Council Notes From All Over
VILLAGE OF THORSBY
Linda M. Steinke
Allan and Eugene Poholka met with Council to discuss the fairness of the taxation on their rural properties and future development plans. Regarding the taxes, Mayor Rasch said Council would listen to what the Poholkas had to say without supplying comment as it must go through the assessment review process to get appropriate information first.
Council is enthusiastic about potential future development. Mayor Rasch outlined the steps taken in any potential development plan—to talk first with administration and submit a subdivision application, create a plan that all can live with, and once the plan is workable to bring it to Council for approval. Administration is willing to help facilitate development opportunities. Town Manager Bob Payette notes there has been some “door knocking” by developers. While Payette is willing to help broker, he added, “I don’t know prices, so I can’t help broker until I get together with land owners. The big divide is what developers are willing to pay and what rural land owners are willing to sell.”
Third reading of the Noise Bylaw, the Animal Control Bylaw, and the Bylaw authorizing Council to establish the Thorsby Planning and Sustainability Advisory Committee has been tabled for each bylaw to allow residents more time to express their concerns, and for Council to get more clarification on some items. Regarding the Animal Control Bylaw, there are some concerns about tightening up the definition of “foster animal.”
Council Committee Reports:
Councillor Williams, reporting on the Chamber of Commerce (which is tasked with the entrance sign project), mentioned the preliminary design for the Village north entrance sign which will be replaced this year. A smaller version of the sign will be placed at the south entrance in the future. Mayor Rasch added the design “looks great!” Williams also said the Chamber is taking on the Long weekend parade this year. There will be registration for floats at this year’s parade, possibly with cash prizes.
Councillor Osness spoke about the new Early Childhood Development Mapping (ECMap) project which is ongoing in the Thorsby area and up to date and never been done before. There is no actual info for our area yet; the results have not been made public yet. The EDC Mapping project is a five-year initiative that will provide a picture of early childhood development in Alberta.
TOWM OF CALMAR COUNCIL
Council was called to order at 7:00 pm with all Councillors present.
There were no changes to the agenda and no public commentary.
2012 Consolidated Financial Statements:
Mr. Benji Waser, Senior Accountant with MNP, presented Council with their 2012 year end audit for the Town of Calmar.
Mr. Waser pointed out to Council that a significant increase in the Investments column was due to a $1.6 million dollar construction deposit that was received in cash.
He then shared that the total assets for the Town are sitting at $3.6 million and the liabilities are at $5.4 million, which is actually a good position for a municipality to be in as it means that they're not over-taxing the residents.
The total accumulated surplus for Calmar this year is $11.3 million dollars, which means, he joked, that this is how much the Town would be worth if they decided to sell it. Overall, Mr. Waser stated that the 2012 audit findings were a "good news story" for Calmar.
Calmar Minor Hockey Ice Sponsorship Program: Council received a request from the CMHA to move their current ice sponsorship advertising from the west wall in the Mike Karbonik Arena to vinyl graphics placed on the boards that surround the ice surface.
Council was unaware that the CMHA was receiving money from the advertising placed in the arena, and was disturbed that only this one group was seeing benefits from the advertising. It was unclear how this arrangement had begun but was informed by the CMHA that it had been in place since 2004.
Mayor Faulkner spoke of how he thought it was basically a good idea but that he would like to see the proceeds split between all the groups that use the surface. He was also concerned that the Town itself had been looking into the idea of placing plexiglass covers over the boards that would allow advertising to be placed behind it and raise funds for arena maintenance.
Councillor Borodawka said that it seemed "not right to her" that the CMHA received all the money for the advertising in the arena.
Councillor Bartlett tried to propose a monetary split of the advertising dollars between the group and the Town but Mayor Faulkner said that he felt that suggestion was just complicating the matter.
Councillor Wiancko stated that if the CMHA wanted to put signs up on the boards then they should also look after the maintenance of the boards. He then inquired as to how much money the signs bring in for the group every year, and was informed that no one from the Town knew the actual figures.
Councillor Bartlett motioned to deny the vinyl ad placement on the boards and to direct the Recreation Board to bring more information to Council regarding this issue. The motion was passed unanimously.
Leduc's Mayor's Prayer Breakfast:
Mayor Faulkner confirmed that he would be attending this event on April 6th.
Calmar Recreation Board Resignations:
Council received two letters of resignation from members of the Calmar Recreation Board. Board members Julie Vizbar and Terry Parchoma have stepped down.
Mayor Faulkner asked that letters of acceptance and appreciation of their service be sent out to both parties, along with the assurance that should they ever decide to return to the board they would be welcome back.
Council was adjourned at 8:05 pm with Council going back in camera.
TOWN OF MILLET COUNCIL
Council was called to order at 5:58 pm with Councillors Pydde and Lalande absent.
There were no additions to the agenda and no public presentations.
Repealing Bylaw 2009/07: Town Administration brought this Bylaw change before Council to repeal a previous change and return it to the original plan. This Bylaw affected the Copper Tree Meadows ASP and administration requested Council return the ASP to the original plan, as the changes that had been requested in 2009 never occurred. Council voted unanimously to repeal Bylaw 2009/07.
Wetaskiwin Regional Division 11 Joint Election:
The Town of Millet and the Wetaskiwin Regional School Division entered into an agreement to hold a joint election at the Community Hall in the fall of 2013. This agreement is the same as in previous election years.
Friends Of The Library Insurance:
Council debated whether to add the Friends of the Library Society to the Town's insurance policy as an "Additionally Named Insured". It was acknowledged that due to the fact it was a not for profit society that all risk would be covered by the Town. Since it was unknown if the Society was even interested in this coverage it was determined to table this issue until the CAO, Teri Pelletier, could write a letter to the Society offering them coverage, and then awaiting a reply.
The Town of Millet received a letter from Vern Bretin of Bio-Way Gardens in Leduc, who also offers "Go-Solar" solutions, asking Council to consider extending the start date of their franchise agreement with Fortis, as well as amending the application, to allow him to to show Council how the Town could install some solar arrays and generate some of their own power which they could then sell back to the grid.
Town CAO Teri Pelletier informed Council that this plan would, "presently be costly to go down this path as the Town receives franchise fees from Fortis."
Councillor Storey commented that "We could look at solar power if, and when, we put pumps out at the lagoons but that is not in the plans right now." He continued on to say that "I don't think we could generate enough power to even run the ice plant let alone part of the Town."
Councillor Buchaski stated that "The technology of solar equipment has to evolve more before the town even looks at it. I haven't seen anything out there in solar energy that would equalize the cost."
Council received the letter as information.
Council was adjourned at 6:19 pm with no items in camera.
LEDUC COUNTY COUNCIL
Council was called to order at 1:34 pm with all Councillors present.
There were two additions to the agenda and one public commentary.
Mr. Bob Thiessen came before Council to state that he had hand delivered a letter on January 30th, asking for permission to haul gravel into Vantage Point on RR233 over the remainder of the winter months. He was requesting to move the gravel during the winter to avoid dust issues and to avoid damaging the the range road.
Mr. Thiessen complained that he had heard nothing from Council so he went to his Division Councillor Clay Stumph, and discovered that his request had been denied. During this same period Mr. Thiessen noticed other fully loaded trucks travelling along a road that has a year round 75% road ban, so he came before Council stating "What is good for the goose is good for the gander", and wanted to know why one company could use the roads while another couldn't.
Councillor Schonewille pointed out that the Public Works meeting was just concluded last week with a decision to deny not just Mr. Thiessen's application, but others as well. However, he did apologize for not getting back to Mr. Thiessen right away with the decision.
Councillor Stumph then commented that the letter of denial had been sent out yesterday (Feb. 25th).
Mayor Whaley did state that there was an issue here, namely that Mr. Thiessen should have received an answer much sooner than he did, and in a more official capacity than word of mouth as well. He thanked Mr. Thiessen for bringing this issue to Council's attention and said that Council was here for exactly this reason; to listen to resident's problems and try to remedy them.
Advertising With The One Fm Radio Station:
Administration came to Council with an advertising proposal from 93.1 The One FM, and a plan to incorporate advertising on the radio station within the County's set advertising budget. It was proposed to use up to $8,000.00 of the annual $86,000.00 advertising budget on radio advertising over the next year, and to try to track the success of this different form of advertising. Council unanimously agreed to the proposal.
County Organizational Meeting Date:
Council set the Organizational Meeting date for October 31, 2013, which is a week after the fall election. Council also agreed to cancel the regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday October 22, 2013 due to the municipal election being held that week.
Public Hearing For Redistricting Pt. NW-4-48-27-W4:
The owners of the property, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Bentley, applied for a Redistricting of a portion of their property to enable their son to continue running his firewood processing business. Under the existing Wizard Lake ASP, it did not fall within the allowed usages on the property. However, the firewood business had already been in operation for over 20 years, alongside of the campground which has been running for 17 years.
There have been no objections from the neighbours to the Redistricting but the County did receive a letter of objection from Parks and Recreation citing potential issues such as dust and possible groundwater contamination.
Mr. Gordon Bentley was on hand to answer questions from Council and clarify some of the issues that were raised by Parks and Recreation. He stated that the processing was done in the winter months so there was no dust raised on site, and that the property is set well back from the top of bank and north of the riparian zone so should not impact the watershed at all.
After the conclusion of the Public Hearing it was requested that Council bring forward all three Readings of the Redistricting at this meeting. All three Readings were passed unanimously.
New Addressing In East Vistas:
Leduc County was considering a new urban addressing system for the east Vistas ASP area, including Lukas subdivision. The new system would extend the Nisku Street grid system to the east, and the Edmonton Avenue grid system to the south. Council unanimously approved the changes but there is no firm date for the addressing changes to take place with Canada Post.
Leduc Foundation Grant Request:
Council debated the decision to give a $400.00 grant to the Leduc Foundation for their 50th Anniversary celebration on March 22, 2013. Council passed the motion to give the grant with Councillor Harrison against.
Council was adjourned at 3:23 pm, with Council going back in camera.
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