Mayor Lorne Young (right) swearing in Councillor Deb McQuinn (left) as Deputy Mayor
The latest news from the Town of Elk Point Council Chambers
New deputy mayor
As of November 1, 2018, Councillor Debra McQuinn will officially serve as Deputy Mayor of the Town of Elk Point. The position has been held by Dwayne Yaremkevich since the municipal election in October 2017, and will rotate through the rest of council during this term.
Tax incentive policy
To encourage development and redevelopment in C1, C2, and R2 districts, the town has created a tax incentive policy. The policy applies to construction of new buildings or improvements or alterations of existing buildings, and comprises cancellation of the municipal portion of taxes for one year. For new buildings, it will be based on the total assessed value, whereas for redeveloped buildings it will be based on the total increase in the assessed value of the building(s) provided that it is at least $10,000. Applications must be submitted to the CAO of the town.
Following a public hearing, bylaws were passed to allow cannabis retail in zones C1 and C2 (downtown and along the highway). Cannabis production and distribution in zone M (industrial east of Highway 41), and cannabis consumption and storage on private property. See the article Cannabis Consumption and Production in Elk Point for more information.
A firearms bylaw was also presented for discussion at a public hearing on October 22. The bylaw is being instituted to discourage the discharge of any firearms by unauthorized people within the town boundaries. Penalties for contravention of the bylaw include a fine of $500 for the first offense, and a fine of $1000 for the second offense. As well, the firearm may be confiscated for up to 60 days.
Rezoning to Quilt
Lone Spruce Environmental has purchased the United Church, and the town has honoured a request to rezone the land from Institutional to Commercial. The building has potential to be rented to other businesses, or converted into a fabric/quilting shop. New owner, Tim Smereka, believes “this will be a positive for the community and will be helping rejuvenate the downtown area.”
No sports or movies on Sundays!
Council rescinded two bylaws related to The Alberta Lord’s Day Act. Bylaw 145, approved in 1966, authorized “Sunday afternoon sports between the hours of half past one and six o’clock.” It permitted specific sports and activities, such as baseball, gymkhana, band, and parade. The bylaw was passed at the time with permission of the town’s people following a public poll.
Bylaw 174, from 1969, permitted moving pictures, concerts, theatrical performances, and cultural exhibitions to be held after 1:30 p.m. on Sundays.
The sitting council feels that it is time to remove the restrictions set out in these historic bylaws.
Frog Lake invitation
Town councillors and CAO will be attending the Creating Independence and Sustainability event in Frog Lake on November 14 and 15. According to a letter from Human Resource Development Director Bryan Horse, “The objective of this is to increase employment opportunities for participants and offer a wider choice for selection to the recruiters.”
Reimbursement for damages
A homeowner was reimbursed $299.25 for a basement window that was broken when the Town was repairing a street.
Discussion about holding a third council meeting each month at which public works issues could be voted on ended in a decision to set an Executive Committee meeting date each quarter