May 24, 2022 Council Highlights
Posted May 26, 2022
The following is a summary of decisions made by Town Council during its May 24, 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)
This is a topic that was first brought before the Council at the March 28, 2022 Regular Meeting to discuss the ATCO Gas and Pipelines franchise agreement, expired September 2021, and the decision to renew for terminate the agreement. This agreement was first established in 1958 and has been renewed several times since, each agreement lasting 10 years before expiry.
Council decided to renew, and thus, the process of providing first reading, providing public notice, and then bringing the agreement back for second and third reading began.
This Request for Decision was specifically for providing second and third reading.
Motions to provide second and third reading to Bylaw 2111, the ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. Franchise Agreement Bylaw were carried.
These three projects – Fire Hydrant Replacement Program, the replacement of Fire Hall No. 2, and 2022 Bio Solids Handling Facility Remediation – were approved, along with the rest of the Operating and Capital Budget at the April 11, 2022 Regular Council Meeting. However, as they require a loan from the province (debenture), certain procedures must be followed. As per the Municipal Government Act, it is required that funding approvals utilizing debt be approved prior to the commencement of the projects / acquisition.
This means the Town is required to provide first reading, and then advertise to the public – in this case, in the Record Gazette, the newspaper with the largest circulation – and provide a 15-day period where residents may voice their concerns, comments or file a petition with regard to the proposed bylaws, before finally bringing these bylaws back for second and third reading.
Council provided first reading of these debenture bylaws at the April 25, 2022 Regular Council Meeting. The public notice was advertised in the May 4 issue of the Record Gazette, advising residents to submit all comments on or before May 11, 2022 at 4:30 pm. With no comments or concerns received, Administration proceeded with bringing back the bylaws to Council for second and third reading. Once second and third reading are provided, these bylaws go into affect.
Motions to give second and third readings 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 were carried.
Motions to give second and third readings 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 were carried.
Motions to give second and third readings 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 were carried.
Within the 2022 operating budget, Council approved a two dollar increase in monthly garbage and recycling collection fees, from $17 to $19 per month. In addition, Council improved a temporary
“Peace Regional Waste Management Company” levy of $29.00 per month for the period July 1, 2022, until January 1, 2022. This temporary levy is to accommodate anticipated shortfalls in PRWMC budget.
The Town’s Solid Waste Bylaw was last updated in 2019. Those changes captured cost of service adjustments within the contract as well as the carbon levy. Although fuel costs have risen substantially since the contract was signed, there has been no change to the base contracted rate. Rather, the increase reflects changes to waste disposal (tipping) fees.
The rates contained in the Bylaw reflect the costs and revenues approved in the 2022 Operating Budget.
Motions to give first, second and third reading to Bylaw 2119, the Municipal Solid Waste Bylaw were carried.
Multiple landowners adjacent to the intersection of Highway 2 and 78th Street have approached the Town regarding the possibility of acquiring more land to expand their operations. The land in question is road right of way. To transform road right of way into private land that may be sold, a road closure bylaw process is required. The road closure process includes the statutory municipal bylaw process, a public hearing and three readings, and also requires that the bylaw be signed by the Minister of Transportation. After this process is complete, the land may be registered at Alberta Land Titles.
Preliminary plans for a future interchange at 78th street were set by a 1990 Memorandum of Agreement between the Town of Peace River and the Alberta Government, and further design and engineer work occurred in the early 2000s. However, no road design for future upgrades has been finalized. As a result, it is not likely that Alberta Transportation would be willing to release any right of way, which may or may not be required for future upgrades.
A motion to direct Administration to draft letters to the Minister of Transportation and the local Member of the Legislative Assembly, and the Transportation critic to advocate for the prioritization of the design and engineering work for future upgrades to the intersection at Highway 2 and 78th Street was carried.
A motion to direct Administration to request meetings between Mayor and Council and the Minister of Transportation, and the local Member of the Legislative Assembly to advocate for the prioritization of the design and engineering work for future upgrades to the intersection at Highway 2 and 78th Street was carried.
Rural Health Week was created by the Rural Health Professions Action Plan to honour the contributions of the rural Alberta health-care providers and community volunteers who help keep health care close to home. This year, it is May 30th to June 3rd.
Seniors’ Week this year is June 6 to 12, with a celebration held at the end of the week at Chateau Nova. Event details are listed below, please register by June 7 to attend.
Motions to approve both Rural Healthcare Week (May 30 – June 3) and Seniors’ Week (June 6 – 12) were carried.
A motion for Council to be enabled to attend the Senior’s Week events at the Chateau Nova and Points West Living, and for the Mayor or a designate to bring greetings on behalf of the Town for each event was carried.
For the past 14 years, no write-off of uncollected Community Services receivables has taken place, nor has a general cleanup of the entries has taken place. The balance is now at $21,291 and has been confirmed either uncollectible by staff or are errors made on our part, requiring correction.
A motion to approve the write off of $21,291 in uncollectible Community Services receivables was carried.
For the past decade, no write-off of uncollectable bankruptcy files has taken place, nor has a general cleanup of the entries has taken place. The balance is now at $2,814 and has been confirmed uncollectible by staff.
A motion to approve the write off of $2,814 in uncollectible bankruptcy receivables was carried.
Pursuant to Section 418 of the M.G.A. a municipality must offer for sale at a public auction any land shown on its tax arrears list.
Section 419 of the M.G.A. requires that Council must establish a reserve selling price before it can auction a property. The reserve bid must be set at a level that is as close as reasonably possible to the market value of the parcel. Council must also select a person to conduct the auction. Usually, the Chief Administrative Officer or other designed officer acts as the auctioneer.
The proposed reserve bid is the 2022 assessed value that the Town’s assessor has allocated after comparing the subject property to similar properties. If the property is not sold at the public auction, Section 424 of the M.G.A. entitles the municipality to become the owner of the parcel immediately after the auction if it chooses. The property would become exempt from future taxation once the title is transferred to the municipality. By taking title to the property, the municipality can dispose of it at any time in accordance with Section 425 of the M.G.A. To protect the previous owner’s interests, the municipality is obligated to sell the property at a price as close as reasonably possible to market value.
A motion to set the reserve bids to the 2022 assessed values, as indicated in the table provided and that the Chief Administrative Officer or Acting Chief Administrative Officer be appointed as auctioneer was carried.
The Municipal Library Board has a vacancy and has received an application for membership. As required through the Library Board Bylaw No. 1679, Council appoints all board members.
A motion to appoint Priscilla Lalonde as a new member at large to the Peace River Library Board, for a 3-year term was carried.
8. Briefing Note re: 10 Year Power Contract with Alberta Municipalities
The Town has been purchasing its electrical power from Alberta Municipalities (AUMA), which collects electrical needs from all municipalities they represent and go through the tender process with brokers to get pricing based on those needs, enter a contract on the Town’s behalf, and the Town would have their power provided at that price.
However, foreseeing a rise in pricing, AUMA has advised municipalities to enter a 10-year contract in 2024, when prices are expected to be lower so it can be locked in at that lower amount. This Request for Decision asks Council to make a choice on whether they would like to enter this 10-year contract, rather than the usual 4 or 5-year contract.
A motion for Town of Peace River to enter into a 10-year contract with Alberta Municipalities for the provision of electricity for the years 2024-2034 was carried.
Both reports were accepted for information.
A motion for Northern Sunrise County to be invited to attend the Town’s Canada Day event was carried.
Items 2-5 were accepted for information.