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The original item was published from 3/14/2019 10:40:50 AM to 3/14/2019 12:08:15 PM.

News Flash

Council Highlights

Posted on: March 14, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Council Highlights for March 13, 2019

Council Members for Years 2017 through 2021

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

#1 Council Passes 2019 Revised Interim Budget – On February 20, Municipal District of Bonnyville Council approved a $116.8 million revised, interim, balanced budget (not including school and lodge requisitions). The revised interim budget delivers Council priorities in the following areas:

Recreational upgrades, new facilities and projects - $8.3 million
Infrastructure improvements and maintenance - $18.2 million
Supporting neighbouring communities - $9.7 million
Water distribution improvements - $3 million
Holding Residential mill rates constant with prior years’ mill rates

Reeve Greg Sawchuk says of this budget, “Council’s priority is to improve the quality of life for M.D. residents, maintain regional cooperation, build the region’s tourism potential and support our industry partners. To reach our goals, Council utilized $12 million in the form of transfers from surplus (reserve funds carried over from projects and funds remaining from previous years’ budgets) to balance the revised interim budget.”
Council put an emphasis on improved road maintenance across the whole M.D. Road construction and paving is being done on high priority roadways. These roads include: $5.5 million for Wolf Lake Road; $3 million for Range Road 485 from Township Road 624 to Twp. Rd. 630; $1.2 million for Twp. Rd. 640 from Rge. Rd. 471 to Rge. Rd. 473; $1 million for Twp. Rd. 622 from Rge. Rd. 435 to Rge. Rd. 440; $1 million for the realignment of Rge. Rd. 415-415a, north of Twp. Rd. 615; $700,000 for Twp. Rd. 630 from the City of Cold Lake to Rge. Rd. 415 and $600,000 for the reconstruction of the Lessard Bridge.
The 2019 revised interim budget includes additional projects: $5 million for the Fort Kent Fire Hall and Ardmore Fire Hall/Grader Shop; $3.3 million for upgrades to Cold Lake M.D. Park; $2.4 million for Ardmore Improvement Phase 6; $1.9 million for the Kinosoo Ridge Adventure Park; $1.6 for the Vezeau Beach boat launch and campground upgrade; $1.4 million for the Cold Lake to Bonnyville waterline; $800,000 for drainage improvements on Moose Lake and Crane Lake; $300,000 to provide power at Crane Lake East, Minnie Lake East and Chicken Hill Lake campgrounds; $300,000 to put in the North Shore Trail to connect the Moose Lake Trail to the Iron Horse Trail; $100,000 to develop a staging area at the Beaver River Trestle on the Iron Horse Trail; and $60,000 for the Bonnyville SPCA to provide services to the M.D.
M.D. Council will pass the final 2019 budget in the spring, after receiving the Education and Lakeland Lodge requisitions from the provincial government.

#2 Flood Mitigation Plans – Director of Agriculture and Waste, and acting Director of Transportation and Utilities, Matt Janz said there are plans in place for the spring runoff. The M.D. pest control officer has been out beaver trapping in known problem areas and is putting together a flood mitigation plan for spring. On the T & U side of things, snow piles have been removed from the hamlets and subdivisions and culverts have been dug out. Offsite locations for pumps and other equipment have been set up so staff can respond to emergencies quickly. “We’re preparing as best we can,” Janz said.

#3 Fire Guardians Appointed – On February 20, Council appointed the following Fire Guardians for the M.D.: Kim Kissel (780-826-1118), responsible for portions of Ward 1, 2 and 4, east side of Moose Lake, west side of Muriel Lake and Crown land in the Moose Lake area; Dwayne Wolosiewicz (780-573-0031), responsible for portions of Ward 3 west of Hoselaw and portions of Ward 3 south of Township 62; Bob Highberg (780-573-8603) responsible for portions of Ward 5 and south of Highway 28 to Hwy. 659 and Township 63, Range 2 in Ward 6, Fort Kent and Ardmore; Dwight Retzlaff (780-826-0350 or 780-594-2019) responsible for portions of Ward 6, except for Township 63, Range 2. Council also authorized the Reeve, or Deputy Reeve in his absence, to place and remove Fire Bans in consultation with the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority for the M.D. 

#4 Major Area Structure Plan Priority List – On March 6, Council adopted the Major Area Structure Plan (ASP) priority list. In 2019-2020 Fort Kent and La Corey ASPs will be completed using funding from an extended Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) Grant. In 2020-2021 Ardmore and Highway 55 ASPs will be done. In 2021-2022 Moose Lake and Cherry Grove will be completed. In 2022-2023 Crane Lake, Highways 28 and 41 and Chicken Hill Lake will be completed. In 2023-2024 Ethel Lake and Marie Lake ASPs will be done. In 2024-2025 Muriel Lake will finish off the list. On March 6, Council agreed to develop a policy regarding the energizing of street lights within new multi-lot subdivisions. Currently ATCO charges an idling fee to all street lights when not energized, which is comparable to the cost of an energized street light. Administration will also contact the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) and the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to lobby for a change in the fee system. 

#5 Parks, Recreation & Culture Update – On March 6, Council awarded the $95,682 North Shore Heights Trail Engineering and Construction Services tender to SE Design. The 4.5 kilometre trail goes from the Bonnyville Water Treatment Plant to Highway 660.  

On March 13, Council heard that Alberta Parks has requested a rare plants survey be done at Kinosoo Ridge before work on the Adventure Park progresses. Director Chris McCord said the study would be done between April and August, and may set back the timeline for the adventure park. The province is also looking at building a trail from the front gates of the Cold Lake Provincial Park to join an existing trail in the City of Cold Lake. The trail would be approximately half a mile. The M.D. will be responsible for the trail, as it will run through M.D. land to the city boundary. McCord confirmed she is currently working on a Request For Proposal for a new dock/mooring system for Vezeau Beach.

#6 Planning and Development Update – Planning and Development received eight development permits in February worth $257,000, bringing the year-to-date total up to $654,600. In the month of February, the department issued 12 plumbing, gas, sewer and electrical permits and 68 inspection report requests. So far in 2019, the M.D. has received three subdivision applications. Council gave Second and Third reading to Bylaw 1697 to adopt the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) between the M.D. and the County of St. Paul. Council also gave Second and Third Reading to Bylaw 1698 to adopt the IDP between the M.D. and Lac La Biche County.

#7 Transportation and Utilities Update – Utilities staff are continuing to monitor the slow discharge from the overflow at the Fort Kent Lagoon. Water samples are being taken and sent to Alberta Environment and Parks. Department staff are currently working on getting quotes for engineering services to fix the issue. Work on the Regional Waterline is continuing. Mighty machines can be seen digging and trenching along Highway 28 between Bonnyville and Cold Lake as they install the new water lines. Work is continuing on the Lessard Bridge with the pilings now installed. The roadside brushing crew is currently working in the Cherry Grove area.

#8 Public Safety News – During the extremely cold weather, an officer came across a car with its hazard lights on. The driver said he had run out of gas. Due to the extreme temperature, the officer took the driver to a gas station, returned him to his vehicle and made sure it started before continuing on patrol. A driver flagged down an M.D. Peace Officer after watching a round bale fall off of a transport truck. The officer found the hauler and issued a ticket for an unsecure load. Following that incident, one of the Peace Officers did a presentation about securing hay for transport at the Forage Forum held in Bonnyville. The M.D. Crime Analyst is now focusing on criminal intelligence for both the Public Safety Department and the RCMP. Officers have been dealing with dog complaints, including a dog in Glendon menacing a mother and her two children while they were out for a walk and a dog at Moose Lake that ran off of a property and attacked a dog on a leash. Dogs running at large in the Alexander and Baywood Road areas were impounded. There were a few snow removal complaints, including a pile of snow left in the middle of a road and a snow piled against a fence which was allowing predators into a yard to threaten small livestock. Both piles were removed. The School Resource Officers continue to provide their programming to schools throughout the region. One SRO was asked to help with a ladies’ self-defense session at the 4 Wing Women’s Conference. They also presented an internet/online safety session to a girls’ club in Bonnyville.

 #9 Ag and Waste Services Update – On March 6, Council agreed to investigate the possibility of acquiring funding through the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group (APRG) pilot program to recycle grain bags and twine. Council instructed Ag staff to research the feasibility of establishing a viable plant to turn the plastic into useable pellets. Staff will approach neighbouring rural municipalities to ascertain if there is regional support for the initiative. The Shelterbelt Program has been very successful in its first year of taking online orders. There are still a few trees left, including the beautiful pygmy caragana.

#10 Funding Support – On February 20, Council agreed to provide a $15,000 annual funding grant to the Bonnyville and Cold Lake Chambers of Commerce, in addition to the $2,000 annual membership fee. On Feb. 20, Council amended the Donations and Recognitions Policy 10.12.11 to increase donations to local school and minor sports teams. School sport teams or organizations, and local minor sport teams, who are hosting a provincial, national or international competition or event within the local area are eligible to receive a grant to a maximum of $1000 and $4,000 respectively. On March 6, Council agreed to remove snow in the Camp St. Louis parking lot to assist organizers of the March 16 La Cabane A Sucre. The event is changing locations this year to Camp St. Louis accessed off of Highway 660. At the March 13 meeting, Council approved $5,000 each for both the Town of Bonnyville and City of Cold Lake’s Canada Day celebrations, and $1,000 for the Village of Glendon’s July 1 party. Council approved the Riverhurst Hall 2019 Operating Grant of $25,000. 542 Entertainment, which organizes the annual Extreme MudFest in Bonnyville will receive up to $12,000 for bleachers. Outside of the event weekend, the bleachers will be able to be used by local user groups for tournaments (i.e. soccer, baseball).

#11 Briefly – Council received confirmation from Municipal Affairs it would receive funding from the ID 349 Regional Partnership fund for additional RCMP members and staff. Council is waiting to hear how much funding it will receive. Council agreed to submit a joint application with the City of Cold Lake and Cold Lake First Nations to the First Nations-Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative Program. The program is designed to support reconciliation through relationship building and the development of a joint community economic development or land use plan. If the partnership is approved, it would open the door to some grant funding down the road. The March 20 Council Committee meeting has been cancelled due to a scheduling conflict. The M.D. received an ACP grant $125,000 from Alberta Municipal Affairs for the development of an Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework Development Project with the City of Cold Lake. Similarly, the City of Cold Lake received an ACP grant of $110,000 for the review and revision of the Intermunicipal Development Plan with the M.D. Council agreed to send a letter supporting the Grand Centre Golf and Country Club which is seeking funding from the Community Facility Enhancement Program to renovate one of the golf course holes to alleviate a flooding problem. Council agreed to join the Coalition of Canadian Municipalities for Energy Action and pay the membership fee of $1,000. The Coalition will take the concerns of communities that will be affected by Bill C-69 to the Canadian Senate and House of Commons.

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