Needs Assessment for Clairmont Arena and Community Hall – Council directed Administration to work with the Clairmont & District Agricultural Society to hire a professional consultant to conduct a Needs Assessment for the Clairmont Arena and Community Hall and report back to Council for further evaluation and future funding considerations. The needs assessment was prompted by the Society notifying the County of the closure of the arena on December 3, 2019, due to potential safety concerns caused by what was suspected to be a leaky roof. For further details, see media release “County to work with Clairmont and District Agricultural Society on needs assessment for arena and community hall” at www.countygp.ab.ca.

Heritage Management Plan Policy – Council directed Administration to set up a committee, including Councillors, to develop a policy about built historical resources in the County of Grande Prairie and report back to Council with recommendations. This policy would provide direction for preserving heritage inventory sites in the County.

Council appointed Deputy Reeve Harris and Councillor Sutherland to serve on the Heritage Management Plan Committee.

Ditch Rehabilitation Projects – Council approved an additional $350,000 to be used for ditch rehabilitation projects. Funds to cover this capital expense will come from the 2019 surplus, bringing the total investment in ditch rehabilitation projects to $505,000.

Public Hearings – Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-20-005 to redesignate 42.82 acres of land located approximately one mile south of Twin Lakes, adjacent to Township Road 693 from Agricultural (AG) District to Country Residential (CR-5) District to accommodate the subdivision of two lots for residential use. Council gave the bylaw third reading.

Five Mile Community Hall Lease – Council awarded the Request for Proposal (RFP) to Food Solutions Corporation to enter into a five-year lease agreement for Five Mile Community Hall for $55,000 per year for an operating lease and a base lease of $1,250 per month.

Council also awarded the RFP to enter into an agreement for Food Solutions Corporation to purchase kitchen and hall equipment for a minimum asking price of $20,000. This price represents the original minimum price outlined in the RFP.

Council directed Administration to identify municipal property taxes for the Five Mile Hall and report back at a future Council Meeting.

2020 Manse Grants – Council approved Manse Grants for the St. Johns Evangelical Church and Valhalla Evangelical Lutheran Church. County Council may approve a grant for qualifying churches where their residence is being used as a Manse. Residential tax levies for these churches are reduced by 50 per cent. With the Manse Grant applied, St. John’s Evangelical Church will only be required to pay an estimated $758.03 and Valhalla Evangelical Lutheran Church an estimated $672.02 in residential taxes for 2020.

County Policies – Council approved the following new and updated policies:

Policy M7 – Waiving of Application Fees, with amendments to section 7 where Administration is to provide a monthly report to Council of the fees waived. This policy will provide Administration with a framework and authority to waive application fees for Planning and Development applications related to non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, internal County departments and other bodies or organizations when deemed appropriate.

Policy M9 – Development Securities. This policy establishes a framework for the acceptance of securities to ensure obligations of developers, builders, or landowners under various planning and development related approval processes are met. Administration will collect security deposits from developers undertaking construction of municipal infrastructure, and other improvements primarily as part of conditions of the approval or subdivision and development permits.

Updates to Policy M1 – Safety Codes Permits. This policy provides high level policy direction that all safety codes permits related to building, plumbing, electrical and private sewage disciplines shall be issued by the County within its areas of jurisdiction as an Accredited Agency under the Safety Codes Acts and in accordance with the approved Quality Management Plan.

Updates to Policy C13 – Collection of Outstanding Receivables, with amendments to have Administration bring a report to Council annually with the collection activities. This policy serves as a guideline for the collection of overdue receivables, including receivables, utilities and property taxes.

All County policies are posted at www.countygp.ab.ca/policies.

Intermunicipal Development Plan with Town of Beaverlodge – Council will support the Town of Beaverlodge’s request to discontinue the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) process with the County. Council directed Administration to write a letter to Municipal Affairs regarding the decision.

Bauman Road and Highway 2 East Intersection Improvements – Council directed Administration to bring back the costs associated to install a second turning lane at 84 Avenue/Bauman Road, Highway 2 east intersection in Clairmont turning left/south onto Highway 2 towards Grande Prairie. The addition of a second left turning lane would help mitigate the heavy traffic congestion at this intersection.

Public Works Week Proclamation – Council proclaimed May 17-23, 2020 as Public Works Week in the County of Grande Prairie. Public Works Week is observed each year during the third full week of May to bring attention and awareness of the importance of Public Works in community life and seeks to acknowledge the efforts of Public Works employees who provide and maintain essential civil infrastructure and services directly linked to quality of life.

Rural Municipalities Association of Alberta Zone 4 Meeting Dates – Council directed Administration to respond to the Rural Municipalities Association of Alberta (RMA) Zone 4 Director indicating their support for meetings to be held twice a year with dates of meetings flexible pending on the confirmation of guests and speakers.

Employee Introductions – Council and staff welcomed Melodie McCracken and Justin Wasilcyw to the County. Melodie has taken on a role in the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) department as a Community Programmer at the Wellington Resource Centre.

Justin began working earlier this year for the Agricultural Services department as a Problem Wildlife Officer.

Employee Achievements – Council and staff congratulated Kurt Pierog on being the successful candidate for the Lead Problem Wildlife Officer position. Kurt previously worked as a Problem Wildlife Officer for the Agricultural Services department.

Grande Prairie Regional College Update – Dr. Robert Murray, new presidents and Chief Executive Officer for Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC), as well as Bridget Hennigar, GPRC Board of Governors Vice Chair provided Council with an update on GPRC activities.

Next Regular Council Meeting will take place on March 23, 2020.