County recognition efforts for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Administration updated Council on their efforts to participate in Truth and Reconciliation. For Call to Action #57, Administration is hosting numerous mandatory training sessions for staff who will follow the learning outcomes in order to learn about the history of Aboriginal peoples, and more. In addition to these training sessions, staff have been invited to participate in an Art Reconciliation Project to honour the truth and reconcile for the future; and, contribute to a fundraising effort to support the development of the traditional healing garden planned by the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. 

On September 30, the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, County staff are encouraged to wear orange to honour survivors, their families and communities. There will be ongoing efforts to publicly commemorate the tragic and painful history and legacy of residential schools as part of the reconciliation process. 

October 1 proclaimed as International Day of Older Persons in the County – Council proclaimed October 1, 2021, as International Day of Older Persons in the County. This day formally brings awareness and attention to older people and celebrates their contributions. This year for International Day of Older Persons, the County is promoting the Keep in Touch (KIT) program, which creates opportunities to support seniors who are experiencing isolation and loneliness, with a weekly phone call from a volunteer. Find more information about the KIT program at www.countygp.ab.ca/KIT.  

Council approves funding for the Grande Prairie Regional Association of Volunteer Organizations – Council approved $30,000 in funding to be provided annually for a three-year term from 2022 to 2024 to the Grande Prairie Regional Association of Volunteer Organizations, formerly known as the Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau. The County has provided grant funding to the organization for several years.  

The association also provided Council with an update on their programs, services and initiatives to support the non-profit and volunteer sector in the region.  

Council grants COVID-19 Emergency Funding for the La Glace Curling Club – Council approved one-time emergency funding of $5,000 to the La Glace Curling Club to cover their insurance deductible to offset the cost to repair damages caused when the building flooded during the COVID-19 building shut down.  

County sponsors curling events – Council approved a $10,000 sponsorship for the 2022 Alberta Boston Pizza Men’s and the Sentinel Storage Women’s Provincial Curling Championship event taking place in January 2022. 

Council approved partnering with the Grande Prairie Curling Club and contributing $2,000 for the 2021 Partnership Bonspiel taking place on November 19, 2021. 

County proceeds with roadside development permit application for Highway 2 and 84 Avenue intersection upgrades – Council directed Administration to proceed with a roadside development permit application to complete upgrades to the Highway 2 and 84 Avenue intersection in Clairmont, which involves installing an additional advance turning lane; and, designing and constructing 98 Street connecting 84 Avenue to 92 Avenue. These upgrades will help alleviate the traffic congestion at 99 Street. 

Council defers STARS funding request to interim budget deliberations – Council deferred the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service’s (STARS) funding request of $200,000 annually for a three-year term for 2022, 2023 and 2024 to interim budget deliberations. 

2021 Triage Business Retention and Expansion Report Presented – MDB Insight provided the recent findings from research and consultation completed as part of the 2021 County of Grande Prairie Triage Business Retention and Expansion Report. They surveyed 151 businesses within the County to gauge satisfaction levels and to determine the need for programming or assistance to help the business community strengthen and factors to help them thrive and remain within the County.  

Survey findings concluded that the overall business satisfaction in the County was strong at 87 percent, with 31 percent very satisfied and 56 percent somewhat satisfied. The factors with the highest levels of satisfaction were the availability of property for purchase or lease, their relationship with local government for business needs, and the development/building permit process. Factors most likely to improve business satisfaction are availability of skilled labour, internet service, cellular phone service and public transportation options. Council accepted the report for information. 

Council approves revisions to the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership Emergency Management Agreement – Council approved the revised Grande Prairie Emergency Partnership (GPREP) Emergency Management Agreement. The amended agreement:  

  • reflects current GPREP practices;  

  • consolidates the two original GPREP agreements (the first agreement is to establish GPREP, the second agreement is the Emergency Management Aid Agreement to outline when aid would be provided); and, 

  • streamlines the agreement so that items in the Emergency Management Bylaws are not repeated in the agreement to reduce duplication and potential conflicting information. 

The agreement will be presented to other partner municipalities of GPREP for approval, prior to ministerial order approval. 

Council holds public hearings for bylaws – Council held public hearings for the following: 

 

  • Bylaw 2680-21-026 to redesignate 7.44 acres of land located on the east side of Range Road 113 south of Township Road 734, and approximately one mile west of Highway 43, and one-mile northwest of Hythe from Agricultural (AG) District to Country Residential (CR-5) District to allow for the subdivision of one lot for country residential use. Council gave the bylaw all three readings. 

  • Bylaw 2680-21-027 to redesignate 4.96 acres of land located directly south of Township Road 735A, east of Highway 724, and 2.3 miles south from La Glace from an AG District to a CR-5 District to allow for the subdivision of one lot for country residential use. Council gave the bylaw all three readings. 

  • Bylaw 2680-21-028 to redesignate 1.02 acres of land located directly east of Range Road 80, one mile north of Township Road 710, and approximately two miles southeast from the Town of Wembley from an AG District to a CR-5 District to allow for the subdivision of one lot for country residential use. Council gave the bylaw all three readings. 

  • Bylaw 2680-21-029 to redesignate 9.88 acres of land located approximately three miles northeast of the Town of Sexsmith, adjacent to Highway 2, Range Road 54, and Township Road 742 from an AG District to a CR-5 District to allow for the subdivision of one lot for country residential use. Council gave the bylaw all three readings. 

  • Bylaw 2680-21-030 to redesignate 51.38 acres of land located half a mile south of Teepee Creek, adjacent to Range Road 34 from an AG District to a CR-5 District to allow for the subdivision of three lots for country residential use. Council defeated the bylaw. 

Council approves Equitable Access for Rural and Remote Housing Resources resolution – Council approved the Equitable Access for Rural and Remote Housing Resources resolution for submission to the Family and Community Support Services Association (FCSSAA) Annual General Meeting on December 3, 2021.  

Council addresses tree removal request in Wedgewood – In response to a request from a homeowner to remove 24 poplar trees adjacent to their property, located on the Municipal Reserve located at NE-1-71-6-W6, Council directed Administration to engage an arborist to prune limbs from these trees at an estimated cost of $7,171 to alleviate potential hazards.  

County to apply for Municipal Internship Program grant – Council directed Administration to proceed with applying for a Municipal Internship Program grant under the Administrative Stream. The program is a partnership between a municipality and Alberta Municipal Affairs to provide support to municipalities to build capacity in the municipal sector by developing recent post-graduates to become future leaders in municipal government.  

Council changes meeting dates – Council approved the following changes to meetings: 

  • Cancellation of October 26, 2021, Council meeting to conduct the new Council Payroll and Safety Orientation 

  • Cancellation of the Committee of the Whole Meeting scheduled for November 26, 2021, due to scheduling conflict with the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) Fall Convention 

  • Rescheduling of the Committee of the Whole Meeting originally scheduled on December 30, 2021, to December 22, 2021, due to County offices being closed from December 29-31 

  • Adding Council Budget Meetings on November 8 and 9, 2021, to facilitate the review of proposed 2022 Business Cases 

Council moving forward with submitting proposal to Province regarding Designated Industrial Property Assessment – Council directed Administration to submit a proposal to the province to take on the delegate assessment function for Designated Industrial Properties for a three-to-five-year term. If the County is successful in the Request for Proposal process, the County will enter into a subcontract with another organization or person to complete the duties required by the province.  

Employee Introductions – Council and staff welcomed Jessica Picard as the Grande Prairie Regional Recreation Committee Coordinator. 

Council to provide letter of support to Hythe & District Agricultural Society – Council will write a letter of support to the Hythe & District Agricultural Society for their application for Community Facility Enhancement Program funding for the Mustang Spray Park Project. 

The next Regular Council Meeting is scheduled for October 4, 2021. The Council Organizational Meeting is scheduled for October 25, 2021. 

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