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The original item was published from 4/26/2018 1:24:00 PM to 5/10/2018 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

Council Highlights

Posted on: April 26, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Council Highlights for April 25, 2018

Keeping you informed of the services, business and development that affect YOU!

#1 2018 Budget Approved – The Municipal District of Bonnyville Council approved a $136,925,122 balanced 2018 budget (excluding non-cash items and depreciation).  
The 2018 budget will be funded through $64.2 million in municipal taxes, $8.4 million in government grants and contributions, $14.6 million from general revenues, such as fees, equipment replacement programs, and reserves. A further $22.8 million will come from transfers from surplus (reserve funds carried over from projects and funds remaining from previous years’ budgets).
To cover the requisitions for school taxes and seniors housing, the M.D. is required to collect an additional $13.7 million through property taxes.  Ratepayers will benefit from a slight decrease in provincial education taxes this year. The Lakeland Lodge and Housing requisition increased slightly from $491,738 in 2017 to $492,621 this year. Both the school and lodge requisitions are uncontrollable costs to Council, as they are passed on to the M.D. by other orders of government to collect and remit.
“Council is taking a conservative approach to this year’s budget in recognition of the economic conditions lingering within our region,” says Reeve Greg Sawchuk. “The decrease in our non-residential mill rate, coupled with our unique small business classification, is just one way we can support our struggling industry partners. Holding the line on residential mill rates and examining our service levels is another priority. Council also wants to focus on funding recreation and culture initiatives to improve the quality of life throughout our region.”
Council reduced the Non-residential mill rate to 15.000 from 15.500, bringing the M.D. closer to the 5:1 non-residential/residential mill rate ratio legislated by the Province of Alberta. The Small Business Property Sub-Class (fewer than 50 full-time employees) mill rate is 13.500. Reeve Sawchuk says Council expects to see a 10 percent reduction of taxes from last year for businesses that fall into the new sub-class. The Residential mill rate has been held at 2.7663.
Sawchuk says Council is directing the majority of the budget to key infrastructure projects including roads, sewer underground and trail systems.
The La Corey North Resource Road Overlay is the largest project, at a cost of $13 million. The M.D. has taken out a debenture, to be paid off with the $1.2 million annual funding from the I.D. 349 Agreement. The M.D. is partnering with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) to reconstruct six miles of Wolf Lake Road at a cost of $6 million. Reconstruction of the Imperial Oil Road is projected to cost $2.8 million. The Ardmore East Underground project, estimated to cost $4.2 million, will complete the upgrades to the hamlet.
Several projects are budgeted to extend the M.D. trail system. The Highway 28 Underpass to connect the Jessie Lake Trail to the Moose Lake Trail is projected to cost $1.3 million, while $400,000 has been set aside to pave existing trail portions.
The M.D. has increased funding for the Inter-Municipal Cooperation Program to $6 million from the previous $5 million, in collaboration with our urban neighbours, based on a per capita, equalized assessment model. The approximate distribution is; Village of Glendon $1.1 million, the City of Cold Lake $1.6 million and the Town of Bonnyville $3.3 million.
Council continues to fund the Seniors Transportation Grant at $60,000, while Community Halls and Societies will have access to $575,000 for capital and operating costs.  
One of Council’s priorities is to support the regional community’s quality of life. In 2018, the Glendon Agricultural Society, which provides recreation facilities for the village and surrounding community, will begin receiving an additional $130,000 for an annual operating grant, for a total budget of $150,000. The Bonnyville Municipal Seed Cleaning Co-Op will receive a $500,000 contribution for two renovation projects to increase the volume and efficiency of the plant, and to address safety concerns. The Cold Lake and Bonnyville libraries received a $17 per capita increase based on the Family and Community Social Services (FCSS)/Library Population Split Formula.
Council created new funding reserves for various community programs: $2 million for a Legacy Fund, $1 million for a Ski Lift Fund, $2.5 million for a Fire Hall Fund, $4 million for a Recreation Development Fund, $1 million for a Bridge Repair Fund and $1 million for a Utility Fund.
The M.D. continues to provide funding support for the Bonnyville and Cold Lake museums, Beaver River Regional Waste Management Commission, FCSS in Bonnyville and Cold Lake and the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority.

#2 M.D. Receives Clean 2017 Audit Report – Council approved the 2017 Consolidated Financial Statements. Auditors, Metrix Group LLP, gave the M.D. a clean report for the year ending 2017, stating the municipality has good, solid, financial assets to provide future government services for its residents. The 2017 Financial Statement will be available at by May 4, or a copy can be picked up at the main office at 4905-50 Ave.

#3 In-House Road Priorities Approved – Council approved that the Transportation and Utilities Department proceed with the following 2018 In-House Road Priorities List:

2018 Paving Priorities (Total 19 Miles)
Ward 1

Rge. Rd. 452, Hwy 28 to Twp. Rd. 620 - 1.5 Miles - Paving Overlay
Ward 2
Twp. Rd. 611A, Hwy 28 to Rge. Rd. 461 - 1.75 Miles - Base Paving
Twp. Rd. 604A, Rge Rd. 470 to SV of Bonnyville Beach - 1.75 Miles - Cement Stabilize and Base Pave
Twp. Rd. 463A, Sunset View service roads, Moose Lake - 1 Mile - Cement Stabilize and Base Pave
Ward 3  
Rge. Rd. 485, Twp. Rd. 614 to SH 660 - 2 Miles - Paving (top lift)
Ward 4
Rge. Rd. 452, Twp. Rds. 622 to 624 - 2 Miles - Paving Overlay
Ward 5
Twp. Rd. 622Rge. Rd 444 to SH 8923 MilesPavement Overlay
Ward 6
Twp. Rd. 630, Rge. Rds. 413 to 415 - 2 Miles - Base Paving
Twp. Rd. 630, Rge. Rd. 415 to Cold Lake - 2 Miles - Base Paving
Baywood Rd., Twp. Rds. 631 to 633 - 2 Miles - Paving (top lift)

2018 Road Oiling/Rip and Relay Priorities (Total 13 Miles)
Ward 3

Twp. Rd. 604, Rge. Rds. 481 to 482 - 1 Mile - New Oiling
Rge. Rd. 482, Twp. Rds. 604 to 610 - 2 Miles - New Oiling
Twp. Rd. 612, SH 881 to 1 mile west - 1 Mile - New Oiling
Rge. Rd. 485, SH 660 to Twp. Rd. 610 - 2 Miles - Rip & Relay
Twp. Rd. 604, SH 882 to Rge. Rd. 483 - 1 Mile - Rip & Relay
Ward 4
Rge. Rd. 451, North of Hwy 55 -  .5 Mile - New Oiling
Rge. Rd. 461, Twp. Rds. 620 to 622 - 2 Miles - New Oiling
Rge. Rd. 470, North of Twp. Rd. 622 - 1.5 Miles - New Oiling
Rge. Rd. 453A, North of Hwy 55 - 1.5 Miles - Options for dust control
Ward 5
Rge. Rd. 442, South of Twp. Rd. 632 - 1 Mile - New Oiling
Rge. Rd. 434, South of Hwy 55 - 1 Mile - New Oiling

2018 Road Construction Priorities (Total 12.75 Miles)
Ward 1

Twp. Rd. 605, Rge. Rds. 440 to 442 - 2 Miles - Reconstruction
Ward 3
Rge. Rd. 474, Twp. Rds. 614 to 615 - 1 Mile - New Construction
Rge. Rd. 494, Twp. Rds. 604 to 603 - 1 Mile - Reconstruction
Ward 4
Twp. Rd. 640, Rge. Rds. 471 to 473 - 2 Miles - Reconstruction
Ward 5
Twp. Rd. 622, Rge. Rds. 435 to 440 - 1 Mile - Reconstruction
Twp. Rd. 620, East and west of SH 892 - 1.5 Miles - Reconstruction
Twp. Rd. 625, Rge. Rds. 442 to 443 - 1 Mile - Reconstruction
Ward 6
Twp. Rd. 630, Rge. Rd. 415 to Cold Lake - 2 Miles - Reconstruction
Twp. Rd. 615, Rge. Rds. 414A to 415A - 1.25 Miles - Reconstruction

#4 Flooding Mitigation – The M.D. is urging residents who have any type of flooding concerns to call 780-812-5000. Agriculture staff are doing drone surveillance to find out where the problems are with regards to beaver dams to try and keep ahead of the busy builders. A drone was also used at Country Lane and Countryside Estates to assist with mapping out the drainage issues and designing solutions to the flooding in the two subdivisions. Staff recently put in over 300 man-hours to fix a frozen storm pond outlet and reroute water out of the subdivisions. This year staff will be designing a drainage plan to redirect the water from the west and north, so that it does not end up pooling in the subdivisions. Three steamer trucks, along with multiple pumps, are being used to look after spring runoff flooding concerns. Public Works staff are working extended hours during the spring melt to meet the concerns of residents. Work done last year in Pine Meadows, Crane Lake and Birch Grove areas has been successful, with few concerns bubbling up this year.  

#5 Community Action Grant Approved – Council approved a new Community Action Grant, guidelines and a final reporting document, with a plan to review the program in one year. The grant process will allow for information to be gathered from community organizations requesting funding and assist Council in making a timely decision. The final report process will determine success of the project/event and create a history for future requests and decisions. The Community Action Grants are available throughout the year, are dependent on budget availability, and are limited to a maximum of $5,000. Grants are for one-time projects/events that occur within the fiscal year. Applicants are asked to consult the Community Action Grant Guide before applying for funding to ascertain grant eligibility criteria and timelines.

#6 Community Hall/Association Code of Conduct – Council approved a Code of Conduct for Halls/Associations to bring consistency to hall operations and reporting. The M.D. is asking the Halls and Associations to review bylaws every five years, as well as supply an engagement review financial statement every third year. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to ensure effective decision making.

#7 Rural Beautification Contest – The M.D.’s Agriculture Service Board (ASB) is once again hosting the Rural Farmstead and Acreage Beatification Awards. The ASB is encouraging residents on farms and acreages to start thinking of nominating their neighbours or friends for the beautification awards or even planning their own gardens. Nominations open at the end of June, and then judges will inspect properties in July. In August there will be a public tour of the properties, along with other agriculture businesses.

#8 Please Nominate A Deserving Farm Family – The M.D. of Bonnyville’s Agriculture Service Board invites nominations for a farm family to receive the BMO Farm Family Award. The award is presented to a deserving family in recognition of their agricultural and community involvement. To qualify for the award, the family must be actively involved in a farming operation within the M.D., where the major source of income is from the farm operation. To nominate a family, please submit the name and a brief description of the farm operation before May 6, to the M.D. office or by mail.

#9 Agriculture and Waste Update – The Coyote and Wolf Reduction Program was completed at the end of March with 830 coyotes and 32 wolves brought in. Overall the program was successful this year, with only two predation calls. The number of animals brought in was comparable to last year.

#10 Parks, Recreation & Culture News – Despite adverse weather conditions, Kinosoo Ridge had one of its best seasons, with visits totaling 45,977.  Parks had one of the longest seasons for the cross-country ski trails at Muriel Lake M.D. Park, closing the trails on April 9. Now that winter is officially done, Parks is fully staffed up for the camping season. With changes in the fishing regulations, the normal rush of bookings did not occur at several campgrounds. Cold Lake M.D. Park was the exception, unfortunately the phone line could not handle the amount of calls and caretakers were unable to dial out for almost a day and a half. Service was intermittent for three days. Muriel Lake and Fort Kent ball diamonds are fully booked until mid-July, including weekends. For the first time, Minor Ball has booked any open time slots the M.D. had available. The Boreal Forest Guides will be expanding their courses this summer at some of our M.D. Parks. In addition to swimming lessons, they will be offering canoeing, kayaking, as well as outdoor education and wilderness skills.  

#11 Public Safety Update – Officers are monitoring industry traffic in the hamlet of La Corey as drivers are not adhering to the “local traffic only” signs.  School Resource Officers are working to conclude the Right Choices Program and CSI in the remaining schools. One SRO taught self-defense at the Ecole Des Beaux-Lacs student conference, and then in the evening, did sessions on internet safety/sexting for all the parents. Officers continue to deal with complaints of dogs running loose and chasing livestock. In this reporting period, Officers impounded four dogs and reunited a missing dog with its owner.

#12 Transportation and Utilities Update – Council awarded the Highway 28 Recreational Trail Crossing Tender to Urlacher Construction Ltd. for a total price of $915,582.05 plus GST and approved a total project budget of $1,325,582.05 plus GST. Council agreed to work with Knelsen Sand & Gravel in the VanDerVoort pit to clean up the road allowance at a cost of $15.25/tonne for the approximate price of $610,000. The M.D. will also order 75,000 tonnes of 4-20 gravel from Knelsen Sand & Gravel to be delivered to the yard at a price of $24/tonne for the approximate price of $1,800,000.

#13 Planning and Development Statistics – In March, 22 Development Permits were issued, including 19 Residential, one Industrial and two Recreational, with a year-to-date total of $2,945,972. Year-to-date housing starts include four Single Family Dwellings and two Mobile Home Units. In March, 36 Plumbing, Gas, Sewer and Electrical Permits were issued. The M.D. has 12 Subdivision Applications to date.

#14 Funding Support – The Grand Centre Golf and Country Club received a $150,000 contribution for upgrades to the course. Willow Prairie Agricultural Society received its $25,000 Annual Operating Grant. The Bonnyville and District Historical Society and the Cold Lake Museum received their $25,000 Annual Operating Grant, an increase of $7,500 from last year.  

#15 Briefly – Ron Young was appointed to the Local and Composite Assessment Review Boards subject to completing training.

For more information, contact Diane Jenkinson, Marketing and Communications Manager at 780-826-3171. Our website is a useful way to get the information you need. Visit: Follow us at and Twitter @MDBville.

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