Council supports community safety with contract for new regional fire training centre – Council awarded the construction contract for the new Regional Fire Training Centre to Draeger Safety Canada for $1,886,800. The County’s contribution will be $1.29 million, with additional funding from partners at the City of Grande Prairie and M.D. of Greenview. Due to inflation and increased material costs, the total project cost and County’s contribution increased since original estimates in 2019, from $1.4 million and $900,000, respectively.  

Council directed Administration to research different operating models for the facility to present at a future Council Meeting.  

Restoring childcare services in Clairmont – Council approved a three-year agreement with Alphabet Childcare Foundation to provide childcare out of the dedicated space at the Wellington Resource Centre in the Hamlet of Clairmont, including a phased increase to rent over the term. The provider is based in Red Deer, where they operate two childcare facilities. 

County hosting 2023 international business retention and expansion conference – Council confirmed that the County will host the Business Retention and Expansion International Conference in June 2023, in collaboration with regional partners, for an investment of $22,000. The conference was initially approved for 2020 and was postponed due to the pandemic.  

County continues to present the Spring Home & Garden Show – The County of Grande Prairie will continue as presenting sponsor of the Grande Prairie Spring Home & Garden Show for 2023-2025. Council approved an increase of $4,500 for the tradeshow budget over three years to accommodate the investment of $14,500 for 2023, $16,000 for 2024, and $17,500 for 2025.   

Over 5,000 people visited the 2022 show, presented by the County. Administration reported the value of engaging with residents on municipal services, promoting the County brand, and supporting regional growth and economic development as sponsorship benefits.  

Evergreen Park annual update and funding request – Representatives from Evergreen Park reported to Council on 2022 operations, including continued efforts to boost events after the pandemic while attendance is still lagging pre-pandemic levels, increased demand for the newly renovated Lewis Hawkes Arena, which was supported by grant funding from the County, a successful racing season, higher utility and insurance costs, and future revenue opportunities.  

Council approved a request for $210,000 to support management payroll in the first quarter of 2023, with the funding source to be determined at interim budget deliberations.  

Business Assistance Program funding awarded – Council approved Business Assistance Program Funding to two qualified applicants:  

  • $1,000 to Bear Creek Maintenance Ltd. to support workforce retention 
  • $1,000 to Hythe Pioneer Assisted Living Inc. for workforce attraction 

The Business Assistance Program provides assistance to small and medium-sized businesses in the County of Grande Prairie to support workforce attraction and retention efforts.   

Sponsoring community events – The County will sponsor the following community fundraising events:  

  • $2,000 for the Grande Prairie Minor Fastball Awards Banquet and Gala 
  • $1,000 for the Peace Regional StarSkate Invitational 

Regional Workforce Development Partnership update and funding request – Executive Director of the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce reported to Council on the Regional Workforce Development Partnership initiative. The Partnership, made up of the Chamber of Commerce, County of Grande Prairie, City of Grande Prairie, Municipal District of Greenview, and Northwestern Polytechnic, works to address labour issues like workforce gaps and talent recruitment that impact growth in the region.    

Council directed Administration to engage with the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce for more information on the scope of the partnership and three year funding request to present at a future Council Meeting. 

Combative Sports Commission report – Council accepted an informational update from the Combative Sports Commission, an agreement between the County of Grande Prairie and the City of Grande Prairie. The Commission is a federal requirement to host combative sporting events, is responsible to oversee events including athlete safety, and includes an administrative member appointed by the County.  

Greenspace maintenance and mowing – Council accepted a report on greenspace maintenance across the County and directed the Parks and Recreation department to continue with this level of service. Council approved a request from the Beaverlodge Boys and Girls Camp Society to allocate the remaining $1,105 of their 2022 Community Assistance Grant toward mowing costs for this coming season.  

Tax sale properties – Council approved forfeiting property tax on three properties, meaning the County will be registered to the title of properties not sold through public auction.   

Joint Use and Planning Agreement with Peace Wapiti School Division – Council approved an amended County of Grande Prairie and Peace Wapiti School Division Joint Use and Planning Agreement as presented. 

Policies presented for approval – Council is reviewing all County policies in 2022. The following policies were reviewed:  

  • Council approved Policy F7 – Community School Contribution as presented.  
  • Council approved Policy F15 – Milestone Recognition as presented. 
  • Council approved Policy C13 – Collection of Outstanding Receivables as presented. 
  • Council approved Policy C21 - Disposal of Surplus Assets as presented.  
  • Council approved Policy C22 – Tax Deductible Receipts for Donations as presented. 
  • Council rescinded Policy C29 - Capital Equipment Replacement. 
  • Council approved Policy C35 - Procurement as presented. 
  • Council approved Policy C37 – Risk Management Control for Additional Named Insured Organizations as presented. 

Longtime County staff member honoured with Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal – Council congratulated Kathleen Turner, Director of Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), for receiving a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. Kathleen was nominated by the Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta (FCSSAA) for her 33-year career of enhancing the social well-being of individuals and families, and her instrumental work in building community. 

Letter of support – Council will provide a letter of support to the Grande Prairie Youth Emergency Shelter Society for a funding application to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to support the New Home for Sunrise House project. 

Supporting provincial association advocacy efforts – The County will contribute $2,000 to the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) to support advocacy efforts around railway services.   

Ag Research Board Appointment – Council appointed the following members to the Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association (SARDA) Board of Directors:  

  • Councillor Bob Chrenek as an elected official  
  • Erin Schroeder as a member at large  

Council event attendance – Council approved Reeve Marshall’s attendance at the Alberta Forest Products Association holiday event in Edmonton.  

Staff introduction – Council welcomed Jordan Tidey as Manager of Economic Development. Jordan comes to the County of Grande Prairie with extensive economic development experience across Canada and the United States. Jordan was previously a consultant with MDB Insight (now Deloitte) and is familiar with the Grande Prairie region after consulting on County projects. 

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on December 12, 2022. The next Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on December 21, 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.