Jerry Wittstock remains County Reeve, joined by Deputy Reeve Faye McGhee

Wittstock McGhee

Kneehill County started their Oct. 23 Council meeting with the organizational meeting, nominating Jerry Wittstock to remain as County Reeve, while Faye McGhee took over the reins of Deputy Reeve. Meeting dates in 2019 will remain as the 2nd and 4th Tuesday in a month, except for Jan 22, 2019 (cancelled), one day per month for July (16th), August (20th), and December (10), and the Nov 12 meeting is cancelled. Committee of the Whole meetings the 3rd Tuesday per month except for February (5th, not the 19th) and March (5th, not the 19th). Other exceptions are July 16, August 20, and Dec. 3rd. Municipal Planning Commission dates are for the 4th Thursday each month, with the exception being Dec. 19, 2019.

Strychnine under review

Council gave approval to send a letter, drafted by the Agricultural Service Board, to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency requesting the continued registration of 2% liquid Strychnine for control of Richardson Ground Squirrel. The AG Board felt that “Strychninine is an important component of an Integrated Pest Management program and currently there are no other products or solutions which match its combination of effectiveness and safety.”

Trident Exploration Inc.

Three representatives of Trident Exploration, including their President presented Council with an update on Sustainable Natural Gas Development. 76% of reserves are currently undeveloped. They have over 29 gas plants in Alberta (7 currently shut down), and they own three gas plants in Kneehill. In this County they also have 183 wells currently producing (shallow/conventional). Their annual payroll is $13 million and they have paid $25.8 million over the past five years (2013-2017) of property taxes, and $10.7 million in royalties. Trident has paid $4.7 M of property taxes within Kneehill County and they proposed a 20% reduction in property tax as a solution for some of the challenges. They feel it’s been a challenge for them with the higher property tax rates and 20-year low in gas prices. Investments in Kneehill County include $100 Million in Capital investment since inception.

Application withdrawn

A request to re-designate a portion of SE-18-30-24-W4 from Agriculture District to Direct Control (bylaw 1776) for the establishment of both a Cannabis Recreational Production and Cannabis Retail Facility was withdrawn.

Fire Strategy Meetings

announced

At the October 15, 2018 Committee of the Whole meeting, “Councilor Penner made a recommendation to direct administration to schedule meetings with our urban Council’s one on one, discussing the best possible fire service available to our residents and to ensure our rural residents are protected, and discuss the concerns that our urban partners have with fire, to be completed by Jan. 1, 2019.” Clr. King made a recommendation that the County write to the towns and villages, suggesting a meeting “so we can outline for them our vision of rural fire”.

At today’s regular Council meeting the motion was approved to schedule the meetings one on one.

Fire Engine to be sold

Council approved the recommendation that the 1999 County GMC Fire Engine (which failed its 2018 pump tests) be sold directly to Rocky Mountain Phoenix for the sum of $9000 Canadian. The sale revenue is to be kept as a credit toward future purchases with Rocky Mountain Phoenix. It is to be disposed of immediately and therefore won’t require storage room, one of the reasons cited for not waiting until an auction date.

Hesketh Hall insurance

Council gave approval to have Hesketh Hall added as an Additional Named Insured (ANI) under the County’s insurance policy. Having this option allows small community groups access to the same group pricing and broad coverage that Kneehill County has with RMA Insurance. Swalwell Hall also benefits from being one of the only other ANI under Kneehill County.

Thrashers request funds

Council approved sponsorship for the Three Hills Thrashers Junior Hockey Club in the amount of $350. The County has provided sponsorship in the past, in the form of a half page advertisement for $350. The season tickets in response to the sponsorship are donated to Kid Sport for their disbursal.

Community Grants to

Non Profit Organizations

The second/final round of applications for grants totalled $71,900. Round one funding in March totalled $25,589.75, leaving a balance of $24,410.25 for round two.

Due to grant applications being over $5000, two applicants were asked to have a delegation present to explain their project and answer questions. These were Prairie Christian Academy Society and the Lions Club of Trochu. Prairie Christian Academy is developing a recreational area with a playground ($80,000), Sportcourt ($40,000), and Baseball Diamond ($50,000). They have an application for CFEP grant set for Jan. 15, 2019. They are asking the County for $25,000. The Lions Club of Trochu is wanting to put in showers at the campground “to serve the community”; not to make a profit for the club itself. They are requesting $20,000.

Prairie Christian Academy was funded $25,000 from the County’s 2018 contingency funds.

The Lions Club was asked to provide more project details and a budget for future consideration of County funds.

Approval of funds were given to five of the other 11 total applicants for the fully requested funds: Three Hills Junior B Hockey Club ($4500 to replace equipment), Kneehill Minor Hockey Association (rink divider $4500), Kneehill Pond Hockey Association ($1000 for new set of jerseys), Carbon and District Agricultural Society and Curling Club ($900 to replace chairs), and the Acme Church of God (Seventh Day) for $1000 for interior renovations.