Subsidizing Aquatera Rate Increases for County Customers – Council approved $425,000 in subsidies in 2021 to avoid increases to wastewater rates for residential and non-residential properties connected to the Clairmont and County Aquatera systems. The County has been subsidizing these rates since 2018. At the May 3 Council Meeting, Aquatera proposed an increase to wastewater rates of 20 per cent for the County system and 15 per cent for the Clairmont system, effective July 1, 2021.  

Council directed Administration to forecast future wastewater rates for County residents and subsidy program and report back to a future Committee of the Whole Meeting. Council also directed Administration to report on water and wastewater subsidies for non-Aquatera systems. 

Planning Joint Development with Sexsmith – Council gave third and final reading to the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) between the County of Grande Prairie and Town of Sexsmith. IDPs address future growth opportunities and coordination of land-use planning, economic development, servicing and transportation needs in areas of joint interest between the municipalities. More details about the plan are available on the County’s engagement platform. The approved plan will be posted to the County website this week.  

Guiding Future Development in Northwest Clairmont – Council gave second reading to the Northwest Clairmont Area Structure Plan (ASP). The ASP is a long-term plan outlining future land use and development, including roads and other infrastructure, for a section of land stretching from Highway 2 to one-half mile west of Range Road 63, and from Township Road 724 to one-half mile north of Township Road 730. The plan will be presented for third and final reading at a future Council Meeting. More information about these plans is available at www.countygp.ab.ca/asp.  

Environmental Reserve Lands near Aspen Ridge Subdivision – Council gave first reading to Bylaw 3162 to provide a license for the Environmental Reserve Lands near the Aspen Ridge subdivision to the neighbourhood’s community association, including amendments to the boundaries to allow for enhancements to County roads. The environmental reserve lands have been leased to the Aspen Ridge Community Association since 1996 with the purpose of protecting the integrity of the natural lands.  

Funding Requests – Council granted $2,000 in Community Assistance Funding to the Grande Prairie Intercultural Association for their Taste of Nations event, to be hosted at the Crosslink County Sportsplex later in 2021.  

Council granted $1,000 in Community Assistance Funding to the Canadian Motorcycle Tourism Association for the Veterans Memorial Gardens and Interpretive Centre. 

Council granted three months of rent relief to Food Solutions Corporation, the vendor leasing Five Mile Hall, based on limitations in generating revenue due to COVID-19.  

Application for New, Efficient Ice Surfacer – The County will apply for a grant through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre to purchase a new ice-surfacer to replace the propane-powered machine in use at the Crosslink County Sportsplex.  

Electronic Devices Policy – Council approved amendments to the Electronic Devices, Messaging Tools and Internet Usage Policy in line with the policy review schedule. The policy was updated with current language, new cybersecurity awareness program information and removed a procedure now captured as a separate Administrative Directive. All policies are available on the County website.  

Closure of Portion of Road Plan – Council gave first reading to Bylaw 3164 to close a previously planned portion of road in the Hamlet of Clairmont. This portion of 148 Avenue, located west of Highway 2, was not developed as the road was re-aligned to the south to facilitate access to Highway 2. The bylaw will be circulated to Alberta Transportation for approval before being presented at a future Council Meeting for second and third reading.  

Council directed Administration to request the Provincial Registrar of Land Titles remove the Municipal Reserve designation from the same portion of land. These changes are required to sell the portion of land to the current leaseholder.  

Lease of County Owned Land – Council renewed the grazing lease on SE and NE 16-75-8-W6 to the current lease holder until November 30, 2021.  At the May 17, 2021, Council meeting, Administration was directed to explore the option of selling the two quarters of land. 

Correspondence – Council will send a letter to the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Red Tape Reduction regarding provincial funding when a municipality is dissolved for the transition process as well as infrastructure. Currently, municipalities must apply to access this funding instead of automatically receiving the funds. 

Honouring Residential School Victims – The County of Grande Prairie lowered flags to half-mast to honour the 215 children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and whose bodies were recently found in an unmarked grave.  

The flags will remain lowered from May 31 to June 8 for a total of 215 hours, one hour for each of the children who died. Council also observed a moment of silence at the beginning of the Council Meeting. 

Proclamations – Council proclaimed June 7 – 13, 2021 as Seniors Week in the County of Grande Prairie. Council approved funds to provide gifts to seniors' facilities across the County. 

Council proclaimed June 1 – 31, 2021 as Recreation and Parks Month in the County of Grande Prairie.  

Employee Introductions – Council welcomed several new and returning seasonal groundskeeper staff in the Parks & Recreation department as well as a Planning & Development summer student.  

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on June 14, 2021. A Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on June 24, 2021. 

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