Alberta Ombudsman addresses Trochu Council

Trochu LOGO

Administrator’s Report

Carl Peterson, CAO for the Town of Trochu, informed Council, at their March 12 meeting, that discussion at a recent LGAA (Local Government Administration Association of Alberta) meeting was mostly about changes in policies and required bylaws needing amending. Templates of these bylaws would be forwarded to the Town. Michelle Roh, Alberta Ombudsman, gave an overview of the function of the expanded mandate of the Ombudsman’s office which will include municipalities effective April 1, 2018. The complaint mechanisms were explained. “She explained that they do not review council decisions but rather the process on how the council arrived at the decision.” Cannabis legislation was also discussed and an important ruling is that cannabis will be considered an industrial product rather than an agricultural one. The Provincial budget is to be released March 22, 2018.

In attending the Kneehill Regional Partnership, Carl noted that “It was good to meet with the newly elected officials of other communities and discuss some of the challenges.”

Lagoon

With regard to the lagoon expansion, Carl was recently advised that tests from the area has shown a high water table and therefore, drainage would have to be incorporated into the design, to help prevent the liner from lifting due to water pressure from beneath the lagoon. Proper drainage will have to be addressed as well, for surrounding land parcels. Letters will be sent to adjacent land owners to note that they acknowledge that there are wetlands that will be taken out of service. These signed letters of acknowledgment would form a portion of the package being sent to Alberta Environment.

Lagoon Effluent

Carl met with Artis Exploration in regard to a longer term contract. They also discussed use of well water, and at this time, decided it wasn’t an option they were interested in. Mayor Kletke asked Carl if Artis knew that the water wasn’t going to be at regular clean water prices, and whether that would make a difference. Carl made a note to ask. The President of Artis and another board member have an interest in meeting with Council in the near future.

Broadband CAEP

Carl feels that even after attending the recent meeting in Three Hills, with regard to broadband, “There are still more questions than answers.” Research continues.

Snow Storage Area

Carl advised that a County resident had concerns over the amount of runoff that could occur as snow in the Town’s storage area begins to melt. It could cause flooding on the resident’s property and potentially damage that owner’s registered fish pond (with species that should be kept out of any creek/river system. Council will investigate other locations or ideas that would mitigate fast thaws.

County Peace Officer

Carl advised that when speaking with Natalie, one of the Kneehill County Peace Officers, she presumed her role would change with the hiring of another Peace Officer, to more of a School Resource Officer in the schools. “This is great news,” said Carl.

Council, by way of motion, approved the 2019 and 2020 Marigold Requisitions. Council also approved (with a full three motions) the 2018 Rates and Fees Bylaw.

Council learned that the sewer flusher (a $76,000 piece of capital equipment) being shared in an agreement between Trochu and Three Hills, had broke down. One option is to repair it for $7000 minimum or purchase another in a 50/50 agreement with Three Hills. Council gave its approval to purchase another should that be what Three Hills decides as well.

Councillor Lumley raised the idea of looking into a free “block talk” application for cell phones so Trochu residents can be kept informed of any potential neighbourhood crimes.

Councillor Munro advised Council that at her Library Board meeting, the board has requested a presentation from Marigold Library.

Director of Operations Report

The boiler inspector visited the arena to check compliance. Only minimal changes required that can be addressed with manpower and some supplies. The expected shut down for compressor is March 19, following the Lions Tournament.

A staff member attended the ‘pesticide applicator’s tutorial’ course at Olds College.

Repairs on the 2008 GMC 7500 truck are complete and dump box is being built, with an expected delivery date of early April. Three resident sidewalks were cleared by town employees through the direction of the bylaw officer.

Dave Nelson, Director of Operations, visited Artis Exploration’s lagoon operation in Linden with Deputy Mayor Reeds. “There are no major concerns from an operations perspective. A simple pump, suction and discharge set-up.”

The sewer lift station discharge line froze. An upgrade and retrofit for the lift station is planned for spring, to minimize further issues. A curbside water shut-off will need replacement in spring.

Dave had more discussion with ATCO Electric regarding the Electrical Vehicle (EV) charging station on Arena Ave near the Old Bank building. ATCO is compiling an installation estimate as well as monthly fixed operating costs and electric usage, as well as other costs. Dave is working with the grant writer to complete a grant request.