The following are highlights from the July 13, 2020 Regular Meeting of Council.
Delegation – Innisfail Chamber of Commerce
A delegation from the Innisfail Chamber of Commerce presented to Council asking for clarification on roles and to suggest better inter-organizational communication. It was determined that the Chamber will report back to Council at a later meeting with a proposal outlining each organization’s role and possible solutions to any perceived issues.
CAO Report – Operational Scan
In anticipation of possible reductions in next year’s operational budget, CAO Todd Becker reported that Town Administration will begin an operational scan to identify opportunities for reducing the Town’s operating costs. The CAO report was accepted as information.
Community Grant Policy
Council had previously directed Administration to review the Community Grant Policy. On Monday, Town Administration presented a new policy. Along with some updated language, the new policy includes a provision stating that if Council is unable to meet quorum due to a councillor’s pecuniary interest in a given grant application (over $2,500), the decision will be made by the Community Services Standing Committee. In both the previous and new policies, the Committee decides on grant applications under $2,500. The new policy was passed as presented.
Rates & Fees Bylaw Review
The Town’s Rates & Fees Bylaw is up for renewal on September 1, 2020. Administration is currently assessing the bylaw to determine if any rate adjustments are needed and informed Council on the effects any rates changes may have. Council accepted this report as information.
2020 FCSS Funding Recommendations
The Town’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) currently has funds remaining in its 2020 budget allocated to support external programs or other FCSS initiatives. A recommendation from the FCSS Advisory Board was presented to council by the Town’s FCSS coordinator. Of the remaining funds, Chinook’s Edge School Division No. 73, Wolf Creek Primary Care Network and upgrades to the FCSS website were proposed as recipients for funding. Council approved the disbursement of the funds as proposed.
Public Notification Bylaw
Current MGA legislation allows communities, through the creation of a bylaw, to advertise certain legal notices by electronic means to fulfill the requirement of public notice. A bylaw was proposed by administration that would see the Town’s website become the primary source of public notification with the Town’s other communication channels continuing to function in a complimentary role. The proposed bylaw received first reading and a public hearing was set for August 10, 2020.
Facade and Storefront Improvement Policy
As part of an effort to revitalize the downtown area, a facade and storefront improvement grant program was introduced in 2012. Administration has now proposed that this program become a formal policy. The previous program was a one-time grant, whereas the proposed policy will allow businesses to apply for further grants after a five-year period. In addition, Administration proposed the development of an architectural guideline document. Council approved the proposed policy and directed administration to prepare a Commercial Design Guidelines document. A third motion was required to establish a reserve fund for the project and was also carried.
Lagoon Lands Reclamation Update
Administration provided an update on the lagoon lands reclamation. A number of projects have been completed, including the decommissioning of the wastewater treatment facility, the removal of sludge material, creosote piling removal and site grading. Administration will provide further updates as projects are completed, and all remaining projects are expected to be complete by July of 2021. Council accepted the report as information.
FCM Grant Application for Asset Management
Through the Municipal Asset Management Program Grant, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is offering potential funding to communities for the development and enhancement of individual formal asset management programs. At Monday’s meeting, Council directed staff to apply for the grant and to take steps to prepare for the implementation of an asset management program. Funds to cover the Town’s portion of the costs were allocated from the Town’s general capital reserve. Innisfail Town Council strives to maintain a level of openness with its residents.
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.