Three Hills Town Council Report

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The regular Town Council Meeting for January 10, 2022 was called to order by Mayor Ray Wildeman at 5:30 PM.

Once the formalities of accepting the agenda as presented, and approving the minutes of the December 13 meeting were looked after, Mayor Wildeman welcomed Kim Doan as the spokesperson representing citizens wishing to present concerns about the “Restriction Exemption Program” as are presently in place in the Town facilities. There were nine other citizens in the gallery.

The question posed to Council is why are the restrictions in place that prevent the unvaccinated from coming to these facilities, primarily the arena and the pool? Ms. Doan presented some figures about other municipalities and how many use a “one third” capacity rule, and how many were using a hybrid approach.

Mayor Wildeman, Councillors, and Administration gave some response acknowledging that when the policies were adopted, they were working under the guidelines and rules set by Alberta government. Mayor Wildeman thanked the spokesperson and those in the gallery for bringing their concerns to Council, and agreed that with the constant changing of directives from the government, and considering labour and facility issues, that Council would continue to monitor the situation and what alterations may be considered. Administration will report to Kim Doan what results come from further talks with the government and Council. The delegation that began at 5:33 continued until 5:58.

The next order of business was in closed session that began at 5:58 and continued to 7:13 when Open Session was brought to order. The topic was a presentation by Ladder Up Consulting about RCM Condos, conducted by telephone conferencing.

RCM Condos Inc. of Vega, AB made a Subdivision Application for 16,320 7th Ave NE, in February 2015.

Jerritt Cloney, Municipal Intern, joined virtually Kyle Kasawski, Alberta Municipalities, presented the “Kneehill Regional Energy Audit AUMA Energy Management Aggregation Project Report. This is part of an overall project under the Kneehill Regional Partnership. The report, presented for information only at this point, will be shared at a meeting of the KRP on January 19. The thrust of the report is to look at utility costs to the Town of Three Hills and other partners in Kneehill County, and assess how costs may be reduced and what expenditures may be needed to various facilities to insure better use of energy, and how the expenditures could offset the present costs for overall savings. Council accepted the report as information.

The first item under “New Business” was to present information concerning “Alberta First Responders Radio Communications System”. This is an undertaking under the Kneehill County to provide radios to First Responders in the County. Three Hills has received 18 radios and the terms of ownership, responsibilities, replacements etc. were presented in the Memorandum of Understanding. Council directed the Mayor and the CAO to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the AFRRCS radios with Kneehill County.

The “background information” informs Council of the benefit in these words:

“On October 18, 2021, as part of the AFRRCS communication upgrade, Kneehill County started the rollout of the new handheld fire radios to the regional Fire Departments. The Town of Three Hills received 18 of the AFRRCS radios. The County has also provided training to our department on the use of the radios. On October 26, 2021, the AFRRCS system was officially turned on, and our department was switched over to the platform. This system has greatly improved our department’s communication with the other regional departments and the RCMP when responding to mutual aid calls.”

And: “The Town will see a cost savings on our insurance and licensing costs as the Town in the previous years has paid these expenses.”

Next on the agenda was a presentation and discussion for rental rates for the off season use of ice in the arena. “Off season” means from April to June. Council approves the rental rate of $250.00 + GST per hour for non-local users of the ice time during the off season. The presentation provided Councillors with comparable rates for Edmonton, and Calgary, and other smaller communities.

Further measures are needed for the Water Treatment Plant to meet requirements of Alberta Environment and there is a Grant that may be applied for but deadlines are coming sooner than details can be gathered. Therefore Administration will make a request to have the June 1, 2022 deadline extended. Therefore, for the AMWWP Grant Application per Residuals (Settlement) Management System, Council directs administration to apply for the AMWWP grant to help fund the study, design and construction of the residual management facility at the Water Treatment Plant AND

Council approves $75,000.00 from the Water Supply Capital Reserve to develop a detailed design report and drawings for the Residual Management Facility at the Water Treatment Plant.

A straightforward manner of switching two councillors on the Police Advisory Committee saw Council appointing Marilyn Sept as usual representative and Dennis Hazelton as the alternate, until the 2022 Organizational Meeting.

The Councillors’ reports and Mayor’s report were somewhat brief.

Councillor Dennis Hazelton attended a January 6 meeting of the Community Futures Wild Rose organization.

Deputy Mayor Miriam Kirk attended a Kneehill Housing Meeting on December 15. She also commented on proposed closing of some services at the Hospital.

Councillor Byrne Lammle presented minutes of the SAEWA Board Meeting with highlights. (December 10.)

He also took in the Development Appeal Board meeting on December 15. Then was part of the “Special Meeting” (Budget Discussion) of January 10.

Councillor Marilyn Sept reported that she visited the recently opened Wild Prairie Yoga facility.

Mayor Ray Wildeman was able to attend the retirement luncheon for Art Creasser on December 15.

He has been making contact with Nathan Cooper and Damien Kurek regarding bed closures and obstetric services closures at the Three Hills Health Centre.

The Mayor spent some time at the Town Office signing cheques and in financial discussions with Administration.

- Two items of correspondence - one from the Marigold Library System bringing Council up to date on the opening of the new facility in Strathmore, and one from Minister Kaycee Madu about RCMP Retroactive Pay were accepted as presented.

The adjourned the Regular Council Meeting at 8:43 PM.