Last weeks + Regular Council Meeting May 6, 2018
Homeland Housing Board Meeting: I was out in Morinville as the St. Albert Council representative. The Homeland Housing Director will be addressing Council at our May 6 meeting.
Joint Opportunities Task Force Meeting: I attended this regular committee meeting with St. Albert and Sturgeon County representatives to consider joint opportunities that could benefit both communities.
Funeral for St. Albert firefighter Les Mroz: Along with Mayor Heron and a large contingent from the City, I paid my respects at Les’ funeral. It was incredibly moving to see the support of firefighters from across the province, and to hear the stories of the people who knew and loved him.
Environmental Advisory Committee: I attended our regular meeting where we heard about water quality monitoring of the Sturgeon. Fun fact: Because of our monitoring efforts, we can identify and track when someone has mistakenly switched the sanitary and wastewater lines of a building!
Read-in Week: I had the privilege of reading to grade-3 and grade-5 students at Wild Rose School (thanks to the students for tolerating the wonderfully weird The Wolves In The Wall by Neil Gaiman!) and to a grade-6 class at Lois Hole School (we read one of the most “banned” books of 2018, woot!). This was fun.
Joint School Board + Council annual meeting: Council met with all three school boards to discuss our relationship, concerns, and joint opportunities.
Dyscorpia opening exhibition & Leonardo Symposium: At least two talented St. Albert artists are exhibiting at the U of A’s Dyscorpia: Future Intersections of the Body and Technology at Enterprise Square in downtown Edmonton until May 12. I was lucky enough to attend both the Arts/Science symposium and opening night - I loved the sculpture, film, and mixed media of the show, while my kids were especially impressed with the virtual reality installations. (Full disclosure: I frequently run into one of the exhibiting artists while brushing my teeth before bed, or when he brings me coffee in the morning. I am a bit biased, but I’d never met the second St. Albert artist/researcher before the exhibit and I’m thrilled that local talent is so well received.) From the Edmonton Journal: https://edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/movies/dyscorpia-brilliantly-weaves-the-vanishing-boundaries-between-humans-and-technology
Rainbow Crosswalk: Again in 2019, St. Albert’s Outloud raised funds for and organized the painting of the Pride crosswalk in front of St. Albert Place. It was a delightful evening showing the best of St. Albert’s community spirit!
Smart Water Meter Opt-Out Program
We will consider starting a smart water meter opt-out program which would cost subscribers the amount required to provide manual services, which Admin has advised is $35 per read.
Internal Audit ($22,850)
As per a discussion by the Internal Audit Steering Committee, of which I am a member, this is to increase the scope of our contracted Internal Audit services to include a Strategic Risk Assessment. The funds are already available within the Audit budget approved in 2017. Administration is recommending that, should we proceed with this work, we use a revised completion date of no later than June 30, 2020 to better align with management workplans.
Budget Tax Adjustments
This is an update for 2019 taxation, coming in at a 0.5% increase over last year. Slight changes from what we approved in December are due to slightly higher growth, a very small increase in revenue due to backyard hen licence fees, and increased electricity costs approved by the approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission January 1, 2019.
Public Art ($240,000)
This is to approve $240,000 for Public Art projects:
Annual withdrawal for 2019 and 2020 Festival and 2019 Emerging Artists ($62,000) - I’m not sure which festival this is referring to or what the project might be, but I think “Emerging Artists” refers to a grant we have for young amateur artists. It’s unclear which proportion of the funds is going to each item.
Red Willow Park ($31,000) - I don’t know what this is.
Sign Reclamation Phase 1 ($31,000) - I don’t know what this is.
Northridge Gazebo ($100,000) - I don’t know what this is.
Canada 150 Mosaic Donation ($7000) - I think this is the cost to install the Canada 150 mural donated by Rotary, but I’m not certain.
Diversity and Inclusion, Public Engagement Component ($7000) - I don’t know what this is.
Increase to Capital Funding Formula ($500,000)
This is to consider whether to increase the “Lifecycle Funding Enhancement” project budget by $500,000. This is an emergent motion, so we’ll get more details on Monday should Council agree to hear the motion without the typical notice period.
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.