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Thursday , 3 December 2020
St. Paul Town Office.

St. Paul FCSS takes over Xmas hampers, tax auction set: Town Council

FCSS to take over Christmas Hampers

Town of St. Paul FCSS is taking over the Knights of Columbus annual Christmas hamper program this year after the Knights chose to discontinue the program due to concerns about COVID-19.

While the details are still being worked out, an information briefing delivered to council on Monday said that Town of St. Paul FCSS is partnering with County of St. Paul and Town of Elk Point FCSS, St. Paul Education, and the Knights of Columbus to provide 200 hampers valued at approximately $50 each, not including the donated gifts.

Town of St. Paul FCSS will be handling the intake of requests, and it is expected community groups who have volunteered in the past to assemble the hampers will continue to do so this year.

A motion by Coun. Norm Noel to accept the briefing as information carried.

Tax recovery auction set for Jan. 26, 2021

Five properties in the Town of St. Paul will be up for auction in January because of non-payment of taxes for three years.

The properties include a commercial/industrial warehouse assessed at $322,430 and four residences with assessed values between $156,230 and $304,680.

According to CAO Kim Heyman at the Monday meeting, the total amount of outstanding taxes on the properties is $59,106. She said the sale will allow the town to collect the outstanding taxes while any excess funds from the sale would belong to the current property owners.

Coun. Nathan Taylor made a motion to “approve the date for the auction to be January 26, 2021, set the reserve bids for fair value of the properties close to, if not the same, as the current assessed values as determined by Accurate Assessment and set the terms and conditions of the sale to be Cash or Certified Cheque.” The motion carried.

Council to meet in person again, continue live-streaming meetings

Town of St. Paul town council will begin meeting in person again in council chambers as of the Nov. 9 regular council meeting.

At the Oct. 15 Committee of the Whole meeting, council received a presentation from Jagger Smyl of EyeTech Solutions regarding the requirements and equipment costs to effectively live stream the meetings from council chambers while also abiding by Alberta Health COVID-19 recommendations.

In discussion, council expressed support for renting the necessary equipment for a few months to make sure the set up is sufficient for their needs before making a long term investment. They also discussed the need for a livestreaming policy.

“We don’t know yet if this is permanent or something that’s going to go on forever, so next year we may want to look at purchasing with a long term intention,” said Mayor Maureen Miller.

Livestreaming the meetings from council chambers will cost the town $500 per month in equipment rentals, plus labour costs of $85 an hour for the first two hours of each meeting and $55 an hour for any subsequent hours. There is also a first time set up fee of $550.

Coun. Brad Eamon made a motion to approve the quote. The motion carried.

In an interview after the meeting, Mayor Maureen Miller said because of the size of the council chambers creating enough space for council members to distance from each other is a challenge.

“It’s going to be like a joint zoom meeting with the public that can join at any time, and then we ourselves will be in council chambers with some collapsible tables. It’s not going to be pretty but it’s going to work, so I’m excited about it,” said Miller.

She noted council doesn’t want to invest a lot of money in the equipment without knowing if it will work effectively and that while the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to continue to be an issue, council still needs to determine if they want to spend the money on the technology to livestream if “we can bring the public in even a year from now.”

Regional Tourism Initiative Committee

Linda Sallstrom, Penny Fox, and Marianne Janke of the Regional Tourism Initiative Committee provided an update to council on what the committee did this year and asked for $2,000 towards a 6-month marketing campaign for the region from April to September next year.

Earlier this year, the committee received a $30,000 grant from Travel Alberta to develop content such as photos, videos, and blogs to market the region.

The request was sent to administration for budgeting.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.