The following are highlights from the March 22, 2021 Regular Meeting of Council.
Election Sign Policy Review
At the request of Councillors, Town Administration presented a review of the Town’s current Election Sign Policy. Administration explained that in order to enforce a policy, a bylaw must to be created. After the review and discussion, Council directed Administration to draft an Election Sign Bylaw for presentation and review at a later meeting.
Council Code of Conduct Bylaw
The recent report prepared by SAGE Analytics recommended updates to the Town’s Council Code of Conduct Bylaw. Administration presented a draft of a new bylaw containing the suggested updates and Council passed the new bylaw as presented. In line with a further recommendation from Sage, Council directed Administration to research and present a draft of a Disclosure Bylaw to be reviewed at a future meeting.
Regional Transit Service Pilot Program
Provincial funding for the two-year 2A South Regional Transit Pilot Project will end on March 31, 2021. The service is not economically viable to continue without provincial funding. As such, a motion to formally discontinue the project was passed; the Town’s Transportation Committee will continue to seek alternative transportation options for Innisfail residents.
Residential Infill Incentive Program Policy
Town Administration continues to research and review different options to encourage diverse housing options throughout the community. On Monday, Administration presented Council with a draft of the Residential Infill Incentive Program Policy. The program is intended to promote the redevelopment of residential properties in mature neighbourhoods by reimbursing project proponents for some of the costs involved with further developing existing lots and structures. Council approved both a motion to adopt the policy and a motion to fund the project from the Capital Reserve.
Downtown Implementation of the Economic Development Plan
Earlier this year, Council identified the need for options to support the timely implementation of components of the Town’s current economic development strategy. On Monday, Administration presented Council with plans to further the development of a visual design concept for Main Street lighting and public space enhancements. Administration also proposed to initiate an update of the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan and also promote a crosswalk design challenge for the creation and installation of road-level artwork on Main Street. After discussion, Council carried motions to approve all three recommended actions.
2020 Fourth-Quarter and Unaudited Financials
Administration presented Council with a fourth-quarter financial report showing a surplus of $955,682. This amount was bolstered by additional funding from the provincial government which covered some of the Town’s expenses related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Administration proposed that the budget surplus be allocated as follows: $440,000 towards Innisfail Heliport development costs, $10,000 towards the cost of a required operating manual for the Heliport, and $505,682 to the Town’s Facility Reserve. Council accepted the financial report as information and approved the allocation of the surplus as presented.
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.