Kneehill County Council Approves Round Two Community Grants

Kneehill Logo 2019

Kneehill County Reeve Kenneth King called to order the Regular Meeting of County Council at 10:32 am, on October 24, 2023. The Regular Meeting followed the Organizational Meeting that had convened at 8:30. All Councillors were present.

The agenda was adopted as amended. The minutes of the October 10 meeting were adopted as presented.

Two items were added to the agenda under “Infrastructure-Roads, Bridges/Water/ WasteWater/Environment.

4.1 Facility condition assessment and asset retirement project.

This is a report that looks at the conditions of the facilities and assets and anticipates costs that will be involved in the repair and replacement of these. Administration gives a count of 33 facilities and 45 structures. They are targeting the facilities as being a priority.

Council approved that: “… the integrated facility condition and asset retirement assessment project with an allocated budget of $325,000.00 to be distributed over the next three years, with an immediate commencement to be funded from the contingency reserve.”

4.2 Acknowledgment in Council of the help received from the Provincial Government in having the bridge on Hwy. 587 repaired. Administration was sending a letter of thanks but Council agreed it should have the recognition come from Council as well.

There were three items under Community Services

5.1.1 Bylaw 1889 Public Hearing Postponement. “Council has initiated an amendment to Land Use Bylaw 1808 specifically to the sections relating to solar generation facilities and wind energy conversion systems. Administration has drafted Bylaw 1889 to amend the Land Use Bylaw.”

In reviewing the draft amendments Council asked that Administration make some more amendments and bring them back to Council before a Public Hearing is held. Thus, Council approved a postponement of the Public Hearing until the December 12 regular Council Meeting.

5.3.1 Trochu Fire Truck Repairs.

The background to this matter is given as follows: Following the annual mandatory pump testing, the contractor identified pump problems with the Trochu Tender 65. As such a replacement is recommended, however, it will take up to 14 weeks for the parts to arrive, and the truck will then be down for one week during repairs. The approved Protective Services operating budget does not have sufficient funds to cover this replacement. Council therefore passed the following motion unanimously:

“That Council accept the Trochu Fire Truck Repair report for information and authorize the transfer of up to $55,000 from the Contingency Reserve to the Protective Services budget.“

5.4.1 Economic Development Survey

Council had been requested to fill out an Economic Development Survey and it carried with it a due date of October 27. The survey was late in getting to the Councillors and a request was made by Council that the due date be extended to October 30.

Item 6.1 “Tax Cancellation – Industrial Accounts is an annual reality that cannot be “fixed” and so Council has no other option than to take these actions:

“That Council approve the cancellation of taxes on Municipal Tax Rolls that have been turned over to the Orphan Well Association and are affiliated with Manitok Energy Inc., Trident Exploration (Alberta), Lexin Resources Ltd., Arrow Point Oil & Gas Ltd., and Canyon Oil and Gas Corporation, totalling $89,268.72.”

“And further, that Council approve the cancellation of taxes that have been deemed uncollectable, affiliated with Pocahontas Petroleum Ltd and Crimson Energy Ltd., for a total of $13,723.65. That Council direct Administration to submit an application under the Provincial Education Requisition Credit (PERC) for the uncollectable Education Requisition (NR) and Industrial Property Requisition (DIP)”

Item 6.2 Preliminary Reserve Strategy doesn’t tell much for those not already in the know. Council received information (see summary below) and then Council accepted the report on a ‘Preliminary Reserve Strategy’ for information, as presented

“Reserve funds are vital to a municipality’s financial health and enable municipalities to plan for future operating and capital needs, avoid interest expenses associated with debt, generate investment income and strategically manage cash flow throughout the fiscal year. Healthy reserves are a result of effective policy surrounding the management of such, as well as effective long-term planning that can accurately inform appropriate reserve levels. The County’s reserves represent a source of funding that is restricted for specific future expenditures, to provide stability to tax rates, and to fund unanticipated emergent financial needs. The County currently has 17 reserve funds that have a combined value of $59,876,390, as of December 31, 2022. The County uses guiding documents, such as bylaws, policies, and external agreements, to support the management of reserve funds. At present, annual reserve contributions are determined based on asset acquisition costs and historical trends. To fund an expense from a reserve fund, operational areas must have an approved budget to use the reserve fund and the expense must be an allowable use of the reserve fund. Finance is responsible for reviewing the overall expenses, confirming alignment between the expenditure and permitted reserve uses, and transferring funds from a reserve to offset the expense.”

Moving to business under Legislative Services, Council considered 7.1 “Community Grants to Non-Profit Organizations Policy #15-3 Round 2.

That Council approve the allocation of Round Two Community Grants to the following Non-Profit Organizations with funding to come from the Community Grant Program and Century Farm Award program budgets: Three Hills Skating Club $1,170.00; Huxley Community Association $1,250.00; Acme Playschool Association $490.00; Three Hills Arts Academy $5,000.00; Three Hills Golf Club $3,800.00; and, Torrington Tourism Action Society $5,000.00.

7.2 AUC Webinar Meeting.

A Webinar meeting of RMA members is scheduled for the AUC gathering, but the date is the same date as the County Council Meeting, at which the Operating Budget will be discussed. Taking in the Webinar is considered to be valuable and not to be missed. Council passed the motion “…that Council will register and will plan to take a break from the Regular Council meeting to attend the Webinar by Zoom and then return to Regular Council meeting if necessary to finish any Council business.”

Council and Committee Reports covered five items:

9.1 Kneehill Housing - Councillors McGhee and Fobes presented the minutes of the Kneehill Housing meeting and gave some information on vacancies, renovations etc.

9.2 Central Alberta Economic Partnership - Councillor McGhee (Division 1) Spoke highly of the meeting and networking and sharing of ideas.

9.3 Division 1- Councillor Report

9.4 Division 5 - Council Report: Harvest for Kids. This event was well attended on September 27. There were 13 combines and several other vehicles to accommodate the harvest.

9.5 Flapjack Festival- Trochu. This too was well attended and considered a success.

10. Council Follow-up Action List. Council received the list as presented and accepted it for information.

Closed session.

Two Items.

11.1 Intergovernmental Relations (Section 21 - FOIP)

11.2 Third-Party Business (Section 16 - FOIP)

There were no motions coming out of Closed Session.

Adjournment was called at