Elnora village council has recently been focused on turning the once-vacant Elnora Medical Centre into something useful for the community.
This has led to upgrades being up to code inspection-wise and allow businesses to take up residency.
One of these is Amanda Huges of Accentuate Hair Design which council agreed to enter into a lease agreement with at their regular meeting on Tues. May 11.
The salon opened May 4 but was shut down that week due to pandemic regulations.
It may re-open at the end of the month if the provincial government allows it.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sharon Wesgate questioned if the village should charge the salon for April and May rent as the COVID-19 pandemic has halted any in-person dealings happening, not giving the owner a chance to get on her feet as there have been ‘a lot of bumps getting it off the ground’.
And because the utilities had been disconnected for an extended period of time, it was necessary to hire contractors to apply for the necessary permits and ensure the services passed Safety Code inspections.
This process took longer than anticipated as arrangements with external providers to re-connect the services were challenging according to the CAO.
The services were left in the village’s name (to be billed monthly to the leasee) as transferring them at this point would have delayed the process up to three months, due in large part to the incorrect civic address currently utilized by the utility companies.
The final inspection was done at the end of April, there were no services for most of April.
Council shared similar sentiments and agreed to waive the lease fees for April and May.
Motions were also passed to pay Perry Warner Plumbing $4,508.04 for applying for the gas permit and ensuring plumbing and gas repairs were done and up to code in the centre and Corry Carpentry for replacing the ramp and stairs to the building for $2,928.85. The previous one had rotted.
Another bill is to be expected from Current Electric for electrical work as well but no quote has been received yet.
Leading into further support for businesses within Elnora, council felt these local operations should be recognized and appreciated.
CAO Wesgate suggested they give a personalized clock with a plaque to symbolize this appreciation.
Council was in favour of this to be proactive in welcoming businesses to the community.
Video surveillance at property
An email was received from an Elnora resident about a neighbour having a surveillance camera pointed in the direction of their property.
On two occasions, someone called reporting Mr. Scott and wife Patricia Mackay; once for letting their dogs loose which was false according to Scott as the dogs were with them at the time it was reported, and the other for reportedly operating an illegal smoker which when inspected by an Elnora firefighter deemed it legal.
Mackay shared further in his letter that this video camera is not just observing their yard and deck but other neighbours as well.
He asked the village if there were any bylaws for camera and video recording usage in place.
“I discussed this matter with Sgt. Jamie Day [of the Three Hills] RCMP,” said CAO Wesgate, “who advised it is not illegal to have a surveillance camera pointed onto neighbouring (open) properties. A bylaw search for the cities of Edmonton and Calgary revealed they have no bylaws on this matter.”
Council agreed to stick with RCMP’s comments as this is a provincial enforcement matter and that they do not wish to pursue a bylaw of this nature.
Out of 21 bylaws previously reviewed by Municipal Affairs and the village, three, in particular, were asked to be rescinded as they were outdated, replaced and/or no longer effective.
Council passed a motion to rescind the Regulate Traffic and Parking Bylaw, Regulate Dogs Bylaw, Regulate Drays Bylaw.
The rest remain intact.
Police funding invoice
An invoice was received from Bill Sweeney, senior assistant deputy minister for the director of law enforcement, sharing details of Elnora’s share.
For the village based on a 2019 population number of 298, they will be paying $5,195 this year.
Council approved payment of this invoice.
On the positive side, council shared they have seen much more police presence in the village, thanks to the work of Sgt. Day.
“I see them more now than I ever did,” said Coun. Rob Aellen.
Poor internet service
Due to poor internet service normally observed by Elnora villagers, the council meeting held virtually on video conference call didn’t last as long as anticipated.
The remaining business items have been tabled to next month’s meeting including filling the Canada Summer Jobs public works position, a library window replacement discussion, Central Alberta Co-op community grant and burn pit testing as well as reports and correspondence.