Premier presents at CAEP General Meeting

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After the Public Consultation, Trochu Council began their Regular Meeting of Town Council at 8:00pm in Council Chambers.

Council passed the evening’s agenda and the minutes of June 14th’s Regular Meeting with no amendments to either.

Four members of the Three Hills Thrashers staff, led by Thrashers’ Head Coach Reid Fenton and GM Ryan Dettmer, joined the meeting as a delegation to discuss the possibility of Trochu putting their ice in early to accommodate the Thrasher’s schedule. Mayor Kletke and Councilor Armstrong, being involved with the Thrashers organization, excused themselves from Council Chambers for this portion of the meeting and the Delegation was chaired by Deputy Mayor Chris Reeds.

The Three Hills Centennial Arena, the usual home of the Thrashers, is undergoing a refrigeration plant project and will not be able to install ice until mid-September. The Thrashers need to start practicing on August 30th and would prefer to do that locally and in one location. The Thrashers had submitted a letter to the Town of Trochu but it was suggested they come to a meeting to present more information before a decision could be made.

The main concern for both the Thrashers and the Town of Trochu is budget; installing the ice 40 days earlier than initially scheduled is an unbudgeted $25,000 for the Town, and the Thrashers are in a tight budget situation to try to re-coup those costs.

Trochu could rent the ice out to other groups when not being used by the Thrashers, but it is not a guarantee (or seemingly likely) that they could bring in enough income to offset the cost. As well, this late in the year, most other teams have already made ice arrangements, so it would be difficult to bring in revenue by inviting other teams to use the ice.

The other constraint is time, as the Thrashers were needing to submit their ice arrangements to the league by July 5th. If unable to negotiate with Trochu, the Thrashers did not have another local ice option.

Council noted that the longer the Thrashers are able to stay in Trochu, the more viable some kind of arrangement becomes. For instance, if Trochu could benefit by hosting some home games beyond September 13th, it would be easier to justify the expense. The Thrashers noted that they could investigate having the Kneehill Minor High-Tech Hockey Camp on the Trochu ice, which would bring in some rental revenue.

The Thrashers wondered about putting forward a $10K ice rental credit to be used throughout the hockey year and not only in September. Council liked this idea, but it was not yet approved by the Thrashers’ Board. Council requested seeing a formal plan, but this could not happen until the Thrashers’ Board gave their approval.

It was suggested that Deputy Mayor Chris Reeds and Ryan Dettmer have a discussion with Three Hills Mayor Tim Shearlaw to see if there is any way for the Thrashers to delay moving back to Three Hills until Thanksgiving as a compromise, making it easier for the Thrashers and the Town of Trochu to proceed with some kind of cost-sharing agreement, as well as taking pressure off the Town of Three Hills in case the refrigeration project takes longer than expected, and reducing their arena costs if they can delay putting their ice in until late October. The Councilors saw this idea as a win-win-win for all involved.

CAO Carl Peterson presented his Administrator’s Report after the delegation was concluded. He shared that he felt that the Senior’s Housing Consultation went very well, and he was grateful this could happen in-person and with such great engagement.

He was also grateful that restrictions loosened enough for the Outdoor Pool to offer lessons through the school.

The Arboretum held their Annual General Meeting and had enough community members attend that they could nominate directors. There were only a few changes, with one member stepping off the Board.

It was also reported that a rare, once in 100 years infestation of Manitoba Maple Aphids has inundated the Maples at the Arboretum. It is believed that two soft winters in a row followed by just the right spring conditions, have caused the aphids to thrive and strip the leaves from the Maples. The trees could perish if they aren’t able to replenish their leaves before winter. The good news is that repairs to the irrigation system were not as serious as originally assumed, and will therefore be able to be completed in-house.

Campground rentals are going strong with lots of bookings coming in online.

Lastly, Peterson reported that members of the Trochu Food Bank planted the remaining garden beds, so not only are they all planted, but they will also benefit the efforts of the Food Bank in the community.

Council moved the Administrator’s Report with all in favour.

Councilor Bill Cunningham attended a Police Advisory meeting in Elnora. Sergeant Day brought two officers with him. They noted that suicide checks have increased, but in general crime in Trochu has decreased slightly. Council had asked Cunningham to inquire about lowering residential speed limits, which Cunningham did. He received mixed feedback from other municipalities, but was encouraged by Sergeant Day to receive feedback from the Town prior to making any kind of change. This could be done by a community survey.

Councilor Munro reported that the library will fully be open as of July 1st!

Deputy Mayor Reeds had two gentlemen approach him with a concern regarding hemp bales that they worried would be a fire hazard. Residents with concerns are encouraged to write a letter to CAO Carl Peterson.

Mayor Kletke attended a Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) General Meeting which featured a 40 minute presentation by Premier Jason Kenney. Kletke felt that Kenney did a good job, and mentioned the need to move businesses off the Hwy 2 corridor and into rural Alberta. In the call, Kenney mentioned the billion dollar MDF plant proposed for the Trochu/Three Hills area, and a potential new grain terminal to be built south of Three Hills.

Council filed the Council Reports and their Correspondence Listing with no discussion.

Last on the agenda, Council discussed Request For Decision 2021-07, to approve details of the 2021 public tax recovery sale for properties remaining on the 2020 tax arrears list. Council approved the date as Tuesday, September 9th, 2021 at 10:00am in Council Chambers. Properties will be sold “as is”. Buyers will need to provide a 20% non-refundable deposit on the successful bid on the day of auction, and the remainder of the total can be paid within 30 days. Council approved Jon Radcliffe as the auctioneer and passed this motion with all in favour.

Council entered Closed Session at 9:22 pm. The next regular meeting of Trochu Town Council is scheduled for July 12th at 6:00pm in Council Chambers.