COVID-19 centric repercussion operating grant useless to Youngstown

ECA Review/Terri Huxley
Written by Terri Huxley

Youngstown council chose to not move forward with applying for the Municipal Operating Support Transfer Grant after discussion during the regular council meeting on Tues. Oct. 6. 

This grant was recently put in place by the provincial government to help alleviate operating costs for municipalities impacted by the coronavirus including things like cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), supplemental staffing and/or disrupted revenues and operations which now run on deficits due to the viral outbreak.

Youngstown is eligible for $20,594 but councillors and the chief administrative officer all agreed that the village did not need to apply as very few supplies were bought and operations were hardly affected by COVID-19.

Many of the supplies needed were also provided from the government for free as well.

“We haven’t really had any extra expenses,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Emma Garlock. “So when you go to this list, what you would have to report on would be PPE – well the PPE we got for free – Supplemental cleaning… We haven’t really had any additional cleaning supplies. I bought a thing of bleach which was like $3.”

Dep. Mayor Ken Johnson asked if the funds could be used towards the community hall, curling rink or prominent clubs in the area who were affected by the lack of activities and thus income that happened this year but the grant does not cover this type of cost.

It covers recreation centres’ loss of entrance fees, parking fees, etc. but not for community groups associated with any recreation centre.

A motion was made and passed to not apply for this grant.

Organizational Meeting

Following the regular meeting, council dove into the organizational meeting where basic information was re-established or adjusted for another year.

All Youngstown representatives chose to sit on the same boards as done last year. 

This was the same for council positions with Robert Blagen being nominated as Mayor, Ken Johnson as Deputy Mayor and Debra Laughlin as councillor once again.

The meeting date was confirmed as being the first Tuesday of every month beginning at 4 p.m. aside from next month’s meeting which will be held on the Monday instead due to scheduling.

Alberta Treasury Branch was named the village’s current banking provider.

Golf Course lease renewal

A lease renewal for the Youngstown Golf Course made between Special Areas and Youngstown was signed after a motion was made by council to renew.

It was originally going to expire at the end of this year.

The fee associated was $25, up $15 from last time the lease was renewed.

Public Works report

Public Works Foreman James Mably mentioned in his report to council that inspections have taken place at the lagoons.

A couple items of note were that cattails have been creeping further and further into the lagoon which the inspection officer recommended they pull them out or at least back. Another was keeping the facility locked.

Dep. Mayor Johnson recommended they look at creating an agreement with Special Areas as they often use the lagoon in the summer which leads to the place being unlocked but environmental concerns are still on the village to address if need be.

A suggestion of speaking with the large municipality about determining who is responsible for what and possibly installing a secure lock in the meantime.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.