Three Hills Council hears delegations

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The Three Hills Town Council Meeting of September 9, 2019 moved immediately to its two delegations once it was called to order at 5:32 and the agenda was accepted as presented and the minutes of the August 26 meeting were adopted.

The first delegation was Chris Montgomery, of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Canada’s Oil & Natural Gas Producers. He presented an update on the natural gas and oil industry supplying several charts including total wells drilled in Western Canada and the decline of such since peak years of 2005, and then the fluctuations of Crude Oil Prices in recent months as well.

The next presentation was by Mark Black of ISL Engineering and Land Services, the company overseeing the Three Hills Water Treatment Plant Upgrades. His update included the “Current status of the project, the Tender Administration Process, a review of the Received Bids, a Budget Update, and the expected Next Steps”. The presentation and interaction with Council occupied close to one hour. No resolutions were brought forth at this time, and further information will be sought and more clarification and negotiations with contractors will follow.

There was no “business arising out of the minutes”, no “old business”, and no “bylaws” needing to be dealt with. Jacqueline Buchanan, Economic Development Officer brought forth an “amended “ Town of Three Hills Economic Development Strategic & Future Growth Plan. It amounts to a 171 page document assessing various proposals and included some recorded input from the Community Workshops held on June 17.

Council passed the following motion: “…that Council adopts the Town of Three Hills Economic Development Strategic & Future Growth Plan as amended.”

Other matters under “New Business” were mostly straight to the point and were in the nature of reports and updates to receive, or to give confirmation.

The Town of Peace River has asked that Municipalities in Alberta join with them in presenting their case to the Canadian Revenue Agency which has determined that their Interprovincial Cost Sharing Agreements are subject to the Federal Goods and Services Tax. For Peace River this amounts to over $600,000.00. The implication is that this ruling will affect ALL Alberta Municipalities. At this point Council “… accepts the report regarding the GST on interprovincial cost sharing agreements for information as presented.”

The “cost sharing agreement” is not new, but CRA has reinterpreted the definitions and this has set a number of precedents which will be problematic for municipalities, and these are set forth in the letter and “briefing document” sent to the municipalities.

Alan Parkin, newly appointed CAO, has requested that there be a meeting with Council to discuss the vision and mission that Council has and then to go through a strategic planning time the following day. To that end “…Council approves October 16, 2019 from 1 to 3 PM (two hours) for discussion on vision and mission and October 17, 2019 from 8 AM to 3 PM (7 hours)for a strategic planning session.”

An annual formality of setting the “franchise fee percentage paid” is covered in this motion: “… that the ATCO Electric Franchise Fee percentage remain at 6% for 2020.”

The Traffic Speed Sign located on Hwy 583 by the Kneehill County Office from July 23 to August 28, recorded traffic heading west. During the 37 days that data was collected there was a total of 72,738 westbound vehicles passing the sign. A pie chart included in the report to Council indicated that of that number there were 53,879 clocked at 50 km or less. In other words 73% travelling at the posted speed limit or under. The sign has been moved and will be erected in other locations in weeks to come. Council “ accepts the Traffic Speed Sign update for information as presented.”

Alan Parkin, presented his first CAO report for August indicating meetings attended and follow up discussions pertaining to Town of Three Hills Administration. The motion passed reads: “… that Council accepts the August Chief Administrative Officer’s report as information.”

The Councillor’s reports and Mayor’s report took very little time to go through with the following reports being given:

Councillor Campbell attended the Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association (SAEWA) meeting of August 30, sitting in for Councillor Hamm, who was unable to attend.

Deputy Mayor Wildeman attended two meetings regarding the Water Treatment Plant. He also visited the Damien Kurek “Campaign Mobile Office” at the Get ‘N Go parking area on September 7.

Mayor Shearlaw was at the Discovery Night on September 4 and the Community Futures meeting on September 5.

With the acceptance of five items of Correspondence the meeting was adjourned at 8:14 PM.