Counsellors McKay, Hansen, and I were given a tour of Firehall 1 prior to the meeting where we decided whether to support moving ahead with the replacement project.
I attended the Msichana grand opening at The Collective on St. Thomas Street. It was great to see representatives from NABI and other community members present - Please check it out!
I chaired the Alberta Bilingual Municipalities Association meeting; Participating municipalities will be providing our priorities so the ABMA can work on an action plan that serves members.
Counsellors McKay and I attended the last cannabis engagement session, where industry stakeholders participated.
Along with one of our Economic Development managers, I attended the Centralta Tourism Society meeting in Morinville; It was an excellent opportunity to connect with French community neighbours, and learn about the opportunities that are available within the region for Franco-Albertain tourism and funding.
I met with the director of the Youville Home to learn more about their Multi-purpose Room and Greenhouse Project; This looks like a wonderful addition to contribute to healthy lifestyles for their residents. They are looking for community partners and sponsors, so please spread the word to anyone who is interested in supporting an exceptional local innitiative.
I joined Mayor Heron and Counsellors McKay and Hansen for the Grand Opening of the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce Lifestyle Expo at Servus Place. (My youngest daughter also joined me - She's advised that the best part was the bagpipes and the baby goats - Check it out all weekend!)
Cannabis - Governance, Priorities, and Finance Meeting agenda highlights (1-2:30pm)
This special meeting is to receive the presentation from Bannister Research to outline the results of the public cannabis survey, the invitation-only survey, and engagement sessions, and to give direction to Administration on what we want to see in our bylaws. For me, the biggest surprise was seeing confirmation of how many residents say they're likely to buy from retail businesses once they're legal (32%) and how many residents are likely to grow at home (13%). Administration also provided maps that show where liquor stores are allowed (we'll likely impose similar zoning for cannabis retail) with potential setbacks from schools, provincial medical facilities, and preschools/daycares; It was interesting to see how many liquor stores St. Albert already supports within the setbacks. (Administration is recommending an expansion of the areas where smoking is prohibited, retail land use similar to liquor stores, and heavy setbacks from schools/provincial health facilities/other retail locations/daycares/preschools.)
Council meeting agenda highlights
Indigenous Relations Update ($40,000)
Last September, Council gave direction to Administration to consult with "... Indigenous Elders to seek advice regarding the creation of an Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee and to address the relevant Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada..." This report is to show the results of the consultation and recommendations for how to move forward.
Non-Standard Meter Reading
Up until recently, all water meters have been read by a person manually attending homes. We are nearing the completion of a project, very common across Canada, that allows remote reading and eliminates the need to physically attend homes. A small number of residents are opposed to having these transmitters installed, so administration is recommending that, for those who do not want a transmitter installed on their water meters, the following alternative be approved by Council:
- The property will still require the water meter upgrade and/or an alternative meter reading device installation; (The old water meters are nearing end-of-life, so they have to be replaced. Mine was "newer", installed sometime in the last decade, so Neptune did not have to replace mine - this is not uncommon in my neighbourhood.)
- A Non-Standard Meter Reading Fee ($35/2 months) will be imposed on accounts that do not have an RF transmitter installed;
- A fee for Installation of a Standard RF Remote Read Transmitter for customers who currently have a Non- Standard Remote Read Touchpad ($35);
- A fee for removal of a Standard RF Remote Read Transmitter and replacement with a Non-Standard Remote Read Touchpad ($50);
- Administration will request the customer to book an appointment for a Non-Standard Meter Reading installation with Neptune.
Best Practices - Council Governance
PROPOSED MOTION(S): "That Administration review best practices in relation to Council governance. The review to encompass the use of formal Council meetings, Committees of Council, Council subcommittees, Council workshops...."
In 2011, a Western Management Consultants report was provided to Council outlining governance practices and providing recommendations; This review would be an expansion and review of that project.
Public Hearings - Redistricting (2nd & 3rd readings) - Enjoy Centre, Jensen Lakes, Riverside
We heard first readings for these redistricting applications a few weeks ago and I've heard no objections, either during consultation or through the public hearing process; I don't expect any on Monday.
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.