County approves Flag Protocol

Kneehill Logo 2019

Kneehill County Council Reeve Jerry Wittstock called the June 9, 2020 regular meeting of Council to order at 8:30am.

The first item on the brief agenda was a Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Asset Management Grant Opportunity, presented by Director of Corporate Services Bill McKennan. As the County has hundreds of millions of dollars in assets which have to be managed, Administration directs Council to approve the grant application.

The maximum Municipal Asset Management Program grant amount to be received is $50K, and the County would be responsible to contribute another $10K-$25K which could be taken from the Grant Fund. A precursor to receiving federal or provincial grants is ensuring that assets are well-managed and planned for. This grant would allow the County to better coordinate activities that are currently completed by paper, by transferring these items to an online system and thus integrating the management of data. Public Works and Transportation would be the first to participate in the system, and would also be very helpful for Maintenance.

It would negate the need for summer data management workers.

Council motions to direct Administration to apply for the FCM grant.

Kneehill CAO, Mike Haugan brought forward policy 11-22, Flag Protocol. The purpose of this new policy is to establish and clarify when the County flags will be lowered to half mast, to ensure that all are clear about the timing and circumstance for half-masting. Some of the reasons for half-masting include the death of a notable member of society, ranging from the death of a member of the royal family to the death of a county employee. As well, seven dates were noted which warrant the lowering of the flags. Flags will also be lowered whenever the Prime Minister’s Office lowers flags on all federal buildings, or when the Alberta Premier’s Office lowers all flags on Provincial buildings. Council approved policy 11-22.

Council will review the policy on a scheduled basis.

Haugan also brought forward a policy for the review of County policies. Prior to the creation of this policy, Council was scheduled to review 85% of their policies in one year. To make this task more manageable, Haugan and his staff created an internal schedule which assures that all Council policies are brought to Council for review on a four-year rotating cycle. On this schedule, Council will read each policy once every four years. This will ensure that policies are kept current. As well, policy renewals will be tied to quarters rather than specific dates so that Administration can conveniently supplement light agendas with policy renewals, rather than adding to an already full agenda. Administration has scheduled policies to coincide with the seasons; a policy pertaining to agriculture services would not be scheduled when Ag Services is busy in the field. Council received this report for information.

Deputy Reeve McGee presented an oral report on Kneehill Housing. She noted that a Zoom meeting was held where annual budget was completed. From that meeting she also reported that the staff at the Golden Hills Lodge have been working hard and doing very well. They’ve established new and creative ideas and activities for residents, such as renting a van for outings to see crops and tour around. As well, they had three surprise inspections by the Province, and have been found to be in compliance with Province Covid procedures. They’ve also been able to capitalize on this slower season by re-paving the parking lot and getting it completed before it is used again. McGee also noted that there are currently vacancies at all homes.

Councilor Christie reported on Community Futures Wildrose. They recently had an online meeting in which they learned that Wildrose has been given $970K to assist small and medium sized rural businesses in the amount of $40K each who have not been eligible for other assistance measures. This is being called the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. If these businesses pay back the loan before December 31, 2022, $10K would be forgiven. These businesses would not need to be Community Futures members, however the window in which businesses could apply was only three weeks, with the deadline. He also announced that Christopher Steeves is now the Business Analyst for Community Futures Wildrose. Council received this report for information.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 am.