Forestburg face covering bylaw amended

Written by Terri Huxley

Last fall, Forestburg council held a special meeting requesting administration to develop a face covering bylaw in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council felt it was pertinent to have this bylaw in place to ensure the public, especially the immune-compromised and elderly population, is protected from the virus.

Since Nov. 25 when it was put into place mandating every business and public space in the community should have employees and guests wearing masks, council has chosen to revisit it at their latest meeting on Thurs. March 18.

Council passed three readings of an amendment to this bylaw to align with current provincial health orders.

The original bylaw described ‘‘as a supplemental measure to the provincial public health regulation, this bylaw may be superseded and/or become inactive on the decision of the Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health to rescind a provincial health order requiring or recommending the usage of face masking measures. 

Council, in its sole discretion, may introduce measures provided for in this bylaw by a resolution of council.’

This is now adjusted so that the bylaw may be repealed at the discretion of council should circumstances warrant.

A violation ticket issued prior to the time of repeal remains valid and the person to whom the violation ticket was issued remains fully liable to pay the specified penalty or to other legal process as the cause may be, as though this bylaw had not been repealed.

Southern road staying

Flagstaff County council has chosen to keep the southern road leading out of Forestburg alone after a letter from Forestburg council and a presentation from concerned resident Eva Fossen who resides on that road, were made to keep it intact.

The transitioning of the oiled Forestburg south road (Range Road 152) is one of the last of the oiled roads to be transitioned back to gravel under the county’s operating budget in the 2021-2023 business plan.

Council approved a motion to leave the Forestburg South road stretching 3.5 miles as an unbanned oiled surface road until it deteriorates.

A vote in favour of this motion came down to 4 – 3.

A second motion was also made and passed to leave the Daysland East road (NNW 10-45-16 – Twp Rd 452 east for four miles) as an unbanned oiled surface road until it deteriorates as well.

Frozen water line talk

In June 2018, a motion was made which approved the Frozen Water Service Policy.

The policy is due to be reviewed in November 2021.

Considering recent events with two residents’ homes that have had their water freeze up in March, administration brought the policy back for discussion to get a feel for where council currently sits on the issue.

Spring AUMA caucus

Mayors, Councillors, and CAOs are invited to register for AUMA’s spring Municipal Leaders’ Caucus being held virtually through Zoom on April 14, 15, and 16, 2021.

Council passed a motion to send two councillors to the caucus virtually.

The cost for attending the Municipal Leaders’ Caucus is $50 for regular members.

During discussion, council directed administration to submit some policy items for consideration at the caucus gathering.

The Village of Forestburg is requesting that the province allow municipalities to allocate their 2022-23 and 2023-24 Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) allocations between operating and capital uses as council may deem necessary.

Also recognizing that education is a provincial government responsibility, Forestburg is requesting that the Government of Alberta adopt a cost-sharing approach on education property tax arrears and assume a 50/50 split of the unpaid requisitions within each impacted municipality; implement the proposed Local Government Funding Framework to be in effect no later than the beginning of the provinces 2023-24 fiscal year to minimize financial uncertainty, and provide the promised predictable and reliable funding support for all Alberta municipalities.

And lastly, the village requests that the province amend Section 382 (1) of the Municipal Government Act to enable municipalities to pass a special tax bylaw to raise revenue to pay for policing services.

Closed session

Council entered into a closed session to discuss particular budget items. Once back into the public eye, three motions were made.

One that village council provide a letter of support to the Forestburg Golf Club in support of their grant applications as well as an additional motion to support the Forestburg’s Area 53 Raceway in the same matter.

Lastly, council authorized administration to enter into a new three-year agreement with Wainwright Assessment Group Ltd. for assessment services.

 

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.