The last couple weeks:
On behalf of Council, I attended la Journée internationale de la Francophonie 2018 at the Legislature. It's rewarding being St. Albert's French-speaking representative - I addition to board work, I'll be attending another regional French Economic Development/Tourism event in Morinville in the next couple of weeks.
Council had their annual meeting with the Library Board where we discussed successes for 2017, and plans for 2018 and beyond.
I suspect that most residents know that Premier Notley was in St. Albert earlier this week, where she visited SAIF, the Youville Home SIGIS location, and attended a reception at the St. Albert Art Gallery hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. Most of Council joined her and our MLAs at a press event at St. Albert Place in the morning and at the art gallery in the afternoon. It was wonderful hosting some of our provincial leaders.
I attended the Homeland Housing meeting in Morinville; I'm looking forward to the seniors' affordable housing units in North Ridge opening in the next few months!
An open house for the upcoming Traffic Noise Study was held. There was good resident turnout while I was there and my youngest daughter was thoroughly impressed with the cookies on offer. I look forward to the study results later this year.
I completed the cannabis survey - please do the same by April 4! (The survey includes limited information about existing federal/provincial/municipal regulations - Here is a Cole's Notes of cannabis in St. Albert.)
Ben Throndson, chair of the Youth Council, will provide an introduction of this brand new advisory board.
Dr. Kris Wells, chair of the Policing Committee, will present the RCMP Annual Performance Plan.
Jackie Fehr & Stacy Schmidt will present on the retaining wall matter.
Services and Service Level Inventory
A few weeks ago, Council reviewed the Services (what we do) and Service Level (how/how well we do it) Inventory and provided feedback to Admin. This is the updated report, which will "serve as the basis for the development of the proposed budget." It's still a work in progress - Admin is still working on developing consistencies across departments and looking at ways to create synergies - but we're getting there.
Public Art Funding
Right now, public art funding is based on a percentage of eligible Capital Project budgets, requiring staff to spend 60-80 hours reviewing project charters to determine eligibility. To reduce staff time required to calculate funding, Administration is recommending that we replace the policy with one that is based on total Municipal and Utility Capital Budgets rather than eligible projects; This is common among other municipalities. I suspect there will be a fair number of questions of Admin for this item.
AGLC Casino Policies
Right now, not-for-profits outside large cities are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to raising funds through casino revenues, both in the amount that can be raised and in how often they have access to events. This item is a motion to have Councillor Hansen represent Council to propose a resolution at the 2018 Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) Convention that would have the AUMA advocate to have "the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) expeditiously implement a more equitable provincial charitable gaming model to promote the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of charitable organizations across Alberta."
Unfunded Municipal Development Plan (MDP) & Funded Area Structure Plans (ASPs)
In July of 2017, the previous Council voted to postpone an updated ASP; In November, the current Councillors voted to move forward with the Employment Lands & Badger Lands ASPs. Administration is recommending we reprioritize these projects by moving ahead with the updated MDP and delaying the ASPs, both to ensure ASPs align with an updated MDP and to create efficiencies within workloads of the Planning department.
Lawn Mower Purchase ($111K - Sole Source)
We only had one company who met our requirements respond to our Expression of Interest Notice for the purchase of this equipment; Admin must ask Council to approve a sole-source contract of this value. This mower is the kind of solid and fast equipment that we use to efficiently manage our properties.
2017 Candidate Disclosure Statements
This is old news already, but the 2017 candidate disclosure statements have been posted on the city website.
Bylaws - Riverside Redistricting
This first-reading of a bylaw is standard and I doubt there will be much discussion.
"The proposed redistricting was circulated on November 29, 2017, to internal departments, external referral agencies, and property owners within a 100-metre radius. There were no objections. The public hearing is scheduled for April 23, 2018 "
Bylaws - 101 Riel Drive Redistricting
This is a request for "redistricting... The Enjoy Centre from Commercial and Industrial Service (CIS) District to Business Park (BP2) Direct Control District... Land uses that will be added when redistricting the site from CIS to BP2 include: artist studio, daycare (day care facility), religious assembly, specialty store, and theatre. Land uses that will be removed when redistricting the site from CIS to BP2 include: adult entertainment, auction facility, automotive body and paint service, automotive sales and service, automotive service, automotive specialty, bingo hall, car wash, casino, farm equipment sales and services, gas bar, general industrial, industrial (heavy vehicle and equipment sales and services), outdoor recreation service, recreation vehicle sales and service, and recycling depot... The proposed redistricting was circulated on September 27, 2017, to internal departments, external referral agencies, and property owners within a 100-metre radius. There were no objections. The public hearing is scheduled for April 23, 2018."
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.