Last week + Regular Council Meeting December 3, 2018
Environmental Advisory Committee: I met with the administrative support for the EAC to brief me on the activities of this committee. I’m extremely impressed with this committee and look forward to being the Council representative in 2019.
Seniors Advocating for Seniors: Mayor Heron, Counsellor Hughes, and I met with on of the resident groups advocating on seniors issues. I look forward to receiving their continued input on our housing, transportation, recreation, and social support mandates.
Agenda Committee: I joined the agenda committee to set the agenda for Monday’s meeting and plan ahead for meetings for the next few months.
Homeland Housing Board of Directors: I was out in Monrinville for our final meeting of 2019 where we approved our 2019 budget; It’s been an wonderful year with this committee, and we are all pleased with the success of the opening of the second phase of seniors housing in Northridge.
Advocacy Training Workshop: I joined most of Council for a training session on advocacy. We’re all passionate about moving the goals of St. Albert forward. This is what happen’s to one’s name tag when Councillor Watkins gets ahold of it with a black pen!
SIGIS tour of Council chambers: For the second year in a row, I hosted three of the kindergarten SIGIS daycare groups on a PD-day trip to St. Albert Place. They were the highlight of my week! It was great seeing the kids get excited about sitting in Mayor Heron’s chair, checking out the Métis and Treaty-6 flags that hang permanently, and being delighted at talking into my microphone. Thanks to Mayor Heron for stopping in to say hi!
Committee of the Whole: We debated the budget. It was a whirlwind couple of weeks of consultation leading up to the debate and it was a lot easier this year - Having a year under our belts and having had a role in setting priorities for administration early in our term made the process more streamlined this year.
Artist and Athlete Development Grant (25¢/resident/year)
The Community Services Advisory Committee (CSAC) has recommended that we grant support to five wildly talented local amateur athletes. In the spirit of the decision that Council made last week to increase the funding available for this grant, I will be proposing an alternate motion to the one proposed in the agenda to increase the funding granted to the maximums allowed in the updated policy from $750 to $800. Even with this increase, this leaves an unallocated $22,000 in the 2018 grant fund. Although I’m very pleased with the athletes that are being considered for this grant, I find it disappointing that artists are not accessing this fund. With $400,000 invested in an arts festival over the last five years which includes a mandate to teach youth about grant opportunities, and a vibrant arts community (VASA! Arts Walk! All the arts guilds!), we’re missing out on opportunities provided by this fund. I’ve started reaching out to artists who may be interested in applying in 2019 and will continue to do so throughout the year.
Community Events Grant
I expect the CSAC recommendations to award $2000 to Dynamyx Gymnastics Club of St. Albert for their 25th Anniversary Celebration and $5000 to the St. Albert Ringette Association for hosting the 2019 Western Canadian Ringette Championships will be straight-forward. Thanks to these organizations for providing opportunities in St. Albert!
Community Capital Grant
This year, the CSAC is recommending that Covenant Foundation be awarded $108,053 for the expansion and development of the multipurpose room and greenhouse at Youville Home in St. Albert. During the election, I toured the Youville and saw their plans for improving the quality of life at their property. This will provide a wonderful space for residents.
They are also recommending providing $19,118 to the Fraternal Order of Eagles for renovations to the kitchen and $6,099 to St. Albert Gymnastics Club for capital equipment purchases. Thanks to these groups to their service in St. Albert!
Closure of portion of Coal Mine Road (1st reading)
This is to consider closing a portion of Coal Mine Road at Eastgate Way / Eastgate Way North. We’ve already received many comments about this plan - in support and opposed. I’m looking forward to hearing from more residents between now and the public hearing on January 7.
Grange Drive Land Use Bylaw Amendment
This amendment would allow the city to use the lands that will be vacated by the Village Landing Transit Station for replacing Firehall 1, which would be decommissioned at the Sir Winston Churchill Site.
This is a brief high-level overview of highlights from our meeting agenda, 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.