Last week + GPFC Meeting May 13, 2019
Last week highlights
Youth asset training: Most of Council attended a training session with staff to review what services we provide to youth and the benefits of supporting youth.
Internal Audit Steering Committee Meeting: We decided on our chair/co-chair, received an update on the status of the audit (the auditors have started their review, including interviews with staff), and we’ll meet again in September when the auditors are expected to have their report prepared.
Smoking Bylaw Survey Results
Last year, we spent $15,000 on “public engagement” to consider updates to our Smoking bylaw, which was completed through an online survey by 2,111 respondents or a little more than 4% of the adult population. “The majority (61%) of respondents support… smoking and vaping being fully prohibited in public places…; however, a substantial proportion do not (38%).” The answers regarding most other questions were similarly polarized, although most agree that smoking/vaping should not be permitted in many public spaces:
The full Smoking Bylaw Survey Report is available online and we’ll consider additional restrictions in the smoking bylaw.
Capital Project Prioritization
St. Albert has a long list of capital projects on our wish list - from a new fire hall, a swimming pool, ice rinks, a branch library, and many more - but we have to prioritize these, and make sure we're taking advantage of any possible opportunities for shared use or savings. In a move towards a better prioritization process, Council approved a prioritization framework in 2018. On Monday, we'll consider updates that would simplify and streamline the process, and better inform the recommendations of Administration for the 2020 budget.
Proposed 10-year Capital RMR 2020 highlights
If you ever wanted to read 300+ pages of Utility RMR (Repair, Maintain, Replace) Capital Project Charters and Municipal RMR Capital Project Charters, it's your lucky week! The GPF meeting will be all about the 10 Year Capital & Utility Plans, and reading the charters is quite interesting; It's wild how much work goes into keeping municipal infrastructure (roads, buildings, etc.) standing. A couple of recommendations for the 2020 budget:
Fire Station 1 Construction ($14.1M): We’ve been moving towards relocating Fire Hall 1 to the Village Landing transit station for a couple of years now, and if the transit station moves on schedule, we’ll be starting construction in 2020.
Skate Park Rebuild ($1.67M): I was in high school when the current skate park next to the Woodlands Waterplay Park opened in the late 90’s; It’s now outdated, the concrete used in construction has “deteriorated extensively” over the last 20+ years, and safety issues were identified in 2018. The proposed rebuild considers an expansion:.
Fun facts/City of St. Albert maintains:
280 lane km of arterial and highway roads
166 lane km of collector roads
340 lane km of local roads
455 km of sidewalk
85 km of asphalt trails
64 full traffic signals
53 schools zone warning flashers
21 bridge structures
375km of water mains
2111 fire hydrants
6129 water main valves
31 pressure control stations
2 booster stations
3 reservoir pump stations
Proposed 10-year Growth Capital additions
Unlike RMR capital, growth capital in investment in new infrastructure rather than maintaining/replacing existing infrastructure. Administration is recommending we add the following to our existing list of planned projects:
New Fire Tanker for when Firehall 4 is constructed (2021?, $779,000).
Fire Training Facility so that we don’t have to rely on facilities outside of St. Albert (2020-2022, $4.8M)
LeClair Way West expansion to “improve east-west access in the south-west of the City and potentially mitigate traffic impacts and reduced levels of service on Ray Gibbon Drive at the existing“old” 137 Avenue / Starling development access”. (2023-2029, $26.3M through off-site levies)
Neil Ross Road expansion to “improve east-west access and connectivity in the north-east of the City and potentially mitigate the negative traffic impacts in the communities of Erin Ridge and Erin Ridge North”. (2020-2029, $12.15M through off-site levies)
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 (1pm 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.