Corporate Business Plan – Council approved the updated 2020-2025 Corporate Business Plan and Strategic Priorities as presented. The Corporate Business Plan outlines action items and timelines aligned with Council’s strategic direction and the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. The approved Business Plan will be available at www.countygp.ab.ca/StrategicPlan this week.

New Management Plan for Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area – Council approved a management plan for the non-motorized natural day-use recreation area adjacent to Evergreen Park, adopting the name Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area. The Plan outlines approved uses of the 99-acre area, which provides recreation for a variety of user groups, including pedestrians, on-leash dogs, cyclists, and equestrians. For more details, see Media Release: New Management Plan and Proposed Enhancements for Outdoor Recreation Area by Evergreen Park.

Council directed Administration to bring back information about adopting a nearby Municipal Reserve into the Plan to a future Council Meeting.

Third Reading for Five Mile Hall Borrowing Bylaw – Council gave third reading to the Five Mile Hall Borrowing Bylaw. The project includes providing water, sanitary sewer and upgrade extension of power and gas at the Five Mile Hall School Site. In November 2020, the Province announced $2,674,793 in Municipal Stimulus Program (MSP) for the site servicing work.

Wembley Physician to receive Recruitment Bonus– Council approved $10,000 in Physician Recruitment and Retention Incentive Funding for Dr. Mackenzie Crawford, who practices full-time at the Wembley Medical Clinic. The County provides an incentive of $10,000 to attract and retain physicians to practice in the County of Grande Prairie or smaller communities in our boundaries.

Letters of Support for Federal Broadband Funding Council will provide letters of support to three communications companies, Xplornet Communications, GPNetworks and Canadian Fibre Optics for the Federal Universal Broadband Fund. This Federal grant funding is available to improve internet accessibility within the County.

Information Requests regarding Highways – Council directed Administration to bring back recommendations on the request to increase the speed limit on the paved portion of Township Road 730, east of Highway 2 from 80 km per hour to 100 km per hour.

Council directed Administration to bring back information regarding the railroad crossing on Secondary Highway 667.

Tender Award – Council approved an agreement with Viking-Cives Ltd. to provide a 2021 Sourcewell Snow & Ice Plow Truck for the amount of $332,309. This new equipment will replace an existing unit that has surpassed the recommended hours for its useful life, with funding allocated from the Equipment Replacement Reserve.

Development Permit Approval – Council approved a request from Midwest Pipeline to develop additional buildings and outdoor storage on the property, located south of the City of Grande Prairie, adjacent to Highway 668, within the County Industrial Park. The property is located in a Rural Industrial – Direct Control (RM-DC) District, meaning Council approval is required for development. Council approved the application with conditions to ensure land use is consistent with the area and avoid conflict with adjacent landowners.

Board Appointments – Council appointed Linda Murphy (Chair), R. Lynne Coulter (Vice-Chair), John Croken and Ian Penner as temporary members of the Intermunicipal Subdivision and Development Appeal Board for an upcoming hearing. The Intermunicipal Subdivision and Development Appeal Board hears subdivision and development appeals within the municipal boundaries of the County, Wembley, Sexsmith, Beaverlodge and Hythe.

Agriculture Services Board Meeting Date Change – Council updated the date of the February Agricultural Services Board (ASB) meeting from February 4, 2021, to February 16, 2021, due to a conflict. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m.

Additional Council Meetings – Council directed Administration to update Council calendars to include a Council Meeting every second Monday, adding four additional meetings for the year to reduce the length of meetings.  

Water North Coalition – The Water North Coalition (WNC) is working on a transitioning plan to continue as the Northern Alberta Development Council (NADC) is stepping down as secretariat in light of the current fiscal climate. Council directed Administration to continue to provide administrative support to the Coalition through this transition.

County Employee Engagement Survey Results – Council accepted a report for information regarding the biannual employee engagement survey. Results from the 2020 survey saw a higher response rate than previous years as well as a high engagement rate among staff (85 per cent) when compared to the public sector average (70 per cent).

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on January 25, 2021. A Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on January 28, 2021.

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