Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors Update – The Committee accepted an update from Chase Milligen, Regional Director, Peace Region for Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors on provincial projects in the area, including moving forward with planning work for the Highway 40X project despite no confirmed Federal grant funding and the projected completion of the first phase of Highway 40 Twinning this year.

Grande Prairie Public Library Update – The Committee accepted for information the Grande Prairie Public Library’s (GPPL) 2022 Annual Report. Representatives from GPPL thanked the Committee for the County’s ongoing support and reviewed how provided funding is used to support County users. Approximately 13 per cent of GPPL card holders are County residents. One highlight is the Lendery, a set of secure smart lockers at the Wellington Resource Centre that allows members to request items from the GPPL for delivery in Clairmont.  

Report on Outstanding Property Taxes – Administration summarized property tax information for the Committee. As of June 30, 2023 approximately $14.5 million in property taxes are outstanding to the County, including $10.4 million from 2023. Most outstanding taxes are from residential and farmland properties ($6.3 million) followed by the oil and gas industry ($4.8 million).

Reviewing the Wildfire Mitigation Strategy and Ongoing FireSmart Work – The Committee of the Whole recommended to Council that the County apply to the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA) FireSmart Program to review and update the Wildfire Mitigation Strategy. The County implemented the Wildfire Mitigation Strategy in 2015 after extensive internal and external consultation. Since then, FireSmart projects have taken place in three priority areas, with the most recent project interrupted by the Dunes West Wildfire. Administration recommended a review and update of the Strategy considering new fire guards established in response to the Dunes West Wildfire and increased wildfire activity across western Canada throughout the fire season.

The Committee also recommended to Council that the County apply to the FRIAA FireSmart Program to continue vegetation management work in more of the Highway 40 West priority area, in addition to work that is already ongoing.

Dunes West Wildfire Update – The Committee accepted a report from Administration on a timeline of events and the operational response during the Dunes West Wildfire. Regional Fire Service noted the start of this fire season was extremely dry leading to more fire events than average by the beginning of May. Administration noted that a debrief to review the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) wildfire response is upcoming.

RBC Dominion Securities Annual Portfolio Presentation – Kevin Chrenek with Chrenek Dion & Associates of RBC Dominion Securities presented the Committee with an annual review of the County’s financial portfolio, including a summary of investments, rates of return, benchmark comparisons, and interest rate and inflation forecasts.

Second Quarter Financial Reports – Administration presented the County’s financials for the second quarter of 2023, including actual revenues and expenditures compared to operating and capital budgets and a report on capital expenses.

Committee of the Whole Task Lists – The Committee reviewed the Regular Council Meeting task list to July 20, 2023, and the Committee of the Whole Meeting task list to June 29, 2023.

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on August 14, 2023. The next Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on August 31, 2023.

Council and Committee meetings are available to the public via live stream. Find connection instructions and meeting agendas through the events calendar on the County website.