April 25, 2022 Council Highlights
Posted April 27, 2022
The following is a summary of decisions made by Town Council during its April 25, 2022, Regular Meeting. For an audio recording of this meeting please check the bottom of this page. The agenda and attachments are available here: Peace River – Document Center (civicweb.net)
Council approved the 2022 Operating and Capital Budget which identified projects and their funding sources. Per the Municipal Government Act, the Town requires that funding approvals utilizing debt be approved prior to the commencement of the projects / acquisition.
Three projects that were approved in 2022 identified a need to issue debentures as part of their funding: Bylaw No. 2113, 2022 Hydrant Replacement Program, Bylaw No. 2114, Firehall Purchase, and Bylaw No. 2115, 2022 Bio Solids Handling Facility Remediation.
A debenture is a loan from an organization – in this case, the Alberta government – to another organization – the Town of Peace River – in the interest of funding long-term activities.
Council gave first reading to Bylaw 2113, a Bylaw authorizing the Council of the Municipality to incur indebtedness by the issuance of a debenture in the amount of $150,000 for the 2022 Hydrant replacement program.
Council gave first reading to Bylaw 2114, a Bylaw authorizing the Council of the Municipality to incur indebtedness by the issuance of a debenture in the amount of $900,000 for the purchase of a Fire Hall.
Council gave first reading to Bylaw 2115, a Bylaw authorizing the Council of the Municipality to incur indebtedness by the issuance of a debenture in the amount of $1,067,000 for the 2022 Bio Solids Handling Facility remediation.
The structure formerly known as “Juliette’s Place” on main street was mostly destroyed by a fire on September 12, 2021. A considerable amount of the structure remains and is both unsightly and unsafe, serving as an attractant to persons seeking to shelter in the partial structure.
Administration has been in contact with the property owner over the last few months to have the site cleaned up and made safe. The owner has claimed financial distress and a lack of insurance coverage as a reason for not addressing the cleanup.
The property will be going up for tax auction in 2024, but due to the cleanup costs, it is anticipated that it will not sell. However, as the owner expressed interest in selling the property to the Town for a nominal $1 and in lieu of the property taxes owed, and thus administration recommended that Council proceed with that option and once legal owner of the site, undertake demolition and cleanup of the site. The anticipated costs of this would be around $20,000.
Council directed administration to enter into discussions with the property owner to purchase the property for the nominal sum of $1, waive all outstanding taxes owed, and proceed with site cleanup and remediation and future sale of the property.
The Town received six applications for the available positions for the newly-formed Economic Development Committee.
As outlined in the Committee Terms of Reference the Members-at-large are selected based on the following criteria:
3.1.3 Members-at-large will be selected from the community at large based on their demonstrated interest and participation in business matters; academic or technical qualifications; availability; work and volunteer experience; knowledge and professional expertise.
3.1.4 Members-at-large will generally be a Peace River business license holder or employed by a Peace River licensed business, or a Peace River & District Chamber of Commerce member or
employed by a Peace River & District Chamber of Commerce member business. Others may be considered where they have professional experience or other required qualifications not represented on the committee.
3.1.5 Areas of expertise that may be sought include:
• Manufacturing • Retail or Restaurant • Tourism • Agriculture • Forestry • Oil and Gas • Professional Services (i.e., Accounting, Legal, Health Care, Technology, etc.) • Land Development (i.e., Developer, Construction, or Real Estate)
The six candidates were as follows: Daniel Doucette, Brandon Dous, Carmen Gauvreau, Larry Hryniuk, Gayle Walton, and Benji Giesbrecht.
All applicants show a high level of community involvement and knowledge on community matters. They would each bring positive and constructive skills to the committee.
The EDC Terms of Reference also require a staggering of the Members-at-large appointments. Two members will be appointed for two-year terms and two members will appointed for three-year terms. The assignment of either term is proposed randomly for each candidate.
Option 1 was for Council to appoint the following applicants to the Town of Peace River Community Economic Development Committee as Public Members at Large:
Benji Giesbrecht and Carmen Gauvreau, each for a 3-year term.
Brandon Dous and Gayle Walton each for a 2-year term.
The reasoning for this was the four candidates offer a perspective of the business community from different areas of the business sector: Restaurant, Retail, Health/Fitness, Professional Services. Larry Hryniuk has been recently appointed to the Joint Regional Assessment Review Board and is therefore engaged in an existing committee connected to the Town of Peace River. Daniel Doucette is a Director on the Chamber of Commerce Board and the Chamber executive is already represented through their appointed member; Layne Gardner.
Council appointed the following applicants to the Town of Peace River Community Economic Development Committee as Public Members at Large: Benji Giesbrecht and Carmen Gauvreau, each for a 3-year term. Brandon Dous and Gayle Walton each for a 2-year term.
Council directed Administration to prepare a letter to all applicants thanking them for their willingness to stand for the Committee.
As the Lions Club officially closed and ownership of the Lion’s Campground was turned back over to the Town of Peace River, we now face consideration for long-term plans for the Lion’s Campground. The facility remains closed for the 2022 camping season to allow the previous operator sufficient time to move their assets.
The options are as follows:
- Town-operated campground
- Lease Campground– to private or not for profit operator.
- Sale of site – public sale of town owned property.
- Convert campground to a greenspace or general day use area.
Council directed Administration to explore options 1,2, and 3 and bring a Briefing Note back to Council.
The Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association (ACCPA) has asked if the Town would be willing to sponsor the ACCPA Conference in Canmore on May 9-11, 2022.
The Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association provides crime education and prevention awareness throughout the province. The theme of this year’s event is “Every Voice Counts: Holistic
Approaches and Practices to Community Health and Safety.” The Town has been invited to assist with the costs of the Conference through a sponsorship. Sponsorship packages range from $5,000 (platinum) to coffee break ($350).
Council accepted the sponsorship request for information.
The Town has received an invitation to participate in a Red Dress Walk on behalf of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2 Spirit (MMIWG2S) on May 5, 2022. Like Sisters in Spirit, it highlights the many indigenous women, girls and two spirit persons who have been murdered or remain missing. Sisters in Spirt focuses on support for the families of those who are grieving and honors the lives of those who are lost. The Red Dress walk emphasizes public awareness and a call to action through the use of drums, rattles and song.
Council was enabled to attend the Red Dress Walk on May 5, 2022.
The Town of Peace River Community Services Department has developed a new support program for refugees and those individuals/families fleeing war. This program will offer free access to the recreational facilities owned and operated by the Town of Peace River. This includes the Baytex Energy Centre and the Peace Regional Pool. Access will be provided through existing membership and punch pass systems and will allow the applicant to choose the option that would meet their needs.
Additional support will be offered for youth through the existing Community Scholarship Fund that is administered through the Town Recreation Programs. This fund supports children in accessing other programs and activities that are hosted by community organizations.
The program will also offer access to the Taxi Pass Program under the existing program requirements.
The Town has provided similar supports in the past on a request basis. Administration formalized a process to be able to provide clear information for refugees, community organizations and community members that may be sponsoring refugees or those fleeing war such as the Ukraine. Advertising for the program will commence immediately through the various Town communication channels.
Council accepted the Briefing Note for Information.
The Chamber of Commerce has invited the Mayor to make a presentation to their members on this year’s budget. This meeting is presently scheduled for May 5, 2022. This will provide an opportunity to discuss Council’s vision and the effect that the global economic conditions have had on the Town.
Council was enabled to attend a budget presentation with the Chamber of Commerce on May 5 or a future date if schedules require, and for the Mayor make a presentation to the Chamber on behalf of Council.
Council accepted both items for information.
Council accepted both items for information.
Below is an incomplete audio recording of the April 25, 2022 Regular Council Meeting. Due to technical issues, the audio provides only portions of the meeting, including the opening of the meeting until the bylaws portion, a portion of the Request for Decision re: Appointments to the Economic Development Committee, a portion that spans from the Request for Decision re: Lion’s Campground to the Comments from the Public, and the moving into closed session. We apologize for the inconvenience.