Clubroot shuts down Equipment Rental Program

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Council gave its support for the recommendations of Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA), Administration and the Agriculture Service Board to discontinue the ASB Rental Agreement program. They will sell off the equipment locally, donating the scales and cattle chute to the local 4H region and to dispose of the remainder of rental equipment through a local equipment bid.

Seasonal Staff and Budget Amendment

Manager of Parks & Agriculture Services was granted an additional $30,000 in the budget to help manage (one) additional staff, advertising and educational workshops due mostly to confirmation of clubroot in Kneehill County. Physical inspections will be conducted around the confirmed areas and rumoured locations, as well as new protocols for more in-depth sanitation “to ensure Kneehill County does not become the vector for further spread,” noted Bowen Clausen. The ASB staff will already be stretched for the 2019 season with shoulder spray/gravel retention program, completion of a one-third right-of-way spraying, Toadflax and spot spraying throughout the entire County, as well as regular weed and pest inspections and other duties. ASB staff normally consists of two spray truck drivers, one vegetation management technician, one land care coordinator (Assistant Fieldman), and one Agricultural Fieldman (Bowen as Manager).

Financials

Corporate Services presented Council with a quarterly financial report, bank reconciliation (October-December 2018), Financial Surplus of 2018, the 2018 Transitional Reserve Reallocation, and the 2018 Project Budget carry forward to 2019.

Council moved acceptance of the January to December 2018 financial report as information. Mike Morton notes that report includes operating, project summary and detail, grants and reserves. Overall operating revenue is at 108.35% and expenses at 97.36%, as of December 31, 2018. “The Operating and Project Budgets together create a current year operating budget surplus of $3.555 million.” The revenues exceeding budget are listed as Well Drilling (by 529 k), interest earned (by 617 k), additional agreements other revenue (by 488 k), and planning department licenses and permits (by 115 k). “Revenue from penalties on taxes outstanding is also above budget by 610 k. This is primarily due to Industrial and Linear taxes in arrears.” The report also shows the projects being carried forward from 2018 to 2019. “The carry forward projects funded from 2018 Operating Tax dollars will require a transfer to the Transitional Reserve in the amount of $793,521.00, as reflected in the reports.” The Project Report shows a net gravel expense of $2,747,019.00 ,which accounts for the gravel used.

The Bank Reconciliation from October to December 2018 was received as information. As of Dec 31, 2018 a total of $32,000,000 has been invested into six (6) GIC’s.

“Administration is working with the Auditors to finalize the 2018 Financial Statements and requires Council Motion to transfer the 2018 Financial Surplus funds to reserves. It should be noted that the approximate $3.5 million surplus is not all backed by cash. There is approximately $2.1 million of tax accounts that are one year in arrears, It is also unknown what the actual 2019 potential doubtful accounts could look like at this point. Lastly, there is also the ongoing issue with assessment uncertainty making it difficult to predict the stability of tax revenue.” Council approved the transfer of the 2018 Financial Surplus funds in total of $3,500,000 to the Revenue Stabilization Reserve ($2.1 million) and to Road Reserve ($1.4 million).

With Administration having reviewed the unspent funds currently in the Transitional Reserve, which are no longer required to fund projects that are now complete, Council moved acceptance to transfer $116,923.11 to the gravel reserve for 2018.

The 2018 Project Budget Carry Forward to 2019 was approved by Council for the transfer of $793,521.51 to Transitional Reserve for the purposes of funding the 2018 projects carried forward to 2019.

Board and Committee Appointments

Council appointed Dennis Tainsh as a Member At Large for the Municipal Planning Commission and this prompted an updated Board and Committee Appointment list (Policy 3-3). The updated list was approved as presented.

Kneehill Regional Doctor Recruitment and Retention Committee

Notable information to come out of the Doctor R & R Committee include an awards deadline, authorization (including registration and expenses) for Flo Robinson and Al Campbell to attend a ‘Webinar Series’ for rural and remote communities, budget approval, and date for the doctor appreciation barbecue (June 13, 2019). The deadline for the Rhapsody Awards include Alberta Rural Physician Award of Distinction, Alberta Rural Community Physician Attraction and Retention Award, and award recognizing exceptional rural Alberta health professionals or teams. The budget amounts proposed for 2019 includes: $1500 for visiting doctors ‘meet and greet’ meals, $500 for red Deer or Calgary Resident meals, $1000 for gifts, $700 for the appreciation bbq, $500 for awards, $2500 for conference/training. Dr. Peters arrived at the clinic in November 2018 with the initial focus on unattached patients, but she is now accepting return patients. An Internal Medicine Specialist is to increase visits to three days each month starting in April. Appointments by referral only.