County of Paintearth council denies request to record

Paintearth County council denied a request by a ratepayer in attendance at the regular meeting on April 17 to record the meeting according to the sign on the entrance to the council chambers that states “Meetings May Be Recorded.”
Administration recommended council seek legal advice and have a policy in place. No further comment was stated.

Audit report
“In our opinion the consolidated financial statements present fairly in all material respects,” stated Monica Faupel of Endeavour Chartered Professional Accountants.
It was found to be a clean audit in accordance with the Canadian Public Sector Accounting Standards.
“During the course of our audit,” continued Faupel, ”we encountered no significant internal control matters.”
“Everything went very well,” Faupel shared “and I was very, very pleased.”
“Administratively, thank you so much,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CA0), Tarolyn Aaserud, “We have a very good relationship, its not just a once a year thing. We truly appreciate the partnership.”

Mill rate
Coun. Diane Elliot moved to increase the mill rate by three per cent.
“Mill rates give you stability,” shared CAO Aaserud.
This will cover an estimated 65 to 70 per cent of the bad debt write offs the county incurred last year. The municipality absorbs any tax debt from defunct companies, in this case, mainly oil and gas. In 2017, the county had to write off nearly $1,500,000.

Gravel purchase
Coun. Glazier motioned for administration to seek further information regarding rates and interest for a 5 year debenture of $2,122,900, to extend the current supply and deliver contract for 60,000 tonne of crushed gravel in 2019 and the supply of 30,000 tonne in 2019 and 2020.
The purchase of the 60,000 tonne would supply the west side of the county until 2024, estimated.

Water access
Council granted approval for a landowner to tie a newer development into the existing Shirley McClellan Regional Water Services Commission (SMRWSC) water line, at a cost of $7,500 plus any additional costs that may be incurred.
Reeve Stan Schulmiester questioned if the landowner signed up for the water program when it was originally offered, as this was partially the reason for approval in the previous case.
CAO Aaserud confirmed that they did not initially sign up for the program.
Schulmiester added that the current policy in place may need to be amended if it is deviated from at every request.
“I see this to be a very similar case,” Coun. Doreen Blumhagen said, referring to the decision allowing another earlier request from a resident to tie into the water line, “I think we want people on there, it’s not going to cost the county anything. And in regards to the policy we have, when we made that policy we couldn’t anticipate every different scenario. So, I, yes agree, that we need to take a look at that.”
“We put it in there to service people,” said Coun. Tyrrill Hewitt, ”The more people we can get on it the better. I’m in favour.”

Brownfield Recreation Centre
County council agreed to the request by Brownfield Recreation Centre for $20,000 to go towards the furnace replacement in the Brownfield Rec Centre. These funds will come out of the County’s recreation budget.
“It is not just a hall,” CAO Aaserud shared, “It is a recreation facility. It is our only county recreation facility.”
Recently, the Brownfield Recreation Board has raised nearly $400,000 to renovate the kitchen and curling ice. During these renovations it has come to the boards attention that the buildings furnace is not running properly.
Volunteers have been checking the furnace, which is located on the roof of the building, to ensure that it is operating through the winter months and before events.
The furnace at minimum needs the heat exchangers, inducer fan motor condenser cooling fan and other parts fixed or replaced. The board has determined it is the best course of action to move the unit to a safer ground level location with easier access.
The current estimated cost is between $60,000 and $65,000.

Emily Wheller
ECA Review

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