The Village of Forestburg recognizes the importance of maintaining the sanitary sewer system for residents and had previously directed Administration to develop a policy regarding frozen sewer lines.
After reviewing the new Sewer Service Line Blockage Policy, it was accepted by Council as presented.
The policy defines the roles and responsibilities of the municipality and property owners.
If it is determined that municipal piping contributed to the blockage, the municipality will be responsible for the costs to open the sewer line.
The cost to clear or replace the line from the sewer main to the property line will also be covered by the municipality if the blockage is a result of tree roots on municipally-owned property.
It is the municipality’s responsibility to do all that is reasonably possible to clear blockages located on municipal property.
The municipality will not be responsible for providing staff or contractors to open sewer lines, payment of home-based energy costs arising from applying heat to exposed plumbing or to prevent service lines from freezing or any damages caused to service or interior plumbing lines due to the blockage.
If the blockage is a result of grease, kitchen waste, paper, low water usage, foreign objects or roots from trees located on the owner’s property, the cost of clearing and repairing the line will be the resident’s responsibility.
Homeowners are responsible for the portion on the sanitary sewer line from their home to the end of their property line.
If a lateral line crossing the property line requires repair or replacement, the responsibility may be shared.
The Village recommends any suspected blockage issues be reported promptly to staff as they will visit the property within regular working hours.
Duncan appointed as new bylaw enforcement officer
The contract with the previous bylaw enforcement officer from Bylaw Enforcement Services Ltd. out of Bawlf, Ab. was not renewed in January as Council decided to find someone local to fulfil the duties of this position.
The role of the Bylaw Enforcement Officer must be appointed by Council.
Administration recommended that Sharon Duncan be appointed to act in this position for the Village of Forestburg which was unanimously approved.
Reserve funds allocated
Administration had previously prepared a listing of additional reserve contributions that Council can make as part of the year-end financial review.
The reserve funds are generated through tax dollars that were not utilized at the end of the operational year in 2018. Council approved the transfer of the additional reserves in the amount of $110,007.76.
Of this amount, $50,007.76 has been allocated to the general contingency reserve, and $20,000 each to the water, sewer and recreation reserves.
Growing small business
Roger Cole, an expert on rural economic development, made a presentation on the REACH program.
Cole helped develop the program began as a pilot project in Camrose five years ago.
This will be the second project launching in Flagstaff County.
The program provides professional advice, networking opportunities and education on how to succeed in business and is open to new entrepreneurs and existing businesses.
There will also be various seminars and workshops offered in the coming months in locations yet to be determined.
Infrastructure Report provides recommendations
The 2019 Infrastructure Update Report, which was prepared by Select Engineering Consultants Ltd., was presented for information purposes and accepted by Council.
This report is instrumental in helping the Village and Council to schedule capital projects based on the information and recommendations received.
The report provides an overview of the condition of existing infrastructure and makes recommendations on maintaining the water main distribution and sanitary sewer network and approximately 11.6 km of roads in the municipality.
The last report was updated in 2013.
The report recommends water main improvement projects in the area of 46th Avenue (49th Street to 50th Street) and 44A Avenue (47th Street – 49th Street) be considered over the next five years.
Administration and Council will not be undertaking any capital projects this year in 2019, as they are concentrating their efforts on the development of a new 13-lot residential subdivision.