Community Assistance Grant for County of Grande Prairie Firefighters Foundation – Council has contributed an annual $7,500 Community Assistant Grant to the Community Foundation for the County of Grande Prairie Firefighters since the Foundation’s inception in 2015. The Foundation plans to use this year’s grant to establish an outdoor skating rink in Clairmont. Lieutenant Tracay Depew of the County of Grande Prairie Fire Department and Firefighter Mathew Bauer provided an update on completed initiatives and charitable activities, including that the Foundation has raised and donated more than $100,000 to date. In the past year, the Foundation supported the Christmas Food Bank and purchased supplies to replace items destroyed in the fire at Whispering Ridge Community School. Plans for this year include a Rooftop Campout fundraiser on April 22-24 taking place at the TARA Centre during the Grande Prairie Home & Garden Show, with a goal to raise $8,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, along with a golf tournament fundraiser in July and resuming their previous support of Camp Tamarack and Ronald McDonald House.  
County Sportsplex Storm Pond Update – The Committee received an informational report on the County Sportsplex Storm Pond, a recreational asset managed by the County with support from the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) and oversight from Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP). County Parks and Recreation shared new signage conveying the pond’s 'catch-and-release' messaging that will be installed ahead of the start of fishing season on April 1, 2022. The County had previously committed $2,500 in annual support for the pond’s fish restocking fee from 2021 to 2025. 

Initially, the pond had offered a “put-and-take" fishery which was shifted to “catch-and-release" out of an abundance of caution in 2019 following the illegal disposal of hydrocarbon into a nearby curbside drain that subsequently contaminated the pond. However, the AEP Fisheries Management department continued to list the pond as “put-and-take" on their website and County Parks & Recreation staff reached out to the ACA and AEP regarding this inconsistent messaging. Following a series of meetings in 2021, the decision was made to maintain the pond as a “catch-and-release" fishery to avoid the costs of ongoing testing, with all parties agreeing to present consistent messaging going forward. 

Request for Proposal Evaluation Criteria – At the request of Council, Public Works Administration provided a report to the Committee on the scoring process used to evaluate Requests for Proposal (RFP) whereby a score is awarded to each RFP submission requirement and multiplied by the weighting assigned based on the project's complexity, rather than automatically accepting the lowest bid. Using this methodology, quality is considered over cost to ensure the best value and reduced risk for the County’s investment.  

Grande Prairie Stompede Returning Following Two-Year Hiatus – The Grande Prairie Stompede will return on May 25-29 at Evergreen Park following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Trevor Denis, President of the Grande Prairie Stompede provided an update to the Committee on 2022 planning and summarized changes to this year’s event. Mr. Denis noted that this year’s tarp auction fundraiser will support the Tiny Hands of Hope Memorial Garden project, an initiative supported by the County of Grande Prairie, and thanked County staff for their assistance with relocating the Kelly Sutherland Chuckwagon sign. 

Assessment Presentation – The County’s Assessment department provided the Committee with information including frequently asked questions from the public, including the role of municipal assessors versus that of private appraisers, taxation, assessments, market value versus provincially regulated values, how farmland is assessed, Rural Assessment Policy, and where to find assessment information.  

Alberta Environment and Parks Provides Quarterly Update – Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) representatives presented their regular quarterly report to the Committee with. The report noted changes to the role of AEP Conservation Officers and their placement within the provincial structure. A future discussion will be held with County Regional Enforcement on how their roles will overlap. The representatives answered questions about dugouts related to Water Act approval and water diversion licensing and discussed how the funds collected from development in the County support building wetlands for flood mitigation. The compliance phone line, 310-LAND is being promoted for reporting illegal activity on public lands. The team also supplied a status update from AEP ReaL (Recreation, Ecosystem and Land) regarding the sub-regional planning initiative for the public land south of the City of Grande Prairie. The Committee expressed their desire to be involved in future planning for public lands in the County prior to decisions being made by AEP.  
Review of Upcoming Agenda Items – The Committee reviewed upcoming topics for future Committee of the Whole meetings.  

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on April 4, 2022. The next Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on April 28, 2022.  

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.