Regular Council Meeting December 17, 2018
Grandin Parc Village & Amacon Christmas get-together: Mayor Heron, Councillor McKay and I joined Amacon and some of their community partners at their annual Christmas get-together. It was good to casually touch-base with this group as the current Council hadn’t been involved in the Amacon projects.
Jeff Labine, new Gazette reporter: Jeff is the new reporter handling “city hall and municipal issues” and we met to chat about 2018 and going forward in 2019. If you miss reading my live-tweets of our meeting, check out his Twitter feed - he has an entertaining take on Council meetings.
Chamber of Commerce Christmas lunch: The St. Albert Chamber is an incredible asset in our community and it was wonderful to connect with community members and businesses at their Christmas lunch. It was especially fun to watch Catholic School Trustee Joe Becigneul sing & dance (as seen below)!
FCSS Operating Grants ($602,058)
The Community Services Advisory Committee (CSAC) has recommended that the following organizations receive operating grants in 2019. These program-specific grants are a partnership between the province and the city. If these grants are approved, $96,942 will remain unallocated and available for additional FCSS funding.
Sidekicks Program operated by St. Albert Community Information and Volunteer Centre (CIVC) - $43,818
Information and Referral Program operated by St. Albert Community Information and Volunteer Centre (CIVC) - $70,920
Volunteer Centre Program operated by St. Albert Community Information and Volunteer Centre (CIVC) - $70,920
Family Life Education Program operated by the St. Albert Family Resource Centre (FRC) - $198,191
Community Liaison Program operated by the St. Albert Community Village and Food Bank - $62,991
SAIF Education Program operated by St. Albert Stop Abuse in Families Society (SAIF) - $36,975
Youth Counselling Program operated by St. Albert Stop Abuse in Families Society (SAIF) - $38,280
Seniors Support Program operated by the St. Albert Seniors Association - $79,963
Internal Auditor Appointment
The Internal Audit Steering committee, on which I am a member, is recommending that we approve their recommendation to appoint MNP LLP as our internal audit contractor. The auditor will complete audits on our procurement and corporate risk management starting in 2019.
This is our finalized 2019 budget, which “results in a municipal net tax requirement of $104.8 million which equates to an average property tax increase of 0.4%. The Utility budget results in an average utility bill decrease of 0.01%.”
Safety Enhancement Program ($41,000)
After the deaths of two employees and one contractor in Fernie, BC who were exposed to an ammonia leak, we undertook a safety assessment of our own ammonia systems/processes. The resulting recommendations are to implement additional safety enhancements. This project will be funded from a Safety reserve, specifically in place for this type of emergent requirement.
Cemetery Infrastructure Assessment - Council motion
A few weeks ago, a resident brought to our attention that the gate at the municipal cemetery was unsightly and benches would be appreciated. Since that time, Admin has removed the unused gate and ordered benches that are expected to arrive by the end of 2018. This motion is to direct Admin to “assess the St. Albert Cemetery infrastructure… and provide recommendations to council for Cemetery maintenance and Improvements...”, which it looks like they may have already done.
Memorandum of Understanding - Active Communities
This Council motion is to amend our MOU with Active Communities to remove the requirement for the facility to be within City of St. Albert boundaries, and allow for plans to be in proposed annexation lands.
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.