Kneehill County Council Report

Representatives for Covenant Health and St. Mary's Health Care Centre (Trochu) presented Kneehill County Council, at its Feb. 8 meeting, with plans for building a new Trochu facility and for now, the committee would like a letter of support from the County to assist with the grant application. The delegation was introduced as Marilyn Weber, Ron Zook, and Kevin Cowan. They asked Council for any assistance they can give and to help promote the need for such a facility during their political travels. The Trochu facility accommodates continuing care and assisted living with 56 beds. The new facility, along with being 24 hour care has plans for an increase to 72 beds, or possibly more depending on review findings. It will be built on the site where the Pontmain School is located. "The Town will donate the land when the old school is demolished. They are presently considering other sites for demolition, to get it all done at once for the best deal, and pass any cost savings on to us." The committee was unsuccessful last year with their grant application but are more hopeful for this year. "St. Mary's is an aging facility and it would no longer be feasible to make major additions." The plan is for a new two-storey building with a facade that will fit in nicely with the residential area. Once construction begins, they feel the building could be completed in 14 to 18 months. "The long term plan is to turn the Lodge into a clinic, for other professionals."
The Village of Acme forwarded a request to Kneehill County from the Acme Golf Course regarding a water connection. Communications from the Village of Acme stated that it was not cost effective for the Village to provide water (due to metering and having to run lines under main roadways), but asked if the County would consider accommodating the golf club's request. Acme Council felt that due to the close proximity of the County line to the golf club property, a hook-up would be more accessible and less disruptive. County Councilors advised Administration to draft a letter to the Acme Golf Course advising them of costs for water modeling and fees for 'connection for non-County facilities', similar to a request received from the Village of Carbon.
A variety of topics are being considered for inclusion in the County's annual newsletter, for release in March. Along with the Reeve's message and ratepayer meeting schedule, topics to be addressed are listed as the proposed new Administration Building, 2011 road projects, a new snowplowing and grading agreement being implemented, the letter to residents of the Sunnyslope water service area, a summary of WSA projects, doctor update, upcoming Ag-Service Board projects, updates on the transfer site, census information and few other project updates. The cost for printing and mailing of this newsletter is approximately $1500.
In the Operations Summary it was reported that internal preparations have started for soil testing for the Sunnyslope WSA. Field testing is to start in about two weeks. Approximately 70% of the easements and right of way agreements for the miles of transmission have been signed and about 40% of landowners have signed to date. Drafting of the water line is 70% complete. After weather slowed down the production of the Selkirk WSA distribution line, work once again resumed the first of February. Flushing and testing is scheduled for completion by mid February. The reservoir is 100% complete. A verbal request from EnCana to upgrade RR 26-2 from TWP 29-2 north is once again back on the table (on hold from 2009, for which the County would have supplied the gravel and the culverts for the two mile upgrade). Road projects for 2011 will be prioritized beginning with the three remaining miles of the transfer station road (RR26-5, Hwy 27 south to Alllingham Road), with preparations next for the Martin Road (5 miles - TWP 34-0) and the Viterra East to Hwy 836 (TWP 33-0). Other roads were identified for major maintenance, surfacing and paving as time and dollars allow.
Will Nyman, the County's computer technician, explained that along with spacing concerns, the 'software' has limitations for placing multiple ownership names on County maps. To do an ownership change and create a new customer account would entail roughly 15 minutes per parcel, so the best method would be a gradual update, upon individual requests. Council approved a motion to implement a program and make the additions of joint ownership names 'on a request basis' only.
After comparing campground fees, Council approved an increase for the nightly fee at Keiver's Lake Campground to $20. The present caretakers have announced their intention to move away so Council will also be advertising for new caretakers.
Huxley Historical & Communities Initiative Society requested that the County consider mowing Huxley ball diamonds and adjacent campground until the Society is able to purchase the proper equipment. There was some discussion that the Society was presently using their extra dollars to build screening around the ball diamonds and the Society's next Casino (to obtain extra funds) would not put them in the rotation until 2013. With five new areas having been added to the County's mowing schedule along with complaints that cemeteries are not being mowed often enough, Council made a motion to deny the request, but it was defeated. They passed a motion (not unanimous) to assist with the mowing for one year only.
Council perused a request from the Association of Alberta Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) asking for their position in regard to a proposed requirement to publicly release recommendations made in the audit management letters. The feeling of Council was that "Yes, this (auditor's letter) should be presented; it is the publics money." Another point in favor, was that auditors, as a result, might write up better letters and be accountable. Council passed a motion to have Administration complete and submit the response to the AAMDC questionnaire showing Council's position as "in favor of releasing the audited letters".
Council accepted a motion to, once again, participate in the Community Discovery Nights and insure a County Councillor be in attendance at each. The schedule lists discovery nights are in Acme, March 10 (5-7 pm), Carbon on March 8, and Linden on March 15 from 6:30-8:00 pm).