Council Meeting: May 25, 2015

Council Meeting: May 25, 2015

What a fantastic weekend in our community! No shortage of fun to be had with events like the Rainmaker Rodeo and Parade, Road Rage Street Hockey Tournament (see above), the opening of Grosvenor Pool and so much more. While reading through the Council Agenda Package didn’t crack the Top 3 of things to do this weekend, it nevertheless needed to get done. So, without further ado, here’s what’s on the Agenda for tomorrow’s meeting: 

Community Services Advisory Board Recommendation:  Games Legacy Grant Allocation: This report brings forward a recommendation from the Community Services Advisory Board (CSAB) for allocation from the spring intake of applications for the 2015 Games Legacy Award Program grant fund for Council’s consideration and approval, as per policy C-CS-01.

Community Services Advisory Board Recommendation:  Community Events Grant Allocation: This report brings forward a recommendation from the Community Services Advisory Board (CSAB) for allocation from the 2015 spring intake of applications for the Community Events Grant Program for Council’s consideration and approval, as per Policy C-CS-02. Included are grants to the St. Albert Soccer Association, STAR Literacy, St. Albert Quilter’s Guild and the St. Albert & District Community League.

Standing Committee on Finance Recommendation:  WCB/PIR Usage:  The recommendations are intended to provide an option which offers a balanced approach for the use of the available funds within the Safety Enhancement Program reserve to cover a portion of the costs for the annual safety program.  The recommendation balances the needs for which the reserve was intended against Council’s desire to allocate some of the funds to the operating budget.

Time Extension Request: Administration is requesting that deadline extensions for the following reports be approved:

  • Council Policy C-PS-02 – Policing Services – to September 21, 2015
  • Electric Bus Purchase & GreenTRIP Funding Application – to August 24, 2015
  • Procedural & Policy Changes – Public Hearings Report Update – to Quarter 3, 2015

Railroad Safety Enhancements Update: The purpose of this report is to request approval to complete an updated technical study with respect to the fencing requirements required to support initiatives within the railroad safety enhancement project. This fencing may be required prior to any contemplation of a whistle cessation bylaw.

Community Engagement Report – Improvements to Voter Turnout: This agenda report is provided as follow-up to an Information Request which requested information concerning a community engagement event aimed at improving voter participation in the 2017 municipal election.

Corporate Quarter 1, 2015 Report: The City of St. Albert 2015 Corporate Quarterly Report– Quarter One is provided to meet Council’s need for regular and formal communication from the City Manager. The report provides pertinent information on progress for the quarter ending March 31, 2015 related to City of St. Albert Strategic Plan approved by Council in February 2015 and is in Council Policy C-CG-02 City of St. Albert Strategic Plan. A range of quarterly data is also available on the City’s StATRACKER Performance Dashboard.

Council Policy C-P&E-10, Intermunicipal Utility Infrastructure Excess Capacity: On November 24, 2014 Administration presented CP&E-10 for review and feedback. Council also referred the proposed policy to the February, 2015 IAC (Intermunicipal Affairs Committee) for additional feedback and comment from Sturgeon County. The proposed policy outlines a systematic methodology for the consideration of increasing the service area of key utility infrastructure projects in combination with the identification of the ultimate funded source needed to support such an endeavor. If approved, this policy will provide a formalized process that builds the foundation for the necessary requirements to be in place when constructing oversized infrastructure for the benefit of areas outside existing City boundaries.

Event Stimulus Fund: This report brings forward a recommendation from the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) for funding allocation from intake of applications received under Council Policy C-CS-11, Community Significant Event Stimulus Fund for Council’s consideration and approval. Specifically, EDAB is recommending a $20,000 grant for the Shine Lifestyle and Yoga Festival.

Council Expense Report – with Councillor Comments: The purpose of this report is to provide the written comments received from Council members on the findings outlined in the Council Expense Report Review which was provided to Council on April 7, 2015. The receipts that were identified as missing for my claims have all been re-submitted (always good to keep copies!) and 100% of my expense claims are fully supported by the appropriate documentation.

Bylaw 14/2015, Surface Drainage Bylaw: Council directed Administration to prepare a drainage bylaw for Council’s review by the end of Q1 2015. The draft bylaw was presented to Council on March 16, 2015 for review. At that time, the draft bylaw was referred back to Administration for 30 days to allow the public to provide feedback on the draft bylaw. Council directed Administration to bring forward Bylaw 14/2015 for Council’s consideration by May 31, 2015, and here it is!

The intent of the bylaw is to set clear expectations of property owners’ responsibilities, roles, and consequences related to maintaining proper grade on their properties. The bylaw will provide assistance to residents who are being impacted by water flowing into their yards from adjacent properties by giving Administration a mechanism to help resolve surface drainage complaints between property owners.

Bylaw 20/2015, Amendment to Standing Committee on Finance Bylaw: This bylaw brings forward changes that would broaden the scope of the Standing Committee of Finance, making it the Standing Committee of the Whole. When Council meets as Committee of the Whole, it allows us to discuss things in a less formal setting than Council with somewhat relaxed rules. Historically, Standing Committee on Finance, as the name would suggest, has dealt primarily with financial matters. If this Bylaw is approved, it would broaden the list of topics that Council could discuss at these meetings. Presently, we have been scheduling additional meetings on numerous topics, and the intent would be to move some of them to the time slot formerly reserved for Standing Committee on Finance.

Council Motions:

Amendment to Council Policy C-CG-02 – Democracy Tools: Councillor MacKay has provided the following notice of motion: “That Council amend Policy C-CG-02 to include a priority that the City work towards experimenting and implementing direct democracy tools that facilitate residents to be able to vote and make decisions.”

Independent Audit of Council Expense Report: Councillor Hughes has provided the following notice of motion: “That an independent auditor be contracted to perform a 100% forensic audit of Mayor Crouse’s expenses to the City of St. Albert and the Capital Region Board from March 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014 and provide a written evaluation of the city’s expense claim review final report and process change recommendations, with funding of up to $15,000 from the stabilization reserve.”

Administration has provided the following in the backgrounder: “There is concern that the funding contemplated within the motion could be insufficient for the extent of the work that is being requested. Prior information provided to Council indicated that an external review would be upwards of $30,000 or more dependent on the scope of work.”

Proposed By-Election Ballot Questions: Councillor MacKay has provided the following notice of motion: “I move that during the upcoming by-election two votes on the question be on the ballot: 1. Should provincial MSI grants be used to offset utility rates (Yes/No) 2. Should and independent internal auditor that reports to the public and council be retained (Yes/No)”

Based on the extensive agenda, I suspect we’re in for a long night. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and comments about this week’s proposed agenda.

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