Kneehill County hears Arts Academy delegation

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Three Hills Arts Academy Society have requested sponsorship for the performance of Mary Poppins. Sponsorship would include complimentary tickets, the County’s logo on advertising and a full page ad in the playbill. The Society has asked that Council consider budgeting annually to the Arts Academy to ensure long term sustainability. Over the years, the County has contributed $5000 for the sound system (2011), $1,200 for camera (2013) and $2019 for digital camera (2015). Clr. Christie’s motion to provide $1000 annually for the next 4 years (beginning 2018) was approved, with a question to the Academy of what advertising the County receives for this donation.

At a previous Council meeting, Deputy Reeve King was appointed, along with Clr. Hugo, to the Inter-municipal Development Plan Committee for the Town of Trochu. It was recently noted that Deputy Reeve King owns property adjacent to the Town of Trochu that will most likely be within the IDP area, so Clr. Christie was appointed to replace Clr. King.

A Regional Partnership Meeting that includes supper was ‘received as information’ at a prior County meeting, with no other recommended action. It was placed back on today’s agenda. Said Deputy Reeve King, “It’s very critical we attend.” The meeting is scheduled for March 8, which presents a conflict for councillors wanting to attend Linden’s Discovery Night, also on March 8. Administration advised that it is possible to attend both, due to the scheduled times. The Partnership meeting is from 4:00 to 6:00, while Linden’s Discovery Night times are 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Council received as information the Elected Official Education Program opportunity being held on March 19, 2018, as part of the pre-conference program at the AAMDC Convention. Councilors wishing to attend are to advise Administration, as an extra hotel night would need to be reserved.

A Strategic Priorities Chart, resulting from Council’s Strategic Planning Session in early February 2018 was approved with a few amendments. A Hamlet strategy (altered from just Wimborne) was given a higher priority and moved up on the list to the ‘next’ category. Reeve King asked for it to be a full Hamlet strategy, stating, “We are spending virtually zero (on hamlets).” The motion was approved with Administration advising,”We do have on the shelf a document for Hamlet Strategy. There was discussion on the Rural Fire Strategy and Community Peace Officer, listing them with a ‘position proposal’. Said Deputy Reeve King, “We need to define our strategy.” Said Clr. Christie “Appoint a Chief”. Reeve Wittstock added, “We have nobody in that position; we need someone with expertise.” The Reeve noted that the County did have an Emergency Services Coordinator in the past. “It was working out with the other fire departments fine. It was the fault of the person in that position that it didn’t work out, not the fault of the position itself.” These two strategies will remain part of the March timeline. The other three main priorities for ‘Now’ include the Churchill Water Line, 2018 budget scenarios, and User Fees on targeted services. Next on the list of priorities will be the Hamlet strategy, Inter-municipal collaboration frameworks, Economic Development Strategy, Tourism and Recreation Master Plan review, and Inter-Municipal Development Plans. A further list of priorities and strategies can be viewed on line at the County website.

Council gives approval to a Central Assessment - Hybrid Contract. The Province of Alberta legislated the change from local industrial Assessment to a centralized form of assessment with the Province completing Industrial assessments. Al Hoggan, CAO, explains that “As a result, the Province has allowed for two contractual possibilities for municipalities for a transition period of three years, at which point, regardless of the choice, the Province will assume assessment responsibilities.” Option one is for the Province to assume immediate control of the ‘Designated Industrial Properties (DIP) assessments. Option two is to allow for a hybrid contract where the municipalities’ current assessors would continue to provide DIP assessments. The province would reimburse the municipality for the service. Said Mr. Hoggan, “The hybrid contract has the advantage of allowing some continuity of industrial assessment.” Decided by motion, Council directed Administration to enter into the hybrid model contract with the Province of Alberta in regard to DIP assessments.

Rural Community Halls

Administration was directed to provide Council with an updated report on how many times the rural community halls were being used along with a report on how the removal of this grant funding would affect the Crossroads Community Hall. Administration presented Council with a break down of rural hall usage and County’s policy. Level A is usage of 20 or more times per year. Level B is 10-20 times per year. Level C is less than 10. Mt. Vernon Community Association was in the B category but they only had three bookings in 2017 and so are now slotted in Level C. Hesketh Community Hall Association is at seven bookings and identified correctly as Level C. Crossroads Community Hall is not rented out at all and is privately owned. “The land owner is taking care of this facility by paying for the heat and electricity.” Council accepted the policy for Rural Community Halls, removing Crossroads and placing Mt. Vernon into level C. The funding option was approved as $2896.93 for the halls in Level A, and $1042.91 for Hesketh and Mt. Vernon (both in level C).

Kneehill Area Community Discovery Nights 2018

Discovery Nights are to be held in Carbon on Tuesday, March 6, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.. at the Carbon Community Hall. Clrs. Penner and McGhee are slated to attend. Acme’s will be held Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Acme Community Hall with Reeve Wittstock and Clr. Christie to attend. Linden’s is to be held Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 6:30 p.m to 8:00 p.m. at the Linden Cultural Centre and though that date conflicts with another for the County, Peace Officers will be in attendance and Reeve Wittstock will try to attend albeit a little late.

Delegations

Sgt. Gabriel Graham, Three Hills RCMP presented Council with a review and five-year statistical comparison of this detachment, showing an overall increase of 16% in criminal code activity. They are working together with the County’s protection services to find solutions to reduce crime. “Reporting is the key,” said Sgt. Graham.

GFL Compost Facility representatives Mark Grunert and Neil Wiens presented Council with an update on any headway being made on the odour issues coming from the facility. “I don’t mean to be a nuisance. I have to finish this process off,” said Mr. Wiens. He advised that the process depends entirely on the bug population and environmental conditions. “It could take another six to eight weeks. It’s difficult to predict. There is no exact timeline.” He explained that some changes will need to be made and his wide range of experience on this matter is still a work in progress. “There was nothing like rules on how to do this when I started.” Both Reeve Wittstock and Deputy Reeve King were adamant that change was needed. Said Wittstock, “This is literally making people sick, so I don’t want to hear that you don’t know when its going to stop permanently.”

AgriTek Humanitar rep., Stephen Raymer, made a presentation that outlined various green technologies, domes and vertical growing, and solar collector. He came to council to make them aware of the technologies and farming applications. Mr. Raymer is consulting for AgriTek Humanitar whose President and Technical Advisor is Kerry Sims Hauser, an inventor from Washington State. The process, invented (over 20 years ago). What he describes as “a unique Energy storage system with the goal of utilizing inexpensive power/electricity to not only furnish home and industrial needs, but also benefit indoor/outdoor farming, and purifying water cheaply (even seawater). The idea was to create a ‘closed-loop’ system of Energy-Food-Water production, that would sustain any civilization, anywhere on the globe, in any environment; desert or polar-like.” He claims the system would help to transition or even eliminate the need for fossil fuels. Him and his partner have convinced scientists to bring their technologies under one umbrella company ‘AgriTek Humanitar Inc. The company receives funding next month from 25 banks and four over-seas locations are awaiting the ATH technology package. “Five countries ready all at once made us wait four years. Fourteen new technologies are being utilized.” Grande Prairie is using the system for storing tailings. Mr. Raymer claims that while in Edmonton, interviews with various Provincial Ministers was positive and they were given verbal government support.