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#1 Moose Lake Weir Update – According to a provincial government representative, due to some of the unknowns associated with timelines related to developing a decommission design plan, various regulatory approval applications that are required, and the potential public and First Nations consultation, the actual decommissioning of the Moose Lake Weir is conservatively scheduled for completion in the late summer/early fall of 2021. The decommissioning project has been turned over to Alberta Transportation, which administers and funds Alberta Environment and Park’s water capital projects. Alberta Transportation is in the final stages of awarding the tender to a qualified engineering consulting firm. Council agreed to proceed with the acquisition of Access Road Plan 852 1129, the road that leads to the weir, as the road provides the only access to the M.D.-owned quarter section and a privately-owned gravel pit.
#2 Farm Family Award Announced – Antoniuk Farms has been chosen for the Municipal District of Bonnyville’s 2020 Farm Family Award. Two families run the farm: Roger and Suzanne, and Ken and Diane Antoniuk. The farm was nominated by the Agriculture Service Board (ASB) for the BMO Northlands Farm Family Award. For 50 years, northern and central Alberta ASBs have selected outstanding families who best represent values of the family farm within their rural community. The award honours both their farming business practices and community involvement. Each recipient receives a commemorative gate sign and are honoured at the BMO Farm Family Award Gala.
#3 Ec. Dev. Terms Of Reference Approved – Council approved the Regional Economic Development Committee (REDC) Terms of Reference and appointed Councillors Ben Fadeyiw and Dana Swigart to the Committee. Two councillors from the Town of Bonnyville will also be appointed. The purpose of the REDC is to consider and recommend actions that assist both municipal councils and administrations with the implementation of regional strategic objectives related to economic development. This includes the development and ongoing implementation of a Regional Economic Development Plan that will create a positive business climate, thereby fostering new industry investment, employment opportunities, and increased tax base assessment.
#4 Beaver Control – M.D. crews are continuing to remove beaver dams blocking culverts. Numerous landowners are signing up for the beaver bounty, with sites being visited and approved by the Pest Control Officer. Beaver dam removal using mechanical means and dynamite will be allowed on fish bearing streams starting July 1. Crews have a couple of weeks of work booked already.
#5 Dust Control Map 2020 – The 2020 Dust Control Map is now online. Council approved 23 cold mix and 16 MG-30 Dust Controls, along with several trials of Gravelock Dust Control. Some 2019 MG-30 Dust Controls (in pink on the map) will not be repeated this year.
#6 Cleaning Up – Mowing has begun, starting with the main hamlets followed by rural subdivisions. Roadside mowing began June 22, starting with all arterial roads. Once the arterials are completed, a shoulder cut will be done on all local roads. Thirteen groups participated in the Roadside Cleanup Program, with over 200 km completed. In 2019, the Beaver River Regional Waste Management Commission handled 13,538 tonnes of Class II waste that was hauled to the regional landfill in Thorhild. Commission members reviewed the 2019 audited financial statement, which stated a profit of $54,570.
#7 Ardmore Landfill Expands – A Request For Proposal (RFP) was sent out in April for the site investigation for a Class III cell within the Ardmore Landfill site. The testing was completed in June and found enough space to construct a couple of cells for future Class III waste. Currently, the existing cell has a one-year lifespan. The last cell constructed at the Ardmore site was in 2008. Class III cells are for dry, inert waste which include low-hazard materials such as couches, treated wood, and construction demolition materials. Environmental and Protective Services General Manager Matt Janz said by implementing waste diversion programs, such as the mattress recycling program, the lifespan of Class III pits has been extended.
#8 Water And Sewer Rate Review – The Town of Bonnyville provides water and sewer services to M.D. residents west of the town and at two developments along Moose Lake. The Alberta Utility Commission (AUC) requires a new agreement be signed listing the rates and length of term as the current one expires July 1. Council approved the “Cost of Service” approach for rate calculation and supported the request to the AUC of the renewal of the Water Services Agreement. The Town of Bonnyville will prepare the joint application to the AUC and submit it on behalf of the M.D. The “Cost of Service” approach means the water and sewer rates will drop in 2020, effective from January 1. The Town will issue a credit for water and wastewater due to the difference, retroactive to the beginning of 2020.
#9 Public Safety Report – In May, the Public Safety Department responded to 92 Case Reports, 30 BOLOs (Be On the Lookout), 10 Commercial Vehicle Inspections and handed out 14 Tickets/Warnings. Officers undertook 77 Rural Crime Prevention Patrols to observe business properties where there is reduced activity due to COVID-19 mandatory shutdown/isolation/oilfield slow down. These businesses are vulnerable to rural crime once they are discovered as being closed. Officers doing these patrols have been approached by business owners and advised that they have noticed the extra patrols and are appreciative. Officers conducted 313 Targeted Crime Prevention Patrols in property crime hotspots in expectation of encountering and/or deterring ongoing rural crime. Officers completed 624 General Crime Prevention Patrols of various rural areas.
#10 M.D. Well Sheltered – M.D. staff delivered more than 9,000 trees sold to M.D. residents through the annual Shelterbelt Program. Staff also distributed 10,500 free tree seedlings donated by Cenovus. Staff completed planting trees on affected landowner sites along the North Shore Heights walking trail, and also moved trees to the Public Safety building from the M.D. Tree Farm for landscaping.
#11 Municipal Census Rescheduled – On June 17, Council agreed to reschedule undertaking a Municipal Census from 2020 to 2021. The $85,000 budgeted this year for the census will be carried forward to 2021. A municipal census is conducted to provide the municipality with the most accurate demographic information possible for internal planning purposes.
#12 Funding Support – Council agreed to waive two months of rental fees (equaling $5,250) for the M.D.’s former Public Safety shop, which is being rented by Premier Academy. Due to COVID-19, the cheerleading academy was unable to open its doors and had no income coming in. In March, Council approved the option to suspend participation in the M.D.’s Tax Installment Payment Plan at the property owner’s request, without penalty, for a period of three months beginning April 1, 2020. The program ends June 30. Out of the 1,198 property owners on the plan, only 20 owners requested to use the program. All have been asked to resume their regular payment schedule. The owners thanked the M.D. for the deferment provided during this difficult time. Council agreed to provide the Bonnyville Golf and Country Club with 29 yards of cold mix to help upgrade and maintain the cart paths throughout the course.
#13 Briefly – The following summer Council Committee meetings have been cancelled: July 15, August 5 and 19. The Council meetings scheduled for July 8, 22, and August 12 and 26 will be maintained.