The following are highlights from the August 10, 2020 Regular Meeting of Council.
Public Notification Bylaw 1644-2020
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires municipalities to advertise bylaws, resolutions, meetings, or public hearings in a newspaper, by mail or delivery. Under the MGA, specific guidelines also determine the content and advertising timelines of public notices. This typically results in complex and complicated communications not easily understood by the general public.
Updates to the MGA now allow a municipality, through bylaw, to introduce alternate advertising methods to fulfill the requirement of public notice. These include the use of electronic methods such as websites, social media, and electronic signage. On Monday, administration proposed the adoption of Public Notification Bylaw 1644-2020 to allow use of the Town’s website as the primary means of statutory notification while utilizing newspaper, direct mail, signage, and social media as support advertising where deemed appropriate. Legal public notices adhering to MGA requirements will be posted on the Town’s website, giving administration the flexibility to create more reader-friendly material to be used in other communication channels. After public feedback was heard at Monday’s meeting, administration provided a clear idea of the intent of the proposed bylaw and noted that other existing communication methods would still be utilized. Council passed the bylaw with a provision to review its efficacy in the next three months.
911 EMS Dispatch Services Consolidation
Administration informed Council on a recent Alberta Health Services (AHS) announcement regarding the province-wide consolidation for 911 EMS dispatch. Calls will now be handled through one of three AHS-run EMS dispatch sites located in either Calgary, Edmonton, or Peace River. The change will take place over the next six months and is anticipated to save AHS more than $6 million annually. Council accepted this report as information.
Innisfail Twin Arena Re-opening Plan
Town administration presented Council with a plan to gradually re-open the Innisfail Twin Arena to users this fall. According to the plan, staff will only install one ice surface, and entry will be restricted to facility users only. No spectators will be allowed in the building. The plan complies and aligns with the directives, requirements and recommendations of provincial health authorities, directly reflecting the most recent set of provincial guidelines; however, it was noted that the plan will be fluid and may be adjusted as the situation evolves. After administration answered questions from Council, the plan was accepted as information.
Twin Arena Facility Rules and Regulations Policy 2020-004
Although an informal set of rules is currently posted in the lobby of the Innisfail Twin Arena, Town Administration proposed a formal Twin Arena Facility Rules and Regulations Policy. This document will give user groups a clear definition of expectations and will establish clearly defined consequences of misconduct. It will also provide operators with support when acting to prevent damage to the facility and to minimize inconvenience to other users. The policy was approved as presented.
Bylaw 1470-A69 – Application for Rezoning, 4002 49 Avenue
A request for rezoning was received by administration. The applicant wishes to have a parcel currently zoned as R2 (residential medium density) rezoned as RT (residential transition district), allowing for use as a floor and renovation business consisting of a retail show room, offices and storage space for equipment and materials. The applicant is not intending to live on the site. Council gave first reading to the amendment and a public hearing was set for Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
Examining the Effects of Urban Chickens
Council, in response to correspondence from a community member, carried a motion directing administration to gather information from other central Alberta communities on their experiences with chickens in an urban environment. Administration will now prepare a report to be presented to Council at a future meeting.
International Day of Older Persons
At the request of the Alberta Council on Aging, Council officially declared Oct. 1, 2020 as the International Day of Older Persons.
Innisfail Town Council strives to maintain a level of openness with its residents. The highlights above only briefly touch upon the exchanges and decisions reached during the most recent Council meeting. To find full details on the proceedings, click here. Meeting agendas and minutes are available for review.