EV charging station proposed for Trochu

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All Councilors were present for the Trochu Town Council Regular Meeting held by Zoom and in Council Chambers on May 25th 2021. CAO Carl Peterson and Recording Secretary Toni Nelson also joined the Councilors. The meeting was called to order at 6pm.

First on the agenda, Council set their summer meeting schedule dates for Regular Council Meetings, on July 12th and August 16th. Council mentioned the need for an Open House for the Trochu housing project, but that it was still too early to set a date.

CAO Carl Peterson presented his Administrator’s Report to Council.

He noted that the proposed Trochu Senior’s Housing project is still sitting at 16 deposits made.

At the Swimming Pool, enough guards have been hired to staff a full summer slate of activities, so they are prepared for any level of restrictions. They are in contact with the Three Hills pool staff, coordinating to offer training for guards.

At the Arboretum, an irrigation company out of Red Deer was hired to check the irrigation system. They found a few leaks and will repair them, but the system is in better shape than initially thought. Peterson is hopeful that grants can be procured for the required work.

At the Campground, Darryl Stewart has been hired as the summer Campground Attendant. Peterson noted that it seems Stewart is fitting in well, and is very knowledgeable.

Several raised garden beds are in place around town. Councilor Cunningham wondered whether the Town should fill the beds that are not claimed by residents. Peterson said they will start offering a second bed for interested residents (initially it was capped at one per person), and any leftovers will be filled by the Town to beautify the space as much as possible.

Mayor Kletke commended Peterson, noting that he’s heard good feedback about the bed placements, and has heard that the Trochu campground is very accommodating and hospitable.

Council filed the Administrator’s Report with all in favour. Councilors then reported on their activities.

Councilor Bill Cunningham shared that the license plate security bolt event was a success, with lots of residents coming out. As well, Cunningham noted that the new Oriental Grocery Market in Trochu had their grand opening and he is excited to have them in Town. Councilor Bonnie Munro also commented on the very friendly atmosphere of the market and the helpful staff.

Later in the week, Cunningham was scheduled for a workshop with Jacqueline Buchanan about Kneehill Tourism. Buchanan was giving an orientation to the Kneehill tourism system, where information is entered by local business owners and then is available for tourists. Cunningham was attending for the Trochu Museum.

Councilor Cheryl Lumley attended an FCSS meeting where the School Resource Workers gave a presentation. Lumley found it a pleasure to learn about the work they do in schools, especially to address the heightened anxiety in students, particularly around the COVID situation.

She also attended a Kneehill Partnership Meeting. In conjunction with the Kneehill tourism campaign, the slogan “take your time” has been created for visitors to the County. Visitors will be directed to Kneehill Facebook and Instagram pages. Non-Fiction Studio has been contracted to complete campaign strategies and will manage the remainder of the project.

Deputy Mayor Chris Reeds received an email from Battle River–Crowfoot MP Damien Kurek who is interested in sitting-in on a Council Meeting. Reeds would send a reply to Kurek with a suggested date of June 28th at 6:15pm.

Council filed the Council Reports with all in favour.

Council filed the Correspondence Listing, with no discussion required.

In Finance, Council had their annual request to sponsor the Royal Canadian Legion Military Service Recognition Book. Council declined to purchase a sponsorship.

Secondly, Council had a request from the Trochu Ag Society, to be a sponsor for their live-streamed rodeo that they are holding on June 26th at the Trochu Ag Grounds. All aspects of the rodeo will conform to COVID requirements. Council motioned to contribute as a Silver Level sponsor, contributing $500 to support a local organization. The motion was passed with all in favour.

Council had two Bylaws to discuss and approve.

The first was Bylaw 2020-13, a road closure which was brought forward for first reading in April 2020 and has now been approved by Alberta Transportation. It is now ready for second and third reading and approval. Council passed the Bylaw with all in favour. This Bylaw “closes” a portion of Elevator Road, but is really just a technicality on paper; nothing will change on the actual physical road itself.

The second was Bylaw 2021-07, a Tax Penalty Bylaw. Each year Council has to approve the date on which tax penalties will be enacted. Last year’s date was August 31 which was an exception. This year Administration opted to return to the usual mid-August date. Council passed the Bylaw with a date of August 15, with penalties charged starting on the 17th.

The first item in New Business was a re-stating of Library Board Appointments, which the Town appoints. This was completed at Council’s last meeting, but Municipal Affairs requires that it be stated in a different format, so a re-worded motion was made merely for this formality.

Second in New Business, Council discussed a proposal for electric vehicle charging station(s) in Trochu. A company in Red Deer had expressed interest in installing one or more charging stations in town, either in the Ladysmith Café parking lot or in the parking lot between the arena and pool. The interested individual met with some Councilors and business owners to share more information on his proposal and answer questions. Council discussed whether or not to accept the proposal.

The good news with the proposal is that it’s no risk and no cost for the Town, what Council felt was a win-win situation. A lease would be signed by the Town or land owner where the charging station is placed, and once the station is established, the land owner would earn a percentage of the electricity sold.

ZAP Industries is applying for a government grant which would fund half the expenses of building the charging station. Should this grant request be denied, the project would perhaps not move forward. A lease will not be signed until the government grant is secured. Approval from the Town builds support for the grant application. This will be the first charging station on Highway 21, and the second fastest available type of station.

Council motions that “we express our interest in having an EV charging station with ZAP Industries out of Red Deer.” The motion was passed with all in favour.

Council entered Closed Session just before 7:00pm. The next Regular Meeting of Council is scheduled for June 14th, 2021 at 6:00pm.