Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The main highlights of the council meeting were as follows:
 Request from Confluence Heritage Society for assistance with snow clearing for the Canada 150 celebrations to be held at the Rocky Historic Park on February 18 & 19 was supported.
2.    Cartier Creek Subdivision.  The matter of resident encroachment on the Municipal Reserve  (discussed at the December 13 council meeting) was brought forward again for clarification.  It was noted that on two of the lots in question, the decks of the dwellings are intruding onto municipal reserve land.  On one of the lots their satellite dish is also located on reserve land.  There was excellent discussion on resolving this issue and Councillor Greenwood brought forward a notable question, wondering how this could have been allowed on a building permit.  The response was that there had been no building permit.  Other comments focussed on the need to make the rules fair and apply to everyone. In the end Councillor Maki made a motion to uphold the original motion that guidelines set out in the MGA must be followed.  County staff will notify the residents about the need to rectify the situation by July 31.
3.  Presentation by/discussion with the Rocky Mountain Chuckwagon Association and the Rocky Stampede Board. Brad Smith, Milton Elliott, Shane Closs, and Ernie Closs presented information on the work that had been done at the rodeo grounds at the North Saskatchewan River Park and what the significant benefit the events held there are to the community.  They then posed questions focussed on the plans that the county has for their land and a potential timeline for development. The questions were returned with suggestions that these groups work with the Rocky Agricultural Society and other stakeholders to formulate a plan of action.  Reeve Alexander suggested that this needs to be a community vision and that all groups need to work together as it should be a community driven issue.  In the end Councillor Lang made a motion that county administration work together with these groups in developing a plan of action.
4.  Clearwater County Highway Patrol Annual Report.  Sgt. Terri Miller presented information on the year’s activities of the CPO’s in our county.  Figures were given to suggest that there is still lots of commercial movement in the county even though numbers are down.  She also presented information showing that there has been a steady increase in the number of traffic safety violations in the last three years.  Questions were raised as to the amount of time used in prepping for court cases when necessary.  Sgt. Miller indicated that the prep time is rather minimal (1- 1 1/2 hours), but the time in court is frustrating as an officer might wait a lengthy time for the case he is involved in to be heard, sometimes to no avail as the witness doesn’t show up.  Discussions are taking place with the province to try to deal with the shortage of commissionaires and crown prosecutors.
A very successful, positive program initiated by our CPO’s is the “Positive Ride Program” where the CPO’s will hand out a “Positive Ride” ticket to people who are following all the proper guidelines/rules of riding OHV’s and these people are eligible to win a prize.  It can also have an interesting “peer pressure” impact if one person in a group is not following the rules and this consequently disallows members in that group from getting a “Positive Ride” ticket.
5.  Audit Planning. Hawkings Epp will once again be doing the financial audit for the county for the 2016 year.  They will be working in the county on March 27th and the year end report should be available at the end of April.

A special joint Town of Rocky/Clearwater County Council meeting was held in county council chambers in the afternoon of January 24, 2017.  The purpose of this meeting was to:
 Review the activities that have taken place to date in relation to the Intermunicipal Development Plan and the Joint Development Area which target specific industrial and commercial growth for this region.  The IDP and the JDP focus on land which the town could annex to the north of Rocky and the County’s newly purchased land on the Airport Road.
 Work on drafting the Joint Servicing Agreement.  The JSA would focus largely on the method of providing and financing the provision of water/waste water services in the area mentioned above.
Meghan Jenkins, Planning Manager, Parkland Community Planning Services gave a brief presentation on what had taken place with developing the IDP and JDP, and then the meeting went “in camera” to discuss the Joint Service Agreement.  After an hour and ten minutes we were allowed back into the meeting only to find out that more “administration information” is needed before final decisions can be made.  It is anticipated that this might be available late in February or early March.
Following the meeting it was learned that the town is waiting for the results of an “Economic Feasability Study” in relation to the development in this area and they are to be commended for going through that process.  No “Economic Plan” for the development of the county’s land has been undertaken.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes

by Helge Nome

There was discussion right from the outset at the first regular meeting in 2017 on Tuesday, January 10: Councillor Vandermeer pointed to a discrepancy in the minutes from the December 13 regular meeting pertaining to a motion from Vandermeer for the county to go ahead with a broadband demonstration program in 2017. The minutes, as presented to council for ratification, did not reflect this intent and the minutes, as amended by Vandermeer, were adopted by council.

Detailed information on the 2017 winter gravel program was presented by Public Works, where it was noted that the amount of graveling done would depend on weather conditions.

Alberta Municipal Affairs’ recommendation for Council to hire a consultant to carry out a review of county operations was turned down unanimously on a motion from Councillor Duncan. The sentiment was that Council already had a good idea of where there are shortcomings, notably in its communications with the public strategy, as identified in the municipal inspection of the Town of Rocky Mountain House where improvements were recommended. Also, Councillor Vandermeer believed that $75,000 could be better spent elsewhere.

Based on a recommendation from Regional Fire/Rescue, Council decided to go ahead with the purchase of a replacement fire engine for the one that was written off following a rollover in October. The cost to the County will be $163,851, the remainder of the total purchase price of $588,851 being covered by insurance.

A delegation from the “Clearwater Regional Tourism Working Group” presented the newly designed logo to be used to promote the region. The logo depicts voyageurs in a canoe and asks the visitor to David Thompson Country to ”challenge your inner explorer”.