Wednesday, May 9, 2018
CLEARWATER COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
By Marianne Cole
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The most notable highlights of the meeting are as follows:
1. Presentation by Mona Crocker, Executive Director, Rocky Learning Council
Mona outlined various “asks” that council promote: reading to kids, advocacy for raising the age limit to 25 for people requiring GED or high school course improvements(currently the age limit is 19 and getting the additional creditation above that age is very costly), improved high speed internet in the rural area, and encouraging the use of the Rocky Learning Council for various local courses.
2. Attendance by Roger Smolnicky, Director of Recreation and Community Services, Town of Rocky Mr. Smolnicky outlined the capital funding strategy for the North Saskatchewan River Park which included a request that the county match the town’s contribution of $200,000. The funds will be used to help over covered bleachers, water system, permanent washrooms, renos to the announcer and VIP boxes, a BMX track, and additional landscaping. The total value of these improvements would be $1, 200,000 to $1, 270, 000. The Rodeo Association and the Pro Chuckwagon Associations would contribute $150,000 in cash and $50,000 in donated materials, equipment, and labor. Then a matching CFEP grant for $600,000 would be applied for.
After discussion a motion was passed directing administration to write a letter of intent to the town that the county would provide $200,000 in the 2019 budget.
3. Leslieville/Condor Fire Halls
Regional Fire Chief, Steve Debienne, presented the results of the open house feedback surveys along with potential options/costs for either one facility or two. The survey comments indicated a slightly higher number of people favoring two facilities but many wanted more information on the potential costs of each option. 4 options with costs were presented to council:
Option 1: One Large Pre-engineered Station: Total cost $4, 200,000(***not including land purchase)
Option 2: Two smaller Pre-Engineered Stations: Total cost $6,000,000 ($3, 000,000 each)
Option 3: One Large Perma Column Station: Total cost $3, 200,000
Option 4: Two smaller Perma column Stations: Total cost $4, 600,000 ($2, 300,000 each)
Note: the pre-engineered structures use more steel in the structures while the perma column has more concrete and poles.
There was excellent, lengthy discussion as council brought up various concerns, points that need to be considered, and different options available. In the end a motion was passed unanimously, directing administration to obtain more specific information on costs for Option #4.
4. Tax Rate Bylaw
Council passed 3 readings to approve the tax rate bylaw that will see a 3% tax rate increase on residential properties and 6% on non-residential and farmland. It is noted in the agenda package that “the assessment base has increased overall, and therefore will show an increase in the overall tax collected for municipal purposes of $4.4 million.” Further it states, “An increase in 2018 tax rates will remain for the most part offset by the decrease in the school requisition.” (Note: The school requisition is set by the province.)
Broadband Public Engagement meetings:
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 5:30-7:00PM, Nordegg Public Services Building
Monday, May 28, 2018, 5:30-7:00PM, Leslieville Community Hall
Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 5:30-7:00PM, Caroline HUB Community Hall