Council Notes From All Over
CITY OF WETASKIWIN COUNCIL
Wetaskiwin City Council invites the public to attend their regular meetings in Council Chambers (4705 - 50 Ave). The following are brief highlights of the City of Wetaskiwin meeting. For more detailed information contact City Manager, Ted Gillespie at 780-361-4400.
Ian Ruskowsky is a Wetaskiwin area resident who has been living in Ashoro Japan for two years working as the Coordinator of International Relations for the town. Ian has returned to Canada for a few weeks and presented a report to Council on the Town of Ashoro and the relationship with the City of Wetaskiwin. Ian has signed onto the program for a 3rd term.
Students from Ashoro will be visiting Wetaskiwin from October 1st– October 5th.
Two Major projects
An update on two major projects, the Main Street Revitalization and the Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatic and Fitness Centre was presented to Council for information.
Kevin Lucas, City of Wetaskiwin Recreation Department, sparked discussion when he advised Council that construction was underway to install beams to support solar panels. This expenditure was not included in the original plans. Discussion ensued about whether the rumors that the Aquatic Centre is $5-6M over budget is true with Mayor Elliot adamantly stating that it was not over budget.
Chris Cambridge, Director of Engineering and Development at City of Wetaskiwin provided a progress report on Main Street revitalization project and sidewalk and street construction, the new keylock system and that the crack seal project was completed for this year.
Section 4 of the Water Utility Levy Bylaw
The City acquired new equipment to upgrade the bulk water fill station operating and delivery system. The amended by-law states: Any new applicant who wishes to purchase bulk water without using coins must purchase a key for $12.50 to access the equipment and a smart card for an additional $12.50. The applicant must prepay to load the smart card up to a maximum of $700.00. The city will have no liability for lost keys or smart cards. The next step is to review whether the current bulks water rate of $2.50 per cubic meter should be increased.
Electronic devices for Council policy: In early 2012 Council moved from paper council packages to an electronic format using Ipads. The policy will put in place the process for Council’s electronic device use. The acquisition and disposal of these devices will follow the City’s Workstation and Server upgrade policy and the City’s purchasing policy. The policy will guide the acquisition, use, disposal, and replacement of electronic equipment required by Council members specifically for Council meetings. Council will not be provided with printed meeting packages, except in special circumstances or by special request.
Grant in Aid policy: Administration has reviewed the Grant in Aid policy with no major changes being made to the policy. A copy of the Policy and Procedures will be distributed to all staff and put on the website for public information.
The Policy reads: The City of Wetaskiwin will provide a fair and equitable process for the granting of financial assistance, to a maximum of $500.00, for projects or events that benefit the community.
TOWN OF CALMAR COUNCIL
Council was called to order at 6:58 pm with all Councillors present. There were no changes to the agenda and no public presentations.
Candidate Announcement: Councillor Bartlett announced that after 6 consecutive terms on Calmar Council (18 years) that he would not be seeking re-election this year.
Council Meeting Change Of Date: Due to the fact that the municipal elections will be taking place on the same date, Council unanimously decided to cancel the regularly scheduled Council Meeting on October 21st . The next meeting will take place on October 28th with the new Council sitting in Chambers.
Firehall Land Funding Approval: The Town of Calmar received approval to apply $230,000.00 of their MSI Capital Funding Allocation toward the purchase of 2.7 acres on the east side of S.H. 795 just to the north of the train tracks. This site is slated to become the home of Calmar's new firehall. Council received this item as information.
Council was adjourned at 7:13 pm with no items in camera.
LEDUC COUNTY COUNCIL
Council was called to order at 1:37 pm with all Councillors present. There was one addition to the agenda and one public presentation.
Public Presentation: Mr. Voltner, a landowner in Leduc County, was asking Council to lease a road allowance at SW-11-50-4-W5 that bordered one side of his land as he felt it was a safety issue for his family.
Mr. Voltner stated that there were currently no buildings on his land but he does plan to build a home on it eventually if he feels it is safe to do so. He said that the road allowance is a popular spot for hunters during hunting season and they park at the end of it and shoot from their vehicles down the road allowance. Mr. Voltner claims there have been several incidents where he and his family have been shot at on their land by hunters who "shoot at any sound they hear" without looking.
He was requesting a gate be erected at the entrance of the road allowance to prevent these vehicles from entering and for it to be locked during the month of November when most of the problem occurrences happen.
Council informed Mr. Voltner that it was illegal to block access to a road allowance as per Provincial laws but asked Public Works to discuss a compromise solution at their next meeting on Sept. 16th. and to come back to Council with a suggestion.
RCMP Regimental Masquerade Ball: This annual event that helps support Leduc and District Victim Services takes place on October 6th and Council was invited to attend. Council unanimously decided to purchase a table of eight for the Ball.
New Sarepta ASP: After 3 years of planning and discussion Council unanimously passed the 1st Reading of the New Sarepta Area Structure Plan. The date for the Public Hearing was not set at this time.
Bridge Repair Funding: The County's Director of Public Works and Engineering, Des Mryglod, came before Council to request an approval of funding in the amount of $200,000.00 for the repairs to the bridge on TWP 500 between RR's 270 and 271.
Upon inspection on July 10, 2012 it was determined that the bridge was experiencing several issues including rot in the timber caps, cracking and rot in the pilings, and damage to the bridge rail amongst other items. At that time a load restriction of 5 tons was placed on the bridge. However, due to the quick progression of rot and the fact that the bridge regularly carries an average of 75 vehicles a day including heavy harvesting and other farm equipment it was highly recommended that the repairs be completed this year.
A complete replacement of the bridge would cost $800,000.00 but Public Works and Engineering estimate the life of the bridge would be extended by 10-15 years with just the recommended repairs.
Council acknowledged that with the Province no longer providing any funding for bridges, the entire cost would have to be bourne by the County. Council unanimously approved the $200,000.00 repair.
Salt Shed Building: After receiving a report from County staff stating that the old salt storage shed located in Nisku was no longer safe to enter, several options for replacement had been looked into. Deferring to staff's suggestions on the type of shed needed Council unanimously voted to approve a maximum expenditure of $150,000.00 to purchase a 50 X 80 foot storage shed with the funding coming from the Mill Rate Stabilization Fund.
Council was adjourned at 2:51 pm with no in camera items.
CITY OF LEDUC COUNCIL
Council was called to order at 7:04 with Councillor Smith absent. There were no changes to the agenda and one public commentary.
Public Commentary: Debbie Charanduk, Chair of the Leduc Downtown Progress Assoc., came before Council to say "thank you" for allowing the assoc.'s reserve funds to be moved in order to host their "Summer On Main Street" series of events this year. She also extended an invitation to Council to attend their final big event on Sept. 21st.
CP Rail East/West Line Whistle Cessation Update: The Director of Planning and Development for the City of Leduc, Ken Woitt, presented the completed AECOM Canada study on the requirements to make the East/West CP Rail line going through the City a no whistle zone.
The cost of these requirements were estimated to be $1,001,800.00 with an applicable timeline of 3-5 years. This would include the upgrading of fencing along Black Gold Dr. as well as work done to six intersections/pedestrian crossings between 50 St. and Grant MacEwan Blvd.
Councillor Mishio expressed a lot of concern with the "significant" cost of the upgrades. Mayor Krischke pointed out that the City has no options to tender out for costs as CP Rail only uses one company that does all of their work as well as working on their own timeline.
Council accepted the report as information at this time.
Transportation Master Plan: This Transportation Master Plan was designed using three levels of population growth as determiners as opposed to a timeline due to the fast growth within the City of Leduc.
The report looked at various projects and viewed the results based on the decisions of whether the project was done or not. As an example, the consequences of building the 65th Ave. overpass versus not having it was looked at over a span of time. It was determined that if this particular project is not completed within the next 5 years traffic congestion will become unacceptable for the residents of Leduc.
The intersection of 50 Ave. and 47 St., also known as "Confusion Corner", was marked on the plan as "already improved" as the City has plans to begin the upgrading of this intersection in about a year, with completion within 3 years.
Council unanimously adopted the Transportation Master Plan.
Terry Fox Run Grant Request: The organizers of the 33rd annual Terry Fox Run sent in a grant request to the City of Leduc for $893.48 to help offset their hosting expenses. Council approved the request unanimously.
Downtown Storefront Improvement Program: City administration have been developing a Downtown Storefront Improvement Program and came before Council to request that $150,000.00 be allocated from the Downtown Revitalization Plan budget toward the program.
A fully developed program is expected to be brought before Council this fall and implemented in 2013 and 2014. The objective of this program is to increase the visual appeal of the downtown’s streetscapes and enhance downtown’s sense of place.
Council unanimously voted to approve the funding.
AHS Contract Extension: Alberta Health Services requested a 6 month contract extension to ensure the continuity of Leduc City's ambulance service while negotiations continue over a long term contract. There has already been three contract extensions over the course of the current contract. Council unanimously agreed to this 6 month extension.
Council was adjourned at 8:47 pm with no in camera items.
VILLAGE OF WARBURG COUNCIL
Linda M. Steinke
This year’s dust control came in slightly under budget at $49 thousand as shown in the budget status to July 31, 2013.
Water meter policy
On June 14, 2010, Council passed bylaw #103/10 that states any new residences, including mobile homes, must be fitted with the new remote-read water meters. These special meters can be bulk read from several places in town by a special wand—eliminating the need for individual meter reading.
A resident met with Council to request that her $300 water meter fee be waived from the building permit fees. She stated was already paying $50 for the water connection fee, the meter fee itself seems excessive and she did not understand why she needed to pay for something "the Village wants to make money on, especially since some residents in the mobile home park are not paying for one." Mayor Kohl explained the fee is not used to make money but to pay for the newer meters that are not covered by the initial grant. He added some are not paying for meters because the older mobile homes are grandfathered in under the old no-meter, estimate-and-pay method. Council denied the request.
The resident also inquired about the possibility of having the town buy back the special meter should the mobile home be removed. The mayor stated this was an excellent suggestion, adding it should be discussed at a future policy meeting.
Upcoming prayer breakfasts: All Council is approved to attend the upcoming September 28 Leduc County Prayer Breakfast. It will be held at the Nisku Inn & Conference Centre at 8:00 AM. Northlands President and CEO Richard Andersen will be the keynote speaker.
Any Councillor wishing to attend the 9th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Beaumont may do so. It will be held September 21st, at 8 AM at the Coloniale Gold & Country Club. The keynote speaker will be Charles Roberts, Executive Director of Live Different, a Canadian charity dedicated to embracing and promoting a lifestyle that cares for people, not “stuff.”
Advance vote approved: You might find it convenient to participate in the newly approved Advance Vote to be held on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the Village Office.
Housing application approved: An application to move a previously constructed house onto the lot located at 5136—52nd Street was approved.
Economic development: In preparation for the Leduc–Nisku EDA’s (LNEDA) upcoming economic partnership breakfast, The Future of Food, on September 17th, a request was made to identify the retiring Councillors in order to give them special recognition for their service to the public and the region. However, Councillors remained tight-lipped about their intent to retire or run again and were advised to contact LNEDA personally.
LNEDA’s new Executive Director, Barbara Engelbart, will be officially welcomed at the September 17 breakfast meeting.
The meeting will focus on agriculture and agri-business. “LNEDA’s annual harvest breakfast is the place to be to learn about the programs, resources, tools and services available to farmers, producers, food processors and others involved in agri-business as well as find out what the future holds for the industry in Leduc-Nisku,” said Emma Pietroleonardo, Board Chair for LNEDA, in a newsletter to area mayors.
Responding to a request from the Leduc Chamber of Commerce, Council will be donating a door prize to be given away at the next Leduc Chamber luncheon meeting. Warburg Council representatives will not be attending. Warburg is not a member of the Leduc (City) Chamber of Commerce.
Paving project inspection: The Village is readying for the paving project final inspection at the arena, Legion and community hall parking lot and street. Councillors were asked for input on deficiencies. Deputy Mayor Miller mentioned the water is running down the ditch in front of the hall and not running off. The area between the Legion and the hall needs to be sealed where the swale comes down and out—there’s a “chunk out”. Councillor vanAssen mentioned the need for sealing behind the hall as well as clear indication of a fire lane so people aren’t parking and blocking the laneway.
CAO Pankewitz noted the Ag Society has placed wheelchair signs for designated parking. Mayor Kohl suggested the Arena Board could do the same. Pankewitz advised placing new boulevards at 50th Ave to show people where to park so they don’t cut through the ditch. (The older boulevards have rebar sticking out of them.) Kohl mentioned painting lines at the edge of the asphalt to encourage people to stay within the lines to preserve landscaping and the integrity of the edge of the asphalt road.
Miscellaneous: The discussion regarding who will attend the Municipal Dispute Resolution Services training program will be tabled until after the upcoming election.
Both the FortisAlberta Franchise Fee and the ATCO Gas Franchise Fee will remain at the current 10% rate.
Council received a note from Leduc County Mayor John Whaley thanking them for the series of framed prints that were presented to the County at the recent 50th Anniversary Celebration. The prints are on display in the County building.
Council received information on August 8, 2013 from Municipal Affairs regarding the “New Home Buyer Protection Act” (NHBPA). “Municipal Affairs has prepared a handout notifying builders that the Act will soon be coming into force and appropriate warranty coverage will be required on new homes in order for a building permit to be issued….Builders that have questions or want more details can be referred to Municipal Affairs’ website and contact information…on the handout.”
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