Alberta Bilingual Municipalities Association (ABMA)
Merci à l'ABMA (Association bilingue des municipalités de l’Alberta - Réseau Concerto) de s'être réuni à St. Albert et au Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta d'avoir contribué à la mobilisation de nos objectifs. J'apprécie que tant de gens aient fait le voyage pour se rencontrer en personne! (Ce n'est pas souvent que je parle en français, ET j'ai été élu présidente, donc je m'excuse en avance pour les erreurs que je commets lorsque je préside nos prochaines réunions!)
Thank you to ABMA and CDEA for braving the roads to meet in person in St. Albert this week. This group is a committee of Albertan communities who identify with a French heritage, and support the celebration and development of francophone community and investment. It's not often that I have the opportunity to speak in French, so it was a pleasure hosting this group in our community, and I'm honoured to have been selected as president for 2018.
Strategic Planning Recap
Council met to solidify the goals we discussed at the strategic planning sessions last month; expect to hear more in the next few weeks.
Council Orientation Continuation
After the election, we spent a whirlwind week of full-time orientation/training, and this was a quick continuation of those meetings.
Budget Debrief & Discussion
This is to discuss the 2018-20 business plan and budget cycle and discuss what Council would like to see going forward to update the process.
Capital Projects Prioritization
We have a lot of unfunded capital projects in the books; Admin is proposing an updated process for prioritizing projects, and is collecting council feedback to incorporate into the final plan.
Electrical Franchise Fees Report
Right now, St. Albert does not charge FortisAlberta a franchise fee for electrical distribution access services within the city, but "the Alberta Utilities Commission Act allows a Municipality to select a franchise fee anywhere between 0% and 20%." This report outlines "information around electrical franchise fees including benefits, drawbacks, history and potential impact." (For anyone who has time, I recommend reading the whole report - it's one of the most interesting I've read.)
Financial Reserves - Stabilization Fund Amendment
Administration is recommending that Council increase the ceiling for this reserve to 3.5% from the current 2%. As a comparison, Calgary and Edmonton have 5% ceilings, and Airdrie/Grand Prairie are higher at 7/10% respectively. These funds help us manage unexpected expenses, like "abnormal snow removal, fluctuating interest rates, declines in revenues, increased utility costs, by-election, plebiscites," etc. without impacting current budgets or tax rates.
Municipal Inspection Report Recommendations
Last summer, we received the results of "The Cuff Report", a provincial review of governance practices in St. Albert and recommendations. This part of the meeting is to wrap up our response and actions relating to the recommendations.
This is a 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.