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Highlights from the Municipal District of Bonnyville Regular Council Meeting held September 28th, 2016
Proposed 2017 Budget Presented – Director of Finance and Administration, Michael Trabysh presented Council with the first draft of the proposed 2017 Budget. Currently, the proposed budget (excluding taxes for the Lakeland Lodge and school requisitions, which will be set by the province later) is sitting at $76,732,271. Of that, over $50 million is proposed for roads and $6.6 million for community funding, which includes the Inter-Municipal Cooperation Program. This program provides funding to the M.D.’s urban neighbours – Village of Glendon, Town of Bonnyville and the City of Cold Lake. There is a projected decrease in assessment values coming in 2016 to Residential (five to 20 percent), non-residential (four to 10 percent) and linear properties (up to 14 percent). The proposed impact on the M.D.’s tax revenue could be over $5.5 million. “We have no intention of raising the Mill Rates,” said Reeve Ed Rondeau. “We’ll have to make adjustments elsewhere – maybe do fewer projects.” Trabysh said there are three options to look at to fund the shortfall, including a projected $4 million surplus in the 2016 budget. Council will review the proposed budget and meet October 11 to discuss changes.
Recorded Vote for Gravel Haul Tender – A tender for the 2017 Winter Gravel Haul Tender ended in two recorded votes. The recommendation from Transportation and Utilities was to accept the lowest bid received, from Jay Sidhu Transport Ltd. at $1,554,000. However, Councillor David Fox noted there was $26,000 separating the lowest bidder from local contractor JMB Crushing Limited, and the tender should be awarded locally. Reeve Ed Rondeau made the motion to award the tender to the lowest bidder and called for a recorded vote. Reeve Rondeau and Councillor Barry Kalinski voted in favour of that motion, while Councillors Dana Swigart, Don Sinclair and David Fox and Deputy Reeve Mike Krywiak voted against the motion. Fox called for another recorded vote and made the motion to award the contract to JMB Crushing. In favour of that motion were Councillors Fox, Swigart, and Sinclair with Deputy Reeve Krywiak. Voting against the motion were Reeve Rondeau and Councillor Kalinski. Council agreed amendments to the purchasing policy should be considered for future tenders.
Public Safety Update Director of Public Safety, Chris Garner reported Peace Officers have been on the lookout for motorists ignoring the red flashing lights on school buses in our rural areas. Officers have also been a presence on Main Street in Ardmore to slow down traffic as students walk to and from school. Officers have also been dealing with abandoned vehicle complaints, parking on the Muni-Corr Trail and dogs running at large. With school back in session, the School Resource Officers have started rolling their programs out.
Community Services Update – Chris McCord, Director of Community Services let Council know she is in discussion with Alberta Parks to create a beach at the Wolf Lake Recreation Area. The discussion about the beach and creating a group campsite will continue at an onsite meeting Oct. 4.
Agriculture and Waste Services Update – The Coyote and Wolf Reduction Plan will be back for the 2016-2017 season. The M.D. will pay $15 per coyote and $75 per wolf killed between October 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. This program is meant to reduce livestock loss to these predators during the winter months. Some changes will be coming to the program, including direct deposit and signed landowner forms granting permission to hunt. For more information, call 780-826-3951. The Veterinary Services Program saw $37,416 in claims from April 1 to July 31, 2016. If the trend continues, the VSI program could come in under budget.
Construction Season Wrapping Up – Darcy Zelisko, Director of Transportation and Utilities told Council the Construction Crew is currently working on Range Road 491 and Township Road 602. Due to weather, Zelisko believes work on Rge. Rd. 491 will have to be completed in 2017. The Oiling Crew is currently finishing up their last projects and will move onto working on maintenance issues that may cause problems for snow removal crews. The Paving Crew is finishing some work on the intersection at Twp. Rd. 611A as well as finishing up on Twp. Rd. 624. Zelisko said the cement stabilization on the Baywood Road will carry over to next year’s project list, as it proved difficult to secure a contractor this season. In Ardmore, crews are currently working on the top lift, landscaping and sidewalk. The underground portion of the project is continuing, and should be completed by mid-October, as long as the weather holds.
Planning and Development Update – Council gave second and third reading to Land Use Bylaw 560 to rezone a lot in Fort Kent from Hamlet Residential (HR2) to Hamlet General (HG). Council also gave second and third reading to Land Use Bylaw 561 to amend the Fort Kent Area Structure Plan. Council also agreed to cover 50 percent of costs associated with the entire upgrade of the intersection at Rge. Rd. 433 at Highway 55. The M.D. will upgrade the intersection on the north side of the road while SMB Riverbend will complete the upgrade on the south side. The work should be completed in 2017.
Briefly – Council agreed to provide the Cherry Grove Recreation and Agricultural Society with its annual $25,000 operating grant. Council also agreed to give the Bonnyville SPCA two Kinosoo Ridge Tube Park seven-visit punch cards for its fundraiser. Council agreed to have a window decal for December’s World Junior A Challenge installed on the outside of the M.D. Main Administration Offices.
For more information, contact Diane Jenkinson, Marketing and Communications Manager at 780-826-3171. Our website is a useful way to get the information you need. Visit: www.md.bonnyville.ab.ca Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @MDBville.
*Council Highlights are written & provided by the Municipal District of Bonnyville