Got back late last night from the Alberta Library Conference so that I could take in RunWild this morning. RunWild has become such an amazing event that raises money for the Zebra Child Protection Centre and the St. Albert 50+ Club. A huge thanks is owed to all of the amazing volunteers who help make the event possible, with a special thanks to Heidi & Grant Fedoruk and their staff at Leading Edge Physiotherapy.
The Alberta Library Conference was an excellent opportunity to hear what is happening in libraries across the province. The highlight of the weekend was the “2 Mayors, 1 Voice” session that saw Mayors Don Iveson and Naheed Nenshi share their thoughts on the importance of libraries in our communities. The session ended with the Mayors doing a reading of “Vote for Me” by Ben Clanton. Here’s a video if you’re interested, it’s worth taking the five minutes to watch.
Council will have a different look tomorrow as Councillor Gilles Prefontaine has resigned his seat on Council to take a position with the City of St. Albert. While it wasn’t in the agenda package for tomorrow’s meeting, we are expecting a walk-on item that will provide Council with a plan for when a by-election might be held to replace the seat vacated by Councillor Prefontaine.
The MGA requires a by-election within 90 days and early indications are that we will likely be looking at a by-election in mid to late June. To that end, if anyone out there is thinking about running and would like to chat about the position and what it entails, please let me know as I would be happy to share my thoughts.
Now, on the proposed agenda for this week’s meeting:
Community Services Advisory Board Recommendation: Community Capital Program Grants: This report brings forward a recommendation from the Community Services Advisory Board (CSAB) for allocation from the 2015 intake of applications for the 2015 Community Capital Grant Program for Council’s consideration and approval. Grant recipients include Wild Rose Parent’s Society (Playground), Muriel Martin Fundraising Society (Playground), Heritage Hills Housing Co-op and the Big Lake Environmental Support Society.
Interview Committee Recommendation: Environmental Advisory Board Appointment: This report brings forward an appointment to the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) to fill a vacancy due to the resignation of a member whose term would have expired December 31, 2016.
Downtown Parking Study and Work Plan: The purpose of this report is to provide Council with the “Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan Parking Management Technical Study”. A draft of the study was presented to Council on October 20, 2014, with direction given to Administration to return with the final technical study and action plan by March 31, 2015. Additional time was subsequently requested by Administration to allow for finalization of changes to the Study.
After further review of the Technical Study and proposed Action Plan, Administration is proposing that only the Technical Study itself be received for information at this time. The Action Plan would be written following discussion of strategic parking principles for the downtown with Council at the Committee of the Whole which will allow for a fuller discussion of the various options and issues identified.
Council Policy C-CG-08, Council Code of Conduct – Policy Options: Recent amendments to the Municipal Government Act (MGA) require municipalities to have a Council Code of Conduct bylaw. Administration is recommending that work begin on the drafting of such a bylaw. (Note: Council currently has a Code of Conduct Policy, rather than a bylaw).
Safety Reserve Withdrawals: According to Council Policy C-FS-01 Financial Reserves, withdrawals from reserves shall be as outlined within the Reserve Policy Schedules and approved by Council through either a business case or an agenda report. A number of withdrawals from the Safety Reserve are being proposed.
Bylaw 21/2015 – Property Tax Bylaw: The Annual Property Tax bylaw finalizes the property tax rates required to fulfill the 2015 Budget. By way of background, property tax impacts are the cumulative effect of changes in all three components of property tax: municipal, education, and Sturgeon Foundation. Each tax component experiences different rates of increase in any given tax year. Only the municipal component is within the City’s control. The Education requisition and the Sturgeon Foundation requisition components are not within the City’s control. Municipal taxes account for approximately 75.6% of the levy total, Education taxes, 23.5%, and the Sturgeon Foundation requisition, 0.9%.
An average home in St. Albert, with an assessed value of $425,000 will see a tax increase of 1.8% or $74.
Fitness Training at City Facilities: Councillor MacKay has provided the following notice of motion: “That all requisite administrative procedures and practices be modified to permit personal training be it either for profit or not for profit at City facilities.”
That’s all for this week’s agenda. Also, please remember to get out and vote on Tuesday, May 5th. It’s shaping up to be a very interesting Election Night and every vote will most certainly count! I’ve put together a post with links to the various candidates as well as voting information. You can find it here.