November 30 & December 1, 2020

Provincial Grant Funding for Five Mile Hall School Site – The County will receive $2,674,793 in provincial Municipal Stimulus Program (MSP) funding to be allocated toward water and wastewater services for new school site preparation at Five Mile Hall. The provincial stimulus funding aims to help Alberta communities recover from the economic challenges posed by COVID-19 and the downturn in energy prices.

Considering costs for extending power and gas utilities to the site, the estimated cost for site servicing has increased to $6,900,000. Council gave second reading to a bylaw to borrow the balance of the cost, $4,225,207. The bylaw will come back to a future Council Meeting for third reading. Read more details in the media release County Receives over $2.67 Million in Provincial Stimulus Funding.

Long-term Planning for Five Mile School Site – Council approved transferring a parcel of land located on the Five Mile School Site to the ownership of Peace Wapiti Public School Division for a future school site.

Council directed Administration to contact Peace Wapiti Public School Division to confirm their long-term capital priorities to report at a future Council Meeting. 

La Glace Community Water System – Council approved $250,000 in funding to support upgrades to the La Glace Water System and will allow Administration to solicit detailed design to present updated capital and operating costs for the proposed system at a future Council Meeting. The project was previously awarded an Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) grant of 75 per cent of         $1 million.

Council directed Administration present a report on a fiscally responsible solution for the La Glace Community Water System, either as a municipal or privately provided service. Council also directed Administration to report on County-managed water and wastewater systems as a whole at a future Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Funding Agreements with the Town of Sexsmith – Council approved amendments to the Community Services Agreement with the Town of Sexsmith as part of the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) between the municipalities, reflecting an annual contribution to the Sexsmith Curling Rink of $20,864.

Council also approved a contribution of $16,563 to the Town of Sexsmith for renovations to the bathrooms in the Sexsmith Arena, matching the Town’s contribution.

Winter Family Frostival Event – Council approved an additional $5,000 for the 2021 Family Frostival event, increasing the total event budget to $10,000. The Frostival is scheduled to take place March 14, 2021, with details to be confirmed as COVID-19 regulations are updated.

La Glace Regional Recreation Centre – Council awarded a Request for Proposal (RFP) to TBD Architecture + Urban Planning for up to $10,000 to provide recommendations for the La Glace Regional Recreation Centre.

Landowner Requests Regarding Flood Mitigation – Council heard a landowner’s request to lower a County ditch adjacent to their property on Range Road 41 and make it available to collect water pumped from their property during spring runoff. Council requested Administration research options and present recommendations at a future Council Meeting.

Council directed Administration to schedule a landowner presentation to Council at a future meeting about erosion issues on Range Road 71 and Township Road 710 and Township Road 711.

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum Update – Linden Roberts, Executive Director of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, presented their annual update to Council, covering operations from events, programs and finances. The facility will finish the year in a surplus given modified programs and events continuing to generate revenue, along with available wage subsidies and grant funding.

Funding Requests – Johnathan Clarkson, General Manager of the Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park, updated Council on their operations and requested funding of up to 25 per cent/$375,000 of the anticipated ski hill remediation and lift replacement costs, needed due to a landslide that occurred on the hill in May 2020. The funding request is based on estimated costs until the final geotechnical report is delivered. Council deferred their request to Interim Budget deliberations.

Contributions – Council approved a request from the Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park to reallocate the unused portion of their 2020 Capital Funding grant of approximately $26,000 to assist with any operating shortfalls during the 2020/21 winter season.

Council approved $3,244 in funding for the Bezanson Agricultural Society to facilitate the purchase of a snowblower and a regulator to tie into the gas line at the Knelsen Centre.

Council approved a request from the Wapiti Nordic Ski Club to reallocate $4,825 of the approved Capital Assistance grant of $12,500 to allow for the lighting of range target lanes. The remaining $7,675 of the grant will be returned to County reserves, as the project for the initial grant has been put on hold.

Council approved $500 in Community Assistance funding for the Stitch Club of Grande Prairie to purchase yarn to knit and crochet items for donation to local organizations. 

Public Hearings – Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-20-024 to redesignate 28.15 acres of land, located approximately four miles east of the Hamlet of Clairmont and two miles north of Highway 43, adjacent to Range Road 45 and Township 724 from an Agricultural (AG) District to a Country Residential (CR-4) District to allow for the subdivision of six lots for residential use. Council gave the bylaw third reading.

Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-20-016 to redesignate 25.31 acres of land, located approximately one mile south of the Town of Beaverlodge, adjacent to Range Road 101 and Secondary Highway 667 from an Agricultural (AG) District to a Country Residential (CR-5) District to allow for the subdivision of two lots for residential use. Council gave the bylaw third reading.

Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-20-021 to redesignate 139.62 acres of land, located approximately 10.5 miles northeast of the Hamlet of Teepee Creek, half of one mile north of Township Road 744 along the Smoky River from an Extractive Industrial (EX) District to an Intensive Recreation (IR) District to allow for the development of cabins for recreational use. Council gave the bylaw third reading.

Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-20-022 to redesignate 10.65 acres of land, located in the Hamlet of Clairmont, adjacent to Township Road 724 and Range Road 54 from an Agricultural (AG) District to a Country Residential (CR-4) District to allow for the subdivision of three lots for residential use. Council gave the bylaw third reading.

Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-20-023 to redesignate 14.25 acres of land, located approximately two miles north of the Hamlet of Bezanson, adjacent to Range Road 32 and Township Road 724 from an Agricultural (AG) District to a Country Residential (CR-5) District to accommodate the subdivision of one lot for residential use, as well as a boundary adjustment. Council gave the bylaw third reading.

Crosslink County Sportsplex Maintenance – Council approved $55,920 to install service platforms for two exhaust fans in the Crosslink County Sportsplex. This will allow maintenance work to be completed more efficiently.

County Committees – Council appointed the following five public members to the County Weed and Pest Appeal Committee for a term of one year ending October 25, 2021:

  • Kelvin Kirkham
  • Jack Oatway
  • Garth Isaac
  • Dennis Nordhagen
  • Clint Slette

Council directed Administration to report on the potential impact of the City’s decision to collapse of the Pursuit of Excellence Committee and possibilities for the County of Grande Prairie implementing a similar committee.

Firearm Regulations – Council directed Administration to review firearm regulations in the Hamlet of Clairmont in regard to agricultural areas and bring a report to a future Council Meeting.

Relief Requests – Council will forgive a portion of the lease amount owing for Five Mile Hall from December 2020 to May 2021, due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Council took no action on a request for tax penalty relief for a non-residential property.

Correspondence – Council will respond positively to the Town of Wembley, writing a letter indicating the County’s interest in participating in a committee to explore a regional handi-bus initiative and appoint an administration representative to the committee. Council will also encourage the Town of Wembley to ensure transportation providers are represented on the committee.

Council directed Administration to respond to the letter from the grade six class at the Clairmont Community School regarding the Clairmont Arena, thanking them for their input and advising that Council will take their feedback into consideration. 

Policy – Council directed Administration to draft a Letter of Appreciation policy capturing the procedure for sending thank you letters to Provincial and Federal Ministries and elected officials, to be approved at a future Council Meeting.

Municipal Planning Commission Meeting – Council cancelled the December 1, 2020 Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) Meeting as there were no items to be heard. The next MPC Meeting is scheduled for December 15, 2020.

County Office Closures – Council approved the closure of County offices to the public on December 29 to 31, 2020. Operations will be modified on those dates to allow staff more flexibility to use vacation time accrued due to COVID-19 to spend time with their families over the holidays.

County offices will also be closed December 24, 25, 28, 2020 and January 1, 2021, for statutory holidays. Residents and businesses are encouraged to connect with County services online, as per statutory holiday operations.

2021 Interim Budget Deliberations will take place on December 2, 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on December 14, 2020. A Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on December 17, 2020.

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