New Policy on Intermunicipal Collaboration – Council approved an Intermunicipal Relationships and Regionalization Policy, which formalizes the County’s position on the value of collaboration with other municipalities while respecting one another’s autonomy. It also details the principles on how the County will engage in those relationships to help create stronger municipalities and a stronger region. The policy will be available to view this week www.countygp.ab.ca/policies.  

Surface Water Management Update – Council accepted a report from Administration that work is complete or nearly complete on several priority areas for surface water management across the County. Last year, Council approved $1.015 million to address drainage issues in these areas. The remaining $25,670 will be used to address other drainage issues in the County.  

Last year, Council approved a Surface Water Management Policy to serve as a guideline for surface water management activities within the County and for the prevention of future overland flooding issues. 

New Turning Lane at Highway 2 and 84 Avenue Intersection – Council approved $217,500 to establish an additional turning lane from 84 Avenue south onto Highway 2 in Clairmont, near the County Administration and Public Works buildings. The application to Alberta Transportation will move forward, with the funding source to be determined during final budget deliberations.  

Community Group Support – Council granted the Bear Creek Folk Festival $7,000 to support their “Unfestival” event on August 14 & 15, 2021. The event will feature a blend of live-streamed and limited live in-person performances in line with public health guidelines and will be free to view. Council has supported the festival in the past, including $25,000 in 2019 and $20,000 in 2018.  

Council approved an annual sponsorship of $10,000 for 2021 – 2023 to support the Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance. 

Funding Requests – The Bezanson Agricultural Society updated Council on their past year and requested $26,598 in emergency funding to sustain operations until fall. Council deferred the request to final budget deliberations. Last year, the society received $34,421 in County grant funding, and $4,780 for operations in 2021.  

The Clairmont & Agricultural Society updated Council on their plans for the Clairmont Community Hall and Arena. Although the previous board voted to decommission the arena, the current board would like to explore other options for the community. Council directed Administration to discuss the future of the arena and hall with the society, and present clear direction at a future Council Meeting before considering any funding requests. Council approved $97,860 in grant funding for the society in 2020 and $4,780 for operations in 2021. 

The Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park updated Council on their operations and the current status of the landslide at their facility, which took place last May. The park requested up to 25 per cent of the repair costs, up to $375,000 from the total $1.5 million estimated project cost. The park received $163,250 in County grant funding for 2020, and Council approved $151,500 for 2021. Council deferred the request to final budget deliberations. 

Hilltop Estates Lending Agreement – Council approved a request from the Hilltop Estates Homeowners Association to amend a Lending Agreement with the County of Grande Prairie to allow for a notice to reader as an annual report of the association’s finances.  

Providing Animal Care Services – Council directed Administration to monitor costs of providing Regional Animal Pound services to neighbouring municipalities for the next three years and report back with recommendations to inform future agreements.  

Management of Highway 2 north of City Limits – Administration reported to Council regarding costs associated with maintaining Highway 2 from the City of Grande Prairie limits north for two kilometres. Council took no action on the report.  

Signage near Range Road 94 and Highway 667 – Alberta Transportation denied a request to install signage limiting the use of engine retarder brake use in the area of Range Road 94 and Secondary Highway 667, south of Highway 43. Resident concerns about brake use in the area will be referred to Alberta Transportation.  

GPREP Activation – Council accepted a report from Administration on the most recent Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) activation. Council directed Administration to report back with recommendations following a debrief.   

Public Hearings – Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-21-007 to redesignate 0.124 acres of land, located between Range Road 73 and Range Road 74, adjacent to Township Road 704 and directly north of the M.D. of Greenview from an Agricultural (AG) District to a Country Residential (CR-2) District to accommodate a boundary adjustment. Council gave the bylaw three readings.  

Provincial Correspondence – Council will send a letter to the Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women advocating that the Edson Trail Site, located in the Kleskun Hills Natural Area, be identified as a Provincial Historic Resource. 

Council accepted a letter of response from the Minister of Infrastructure regarding supplying municipal services to rural school sites. Council directed that Administration set up a joint meeting with the Ministers of Infrastructure and Education to discuss the topic in relation to the servicing of future school sites.  

Following a response letter received on April 12, 2021, Council directed Administration to set up a meeting with the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General to discuss the potential partnership to build an RCMP rural Detachment in Clairmont.  

Compensation Policy – Council directed Administration to draft a compensation philosophy policy for review at a future Council Meeting.  

Appointment – Council appointed Legislative Services staff member Mary Kukulski as an Assessment Review Board Clerk.  

Proclamations – Council proclaimed May 16 – 22, 2021 as Public Works Week in the County of Grande Prairie. This year’s theme is “Stronger Together”.  

Council proclaimed April 18 – 24, 2021 as National Volunteer Week in the County of Grande Prairie.  

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on April 26, 2021. A Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on April 20, 2021. Meetings for the 2021 Final Budget will take place April 15 & 16, 2021. 

Council and Committee meetings can be accessed electronically through the County website at www.countygp.ab.ca/events.