Last week + Regular Council Meeting January 21, 2019
Chamber of Commerce luncheon: All of Council attended the luncheon where Mayor Heron gave her annual address. It was great seeing the board being sworn in - this group is a tireless advocate for St. Albert businesses!
Economic Sustainability Advisory Board: All of Council also had dinner with our newly-named ESAB. These business leaders are a tremendous resource for the city and I look forward to hearing their voices on city plans over the next year.
Lacombe Dog Park Plan ($188,000 + $120,000)
This is in consideration of an $188,000 + $120,000 upgrade to the Lacombe Park off leash area. $88,000 is being requested now for benches, garbage bins, “pee posts”, etc. and $100,00 for "shrub beds outside of the east park fence". At a future date, we could consider $120,000 for "naturalized plantings". $12,000/year would be added to the budget for maintenance starting in 2021 if we go ahead with the proposed plan.
Placing “plantings along the fence line on the west side of the park… is not feasible as it would significantly impact the drainage in the park.”
Although $475,000 is available for this project from the “Major Recreational Lands and facilities - Dog License Fund”, there is another $634,000 plan to add two new dog parks in 2021/2022 that also requires a funding source.
Rail Safety Improvement Program and Funding (+$200,000)
In late 2014, $450,000 was approved to complete fencing along the Meadowview and Riel Drive railroad crossings. This was combined with about $300,000 of related project funding in 2016. Last spring after receiving a $500,000 grant, Admin advised that $200,000 of our portion was no longer required, so we reduced our portion of the project funding by $297,000. Now, we’re being told that another $200,000 is actually required to complete the project. I think this means the project cost is increasing from the 2018 estimate of $964,500 to $1.16M, but I can’t quite tell from the backgrounder.
Borrowing Bylaw North St. Albert Trail Corridor Management (1st Reading - $26M)
“As part of the approval of the 2019 budget, Council approved a project to begin the work for the capital infrastructure at the north end of St. Albert Trail. The cost of the project is currently estimated at $26 million dollars. The intent is to fund this project through borrowing with Alberta Capital Finance Authority (ACFA)… The amount established in the bylaw represents a maximum amount and is not a commitment by the municipality to borrow the full amount. The actual amount borrowed will be restricted to the current approved Council project budget. Should detailed design indicate a required amount in excess of the $18.95 million, a resolution to increase the project budget will be required.”
Facility Development Collaborations-Regional Soccer
This is an information item regarding the city’s memorandum of understanding with St. Albert Soccer Association (SASA) regarding their plan for a “Capital Region Soccer Centre”. SASA continues to move forward on this project, and is in discussions with the City of Edmonton, and potential provincial and federal funders.
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.