On Tuesday, Council was provided with an overview of the options for the Smart City Challenge proposal; Expect to hear more in the new year! In the meantime, please encourage anyone you know with expertise in one of the many fields relating to smart-cities to apply to sit on the jury; Jury member applications are due January 18, 2018.
We also went through a Land Use Bylaw workshop to get us up to speed on proposed changes and additions to districting options. As a member of the public, I participated in the open houses and surveys dealing with the options for how to build the future of St. Albert, and I look forward to seeing the collective vision of this council when we debate the proposals in the new year. When the proposals come to council. please contact us with any thoughts or concerns you may have.
On Friday, Council participated in a bus tour hosted by our Senior Leadership & Economic Development teams; It was extremely helpful to see first-hand the opportunities that are available to business and residential development in St. Albert.
December 11 Agenda Highlights:
CSAB Recommendations - Pride Festival
The Community Services Advisory Board recommended that the St. Albert Pride BBQ be included in the Community Events Recurring Grant Program ($2,500). My family started attended Pride events before St. Albert hosted their own, and we've attended each St. Albert BBQ. It's been wonderful to see the community leadership in growing this event over the last three years, and I look forward to attending in the years to come!
CSAB Recommendation - Community Events Grant
The CSAB recommended that the St. Albert Singers Guild be awarded $4,900 to support their Singers Christmas market. The last day to attend is today!
CSAB Recommendations - Games Legacy Grant
Did you know that St. Albert athletes and artists can apply for grants to help with the cost of competitions, travel, and professional development? Check it out, the next application deadline is March 22, 2018.
CSAB Recommendations - FCSS Operating Grants
St. Albert Family Resource Centre ($198,136)
St. Albert Community Village & Food Bank ($97,500)
St. Albert Seniors Association ($121,000)
This is a grant that is unique to Alberta, and is intended to be a 70/30 cost share between the province and municipalities, but the province's share of the grant has been slowly eroding for years. Right now, we consider this grant in isolation from all the other grants that some of these organizations receive; Some community groups receive hundreds of thousands of additional city funding through Outside Agency, Community Event, and other grants. I don't expect any great debate this year about this funding, but I do have expectations that we will start looking at our social services and needs more holistically, so we can eliminate funding duplicate, redundant, or competing services. I also hope that we can challenge organizations to fill gaps in social services; the return on investment that we receive by supporting well-run not-for-profits programs is exceptional.
Amendments to Council Code of Conduct + Integrity Commissioner
We are required by the MGA to have a code of conduct that meets provincially-mandated criteria by mid-2018; this is to ensure that ours meets the requirements. The integrity commissioner (up to $40,000 in 2018) will investigate complaints against council members, and is required to ensure the code of conduct works.
Public Hearing: Sturgeon Road Redevelopment
This is the second reading of the change that will allow the three single-family homes on Sturgeon Rd to be redistricted to allow higher density redevelopment. Please register to address council if you can provide new information that would assist council in making a decision about redistricting.
This is a very brief high-level overview of our meetings, with my personal comments sprinkled in - In no way are my opinions representative of the official direction of council or the City of St. Albert. Please let me know of any typos or errors. As always, I also encourage everyone who is able to tune in the the live-stream of the meeting (3pm here) or attend in-person (3rd floor of St. Albert Place, hang a right getting out of the elevator). You can also register to speak if you have information to present to council. Full agenda packages can be found on the stalbert.ca website.