Coronation Council: New accounting regulations raise concern

Council discussed concerns about new accounting regulations for the Asset Retirement Obligation (ARO) mandated by the Government of Alberta at their regular meeting on Mon. May 27.

The discussion focused on the need to propose adjustments to the provincial requirements for municipalities.

An ARO is a legal obligation associated with the retirement of a tangible capital asset, such as the removal of asbestos, storage tanks, wastewater or sewage treatment facilities, or closure liabilities relating to landfill sites.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Quinton Flint raised concerns that the task would be costly and technically demanding, without clear guidance on public disclosure and that estimates for asbestos contamination lack transparency and may inadvertently expose municipalities to legal risks.

The proposal aims to address concerns about the challenging and costly removal of asbestos, including estimating the amount within a square foot and the significant cost variations.

CAO Flint also noted that inaccurate estimates could be perceived as fraudulent.

Additionally, the proposal would provide information to all municipalities in Alberta and seek support for a resolution to have the ARO removed from audited financial statements and administered as a separate program by the provincial government.

It also addresses the inadequate financial support municipalities face in conducting abatement assessments and implementing compliance monitoring systems, which could risk the loss of essential community facilities.

In short, the proposal urges the Government of Alberta to exclude the ARO requirement from audited financial statements until appropriate legal and financial protections are established. This would safeguard municipalities, their administrations, and councils from potential liabilities.

Additionally, the proposal calls for grant funding to help municipalities meet environmental and safety standards without financial strain.

In a brief discussion with Premier Danielle Smith, CAO Flint emphasized the need for the ARO to be documented properly, as different types of abatement have different costs depending on density and materials being removed.

“I don’t feel comfortable as an administrator putting out an unaudited financial document,” stated Flint.

Council motioned to proceed with a resolution to be submitted for consideration at the Alberta Municipalities leadership conference in Red Deer in September of this year.

Noise bylaw proposed
Administration introduced proposed Noise Bylaw 2024-703 in response to numerous citizen complaints regarding noise disturbances within the town.

Council found it necessary to control and regulate noise levels to maintain peace and comfort for the residents of Coronation.

Over the past few months, the town has received an increasing number of complaints from various areas, particularly regarding dogs barking and loud pickup trucks late at night. It was noted that dogs are often heard barking past midnight on both weekdays and weekends.

While some dog owners have complied with requests to prevent nighttime barking, many others have not.

Loud exhausts and modified mufflers on pickup trucks have also been a consistent issue. Council agreed that these modifications, while an expression of personal identity, are disturbing to some residents who value their right to peace and quiet, particularly during nighttime hours.

“We are not getting any compliance right now, we have sent out numerous letters, but it is falling on deaf ears,” said Chief Administrative Office (CAO) Quinton Flint noted.  In the last six months the council has received close to 10 formal written complaints.

Key points of the proposed bylaw include the introduction of quiet hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and prohibiting any loud, unnecessary, or unusual noise that disturbs the comfort, peace or safety of others.

CAO Flint mentioned that the RCMP have agreed to aid in enforcement when possible, provided the bylaw includes provisions for their participation. This would necessitate acknowledging them as public servants or peace officers in the bylaw, granting them authority to issue fines under the Provincial Ordinance Procedures Act.

Existing allocated funds in the budget would cover legal costs for drafting the bylaw.

Council moved to proceed with the introduction of Noise Bylaw 2024-703 and to obtain necessary legal advice to draft the bylaw.

Rodeo grounds upkeep
The Coronation Pro Rodeo Association presented to council several pressing issues at the local rodeo grounds, particularly concerning the deteriorating grandstand benches. The benches, used for spectator seating, have become potential safety hazards.

The discussion highlighted the urgent need to address the aesthetic and structural upkeep of buildings and equipment on the rodeo grounds, where deferred maintenance has led to peeling paint and potential functionality issues.

“It’s getting to a point where everything needs work,”  Mayor Matthew Peacock noted.

The association proposed removing the grandstand benches this year and using bleachers from the ball diamonds to help minimize costs.

The rodeo association would also conduct fundraising activities and mobilize volunteers to assist with necessary work.

Council agreed and asked that the association obtain cost estimates and quotes to bring back for next year’s budget consideration.

Council approved the decision to collaborate with the rodeo association, including the use of town equipment and manpower to clean up the site.

Cheryl Bowman
Multimedia Reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Cheryl Bowman

Cheryl spent most of her childhood in Stettler, growing up on a quarter section north of town. After graduating from Stettler Composite High School she moved to Calgary where she worked in various industries, attended The University of Calgary and raised a family.

She enjoyed volunteering and contributed in a variety of ways, such as writing articles for the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and covering charitable events as a photographer.

She moved back to Stettler in 2023 where she still has family.