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#1 Mill Rate Bylaw – Municipal District of Bonnyville Council discussed the 2020 Mill Rate Bylaw. Council directed Administration to make changes in order to help out small businesses in the M.D. during this economic downturn. The bylaw will be presented again for approval at the May 20 Council Committee meeting.
#2 Pandemic Concerns Cause Change For Rental Equipment Program – Due to COVID-19 concerns, only essential agricultural equipment will be rented by the M.D. at this time. Crop and cattle handling equipment will be delivered by Agriculture staff. The three satellite rental equipment locations throughout the M.D. are closed until further notice. The equipment will be brought back into the Public Works yard for storage and rentals will continue with restrictions on social distancing with clients.
#3 Beaver Control Continues – The contracted Beaver Control is working well across the M.D., with trappers reducing beavers in problem areas. Crews continue to remove beaver dams blocking culverts. Landowners have been signing up for the beaver bounty, with sites visited and approved by the Pest Control Officer.
#4 Pandemic Creates More Waste – The M.D. has seen up to a 30 percent increase in traffic at its bin sites and seven landfills/transfer stations over the past couple of months with more people staying home because of the pandemic and a slow-down in the economy. Staff have increased pick-ups at sites to help reduce the full bins.
#5 Final Reading For Tax Penalty Bylaw No. 1746 – Council gave Final Reading to Bylaw No. 1746 – Penalties on Unpaid Taxes Bylaw to amend the date of levying penalties on unpaid taxes to after the taxation deadline from September 15, 2020 to October 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
#6 Muriel Creek Restoration Project – Public notice was sent out in early May for Water Act approvals for the sediment removal in Muriel Creek. M.D. staff are working with landowners on removal of substandard culverts. Vegetation is being removed from fence lines that cross the creek, and staff are hand opening dams for continuous flow of water.
#7 Budget 2020 Amended – Council approved the amended 2020 budget and summary of restricted reserves as presented. On December 5, 2019, Council passed its $144,749,498 operating and capital budget for 2020. To date, Council has approved additional expenditures of $1,455,564.13. Council also chose to fund the $800,000 Kinosoo Ridge Adventure Park with reserves, as opposed to a federal grant to avoid delays to the project. These changes bring the total 2020 budget to $145,793,294.13.
#8 Strategic Plan Passes – The 2020 - 2023 Council Strategic Plan was approved. The key priorities for the plan include: building a prosperous and sustainable community; enhancing safety in the community; sustainable infrastructure that meets the needs of the community; and enhancing the livability of the community. The 2020 emergent issues to be considered in the tactical plan include: review and update policies and procedures; review and monitor the current concept of 24-hour police patrolling; completion of Highway 657 (east/west); finalize the year-round Kinosoo Adventure Park plan; enhanced communication within and between M.D. departments and recruit an Economic Development Officer. Administration will return to Council in June with an itemized tactical plan of how the strategic priorities will be accomplished over the next three years.
#9 Waste Rate For Insulation Increases – Council gave Third and Final Reading to Bylaw No. 1747 Waste and Resource Recovery Management to repeal and replace Schedule F in Bylaw No. 1627. The amendment will change the rate for insulation waste, to bring it in line with the rate for demolition waste, at a rate of $2, and a varying Tipping Fee, depending on the size of truck dumping the load.
#10 Sold Out – All shelterbelt trees were sold out online for 2020. Ag staff will deliver all trees to purchasers this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
#11 Briefly – The Spring Roadside Cleanup Program has been cancelled for the 2020 season due to the pandemic. If restrictions are lifted later this year, staff will examine other options to deliver the program. Staff will continue to clean large items from the ditches.