Required Mask Bylaw – Council voted to maintain the status quo with face coverings or masks being voluntary in the County of Grande Prairie. While the County supports the recommendations of Alberta Health, Council has determined that mask-wearing should be left to the decision of individual businesses and members of the community. Details are available under Latest News, Statement from Reeve Beaupre

More information on health and safety recommendations for residents and businesses can be found on the Provincial Government website at www.alberta.ca/covid. 

RCMP Enhanced Policing Update – Representatives from the Grande Prairie RCMP updated Council on rural detachment operations. Council and the Grande Prairie RCMP discussed the structure of the Enhanced RCMP Police positions funded by the County. Council directed Administration to reach out to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, as well as the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General for clarification on the program. 

FireSmart Grant Application – The County will apply to the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta’s (FRIAA) FireSmart program. If successful, Regional Fire Service will work on a number of public education initiatives for fire safety, including working with FireSmart Alberta on a FireSmart landscaping course. 

Tradesman Area Structure Plan – Council gave first reading to the Tradesman Area Structure Plan (ASP), which guides future development for an industrial area, south of Highway 43 and east of the Hamlet of Clairmont. Learn more and view the ASP at www.countygp.ab.ca/tradesmanasp. A Public Hearing for the plan will take place at the October 5, 2020, Council Meeting. 

Weed and Pest Appeal Bylaw – Council approved a Bylaw to establish a committee to hear appeals of weed and pest control notices. The bylaw will be available later this week at www.countygp.ab.ca/bylaws. 

Non-profit updates – Representatives from STARS presented an organizational update to Council. County Council was thanked for the contribution of $500,000 from 2020-2024 to the STARS H145 Fleet Renewal Campaign, especially with funding being uncertain this year. 

Reeve Beaupre will sign a gift acknowledgement letter recognizing the County’s contribution to the organization. 

Representatives from Evergreen Park provided an organizational update to Council about how COVID-19 has impacted operations. The facility reported a $3.2 million loss of expected revenue due to the pandemic while reducing their expenses and establishing new revenue sources. In April, Council approved covering payroll costs for the non-profit from February to August at $574,723. The society expects to qualify for over $300,000 in Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) funding. 

The society requested that the County continue to fund payroll expenses until the end of the year for an additional cost of $398,426. Council approved the request, with the funding source to the determined during the 2021 Interim Budget Deliberations.

Letters of Support – Council will provide letters of support to the following organizations:

  • Saskatoon Lake Agricultural Society for their Community Facility Enhancement Program grant application to be used for outdoor enhancements at the Saskatoon Lake Community Hall
  • Valhalla Community Charter School for their Outdoor Education and Environmental Stewardship Program grant application to develop an outdoor education program for students
  • Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum for two grant applications, to the Community Initiatives Program and PromoScience, for funding to create an escape room at the Museum; as well as their Community Initiatives Funding grant application for to host a science festival in the summer of 2021

Facility Repairs at Museum – Council approved up to $50,000 to repair a leak in the electrical conduit running to the building generator at the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. 

Financial Reserves Policy – Council approved updates to the Financial Reserves Policy C27. Updates include the addition of newly approved reserves, removal of obsolete reserves, and updated wording for clarity. 

Board and Committee Reference Summary – Council accepted a reference document for each Board and Committee that the County established or is represented on. The document outlines details about each board and committee to improve clarity, transparency, and to draw a clear link between County committees and strategic priorities. 

Gravel Lock Application – Council approved the application of gravel local along Range Road 85, south of Highway 43 to Township Road 712 and Township Road 712 to Township Road 710 along the shoulder for a total cost up to $260,000. 

Request for Weight Allowance Increase – Council directed Administration to work with International Paper and the Province to create a suitable road-use agreement for a portion of Range Road 60A/Resources Road. 

Administrative Policies – Council approved a Fit for Work Policy formalizing the County’s commitment to providing a safe and substance free workplace. 

Council also approved an Anti-Racism Policy to demonstrate the County’s commitment to identify, challenge and prevent the values, policies, practices and behaviours of racism in the workplace. 

Conferences – Council will respond positively to the City of Grande Prairie’s request to attend a virtual viewing party for the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Conference on September 24 – 25, 2020.

Council approved two representatives from the County attend the Alberta Parks and Recreation Association Conference in-person, October 21 – 23, 2020.

Human Resources Annual Report – Council accepted a report for information from Human Resources 

Staff Introductions and Recognition – Council welcomed Denielle Biendarra and Chris Kwiatkowski to Public Works. Denielle is joining as a Temporary Project & Regulatory Technologist, while Chris is joining as the Area 2 Foreman. 

Council congratulated Justin Brown, Risk Management and Insurance Coordinator, for earning his Risk Management Certificate from the Insurance Institute of Canada, as well as Alex Shepherd, Asset Management Specialist, for earning his Asset Management Professional Certification from the PEMAC Asset Management Association of Canada. 

Council approved funds for personalized travel mugs to recognize County staff for effort demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, in lieu of cancelled staff events, at an estimated cost of $5,300. 

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on September 28, 2020. A Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on September 17, 2020.

 

Council and Committee meetings can be accessed electronically through the events calendar on the County website.