Council reviewed and approved a proposal from Dustin Zubach of Coronation for the removal of the metal cladding and framing at the bottom of the water tower basin for the quoted price of $40,000 at their regular meeting Mon. Mar. 11.
“I hate to rush decisions but I also I hate to delay this and put anyone in peril,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sandra Kulyk as cladding has been swinging loose.
The proposal had been held off at the last meeting because the town had an expression of interest from a couple of other local contractors that wanted to put forward a submission but nothing was received.
CAO Kulyk provided the completed 2019 Assessment Report for information to council in advance of budgeting for 2019.
The overall residential assessment has increased by 0.6 per cent and non-residential increased by 1.5 per cent, both due to inflation, an increased value of $1,033,200.
“Our total overall assessment increased by $660,710 which is good because we actually had a negative growth last year so that’s a positive influence,” said Kulyk.
A decrease of $372,490 occurred as a result of demolition or removal of buildings or devaluation of some properties.
“Considering we did have a house and a couple of mobiles got moved out so we had a marginal change there, so overall it’s a positive position compared to last year,” said Kulyk.
A shift in numbers was also caused by changes in classification.
Mobile homes situated in the mobile home park are classified mobile home but all the mobile homes dispersed throughout the residential area were incorrectly classified as residential.
Council agreed to support the new initiative by Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) in forming the Resource Communities of Canada Coalition.
The support council approved does not include any funding requests but the coalition will advocate for responsible resource industry; ensure municipal perspectives are being heard on issues impacting resource development; and, sharing factual information regarding resource development interests.
The first three major activities for the coalition includes an education campaign to present at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference in Quebec. Secondly, Bill C-69 advocacy.
Although termed the “pipeline” bill, the coalition is concerned with the proposed amendments impacting municipalities.
Thirdly, the coalition wants to formalize the new group with terms of reference.
Council heard that the 2018 year ended on a positive note again with a surplus that council agreed to place into restricted surplus accounts.
A surplus transfer of $220,000 into the following capital accounts including Common Services Equipment at $50,000; Roads at $50,000; Airport at $50,000; Recreation at $50,000 and Wellness Centre at $20,000.
“I’m wondering if we should do a fire hydrant program?” questioned Coun. Vickey Horkoff.
Kulyk confirmed that a program under operating is budgeted for two new fire hydrants a year and “is anywhere between $10,000 and I think it was $30,000 last year,” said Kulyk.
“We need to start replacing those old ones,” said Horkoff. “And just get it all done,” Coun. Jackie Brigley added.
“You could do it as a major capital replacement,” offered Kulyk.
There are 52 or 53 fire hydrants in the town confirmed Kulyk.
“You can certainly change your allocations in reserves at any time,” said CAO Kulyk, “so if you want to revisit it later on in the year you certainly can.”
Council will also consider Deputy Mayor Ron Checkel’s question, “Do we want to look at starting to run fibre optics to everything in town?”
“Start building a fund, that would be a good idea,” said Kulyk.
Council discussed the government’s priority to have all small communities with broadband access.
“They [provincial government] have made it a priority,” said Coun. Cook, “they just haven’t put money as a priority yet.”
“BRAED [Battle River Alliance for Economic Development] has done a research project on a viable broadband for us,” said Cook, “and through all the research they have done, they’re saying the government is going to have to be our partner to bring broadband in. The communities aren’t going to be able to afford it.
“They’ve [government] made it a priority, they just haven’t financially made it a priority,” concluded Cook.
Council had heard at their last meeting from councillors Horkoff and Brigley, who had attended a group meeting with Castor and County councillors, that determined costs to get fibre optics into the communities would be “$3.2 million for this whole region” and that would not include getting fibre optics into each household.
Bylaw Officer’s report
In the Bylaw Officer’s report, it noted 2.75 hours accumulated on three snow complaints.
Coun. Vickey Horkoff inquired as to what the snow complaints were stating,
“They took up a lot of [Bylaw Officer Wuzinski’s] time.”
“One of them definitely was a contractor again,” answered CAO Kulyk.
An additional five hours was spent by the officer on 26 sidewalk checks.