Trochu hears new approach for Effluent Treatment

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The Town of Trochu held their regular Council meeting October 28, 2019.

Administrator’s Report

Coming out of a recent ‘Committee of the Whole’ meeting, Magna Engineering made a presentation to Trochu Council regarding a new approach and technology for treating effluent, which could reduce the need to expand the lagoon.

The swimming pool project has been completed but will have to wait until spring to check for any issues. In regard to Seniors Housing, the Trochu Housing Corporation will be making a presentation to Kneehill County Council on November 26. Traffic counts are to be completed the first week of November for the Area Structure Plan and the engineering firm and Dillon Consulting could have the document finalized by mid November. Palliser Regional Municipal Services has hired Tim Fox as an interim Chief Administrative Officer. Carl Peterson advised Council that one of the first objectives is to follow up with the Intermunicipal Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. Palliser is also advertising for a senior planner. The Pontmain school is nearing completion on its demolition and Administration was impressed with how they are maintaining the cleanliness of the overall site.

Carl attended two separate meetings in regard to Drumheller and District Solid Waste Management Association (DDSWMA). One meeting was to consider funding arrangements for possible capital replacement of numerous transfer bins and the second meeting included an update of the Southern Alberta Energy from Waste (SAEWA) initiative.

The findings from a recently completed audit by Sustain Energy on the arena and the pool were presented to Council. Later in the meeting, Council took a look at the list of items that would qualify for the grant mentioned by Sustain Energy. To receive this energy efficiency grant, the Town would have to commit to spending $10,000 of its own dollars on a project. Council needed further clarification on some points but as the Mayor said, “Time is of the essence here. Let’s get this addressed tonight.” Furnaces seemed to be a top priority and a boiler, but the list was long and Council is wondering if they can do it all, complete the entire list of items. They gave Administration direction on how to proceed the next day, when Carl speaks again with Sustain Energy and clarifies some of the questions Council has. There was even talk of a solar cover for the pool, but Clr. Reeds didn’t think there was enough room for the roller, that reels out the cover. This, too, would be clarified.

Council will be reviewing its Social Media Posting protocol and bringing any amendments of the policy to Council for formal approval. Later in the meeting this policy was approved, as was the Christmas Appreciation Policy.

Carl reports that representatives from Municipal Affairs had been in attendance at the Local Government Administration Association of Alberta (LGAA) meeting on Oct. 23 and though there was much discussion regarding the upcoming budget, the reps had been very tight lipped. “Much of the ‘Red Tape’ reduction is aimed at speeding up the development process and therefore may mean opening up the MGA (Municipal Government Act) again.” Carl advises that with so many changes having been made to the MGA in recent years, “they are not printing the current MGA but rather supplying inserts of recent amendments in the older version of the MGA.” Carl advised that the Elected Officials Education Program continues to be offered but with relatively few Councillors taking advantage of it. Carl also noted that many small communities struggle with locating experienced Administrators (CAO’s) and that a focus or mentorship program should be initiated by Municipal Affairs.

An ‘Action and Tools’ workshop for Kneehill Regional Emergency Management Association has been scheduled for Dec. 12, 2019.

Quarterly Budget Report

Administration felt that the quarterly report is holding up well. “We are fairly right on with the projection, including a bit of a cushion.” The Mayor concurred, “On the revenue side it is pretty much bang on, within $8000. Overall, it is going to be close, and I’m hoping for a bit of a surplus.”

Councillor Committee Reports

Only two councillors had brief reports. Clr. Lumley confirmed that the Arboretum’s Christmas Market would be held on Nov. 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., to serve ham on a bun and taco salad. The Christmas lights would be turned on Dec. 13 and remain on until Jan. 1, 2020. On Dec. 14, the Elks 168 would be serving the hot dogs, on Dec. 21, it will be the Lions, and on Dec. 28 its the Town of Trochu. The fire department had not as of yet, confirmed a date. Clr. Stephan had a brief report on the Doctor Retention meeting. It was raised at the meeting that volunteers were needed to sit on the committee and there was concern about the low turnout from the member participants for the doctor appreciation barbecue this past summer.