Trochu Town Council hosts Public Hearing for Area Structure Plan

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Trochu Town Council held a regular meeting, and a Public Hearing for Area Structure Plan, on November 9th, with all Councilors present. To allow space for additional guests, the meeting was held at the Baptist Fellowship Centre with chairs spaced appropriately and infrared temperature checks at the door.

Mayor Kletke opened the meeting at 6:00pm and Council carried previous meeting minutes as well as the agenda for the evening, with some minor additions. Joining the Councilors were Recording Secretary Toni Nelson, Director of Operations Dave Nelson, CAO Carl Peterson, Lavinia Henderson of Civic Solutions, and representatives from Dillon Consulting.

The Public Hearing opened at 6:10pm to discuss Bylaw 2020-16, Northwest Area Structure Plan. Council recessed their regular meeting in order to open the Public Hearing.

The opening paragraphs of the ASP state that the ASP is “a long range, statutory planning document adopted by the Town Council as a bylaw to meet the requirements of the Municipal Government Act. The ASP is a road map for future development in a municipality that works to achieve the overall objectives of the Municipal Development Plan and Intermunicipal Development Plan that discusses: the sequence of development of the area, future land uses, population densities, and general location of transportation corridors and public utilities.”

Specifically, this is the area which is being proposed for the new Senior’s Housing complex.

There were no written submissions for or against the ASP, and no public citizens attended the hearing to speak either for or against the ASP. As there was no one present to discuss the ASP, Council recessed the public hearing and returned to their regular council meeting.

Director of Operations Dave Nelson shared what his team has been up to in the past month. Significant projects include the re-connection of the Dr. Hay House’s phone line (at the Arboretum) in order to monitor the temperature of the House in the winter. Crews also cleared out irrigation water lines at the Arboretum.

The pool has been completely winterized and an energy conservation grant for the arena has been accepted, meaning that new efficient furnaces and hot water tanks will be installed in the future.

Public works completed many landscaping and maintenance tasks to prepare for both the winter and the coming spring, such as cleaning out culverts, installing snow fence, and prepping snow removal equipment.

Crews installed water to 212 Main Street, but in the process, a waterline was unfortunately clipped and therefore water to the rest of the block had to be shut off for an hour. Testing was done and the water samples came back with satisfactory results.

Nelson shared a Lagoon update. If the warmer weather continues, the liners and earthwork will be complete in a week. Dirt had been moved onto the neighbour’s property, but that dirt has now been used up and hydroseeding was completed on the neighbour’s property. A fence was also installed between this property and the Lagoon. The annual Lagoon release started on October 3 and was completed by October 23.

All hydrants in town have received maintenance and greasing. There had been a water leak near Huxley, which they were able to locate and mark. It will be fixed in the spring when the ground is more accessible.

Nelson also reported that they are starting to get results back on water effluent readings. Once this data is received they will be able to extrapolate and make decisions based on that data.

Lastly, Nelson said that the campground is completely winterized, with water lines blown out and equipment in storage.

A councilor noticed that the Town of Trochu’s website listed serviced winter lots. Nelson noted that this actually is not something being offered at this time, and therefore the website would be amended.

Council also carried the Water/Wastewater Report and the Grantwriter’s Report, neither requiring discussion.

CAO Carl Peterson presented his Administrator’s report. He noted that there was a Senior’s Housing Open House planned for November 16, but new Covid restrictions have caused this event to be postponed.

He reported that it seems like the work at the Lagoon will be able to be completed this winter, which is a change from previous estimations that it might have to be completed in the spring, so that is good news.

The interim audit was completed on November 5th with no concerns at this time

Council moved to approve the administrator’s report as presented.

Out of Peterson’s report was a motion for council to have the mayor and CAO sign the Kneehill Regional Partnership Agreement upon completion of final editing. All were in favour and the motion was carried.

Councilors then shared reports.

Councilor Chris Armstrong’s Community Futures Wildrose meeting showed the organization with a higher than anticipated income, resulting from Covid. However they are into their second round of Regional Relief and Recovery Fund loans and are glad to be helping more small businesses.

Councilor Bill Cunningham has been in discussion with the Canadian Badlands group who are trying to re-invigorate interest in their organization. They’ve hired a tourism consultant who is talking to the municipalities within the badlands to determine how viable this organization is. Cunningham noted that the smaller municipalities were the ones who saw the benefit of being represented by the Badlands group. Larger centres such as Lethbridge and Stettler have pulled out. The cost is fifty cents per capita to be a member. He concluded that he wouldn’t be surprised if the organization fizzled out, but that some of the smaller communities are willing to give it another shot.

His other meeting was with Kneehill Housing who have lost revenue with a 25% vacancy at the Golden Hills Lodge, partly because of Covid.

Councilor Cheryl Lumley noted that the arboretum is almost ready for opening. It seemed hopeful that they will be able to keep the lights on longer into January.

Deputy Mayor Munro noted that all of her meetings are still virtual. She noted that after reviewing Covid protocols, the library will now be allowing more than two people in at a time, but will continue to ensure proper physical distancing. She also expressed gratitude to all who help with library payroll.

Mayor Kletke let Council know that Trochu’s business plan would be discussed tomorrow at November 10th’s Kneehill County Council Meeting.

Council moved October’s bank reconciliation.

In New Business was the opening of sealed bids for the sale of lot 37, block 3, plan 8210AK in downtown Trochu. There was one bid received, in the amount of $18K plus GST, from Don Maxwell. Council motioned to accept this bid and accepted with all in favour.

At 6:40pm Council re-opened the public hearing, then closed it, then gave second reading to the bylaw. Because of a small numerical error on one of the tables in the report, Council will move 3rd and final reading at their next meeting.

The open portion of the meeting closed at 6:45pm. The next regular meeting of Council is scheduled for November 23, 2020.