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Here are selected briefs from the Organizational and Council meetings held on Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Council Chambers.
Coun. Boyd Langford will be returning as Deputy Mayor. Acting mayors for the next year serve in six-month increments and will be Coun. Terry Jessiman followed by Coun. Mike Morgan.
The resignation of Beth Gillis from Council left a number of vacancies in committees, and some of those were filled by other Council members for the year while others were filled on an interim basis to be looked at again after the By-Election.
Here are the changes in committee appointments:
Coun. Langford has been appointed to the First Nations – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI).
Coun. Langford moves from alternate to regular appointee for the Community Education Committee; Coun. Morgan has been appointed an alternate.
Coun. Jessiman has been appointed as an alternate for Community Futures of Northwestern Alberta on an interim basis.
Coun. Brent Anderson has been appointed to the High Level Municipal Library Board on an interim basis.
Coun. Ellis Forest has been appointed as an alternate to the High Level Policing Society.
Coun. Morgan has been appointed to the High School Bursary Committee.
Coun. Morgan has been appointed to the Land Stewardship Committee on an interim basis, replacing Mayor McAteer.
Mayor McAteer has been appointed to the Mackenzie Frontier Tourism Association on an interim basis.
Coun. Morgan has been appointed to the Mackenzie Regional Charity Golf Committee on an interim basis.
Coun. Anderson has been appointed to the Peace Library System (PLS) on an interim basis.
Summer Council Schedule/Planning Sessions
The Regular Council meeting scheduled for July 2020 has been moved to July 6, and the Regular Council meeting scheduled for August has been moved to Aug. 24. Additionally, a Committee of the Whole meeting has been added to December 2019.
RCMP did not attend for their monthly update.
Highway 35 Speed Limit
Director of Operations Keith Straub has been in contact with the local highway maintenance director regarding a possible end to the speed restriction on Highway 35 south of High Level due to smoke. Currently, the speed limits can only be changed by Ministerial Order. It is hoped a letter from the town of High Level will be enough to lift the speed limit restriction by Nov. 1. Since the restriction went into effect, there have been no traffic incidents and the smoke has largely been a non-issue.
Environment and Parks Northwest Sub-Regional Task Force for the Bistcho Lake Planning Area
Council confirmed the AUMA appointment of Mayor McAteer to the task force. There was some question over costs associated with the appointment regarding travel expenses, and it was decided to confirm the appointment and then reach out to AUMA to discuss any expense-related issues further.
Municipal Offences Procedures Bylaw
Following discussion with legal counsel on the draft of this bylaw, the feeling was that the Town will be able to move forward with this bylaw but there is work which needs to be done in order to ensure that all the definitions align properly so as not to affect enforcement. It is important that the town not pass a bylaw that is deemed unenforceable. As a result, the second reading for the draft bylaw will be deferred to a later date.
As a result of this advice, it was deemed the draft Streets and Sidewalks Bylaw and draft Community Standards Bylaw amendments should retain their enforcement pieces with changes to be included at a later date to conform with the planned Municipal Offences Procedures Bylaw.
Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Team Budget
The budget has been previously approved by Council, however, the presented budget’s expenses exceeded revenues. The shortfall of $6,689.16 will be funded from the Fire Equipment Reserves.
HLFD Chateh Courthouse Donation
Council accepted the donation of the Chateh Courthouse to the HLFD, valued at $86,500. The Courthouse was delivered during the Chuckegg Creek fire emergency. There had been delays after HLFD initially accepted an offer for the building to be donated for use at the Training Facility; however, they were later contacted by the Provincial government and informed there would be a $35,000 delivery fee for accepting the building – at which point, the HLFD declined the donation. Those issues were later straightened out and delivery was made at no cost.
Plans for the building include adding a field classroom and restoring utilities so that it has multi-use capabilities. There are other groups in the community which have expressed an interest in using the facility.
Capital Project Cancellations
Two Capital Projects related to the Community Sports Complex were cancelled by Council – Arena boards upgrades and washroom and change room upgrades.
Creation of Concept Plans for Regional Emergency Reception Centre/Fieldhouse and Arena Rebuild
Administration had requested additional funds amounting to $12,000 for the development of Concept Plans for this project, which was granted by Council from General Reserve.
Property Tax Exemption/Watt Mountain Wanderers
This request was deferred to the Oct. 21 Committee of the Whole Meeting for further discussion, as Administration’s view is that the properties do not meet the accessibility requirements outlined in the Municipal Government Act. It might be possible to request more accessibility from the club and have them come back with their exemption request at a later date.