Regional Fire Service Rural Water Supply Master Plan – Council approved $36,400 in funding to have a standpipe installed at the La Glace Fire Hall. The standpipe will ensure adequate and accessible water supply year-round for firefighting and can be used in conjunction with Regional Fire Service and partners’ water tenders to protect residents, their property and County infrastructure from fires. This installation is one action Regional Fire Service is taking as part of the Rural Water Supply Master Plan, which aims to improve overall community safety.

Regional Fire Service is moving into the final phases of the plan identifying viable installation options and costs for standpipes i; and implementing an approved plan to install more standpipes in key locations in 2021. 

Contributions – Council approved an increase of $5,000 in Community Assistance grant funding for a total of $15,000 per year from 2021-2023 for the Grade Three Reading Academy Society. This contribution will help fund the Grade Three Reading University Program. The County has provided $90,000 in grant support to the society for the program since 2010. 

Council approved sponsoring a bursary of $1,500 per year for 10 years in the name of the County of Grande Prairie to be awarded to a full-time student enrolled in a full-time course at the Grande Prairie Regional College. Council provided input on the bursary application criteria for GPRC’s consideration, including the applicant must be a County resident and demonstrate community involvement/volunteerism.

Clairmont Facility Needs Assessment – Council accepted the Clairmont Facility Needs Assessment Report as information. The report was prompted by the Clairmont & District Agricultural Society notifying the County of the closure of the arena on December 3, 2019, due to potential safety concerns.

Council also tabled financial decisions regarding the hall as part of the 2021 Major Capital and Capital Assistance grant deliberations. Administration will meet with the Ag Society to discuss the future of the arena and bring back options for operation, repairs or replacement of the arena and potential funding options to a future Council meeting for consideration. For further details, read the media release “County to continue discussions with Clairmont and District Agricultural Society on future of arena and community hall” at https://www.countygp.ab.ca/EN/meta/whats-new/latest-news.html.   

Surface Water Management Policy – Administration presented the draft Surface Water Management Policy to Council. The policy would serve as a guideline in managing and coordinating surface water management activities within the County; and, may help prevent future issues with overland flooding. 

Council directed Administration amend various sections of the policy to address Council and landowner concerns, including the expansion of definitions and funding sources, and amendments to requirements for landowner requests for assistance, and further clarity from Environment and Parks regarding provincial regulations and approvals. Administration will bring back the amended policy to a future Council meeting. 

Landowner presentations – A landowner from the County expressed their concerns to Council regarding the definitions and requirements for landowners requesting County assistance outlined in the draft Surface Water Management Policy. 

Landowners from the Tamarack Estates residential subdivision provided Council with information about drainage concerns that resulted in excess surface water and flooding in their subdivision over the spring. Public Works will review these issues further with the affected landowners. 

Council accepted the landowners’ concerns as information. 

Public Hearings – Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 2680-20-002 to redesignate 4.04 acres of land located 1.6 km west of the Hamlet of Dimsdale, adjacent to Range Road 74 and Township Road 712 from an Agricultural (AG) District to a Country Residential (CR-4) District to allow for the subdivision of one country residential lot. Council gave the bylaw third reading. 

International Day of Older Persons – Council proclaimed October 1, 2020, as International Day of Older Persons in the County of Grande Prairie. This day recognizes and acknowledges older persons and their contributions to our communities, raises awareness of the interests and concerns vital to older persons and addresses misconceptions about older persons and ageing. This year, the County is participating by hosting an #AgeHappens campaign from September 28-October 2. Learn more at www.countygp.ab.ca/agehappens. 

Small Business Week – Council accepted the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce’s invitation to attend the Small Business Week Virtual Event on October 22, 2020. Small Business Week takes place in the County and region from October 18-24. This year, due to COVID-19, the regularly scheduled in-person celebrations are being replaced with an informative, entertaining and interactive virtual event, featuring speaker presentations and local businesses sharing their stories of entrepreneurial resilience and innovations. The County has been a sponsor of Small Business Week for several years. 

Letter of Support – Council will provide a letter of support to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation requesting that the Premier prioritize equity and fairness in children’s health in Alberta. 

Employee Introductions and Recognition – Council and staff welcomed Jori-Lynn Anderson and Josie Atkinson to the County. Jori-Lynn and Josie joined the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) department. Jori-Lynn is the new Community Programmer, and Josie is the new Community Program Assistant at the Wellington Resource Centre. 

Council and staff congratulated Louis Stikker, Records and Information Management Coordinator, on obtaining an Information and Protection of Privacy (IAPP) Certificate from the University of Alberta. 

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on October 5, 2020. A Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on October 21, 2020. 

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