Three Hills Town Council Report

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Mayor Ray Wildeman called the regular meeting of the Three Hills Town Council, of January 24, 2022, to order at 5:31 PM. Councillor Marilyn Sept attended via Telephone connection.

The agenda was accepted as presented with the notations that Sergeant Jamie Day, RCMP Detachment, had to postpone his attendance as “Delegation” until the February 28 meeting.

The Management Reports were given in succession by Chief Administrative Officer, Ryan Leuzinger; Director of Finance, Greg Towne; Director of Community Services, Kristy Sidock; and Director of Operations, Grant Gyurkovits. The written reports are available at Regular Meeting of Council - 24 Jan 2022 - Agenda - Pdf ( pages 11-21.

Ryan highlighted his Budget preparation work, his meeting with Alberta Environment and Parks per date extensions for grant application, and other meetings.

Greg brought Council up to date for December and thus far in January. Highlights here were also regarding budget preparations, the impact on garbage and recycling changes relating to finances AND

that as of year end it appears that there is close to half a million dollars surplus. This comes up later in the meeting as to where this surplus will be allocated and why.

Kristy touched on several items including Development permits issued for November and December, Emergency Management Courses, Bookings for the Arena and Community Centre, Lights removal from Anderson Park, Grant application for a “Pollinator Garden”, and an increase in Swimming classes at the pool. The “LiveBarn” system has been installed in the arena and is already proving popular.

Grant spoke of snow removal, and a surprisingly “quiet January” so far. Information and application has been sent as requested for a grant per residual water management.

Old Business had to do with earlier talks with the Kneehill Historical Society regarding the moving of and relocation of the Teacherage, to sit near the “School” at the museum. The actual location and permission and details have to be approved by the Municipal Planning Commission, but before that can take place, the Town, as the land-owners of the property to which it will be moved, must approve the request. Thus Council “approves the request from the Kneehill Historical Society for the Teacherage to be placed on Town-owned land.”

Administration put forth a Request for Decision concerning the “Year-End Operating Surplus Allocation”. It was pointed out that funds being put into these “Reserve” accounts can be moved freely to other accounts as shown to be preferred or necessary in the future, whereas putting them into other designations would not allow that freedom. Inasmuch as the 2022 budget has not been approved yet, Council “approves the transfer, dated December 2021, of $250,000 to the General Operating Reserve, $130,000 to the General Capital Reserve and $130.000 to the Water Capital Reserve from the Town’s Operating fund.”

Council “accepted the Professional Development Plan for the Chief Administrative Officer, as presented. This was practically the same as submitted and approved last year, but due to Covid the CAO was not able to attend. The difference is that this Plan now has him attending the “International” Conference in Columbus, Ohio, instead of the National Conference. The cost difference is $50.00.

The COVID-19 Restriction Exemption Program (REP) raised by the citizen delegation at the January 10 meeting has been looked into further by the Administration and while the government personnel have been contacted no further changes have been authorized at this point. Until something comes from Alberta Health Services in writing, Council, (and Administration) are bound by the regulations set out by AHS, and so the REP restrictions will stay as they are. Administration has advised the spokesperson of the situation and that the talks are ongoing.

Councillors as individuals and as the Council commended Administration and staff for all the work they are putting into this to bring a satisfactory conclusion for all, as soon as possible.

Although it was on the agenda as “2022 Budget Deliberations (Time Permitting)”, Council, already having had a “Special Meeting: Budget Deliberation Meeting” this afternoon, opted to move on to Council Reports.

Councillors’ and Mayor’s Reports are as follows:

Councillor Dennis Hazelton- nothing in the past two weeks.

Deputy Mayor Miriam Kirk reported that two scheduled meetings had been cancelled. These were the Kneehill Housing and Doctor Recruitment and Retention meetings.

She did attend one of the meetings in which the proposals, or pros and cons of having a “Provincial Police Force” to replace the RCMP, were put forth. As seems to be general knowledge, the majority of Albertans are NOT in favour of replacing the RCMP.

Deputy Mayor Kirk also attended the Three Hills Library Board meeting. They will be looking for new Board Members soon.

Councillor Byrne Lammle had a three hour meeting with a representative of the Alberta Party where they discussed a wide range of issues. Another virtual meeting in the afternoon dealt with energy production and CO2.

On Jan. 20 there was an AUMA management report review.

On Jan. 24 in the afternoon, there was the Special Meeting of Council for Budget Deliberations.

Councillor Marilyn Sept, reporting by telephone, also mentioned the Jan. 19 meeting per the Provincial Police/RCMP ideas. In her summation she said: “There are numerous questions and no answers”.

She also attended the Police Advisory Committee, (PAC) on Jan. 20 and provided a copy of the RCMP statistics report and the minutes of the PAC meeting.

Mayor Wildeman reported the following:

Jan. 12 a meeting with Mark Maxwell;

Jan. 18, a Mayor’s meeting in Sundre with 9 mayors present.;

Jan. 11-23, numerous discussions with citizens concerning the Restriction Exemption Program as it is in place at the arena and pool.

He did not attend the Red Deer River Municipal Users Group meeting, but was asked if he would consider two positions but declined both.

Council had before them copies of correspondence from the following:

Alberta Municipal Affairs - information on the funding of a Municipal Intern for a second year.

Central Alberta Economic Partnership – Information Packet.

Town of Tofield- a letter to the Premier about the provision for Adolescent Vaccination Accesss.

A copy of a letter to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta titled “Citizens’ Initiative” and giving 21 points of concern about Covid issues.

Following the acceptance of the correspondence as presented, Council moved into Closed Session at 7:28 PM. Mayor Ray Wildeman adjourned the meeting at 8:31 pm.