Bridge Replacements – Council gave second and third reading to a borrowing bylaw to fund $3,473,610 of the cost of replacing the bridge over Spring Creek with long-term debt. The remaining $1,166,390 is allocated from Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant funding for a total project cost of $4.64 million.

Council approved a tender award to replace the bridge on Range Road 121, south of Township Road 704, also known as the Rio Grande bridge, to DCL Construction Services Ltd. for the cost of $5,848,158 plus engineering and contingency costs.

Council working with La Glace and District Agricultural Society on future of Regional Recreation Centre – Council accepted a report from TBD Architecture + Urban Planning about options to complete the Regional Recreation Centre in La Glace. The report evaluated a range of options and associated costs to finish the facility. Council will share the report with the La Glace and District Agricultural Society for consideration, as they own and operate the current arena and new facility. The society will be invited to a future Committee of the Whole Meeting to discuss next steps.

Council has provided $3 million in funding for the project to date.

Invitation to Partner in Mountview Health Complex – Council accepted an invitation from the Town of Beaverlodge to contribute 50 per cent of consultant fees for the Mountview Health Complex project, up to $104,000.

Council will send a letter of request to the Town and Mountview Health Complex Committee requesting that County Council representatives and Administration be kept up to date as a project partner, including receiving copies of meeting agendas, minutes, correspondence and contracts in a timely fashion.

Tradesman Area Structure Plan – Council gave final approval to the Tradesman Area Structure Plan (ASP), which provides a framework for the future subdivision and development of a rural industrial park located south of Highway 43, east of the Hamlet of Clairmont. Read more at www.countygp.ab.ca/asp.

2021 Fire Guardians – Council approved the appointment of this year’s fire guardians to assist the County with issuing permits during fire season which begins March 1, as well as educating and informing residents on safe burning practices. Contact information for this year’s fire guardians is available at www.countygp.ab.ca/fireguardians.

Scholarship Presentation – Council awarded the Ron Pfau Memorial Scholarship to lifelong Teepee Creek resident Erika Beck. The annual $500 scholarship is available to post-secondary students living in the County of Grande Prairie, or whose parents still reside in the municipality, enrolled in business, commerce or public office administration.

Grants and Funding Recognition Policy – Council approved a policy outlining a consistent procedure for letters from the County of Grande Prairie thanking organizations and governments for grant funding or other support provided.

Accounting and Human Resources Software – Council awarded the contract for a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to Unit4 + Tempest at the cost of $1,335,333. The new software will replace multiple accounting and human resources software programs currently in use, with $1,000,000 of the project cost previously approved during the 2020 budget deliberations.

Road Use Agreement Bylaw and Bond Agreement Policy – Administration presented drafts of an updated Road Use Agreement Bylaw and Bond Agreement Policy. Council directed Administration to continue operations as per existing processes, and that the draft Bylaw and Policy be presented at the April 12 Council Meeting for consideration, as amended.

Public Hearing – Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-21-005 to redesignate 6.32 acres of land, located two miles northeast of Hamlet of Bezanson, adjacent to Range Road 30 from an Agricultural (AG) District to a Country Residential (CR-5) District to allow for the subdivision of one residential lot. Council gave the bylaw third reading.

Pursuit of Excellence Committee – Council will continue to support the Pursuit of Excellence program facilitated by the City of Grande Prairie’s Community Advisory Committee, which provides funding to local athletes, coaches, and sport organizations. The County will continue providing annual contributions of $2,500 until 2023 and evaluate applications as a committee member.

Grande Prairie High Performance Centre – Council endorsed the concept of a High-Performance Centre and is supportive of further research and development of the concept. Council declined to provide financial support at this time, pending a more detailed business case and citing the current economic climate and potential upcoming funding requests from existing regional recreational facilities.

Correspondence – Council will send a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs requesting the County of Grande Prairie continue to receive well drilling reports and information about new pipeline infrastructure relevant to the municipality. 

Employee Introductions – Council welcomed Nolan Jespersen as the new District Fire Chief. The District Fire Chief role manages operations at the Sexsmith Fire Department and supporting the County’s three paid responder fire stations at Bezanson, La Glace and Teepee Creek. Nolan has 20 years of firefighting experience, including Deputy Chief roles.

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on March 8, 2021. A Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on March 25, 2021.

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