Round Two Community Grants approved to Non-profits

Kneehill Logo 2019

Kneehill County held a regular meeting of council on Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020, which was called to order at 10:30 am by Reeve Jerry Wittstock.

The first item on Councils agenda, item 3.2, Pine Cliff Energy, Phil Hodge, CEO and Terry McNeill, COO. They are requesting for scheduled payments on the current municipal tax levy. Pine Cliff Energy is wanting to make payments monthly, instead of annually.

“We do value our partnerships with the oil and gas industry in Kneehill County. We value the commitments, and we do understand the difficult financial situation, that not only you, but that we are all in,” commented Reeve Wittstock at the end of the Pine Cliff Energy presentation.

Item 6.1.1, the Request for Decision (RFD) on the proposed land purchased in Hesketh.

David Kyle purchased a home in Hesketh in February of 2017. Kneehill County owns 4 lots in Hesketh, which includes a portion of Kyle’s access and yard. Kyle approached Kneehill County to see if Kneehill County would consider a subdivision that would allow him to purchase a portion of these lots, so he can own his access and yard.

The Council approved the assessed land value of $1750.00 for subdivision KNE200140 for the applicant to purchase his access and yard.

Agenda item 6.3.3, Horseshoe Canyon focus group appointments, presented by Bowen Clausen, Manager of Parks & Agriculture Services.

Applications were opened and advertised in the Three Hills Capital, Drumheller Mail and the online platforms for Kneehill County residents from Sept. 21 to Oct. 13.

A total of 14 applications were received for the Focus Group. Following the interviews, five members at large were recommended to Council.

Council appointed Cathy Price, Cathy Prohl, Dennis Dey, Kim Pliva, and Robert Long to the Horseshoe Canyon Focus Group, as recommended to Council by the third-party consultant.

The following Policies were presented to Council as part of an ongoing review of current policies that have not been reviewed for over four years.

Agenda item 6.3.1, RFD for approval of the Agricultural Service Board (ASB) Structure Policy 1-30 Soil Conservation- Stubble Burning, presented by Bowen Clausen. This policy was brought forward for the annual review, the ASB board recommended no changes in the policy.

Council confirms Policy 1-30 Soil Conservation- Stubble Burning as recommended by the Agricultural Service Board.

Agenda item 6.3.2, Policy 1-30-1 Soil Conservation – ASB Equipment Rental. Presented by Bowen Clausen - Manager of Parks & Agriculture Services. The rental equipment program was ended in March of 2019 and is recommending a deletion of this policy.

Council delete Policy 1-30-1 Soil Conservation – ASB Equipment Rental.

Agenda item 8.1, Policy 1-29-3 Agricultural Pests- Clubroot. The changes in the policy included clarifications and recommendations for lands that receive notices to continue with proper cropping rotations and resistant crop varieties after the notice term completes.

The Council approved Policy 1-29-3 Agricultural Pests - Clubroot as presented.

Agenda item 9.6, Policy 11-2, Letter of Support. This policy provides the procedures for individuals and organizations to request a Letter of Support and it provides guidelines for the CAO to approve them.

The Council approved Policy 11-2, Letter of Support, as presented.

Agenda item 6.4.1, Disposal of Fire Apparatus, presented by Debra Grosfield, Protective Services Manager. With the recent purchase of new fire engines, there are two in-service engines in the County and one spare that need to be disposed of. Engine K2 requires major repairs to be useful, engine E11 is past it’s life cycle, while engine E21 has low maintenance issues and could still be used for out of service (repairs/training).

Due to their age and repair needs, administration recommends donating engine K2 and E11 to the Alberta Society for Firefighters Abroad and keeping engine E21 for temporary out-of-service replacement and training purposes.

The Council approved the donation of engine K2 and E11 Fire Engines to Alberta Society for Firefighters Abroad and keeping engine E21 Fire Engine for training and temporary out-of-service replacement but will no longer fund engine E21 on the Capital Replacement Plan.

Agenda item 7.1, Quarterly Financial Reporting, presented by Marika von Mirbach, Financial Planning Coordinator and Bill McKennan, Director of Corporate Services.

The Quarterly Financial Reports inform Council of financial transactions and how these expenditures, revenues, and other financial indicators compare to the annual operating budget and plan that Council had previously approved. The following reports are for the period ending September 30, 2020 (3rd Quarter):

Quarterly Financial Report RFD

Appx A Operating Variances

Appx B Project Report

Appx C Investment Report

Appx D Reserve Continuity

The Council received the Quarterly Financial Reporting for information.

Agenda item 7.2, Tax Cancellation - Industrial Accounts, presented by Bill McKennan.

Due to bankruptcy, $1,052,001.95 in taxes must be written off, as municipalities have no means to collect on unpaid Oil and Gas Properties. The penalties on these rolls must also be cancelled, for an additional $268,306.00.

The County can apply for the uncollectable Designated Industrial Property Requisitions through the PERC Program (Provincial Education Requisition Credit) which will reimburse $146,492.00.

The Council moved to expense and cancel $1,052,001.95 in property taxes for the specified rolls, directed administration to apply under the Provincial Education Requisition Credit (PERC) for the uncollectable requisition, and voided all corresponding 2020 penalties.

Agenda item 9.1, Community Grants to Non-Profit Organizations, presented by Mike Haugen, CAO.

At the Oct. 20, 2020 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Council discussed the 2020 Round Two Community Grant Applications and recommended that Council approve the following:

Three Hills Figure Skating Club, $1,169.99, for figure skating equipment.

Huxley Community Association, $865.20, for replacing taps and toilets at the Huxley Hall.

The Council approved the Round Two Community Grants to Non-Profit Organizations funding to the Three Hills Figure Skating Club, and Huxley Community Association.

Agenda item 9.2, Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) Fall Resolutions, presented by Mike Haugen.

The Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) advocates on behalf of rural municipalities in meetings with government, and ensures that provincial decision-makers, as well as industry and other relevant stakeholders, understand and incorporate the best interests of rural Alberta in their policies

The Council received the 2020 Rural Municipalities of Alberta Fall Resolutions Listing for information.

Agenda item 9.3, 2021 Kneehill Regional FCSS Budget and Allocations, also presented by Mike Haugen.

At their Sept. 10, 2020 meeting, the Kneehill Regional FCSS Board approved increasing the municipal requisition by 1.6% to cover the cost of living increase in 2021. Kneehill County’s contribution in 2020 was $48,052.00 and if the FCSS budget is approved, the cost will be $48,821.00 in 2021.

The Council approved the Kneehill Regional Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) 2021 Budget and Allocations as presented.

Haugen also presented agenda item 9.4, the Kneehill Adult Learning Request.

The Kneehill Adult Learning requested a sponsorship in the amount of $2,600.00 to assist with the costs of hosting a Suicide Prevention Safe Talk Workshop.

The Council directed administration to bring back more information on the Kneehill Adult Learning request.

Haugen continues to present agenda item 9.5, Kneehill Regional Partnership.

For the past several months Kneehill County has been working with regional partners, the Towns of Three Hills and Trochu, the Villages of Acme, Carbon, and Linden, to revamp the Kneehill Regional Partnership. Finding ways that regional municipalities can work together on new initiatives and find efficiencies in services provided.

The Council authorized the Reeve and CAO to sign the October 15th, 2020 Kneehill Regional Partnership Protocol once a final editing has been completed, and appointed Deputy Reeve McGhee as primary, and Councillor Christie as alternate members.

Still being presented by Haugen, agenda item 9.7, the Assessment Model Review Outcomes.

The Province announced outcomes of the Assessment Model Review. While none of the original four scenarios were chosen, the following outcomes were announced by the Minister of Municipal Affairs:

Firstly, a comprehensive review will be postponed for three years.

New pipelines and wells will have a three-year tax holiday after being built. This will apply to builds in 2021 and the holiday will be for 2022, 2023, and 2024.

The elimination of the Well Drilling Equipment Tax (WDET).

And lastly, the County received additional information regarding the lowering of property assessments on Oil and Gas wells for three years. From the Province’s calculations this will result in approximately $650,000 less in tax revenue.

The impact of these changes is a loss of over $1 million dollars, with additional losses anticipated in future. This is a less negative impact than the original proposed changes but will continue to put pressure on the County’s revenue.

The Council accepted the report on the Assessment Model Review for information.

The RFD of the Transfer of Land to Alberta Transportation, agenda Item 9.8, states that the Alberta Transportation has been working in the Drumheller area to repair slides. As part of that work, Kneehill County has granted Alberta Transportation permission to enter County land. Transferring this land to Alberta Transportation would allow them access without needing County approval.

The Council directed administration to transfer Lot: 1ER Block 2 Plan: 8210253 to the Province.

The regular Council meeting adjourned, and the next Council meeting will be held on Nov. 10, 2020 at 8:30 am in Council Chambers.