Property owner’s plea

Written by Brenda Schimke

Ken and Margaret Minifie-Cloutier presented their case to the Delburne village council on July 19 seeking permission to continue using village water when visiting their property in Delburne.

Although the property has sewer and water hookups, a house has yet to be built and instead, they park their RV on the property while visiting.

Recently they received a letter from the village stating that water would no longer be provided as this type of hookup could possibly contaminate the village water.

They said they have always kept the property maintained, paid all the fees required, including a $50 monthly consumption fee in lieu of a meter, and would be more than willing to pay any additional fees.

They, however, couldn’t understand how their setup affected the health and safety of the village’s water system any more than campground hookups or outside hoses on homes.

“The change of policy”, said Coun. Andy Folks, “was so that everybody that has services to their property, even those that don’t utilize it, need to share in the cost of funding the future (services). Sometimes it leads to this.”

“Council had made a change on how the village handles turning water on for the summer and shutting it off for the winter and our policy choice inadvertently caught you,” said Mayor Tim Wilson.

Councillor unanimously passed a motion to reinstate water service to the Minifie-Cloutier property.

They will be required to pay all fees and install a backflow preventer. These conditions would cease upon the sale of the property.

Fees increase
Changes to the Fees & Charge Bylaw No. 1182/2022 included adjustments to fees that were too low to cover the actual costs of the services.

The base fee for the village to clean up a private property has been increased to $200. It is hoped this increase will discourage property owners from counting on village staff to look after their snow, weeds and grass.

The application fee under the land use bylaw will move from $150 to $300. The fee has been the same since 1997, yet costs, such as advertising, have continued to rise.

The recycling fees increased to $4.91 for curbside pick up per the contract and a $1.50 yard compost fee has been added.

Saga on bistro site
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Karen Fegan has contacted Chris George of MPE Engineering Ltd. to get a second opinion on the letter from the Environment & Parks Department dated March 30.

It was not clear what the department was actually asking the village to do in regards to further environmental testing on the bistro site.

The company that does the testing, ParklandGEO Ltd., reviewed the letter and said we may need to do another phase 2, which would be very costly.
No decision was made.

Popularity of village newsletter
Because of the village newsletter’s popularity, too much demand has been placed on its space and on the staff.

A policy was proposed and unanimously approved setting out content submission guidelines and confirming that village staff could no longer offer design services.

“We’ll accept the policy and then wait for feedback to see if any changes need to be made,” said Coun.Jeff Bourne.

New businesses
Two new business licences were issued for Delburne Liquor and Delburne Foods (previously Supervalu) and a third for Dodong’s Foods which will offer ready-to-cook Filipino products.

Gifts for elected official
Zero dollars was the amount most councillors felt comfortable with when discussing the value of gifts or benefits councillors could accept as elected officials.

The council is currently amending its Code of Conduct Bylaw 1180/2022 to comply with the Municipal Government Act.

Upon reflection, a maximum $100 was deemed acceptable to cover small gifts received relating to protocol or the social obligations of the position.

Representative for CAEP
A policy was unanimously passed setting out the requirements and obligations of the Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) business representative for Delburne.

The individual must own a business in the village and is required to report to the next council meeting following the spring and fall general meetings. It is a 3-year term with meeting fees and mileage covered by the village. Letters of application by interested parties must be received by October 1.

Brenda Schimke
ECA Review

About the author

Brenda Schimke

Schimke is a Graduate with Distinction from the University of Alberta with a BCom degree. She has lived and worked in Alberta, BC and Ontario.