Highlights of our Thursday meeting.
Letters written to council---June 17 and September 6. No replies yet, but there has been some action, perhaps because of our letters. First of all there was the article in the Mountaineer last week about the building plans on hold and we had asked to keep the taxpayers informed in our June 17th letter. Then they are also conducting a survey and that letter had also asked how they were going to assess public opinion. Several comments were made regarding the survey as it is very open ended and it will be difficult to tabulate the results. We really encouraged everyone to fill out the survey and I had 30 copies to hand out at the meeting. Our September 6 letter had addressed the lead time for the agenda packages and that has been adjusted a small amount (1 day).
2. FOIP request---no reply yet but they have until the 24th of October to reply.
3. Letter to Municipal Affairs re Municipal Review---received a reply saying that the public won’t be involved until/if a full scale review is held. I also received a phone call from a Faye Sheridan who will be doing the preliminary review on Tuesday. She called to address our concerns with the limited input to the preliminary review and she did ease my mind somewhat. As we know, they will be interviewing each of the councillors and Ron Leaf, BUT they will also review all phone calls from Clearwater County that have been made to Municipal Affairs in the last two years as well as newspaper articles and
letters to the editor. It certainly did ease my mind to know that they will be doing that extra research.
4. AGM--- Jason Nixon will be coming to be our guest speaker and will talk about current issues in the Legislature at that time and the carbon tax.
5. Follow up on financials---Dan Warkentin had brought up a concern with the audited financials last meeting as “amortization” was very large and he was concerned if that was for just long term debt. On doing more research that also includes depreciation so that’s why it is so large. However, he did find that we have a $3million plus long term debt due in 2025. Currently we are paying just over $115, 000 per year interest so it was decided that we include that in a letter to council as well, suggesting that we pay off the debt and save the interest.
6. Meeting with Nordegg residents--- Three of the community leaders in Nordegg had asked if I would meet with them so they could “clear the air” as they had this feeling that we were against them. I had an excellent meeting with them out at Nordegg on Wednesday and they are as frustrated as we are with the county. They have some very progressive ideas of how to get more publicity for Nordegg and involve industry, community, and outside organizations in holding courses, workshops, etc. out there but they are hindered by the county as they have been refused the use of the school and/or the new firehall. Because one of the ladies I met with is a fire fighter we were able to meet at the firehall. It has a great room that would be excellent for holding workshops/courses and there is a very adequate kitchen that could be used to cater meals for the workshops, BUT they aren’t allowed to use the facility that we all have paid for. These courses/workshops would bring money into both the community and the county. Then they are also frustrated that huge dollars have been put into that south lot development. They feel as we do that the lots will never sell. In the meantime they would like some infrastructure(water and sewer) so that a developer would put in a grocery store. Now apparently the county has OK’ed a development permit for a gas station/c-store up closer to the highway. This will be of neutral benefit as it will likely put the current gas station/store out of business.
7. Ken brought up concerns with the new bylaw passed by the county that will not allow the parking of commercial/large vehicles in rural subdivisions. We did address our concern on this in the letter that I sent out yesterday.
Hopefully that fills you guys in a little bit. Hope to see you at the AGM on November 10.
Have a warmer/sunnier day tomorrow.