2020-2025 Strategic Plan – Council approved the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan for the County of Grande Prairie. The Strategic Plan will direct the work of the County in a variety of areas such as service delivery, land use planning, infrastructure, citizen well-being, partnerships and economic development.

Seven themes identify the most important priorities for the County. Each theme is supported by focused objectives to achieve these priorities and the new vision. The seven themes that will shape the foundation of the County’s work and planning over the next five years include: Effective Transportation Networks; Fiscal Sustainability; Economic Development; Technology Infrastructure; Safe Communities; Density and Service Standards; and Governance and Leadership. The Strategic Plan is available to view at www.countygp.ab.ca/stratplan.

Intermunicipal Collaboration Frameworks – Council approved the Intermunicipal Collaboration Frameworks developed between the County and the Town of Beaverlodge, and the Town of Wembley, respectively.

Recreation Agreement with Town of Beaverlodge – Council approved the Recreation Agreement with the Town of Beaverlodge. The agreement is part of the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework between the County of Grande Prairie and the Town of Beaverlodge.

COVID-19 Business Resiliency Voucher Program – Council approved $25,000 for the Business Resiliency Voucher Program that has been developed in partnership with the City of Grande Prairie and the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce. The program was created in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic that is affecting local businesses and will aim to help them access the resources available from the federal and provincial government, as well as provide business consultants to assist businesses with resiliency plans. More information about the program will be available later this week at www.countygp.ab.ca/covid19.

County Connector Update – Council approved the suspension of the County Connector Transit service effective April 10 and until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as recommended by the Rural Transportation Advisory Committee. Since the Province of Alberta implemented public health restrictions, the service has experienced a decline in ridership.

For those who previously used the service to access essential services, the Community Care Program launched by the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) is available for those unable to access food and/or prescriptions due to social isolating and/or lack of transportation. For more information about the Community Care Program, visit www.gprep.ca/covid19/communitycare.

2020 Tax Payment Penalty Fees – Council approved keeping the property tax deadline date as June 30, 2020; however, forgiving tax penalties for late payments made before October 31, 2020.

COVID-19 Community Funding Requests – Council granted Administration temporary flexibility outside of the County’s existing grant policies to accommodate community groups in financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have been impacted by lost revenue, cancellation of fundraising events, layoffs and/or total suspension of operations, provided that funds are already included in the grant requests during 2020 Interim Budget.

Council directed Administration to bring forward emergent requests outside of the grant requests made during 2020 Interim Budget at a future Council meeting.

Council deferred the Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural & Exhibition Society relief funding request until the Society determines if they qualify for provincial and federal funding available due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

2020 Revenue Projection – Administration presented various projection scenarios for what the County could anticipate for revenue values for 2020. Administration will continue to update these projections based on incoming assessment values, provincial requisitions, sources of revenue, investment return, economic activity, and the current extraordinary circumstances.

Highway 40 Twinning Contribution Analysis – Administration presented the report to Council for financing costs and impacts of various scenarios to determine how much to contribute for the twinning of Highway 40, from Grande Prairie to just south of the Norbord Wood Panel Plant, and will include a second bridge across the Wapiti River as well as numerous bridge structure and intersection improvements.

In February 2020, the County in partnership with the Province of Alberta and the Municipal District of Greenview, reached a cost-sharing agreement to twin Highway 40, south of Grande Prairie. The County’s contribution will be a part of the overall $60 million municipal contribution shared between the Municipal District of Greenview.

Council deferred the contribution analysis to Council of the Whole Meeting being held on June 18, 2020 for further discussion.

Five Mile Hall Design Report – Administration presented the report for the Five Mile Hall Design Charrette. This charrette was held for the Five Mile Hall site last fall, where consultations took place with community stakeholders including Council, Administration, school boards, several community groups, and the general public, to gain feedback on the preferred design for the land. Potential land uses include school sites, residential and commercial development, a site for a future Fire Hall and Public Works, RV storage and camping, trails and a dog park. Administration will move forward with statutory processes for an Area Structure Plan; rezoning and subdivision as required.

Five Mile Hall Lease and Rent – Council will delay the leasing of the Five Mile Hall to the leaseholder, Food Solutions Corporation, by one month. Council also directed Administration to negotiate with the leaseholder on developing a fair lease payment while the Province of Alberta’s restrictions for mass gatherings remain in effect.

East Highway Industrial Servicing Tender –Council awarded the tender for the East Highway Industrial Servicing to Whissell Enterprises Ltd. for $536,677.

Bidding Contracts – Council directed Administration to provide a list of any contracts that have been circulated for bidding prior to the 2020 Budget Deliberation meeting.

Intermunicipal Development Plans – Council will support the Town of Sexsmith’s request and the Village of Hythe’s request, respectively, to discontinue the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) process with the County. Council directed Administration to write letters to Municipal Affairs regarding these decisions.

Bylaw 3128 – Council gave third reading for Bylaw 3128, which amends Bylaw 2986/Road Use Agreement, adding a clause that ensures that any companies obtaining a Road Use Agreement are in good standing with the County. Definitions for logging and oil and gas licensee were also added to the bylaw, and updates were made to Schedule B – Conditional Requirement for Types of Projects and Addressing Road Damage and Restoration. Bylaws are available for viewing at www.countygp.ab.ca/Bylaws.

Development Permit Request – Council approved a development permit request from Tervita Corporation to build an Accessory Building, and addition to the office building and to the filter building within part of an existing petrochemical facility on land on Pt. NW-8-73-8-W6 located six miles southwest of the Hamlet of La Glace, adjacent to Range Road 85 and Highway 672. The approval of this development permit application is subject to the following conditions:

• The site is developed as per the site plan submitted

• The Development conforms to the district requirements of the Rural Industrial – Direct Control (RM-DC) District

• The applicant obtains Safety Code permits to ensure the development complies with the Alberta Fire Code and Alberta Building Code; and work with County Planning and Development Services and Regional Fire Service to ensure compliance with all codes.

• All construction debris be contained with an enclosed area by way of waste bins and/or temporary fencing; and debris be removed from site within one month of completion of construction.
Peace Airshed Zone Association Snow Removal Request – Council approved the Peace Airshed Zone Association’s request to have the Beaverlodge Research Station on Township Road 720 added to the County’s snow removal route.

Wild Boar Operations in the County – Council directed Administration to bring back amendments to the Land Use Bylaw and Animal Control Bylaw to prohibit the keeping of wild boar within the County of Grande Prairie boundaries. Wild Boar is identified as a pest under the Agricultural Pests Act, and due to several negative risks identified including consequences of escape, damage to agricultural producers and land, and containment and/or eradication costs and resource allocation. The bylaws will be brought forward to one of the upcoming meetings.

2020 Budget Meetings will take place on April 16-17, 2020 and available to view electronically.

Next Regular Council Meeting will take place on April 27, 2020.