Trochu Council together again, following pandemic

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Trochu held their July Trochu Town Council meeting on the 12th, with all Councilors present and in person, for the first time in one room since the pandemic began. Joining Council was CAO Carl Peterson, Director of Operations Dave Nelson, and Recording Secretary Toni Nelson. The meeting was called to order at 6:00pm.

Director of Operations Dave Nelson presented a report from the month of June. He said that the pool and spray park were opened on June 1st and 2nd respectively.

Council had previously asked Nelson about increasing the frequency or volume of cardboard pickup. Nelson reported that cardboard pickup will now be done weekly rather than biweekly, to meet the demand.

Nelson noted that the County completed their invasive weed inspection in town. Pruning was completed, and a manhole was lowered on Northfield Road making it safer to drive on. Crushed asphalt was spread in laneways around town, which sticks in place better than gravel and produces less dust. As well, the Town tested a laneway grader from Trochu Motors and is looking to purchase it; Nelson feels it is a nice piece of equipment and would serve the Town’s needs well.

Calcium chloride and spec crude were sprayed on roads in need and quarterly water samples from the Town came back as satisfactory.

At the Lagoon, there had been a fence needing some repairs between the Lagoon and a neighbouring property which was completed. All that remains on the lagoon project is to fix a laneway draining issue in the fall once the ground has hardened a bit. A swale will need to be built to ensure proper drainage. This is expected to be a one-day job.

At the Campground, more shale was added to the ball diamond, and a black pipe was added along the top of the fence at the diamond to protect anyone who jumps onto the fence to make a catch. Council really appreciated this safety feature. As well, while it was not the initial plan to install a mound at the diamond this summer, they discovered that in order for the U18 group to play, a mound is required. Therefore, a permanent mound is being installed on the large diamond.

Overall, things seem to be going well at the Campground. Nelson says it’s a learning experience for sure, but that crews are getting a handle on it.

Council filed the Director of Operations report, with all in favour.

CAO Carl Peterson was next on the agenda, with his report.

First, Peterson attended Senior’s Housing Steering Committee meetings on July 7th and earlier in the day where it was announced that Sheli Murphy is stepping out of her position and will be replaced by someone else who will help with the Trochu Housing project. Sheli has been involved with the project for many years.

Peterson let Council know that the Town will need to enter new mutual aid agreements with other municipalities in Kneehill County. Deb Grosfield has drafted a proposed agreement which Peterson will circulate to both Council and the Trochu Fire Department for their input.

Xplornet has decided to build their tower outside of the Town, to the east of the Trochu Campground. Council wondered whether Xplornet could provide wi-fi to the Campground, something that Nelson will investigate.

Peterson mentioned that ATCO Electric is in the process of reclaiming their property on the south west corner of the Arboretum. ATCO is currently trying to determine how far contamination has spread in the surrounding soil and what will need to be done to deal with this situation. It’s possible that a tree or two may need to be removed.

Lastly, Peterson mentioned that the Town is in the process of developing tax agreements. Council filed Peterson’s report with all in favour.

Due to lighter summer schedules, the Councilors did not have reports to present. Mayor Kletke, however, did have several items to share with Council.

Mayor Kletke reported that he was pleased with the Trochu Housing Committee meeting he attended earlier in the day, that progress is being made even if the pandemic slowed the process. Kletke expressed his confidence in the process and in Sam Smalldon’s leadership of the Committee. Mayor Kletke contacted MLA Nathan Cooper to see if it is possible to have Minister Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing, visit Trochu. Minister Pon is very aware of the project, but it would help to have first-hand exposure.

Mayor Kletke attended the Spandy Andy dance studio grand opening which was well attended. Andy’s first dance class was sold out and was successful. Council feels that Andy will be a great addition to the community.

Mayor Kletke showed Council a video from Enhance Energy, a company that captures C02, converts it to a thick liquid, sends it through existing pipelines, then pushes it 2km underground releasing oil from the ground. Currently Enhance pushes 4,000 tonnes of C02 per day, which is only 10% of their capacity. This is equivalent to the daily emissions of 350,000 vehicles. The C02 is stored underground, unable to be released back into the air.

There is an opportunity in Central Alberta for one of their plants to be built. This kind of industry only makes sense if there is a carbon tax in place; if there is no incentive for big emitters to capture or reduce carbon, it is unlikely for such a project to succeed. While the carbon tax is generally a sore point in Alberta, this kind of carbon capturing industry would create jobs, would lower the carbon footprint worldwide, and could see other provinces’ carbon payments come to Alberta if a carbon reducing industry could have success here. And not only would carbon be reduced, but oil could be brought from the ground without using freshwater from our lakes and rivers, and abandoned wells could be brought back to life for this purpose.

Mayor Kletke is on the CAEP Board, and CAEP will send a letter of support for Enhance Energy to the Provincial Government. Council received this presentation for information.

Council motioned to file their reports, with all in favour.

At 6:45pm Council heard a delegation from the Adult Pickle Ball Club. During the school year, the club uses the school’s gym for their games, but they are unable to use it when the school is closed. Therefore, they are requesting using the arena for the summer. The club has their own nets, will tape lines onto the concrete with tape that does not leave adhesive. The group will meet once a week in the evening for two hours. The nets will be left up between uses unless there is a function at the arena. A town employee will need to open and close the doors and turn on the lights.

Council motioned to allow the adult pickle ball club to use the arena for $20 per hour (the amount they paid at the school), with the understanding that the group carries their own liability insurance and will take care of cleaning the bathrooms.

Council filed their Correspondence Listing with no discussion required. Council filed their June 2021 Bank Reconciliation.

Secondly in finance, Council passed a motion to give the Trochu Community Hall a $1,500 water credit for 2021-22, as their way of supporting the hall. This is an annual item on Council’s agenda.

Council saw the Trochu Housing Corporation agreement with Kneehill County; Trochu’s side of the borrowing bylaw with the County. This agreement was brought before several groups of lawyers and was reviewed thoroughly by the Housing Corporation and by Council. Council passed the bylaw with all in favour.

In New Business, Council heard about an opportunity to be part of Travel Alberta Mystery Towns, which costs $5,000 but is fully funded by a grant. The idea is kind of like geocaching and helps locals and visitors alike discover the history and stories of an area through solving puzzles and clues to create a storyline. Council motioned to proceed with the idea, with all in favour.

Council entered the closed part of their meeting at 7:10pm. The next regular meeting of Trochu Town Council is scheduled for Monday, August 16th at 6:00pm.