County of Paintearth

County received a letter of thanks from Curtis Perry, Chairman of the Coronation Pro Rodeo Association, at the County of Paintearth meeting on Tuesday, December 3. The letter made mention that the Association felt due to donations received toward advertising – and mother nature’s kindness with good weather – the rodeo was a great success in 2013.

Bill modification

Changes to Bill 28, the Enabling Regional Growth Boards Act, were discussed by council following a letter received by Gerald Rhodes, Executive Director of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties.

The letter outlined new amendments to the bill, including “wording to explicitly clarify that the establishment of new Growth Management Boards is voluntary,” “enforcement provisions to be amended to ensure penalties are focused on organizations rather than individuals, and on fines, rather than imprisonment,” and “require Growth Management Boards to develop and implement an appeal process.”

Council agreed that the changes were bringing the Bill back to a workable state and efforts to involve affected regions in conference calls and discourse were positive steps to ensure everyone was in agreement with the direction of the Bill.

Canada Post update

Council received a letter from Denis Lemelin, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) regarding the future of Canada Post.

The letter outlined points of interest moving forward into the new year, including a note that the federal government would be reviewing the Canadian Postal Service Charter in 2014; that considerations undertaken by such a review could lay ground work for deregulation or privatization of Canada Post; and that other alternatives, such as Postal Banking, were being considered to keep the national postal service relevant and healthy.

Council also received a letter from Doug Jones, Senior Vice-President of Delivery and Customer Experience with Canada Post, in regard to Council’s letter of support toward not reducing Halkirk Post Office hours. The letter outlined the ever-shifting reality of physical post in a digital era and established that Canada Post was evolving accordingly.

Statistics noted that in Canada Post’s 2013 third-quarter results “a $129 million loss” was reported. The letter noted that analysis of customer traffic patterns at the Halkirk office noted a variance in daytime use.

“Effective November 24, changes were made to reflect this minimal usage, primarily by opening later in the morning and adjusting the lunchtime hours,” noted Jones in his letter.

Bylaw amendment

Council amended a previous Utilities Bylaw 616-12 concerning wastewater charges. It was discussed that the County has never charged for wastewater services. The new amendment, bylaw 627-13, will allow the County to add Schedule C, concerning waste water rates, to the bylaw effective January 1, 2014. Under Schedule C all those who fall under the designation of residential dwellings, manufactured homes and churches will pay a $13.50 fee per month; and all other commercial, rural industrial and institutional locations pay a minimum $50 or 28 per cent of their water consumption, whichever is greater, per month. Additional to this is an added waste water system reserve fee at $5 per month. The changes will be in place for the Hamlet of Brownfield and the subdivision of Crowfoot Crossing.

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