The following are highlights from the October 15, 2019 regular meeting of council.
Age-friendly Action Plan
A Seniors’ Needs Assessment was conducted in 2016. As a result, the Age-Friendly Action Plan Steering Committee was established in 2018. Representatives from this committee attended Tuesday’s meeting to present their final report to Council. Council accepted the report as information and will review the information at a future meeting to consider what actions should be taken.
Community Christmas Tree
Previously, Council had directed Town staff to research costs involved in creating a Town Christmas tree. After considering many options, Town staff reached an agreement with Chinook’s Edge School Division regarding the use of an existing tree adjacent to the Town’s Cenotaph. This tree will be decorated with lights for the Christmas season.
Board and Committee Effectiveness Survey
A survey prepared by Town staff was completed by a number of individuals who currently sit on Town committees. Committee members offered recommendations as part of this survey process, including a suggested increase in the length of the terms of Municipal Planning Committee and Subdivision and Development Appeal Board members from one to two years. Two bylaws were prepared by administration to reflect these recommendations and Council passed both. Council accepted the survey report as information.
Land Use Bylaw Amendment – 1470-A64
Town staff, under direction from Council, prepared and presented proposed changes to the LUB to allow for smaller lot sizes in certain existing residential districts. This report also included a review of current definitions (as they exist within the LUB) of manufactured homes. After discussion and clarification on some points of the proposed changes, Council gave first reading and a public hearing was set for Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
Parkland Regional Library Board
The Parkland Regional Library Board provided their proposed 2020 budget of $8.55 per capita to provide library services for the town, up from $8.25 per capita in 2019. The total amount of funding would be $67,091.85. Council approved the proposed budget.
Federal Gas Tax Fund
Funds from a one-time gas tax credit are available in 2019 from the federal government. In order to receive this support, communities are required to earmark the funds towards a specific project. Town administration suggested that the $430,102 of remaining available funding be used towards the Innisfail Skatepark project. Council approved the allocation. The Town must now await final approval from the federal government.
PACE Bus Extended Hours – Additional Funding
A pilot project extending the hours of the PACE Bus was started in late 2018. In September of this year, the transportation committee determined that additional funding was needed to cover a shortfall in their operating budget. Council approved $15,400 in additional funding which will allow the extended service to remain active until the end of 2019.
Fortis, Atco Franchise Fee Rates
As identified in existing franchise agreements, the Town may review franchise fees for the delivery of utilities on a yearly basis. These fees are included as part of the distribution fees included on individual utility bills. For 2020, Town administration proposed an increase of 1% to Fortis franchise fees and no increase to Atco fees. It was suggested that funds generated by this increase be used for a Safe Community Reserve fund. Council approved the proposed recommendations.
Organizational Meeting of Council – Board and Committee Appointments
Council reviewed and updated appointments of its members to existing boards and committees. A full listing of boards and committees along with the updated councillor appointments is available at: www.innisfail.ca/committees