Trochu Council discusses Canada Day Street Fair

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Trochu Town Council held a Regular Meeting of Council on November 22, 2021. All Councilors were present, and were joined by CAO Carl Peterson and Recording Secretary Toni Nelson. The meeting was called to order at 6:40pm, later than their planned start time of 6:00pm, as there was a previous meeting with Palliser Municipal Services regional representatives which was necessarily lengthened.

Council passed the meeting’s agenda, previous meeting minutes, and their housekeeping document.

Mayor Barry Kletke then opened the Public Hearing for Bylaw 2021-12 to amend Land Use Bylaw 2015-09 at 6:42pm. The intent to amend this bylaw was advertised starting November 10th. The amendment would remove the stipulation that homes must be constructed prior to 1998, to instead say that manufactured homes must be less than 10 years old; those over 10 years old would not be approved, except by special approval of the Municipal Planning Commission, and only if they were of a similar standard and character as the homes around it.

There were no responses received, and Palliser recommends proceeding with the second and third reading of the bylaw. Later in the meeting, Council would pass this bylaw.

Council filed a brief CAO’s Report with all in favour.

Councilor Jenny Lyver was the first to share a report. She attended the Kneehill Regional Partnership meeting where it was announced that Doctor’s Recruitment and Retention subcommittee will become its own committee. Therefore they will not need to report to the KRP but directly to Council. They will write their own terms of reference. Secondly, Lyver reported that the Explore Kneehill campaign has been a great success, with over 8 million online impressions!

Councilor Jamie Martel noted that she was planning to attend an Arboretum Meeting. The Arboretum is planning to host their hotdog and hot chocolate nights under the Arboretum twinkle lights, and that Council was responsible to help on December 17th. Martel requested another member of Council to join her on the 17th.

Councilor Chris Reeds attended the Palliser Annual General Meeting where it was announced that Palliser’s requisition is going up 3%, meaning Trochu’s contribution will grow from last year’s amount of $12,759.42 to $13,142.21 for 2022. There was no increase in 2020, and a 3% increase in 2021. Reeds announced that he is now on the Palliser Executive Board of Directors, and was congratulated by his fellow Councilors.

Deputy Mayor Bill Cunningham had not attended committee meetings, but did represent Council in the Grade 5/6 class in the previous week. Cunningham explained how municipal government works, identified who the Councilors are, and shared where tax dollars are distributed. The class shared their ideas to improve the town, and wrote letters to Council which Cunningham distributed while giving his report. One idea from the class was building a skate park. Cunningham told them that there is money that has been set aside for this very purpose. Councilor Cunningham met with a Councilor in Delburne, regarding Delburne’s new skate park. Planning is underway for a meeting between students from Delburne and Trochu so that the class from Delburne can detail the pros and cons of their park, to help the class from Trochu plan their own park.

Mayor Barry Kletke reflected on the AUMA conference that all Councilors attended in Edmonton on the previous weekend. Kletke enjoyed speaking with MLAs and Ministers, building relationships across party lines. Kletke especially enjoyed speaking with former Health Minister Tyler Shandro, and encouraged him to discuss Trochu’s senior’s housing project with current Health Minister Jason Copping, in hopes of getting Minister Copping out to Trochu.

Council filed the Councilor reports with all in favour.

In Finance, Council saw a request from FCSS for additional funding, in addition to the funding which Council approved at a recent meeting. FCSS funding from the government has been cut, and there has been great demand for family wellness workers. The current two full-time staff members are dealing with 70 students. Because a manageable workload is 25 students per wellness worker, FCSS is looking to hire another staff member. Trochu’s share of the additional cost is $2,820.00. Council felt that FCSS is very important, and do great work in the County’s schools. Because there is an obvious demand, Council unanimously voted to contribute an additional amount to FCSS.

Under Old Business, Council once again reviewed the Stankievech request that the deferred caveat on their parcel be forgiven and removed. Council acknowledged that the Stankieveches have given the Town a portion of the land to allow access from Hwy 585, and have paid all costs for survey work. Council felt this was a win-win situation and motioned unanimously to waive the municipal reserve caveat for the Elevator Road subdivision property.

Council then reviewed two bylaws, both borrowing bylaws with ATB bank, not for decision as both have already been enacted, but for the new Council’s awareness. The first was Bylaw 2021-13 Municipal Borrowing Bylaw for the purchase of a 2008 GMC 7500 dump truck. This bylaw states that the sum borrowed is $41,000 to be repaid over no more than 5 years.

The second was Bylaw 2021-14 Municipal Borrowing Bylaw for the purchase of 40 acres legally described as Lot 1; Block 1; Plan 0714670. The amount borrowed was $176,000, with $16,000 paid annually over 11 years.

Council indicated their approval of these bylaws, with Councilor Lyver excusing herself from voting out of an abundance of caution, as she is an ATB employee.

Under New Business:

Council (discussed Request for Decision 2021-08, a new proposal for recycling collection, as the current contract is coming due on December 31st, 2021. The company who has been providing this service for the past year, Environmental 360 Solutions, is raising their rates slightly from the current price of $4.50 per household per month to $4.70 per household per month on a five-year contract. After some discussion, Council decided to table the decision, to investigate other company options and prices before coming to a decision.

Council unanimously decided to continue with the town-wide Christmas light contest, for a second consecutive year. Residents who win the competition will receive gift certificates to local businesses.

Lastly, Councilor Lyver brought her idea of a Canada Day street fair community event for this coming year. This would involve community groups across town, and would attract residents from across the County. Canada Day is always a big event in Trochu, so why not make it bigger and more exciting to boost morale and engagement, reasoned Lyver. Council was excited by these initial ideas, and decided to form a planning subcommittee for the event. There will be a meeting before Christmas, separate from a Council meeting, to begin planning. Councilors Lyver and Martel will lead the efforts.