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The original item was published from 9/26/2019 1:33:00 PM to 10/3/2019 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

Council Highlights

Posted on: September 26, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Council Highlights September 25, 2019

Council Members for Years 2017 through 2021

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

#1 Provincial Policing Cost Funding Model – Municipal District of Bonnyville Council accepted as information the provincially proposed funding model for policing costs. The province has created a funding model for rural municipalities to pay directly for their basic policing costs. Policing is still provided and controlled by the province. There is a subsidy included in the proposed funding model to offset costs due to high crime rates. However, based on the Crime Severity Index (CSI), the M.D. would only qualify for a 2.7 percent offset. The funding model does not recognize any extra policing services the municipality is already paying for directly, such as operations clerks in detachments or enhanced RCMP positions. The model is being proposed for 291 communities in Alberta. Only communities with the RCMP are included in the proposal. Communities with their own municipal police services are not included. The funding model allows the province to requisition money from the M.D. for provincial policing costs, but does not provide for any legislated/mandatory accountability or locally determined level of service to accompany the direct payment for services. 

#2 Crime Prevention Update – The “Heavy Users of Service” (HUoS) pilot project working group has begun meetings. The project is being spearheaded by the Public Safety Department, with various agencies and groups in the area invited to information sessions. The aim of the project is to provide a proof of concept in our area that much of the resources of our local emergency services, health and social services is being taken up by a few members of our population. The core group of professionals making up the HUoS group would then be better able to case manage selected individuals, providing them with the level of service they need to improve their lives, gain success and be less of a strain on local resources. There has been a positive response to the project, with more information to be released in October. The Crime Prevention Officer has been working on completing the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) surveys of M.D. facilities, as well as the Vacant Home Check Program. In August, he was mainly focused on dealing with the results of the False Alarm report and speaking with M.D. business covered in the report to help them mitigate their false alarms.

#3 Birch Grove Drainage Remediation – The M.D. is hosting a public open house on Wednesday, October 9 at Shaw House to discuss with residents the design of the Birch Grove Drainage and Outfall Structure. Barr Engineering was retained by the M.D. to address the flooding of properties adjoining the intersection of Range Road 465 and Greenwood Drive. The design includes a set of five manholes interconnected with underground pipes and an outfall structure with energy dissipater. The manholes are fitted with baffle and weirs to reduce the flow velocities and facilitate siltation control. The whole system will work on gravity.

#4 Muriel Lake Campground Goes Seasonal – Council agreed to provide seasonal camping sites at the M.D. Muriel Lake Campground. The sites can be rented from May until September for $375/month for non-powered and $450/month for powered sites.

Vezeau Beach Campground also provides seasonal rentals, as the practice was grandfathered in when the M.D. took over the park earlier this year. Muriel Lake does not have water access similar to other campgrounds within the M.D. Based on continued requests to provide seasonal camping at Muriel Lake, administration believes the initiative will attract more campers to the park.

#5 Clubroot Inspections Complete – Over 330 canola fields were inspected for Clubroot in 2019. Three additional fields were identified with Clubroot in the same area, south of Glendon this year. These fields will receive a pest notice that will restrict growing canola for the next three years. The M.D. will be sending samples out to get the Clubroot strains identified in order for staff to make recommendations to farmers on the proper resistant variety of seed to purchase.

#6 Hardship Snowplowing of Driveways Policy Amended – The M.D. will continue to provide driveway snowplowing services at no charge for residents over the age of 65 and for those who are physically disabled. The hardship flags are for residential driveways only. The service does not include farmyards or fields; pathways to homes or garages; nor commercial or industrial sites. To confirm eligibility a resident shall complete an application form on an annual basis and provide identification confirming their age for senior citizens and a note or certificate from their physician confirming their physical disability if disabled. The registered landowner must complete a Snowplowing/Grading agreement in order to address liability issues prior to snow removal. Driveway snowplowing services will only occur after main roads and school bus routes are cleared.

#7 Waste Update – Construction is complete on the new Muriel Lake east bin site, which will improve services for the subdivisions on the east side of the lake. Once the pad site is complete, waste and recycling bins will be placed on it. Paving and fencing will be completed in 2020 once the site has settled. The expansion of the La Corey Class III cells that accept dry, inert waste are under construction. Items that are typically thrown in these cells are treated wood, insulation and furniture that can’t be recycled. This expansion will give the M.D. capacity for those items for a number of years.

#8 Ag Plastics Pilot Project – The M.D. was accepted to be one of the provincial collection sites for agriculture plastics, with CleanFarms overseeing the program. Details about the initiative will be released this month. The municipality is one of twenty sites accepted into the program.

#9 Ag News – Goats are being utilized for vegetation control again this year in areas where it is challenging to mow. This enables staff to get the grass and weeds down to improve water flow through subdivisions. Goats were used at Country Lane Estates subdivision to graze the municipal reserves and drainage ditches. Waterfowl scare cannons are in high demand this year to keep waterfowl out of the fields due to the later harvest. Currently the M.D. has six cannons for rental, and staff were able to access a few more. The Subdivision Mowing Program is complete, with 80 plus subdivisions getting cut twice during the season. The Hamlet Mowing Program is also complete, with grass mowed adjacent to the street to the property line. The Roadside Mowing Program is continuing, with the main arterial roads mowed to the fence line to increase visibility and remove any brush. Staff are continuing to work on beaver problems within M.D. The M.D. will continue working with local trappers during the upcoming trapping season beginning October 1. The focus will be on areas that have had road infrastructure damage this past season. Council approved a motion to review the present Beaver Policy and to investigate additional options of controlling the animals.

#10 Planning and Development Update – Final Reading was given to Bylaw No. 1716 to close and lease all of the road allowance East of the NE 16-61-1-W4M, south of Township Road 613 to the Beaver River for a distance of approximately 668 metres (2,193 feet). The intent is to have open grazing of cattle between both quarter sections and fenced all together as one pasture.

#11 Public Safety Report – Officers have adjusted priorities in the evening hours in Ward 4 in response to complaints regarding commercial trucks, increasing their presence in problem areas. Officers responded to five serious motor vehicle collisions on M.D. roads in August, including two separate fatalities. Speeding vehicles are being reported on throughout the M.D. In all cases, officers incorporate the locations into their patrol plan and make sure they attend the problem areas during their shift. During August, School Officers worked on updating their various sessions and programs, as well as putting the finishing touches on two pilot projects for the new school year. One project is working hand-in-hand with school councillors in the area of mental health/self-esteem and the other is to provide a positive/productive activity for at risk youth at the outreach schools. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence, as officers are finding more livestock on roads and highways in August as the animals are attracted to the grass in the ditch. Officers responded to five calls regarding loud music/noise in residential areas in August. One resident was ticketed twice. Dog complaints have come in from Ardmore, Fort Kent, Cherry Grove and some rural locations.

#12 Funding Support – Council approved the contribution of $500 for the 2019 Annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners hosted by the Bonnyville Friendship Centre. Council approved a $400 donation to the Bonnyville & District SPCA for its Raise The Woof fundraiser. The M.D. supported the following organizations with a Community Action Grant: Aurora Visual Arts ($1,000), Beaver River Fish and Game ($500), Bonnyville Gear Grabbers Car Club ($2,500), Bonnyville Senior Citizens Society ($5,000), Cold Lake Entertainment Society ($5,000), Cold Lake Minor Hockey Bantam T1 ($4,000) and Kinosoo Performing Arts Association ($2,500). The M.D. provided Sports Funding Grants to the following organizations: $4,000 to the Cold Lake Minor Hockey Tournament; $1,000 each to Rhinos Volleyball – U14, Ecole Notre Dame Handball and the Bonnyville Soccer Association Mini Tournament; $500 each to Bonnyville Soccer – U14, Bonnyville Pontiacs – Atom, Lakeland Panther – Bantam, Lakeland Lacrosse – Bantam, Rhinos U17-U18, Lakeland Lacrosse – Peewee, Lakeland Lacrosse – Heat, Lakeland Lacrosse, Bonnyville Skipperoos, Bonnyville Minor Ball – U12 Angels, Cold Lake High School, Bonnyville Soccer U19 Girls, Bonnyville Angels Red – U14 Girls, Bonnyville Soccer – U15 Boys, Bonnyville Angels – U16 Boys, Bonnyville Soccer – U17 Boys and Bonnyville Soccer – U13; $400 each to Ecole Des Beaux Lacs – Badminton, Ecole Des Beaux Lacs four athletes and $100 each to Individual Request – Hockey and Individual Request – Lacrosse.

#13 Briefly – Council agreed to retain the services of Metrix Group LLP as the provider of professional auditing services from 2019 to 2021, with the option to extend the contract for the years 2022 and 2023. Councillor Dana Swigart was appointed to the Cold Lake Regional Utility Services Commission (RUSC). Council approved a draft resolution for the upcoming Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) District 5 meeting that “requests that the government of Alberta directs the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to incorporate municipal authorities input into the AER energy resource development project approval process.”

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