Non-residential property tax deferral decided

Elnora councillors and Chief Administrative Officer met via teleconference video on Tues. May 12 for their regular monthly meeting.

The non-residential property tax deferral topic was tabled from the April 14 meeting but after discussion this time around, council was able to come to an agreement, making a draft bylaw to amend the 2020 penalty date to October 1 and six per cent.

For utility accounts, the village invoices utilities once a year with accounts being due December 31.

If the account is outstanding at that date, it is transferred to the tax account and subject to an 18 per cent penalty in the past.

A motion made by Dep. Mayor Nelson was approved to allow a 15 per cent credit for commercial utility accounts for this year with a possible additional credit pursuant to an approved application.

Services that run under this category include the churches, the school, the community hall and agricultural building, as well as the Legion and drop-in centre.


Pumphouse upgrades

Tagish Engineering has come back with quotes to address various problems with the pumphouse and reservoir.

In his summary, Greg Smith, principal engineer and general manager with Tagish, said “Tagish thinks it is important to define what should be considered new construction versus major maintenance and doesn’t want the two to conflict with each other.”

Smith visited council and the pumphouse for a better idea of its problems in early March.

A few ideas were discussed and since then he has come up with a couple of funding options which were discussed with public works as well as recommendations on priority list items.

His first step was to finalize the Elnora Water Pumping Station and Water Analysis report which will help cement the sizing of the future water storage.

Secondly, public works recommended an upgrade to the existing building.

“From an engineering perspective, the project would be more seamless and a better product in the end if a new pump station were built on the newly purchased lot along with a small storage tank then potentially utilize the existing main tank that was constructed in the 1980s for the bulk of the storage,” said Smith in his report.

The existing pump house itself was built on top of an old storage tank that is currently used as the pump chambers. 

Smith suggested they decommission it due to its age and the ‘number of unknown factors’.

During construction of the new pumphouse, it was noted that the old pump house can remain in use. But if the existing pumphouse is being renovated instead, a temporary pumping system will be needed during the construction phase.

A motion was made by Dep. Mayor Nelson to purchase 524 – 3rd Ave. at a cost of $40,00 and to obtain costings for two options from Tagish Engineering.


Off-leash dog park

Talks of an off-leash dog park within Elnora was discussed.

After all was said and done, council directed administration to investigate fencing options as well as table the discussion to the next town hall meeting for community discussion.


Temporary FCSS restriction suspensions

With the rapidly changing landscape of COVID-19 within the province, the Government of Alberta, specifically the Minister of Community and Social Services, Rajan Sawhney announced that with the growing use of food banks, food security was identified as one of the most common areas for funding requests from FCSS.

Community and Social Services (CSS) has since decided to temporarily suspend the regulatory restrictions on funding that prevent FCSS from addressing food security in their area as a ministerial order.

For Elnora, the Regional FCSS meal delivery was created and began on May 4.

It is run by Red Deer County.

The purpose of this meal program was to help others who have difficulty accessing food due to the coronavirus.

Costs for individual meals are $7 while family meals are $25 with different dietary options available.

Individuals or families requesting to have this fee waived are asked to contact their FCSS as there is some money now available to offset costs. 

Council received this news as information.


Library board agreement

An agreement between the village and the Elnora Library Board was signed following a motion to accept the 10-year lease agreement.

In it, the lease, as well as utilities, were noted.

In lieu of rent, the library has agreed to pay half of the monthly electricity and gas bills.

All security measures and insurance costs also fall on their lap.


Officer hours

Red Deer County’s County Peace Officers (CPO) sent a letter to the village explaining their time within the village.

In total, the CPOs spent five hours and four minutes in the month of March.

In this time, only one person was fined a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt while driving.


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.