by Leduc County.
Over the past five years the county has paid: $1,815 in 2013, $1,187 in 2014, and no payment made in 2015.
Alberta Municipal Community Partnership grant approval
The Town of Millet submitted an application for the 2016/17 Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) grant program late last year and a grant totalling $50,000 has been awarded to support an Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP), alongside an Intermunicipal Development Collaboration Framework, between the town and the County of Wetaskiwin.
“It is to work with the Town of Millet to move forward with especially the issue of IDP and also looking at some of the agreements that we have,” said Coutney.
“What we have done, in turn, is start to tear apart our agreements binder and find out where we sat with agreements … And we’re finding that there are some outstanding issues out there,” he added.