Clive village councillors discussed the idea that rural businesses suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic should see more help. The topic came up at the May 25 regular meeting of council.
Councillors discussed the issue of the rural business community being devastated by the pandemic, and what provincial help they were getting.
Coun. Jeremy Whelan stated that he’s heard communities surrounding Clive have suffered badly from the pandemic, but some are also suffering badly because of other issues such as crime.
Whelan stated he would support efforts to lobby for more rural business help if other issues such as crime have also been dealt with.
Whelan also pointed out Clive businesses have followed the pandemic rules and should be recognized for that.
Coun. Tracy Hallman stated she’s spoken to business owners in Clive and she’s heard that the help offered to them from the provincial government has been very little.
Mayor Lucy Henry stated small rural areas are at a serious disadvantage when trying to get help because of their small population.
Both Coun. Susan Russell and Norma Penny agreed that the village should speak up about provincial help for rural businesses suffering from the pandemic.
Councillors unanimously passed a motion that Mayor Henry write a letter on behalf of Clive to the provincial government requesting the rural business community get more help from Edmonton.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney gave an update on Clive’s annual FunFest which will go ahead June 18 to 19.
Kenney noted there will be at least seven events including a bike safety event with the help of Lacombe County peace officers.
There will also be a parade that will use a route similar to the wintertime FrostFest beginning at 47th Ave. Plans are also calling for two food trucks to be available.
Coun. Whelan asked if there was something that could be done to help local businesses during FunFest, such as a discount coupon accepted at local restaurants.
Coun. Penny responded the village could use “Clive Bucks,” which could then be used at all businesses, not just the restaurants. Whelan agreed.
Tax rate bylaw
Councillors unanimously passed all readings to bring the 2021 tax rate bylaw into effect. The CAO noted this bylaw allows the village to collect revenue to pay for the 2021 budget which councillors approved May 10.
In summarizing the budget Kenney stated there was a tiny tax increase from 2020, perhaps one-tenth of a mill, so virtually the same as last year.
In her regular report to council, CAO Kenney stated during a recent session with the provincial government she was told that most residents of Clive had had their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.
The government was encouraging anyone who hasn’t received their first shot to go get one as soon as possible.
The CAO also reported that there is a sticky situation developing in the town wastewater system.
Kenney reported wipes that have been disposed of in the wastewater system are clogging the lift station RV dump. Kenney stated the village asks people to dispose of wipes in a trash can or methods other than flushing them.
The pet situation has calmed in the village, noted Kenney. She told councillors all dog licenses in the village have been renewed and there are only two outstanding cat licenses left.
Kenney stated she learned a lot about Alberta’s economy at a recent economic development course that was offered virtually.
Kenney stated, while oil and gas are big parts of the provincial portfolio, Alberta actually has a surprisingly diversified economy.
Councillors accepted Kenney’s report for information.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter