Council Notes From All Over
VILLAGE OF WARBURG COUNCIL
Linda M. Steinke
Boulevard Trees Policy
In order to provide a framework for the conservation of new and mature trees within the Village, Council approved the reviewed and amended Policy statement 79/13 entitled “Boulevard Trees.” To summarize, boulevard trees are only to be removed if they are deemed to be a hazard or with due cause and with permission of the Village of Warburg. The Village must approve the location and type of trees that are planted on boulevards. Maintenance of trees overhanging sidewalks and roadways falls upon the Village. Property owners may trim the boulevard trees after receiving permission from the Village of Warburg.
Council agreed to sponsor an ad with the upcoming Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Project. According to Tom Campbell with the Alberta/NWT Command Campaign Office, “The ‘Military Service Recognition Book’ features individual photographs and biographies of “Hometown Veterans” who bravely served in WWI, WWII, Korean Conflict, and our current Troops serving overseas on the mission in Afghanistan.” This Recognition book will be available for public viewing at the Local Legion Branch. It is also available free of charge to schools and public facilities to educate the younger generation on the sacrifices of local veterans. Proceeds raised from the project will be used for Alberta’s Veteran Support Programs and Transition Programs for Alberta’s returning Troops from overseas as well as local youth programs (scholarships, cadets, and sports).
Two lots one
After receiving and reviewing a request to have two lots (Lot #16/#17, Block 11, Plan 7922029) with a house and attached garage set on both lots placed under one lot number and title, Council gave three readings and approved Bylaw #130/13. The owners have 90 days to file with the Office of the Registrar with the land owner bearing all expenses incurred.
Bulk water for fracking
Council discussed increasing the rates and use of bulk water for industrial fracking. Currently, the rate is $7/cu metre—one of the highest in the area. Mayor Kohl said, “While there is a fine line—yes we run the village as a business—most of our residents don’t wish to put potable water underground.” Council will discuss working with its 39/20 neighbors on this and asked CAO to look for Policy on it. “Right now,” said Kohl, “the oil companies are paying 700% more for potable water than residents are paying.” Administration and Public Works have looked at using straight well water that’s not been filtered or purified for commercial use. CAO reports is it cost prohibitive.
Also, there is an issue using the well that’s not put into the system because its pipe is connected to the Legion and it can’t be run separately.
Expect to see new “No Exit” signage at the dead end intersections on 52 Ave. and 56 Ave. in the future.
Alberta Farm Safety Centre
AFSC asked for a $300 donation in support of the province-wide “Safety Smarts” Program for the 2013-14 school year. Safety Smarts is a hands-on, interactive school-based safety program which is delivered face-to-face to over 50,000 rural Alberta elementary school children. The focus is on safety issues that most often harm, injure, or kill rural children including passenger run-over, bystander run-over, summer and winter rural drowning hazards, sound induced hearing loss, keeping myself and my family safe, preparing for the unexpected, rider related falls and collisions from quads and horses, and helmet safety. Many will recall the popular (with both kids and adults) Alberta Farm Safety (AFS) interactive display at Warburg’s Canada Days celebration. Safety Smarts visited 7 classes at Warburg School this past May.
Laura Nelson, spokesperson for AFSC said in a phone interview, “It is the adult’s responsibility (for ensuring children’s safety), but kids are kids. They are not always where you think they should be.” Younger kids are taught awareness and avoidance. 4th -6th grade students are taught it’s their responsibility to choose, even “if grandpa wants you up in the tractor without a seat belt. A rural setting is unique. You are sharing space with an industrial worksite.” Nelson compares it to playing in a big city high rise construction area. “We give them tools so they can make choices. Two big concepts taught are: just stay away and play in a safe area; and if there is no seat and no seatbelt, you don’t belong there. If every kid decided to follow these, we’d have a significant reduction in rural child fatalities.”
While Council agreed to support the program with a $300 donation because of the good it can do, there is some concern that 75% of the program cost goes to administration rather than actual programming. Responding to that concern, Council is requesting a detailed copy of the future AFS budget.
Mayor Kohl reports the July 11 Capital Region Board unanimously approved the 2013 budget, “3.5 million (dollars) in revenue and total expenses of 3.5 million includes a $500,000 regional collaboration grant-GP; a $165,000 regional collaboration Grant Transit; $1.85 million in Administration (which) includes office lease, office supplies, legal fees, insurance, IT, salaries. benefits, communications and travel; $1.2 million in project cost.”
The CRB approved the selection process for a new Interim Chair or Chair (as by the Governance Committee) on June 17.
An amendment to the motion was brought forward regarding Non-Priority Growth Areas Policy clarification—that the CRB approve it as recommended by the Land Use Committee. After a debate, the board allowed Strathcona County to withdraw the request to amend the policy “Notwithstanding these difficulties in applying a standard criteria for counties, the criteria outlined for Towns and Villages may be applies in assessing REF applications, at the request of the county submitting the ARE application.” The CRB will refer this back to Land Use Committee for further clarification.
The motion to “invite the CNR, CPR and other rail carriers with connections to facilities to port facilities to present to the CRB their case for moving our growing production of crude and refined oil products to national, US and world markets” passed unanimously.
The motion “That the Capital Region Board supports the Town of Redwater’s request to the Minister of Municipal Affairs to be removed as a member municipality of the Capital Region Board” failed.
Council approved a 4.6% increase on the CAO 2013 salary budget line retroactive to January 1, 2013.
Council received notice of the upcoming Leduc & District Victim Services RCMP Regimental Masquerade Ball on October 26, 2013 at the Royal Executive Inn beginning at 5 PM. LDVS invites “all young artists to submit a drawing or illustration to the “Build a Wall of Hope” contest with this year’s theme of: Bullying is in full mode.” Contest closes in August with winners announced in September.
Council received information on the new Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act (PIDA).
Returning officer nominations must be received by Administration by Monday, September 23. Five signatures are necessary. Deposit fees will remain the same.
CITY OF WEATASKIWN COUNCIL
Council congratulates Tyler Kenyon
Tyler, an apprentice mechanic with Wetaskiwin’s J&E Motors, was one of 35 Canadian representatives to participate the 42nd Annual World Skills International competition, held in Leipzig, Germany on July 2 – 7. Tyler was the top Canadian in the competition and finished 10th out of more than 1,000 participants.
2012 Audited Financial Statements
The City of Wetaskiwin must prepare annual financial statements for the immediate preceding year. The Consolidated financial statements for the year for December 31, 2012 have been prepared in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles for municipal governments. The Consolidated financial statements have been audited by Grant Thornton LLP.
The transfers in and out of restricted surplus-reserves are authorized through the budgeting process; however these reflect only budgeted amounts. Approval is required for the actual changes to the restricted surplus-reserves in Note 13 of the Consolidated financial statements.
(1) City Council approved the 2012 Consolidated financial statements.
(2) City Council approved the 2012 restricted surplus reserve changes in Note 13 of the Consolidated financial statements.
Creeks Crossing Area Structure Plan
The west portion of this plan area called Trafalgar Court has requested an amendment to the ASP to reflect their current development plan. A public hearing regarding this bylaw was held earlier in the meeting.
This bylaw was given first reading at the July 8, 2013 Regular Council meeting. The current development plan for the Trafalgar Court area has Direct Control instead of Medium Density Residential to the north of Cedar Drive and High Density Residential to the south of the development rather than C-4 Neighbourhood Commercial. The bylaw was given 2nd and 3rd reading and passed.
Council defeats borrowing for funding the Sanitary Landfill Roadway Paving Project
Approval was given by Council in the 2013 budget to repair the landfill road surface in the amount of $250,000 with funding to come from debenture borrowing. This bylaw was given first reading at the July 8, 2013 Regular Council Meeting. The principal amount of the outstanding debt of the Municipality at December 31, 2012 is $29,780,883 and no part of the principal or interest is in arrears.
The bylaw was given 2nd reading and defeated. Voting for the borrowing bylaw – Mayor Elliot and Alderman Ruecker. Against – Aldermen Crabtree, Hawkes, Branco and McFaul.
Motion to remove the project from the 2013 budget passed. Motion to draw up an agreement with the County for maintenance of this road passed.
Revisions to policies
Council must approve revisions to policies prior to them becoming official. Administration has updated Policy #1201, Policy Standards. The policy outlines the formats and sections that are required. The purpose of the revision is to ensure policies, bylaws and procedures for all departments are current and up to date.
This policy is the first step in the review process. Once approved, Administration will proceed with the review of additional policies and bring forth any amendments being recommended.
The City distributes its annual report as a way to inform residents about the organizational activities and projects that have been undertaken. This report has been created and distributed and was presented to Council. In response to questioning why the Annual Report did not contain information about the financial state of the City, Administration responded that waiting for the audited financial statements would have delayed production too long.
Three year Municipal Policing Plan
The City has received a three year Municipal Policing Plan from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). This plan examines recent policing trends and estimates the level of service required for the City in the next three years.
The report concludes that there will not be any immediate need for additional equipment or manpower for the RCMP in Wetaskiwin. In addition as a result of consultation with the City and a review of recent activity within the City an increase in full time policing employees was not anticipated.
According to Census information, the City population has increased from 11 673, in 2006, to 12 525, in 2011. In the past four years, the RCMP has recorded a decrease in Persons Crimes, Other Criminal Code Offences and Property Crimes. This has meant an overall decrease in Total Criminal Code offences.
The 2012 ratio of police to population in the City of Wetaskiwin currently sits at one police officer per 569 persons. The 2012 Criminal Code caseload, per police officer, is 141.18 files, which is higher than the RCMP municipal Division average of 99.4.
Police agencies must invest more hours to investigate crimes today than they did in years past. Policing is also becoming more professionalized. This impacts the Provincial Police Service more broadly, and has necessitated the creation of specialty and support units. The increased time required to investigate crimes, driven also by more stringent reporting requirements, also impacts at the level of municipal policing.
Next regular Council meeting August 26, 2013, Council Chambers.
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- kickin’ back with the funnies
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