Kneehill County Council Report

Kneehill Logo 2019

Kneehill County Council Meeting of January 11, 2022

Kneehill County Reeve Jerry Wittstock called to order the regular County Council Meeting scheduled for 8:30 am with all council members present.

The agenda was approved as amended. The minutes of the December 14 Council meeting were approved as presented.

Reeve Wittstock welcomed the first delegation, Shelley Jackson-Berry at 8:33 am. Shelley is the Director of the Kneehill Regional Family and Community Support Services (FCSS). Shelley presented an enthusiastic overview of FCSS, its history and development and involvement with Kneehill County and municipalities within the County.

Begun in 1966 under the name Preventive Social Services it took on its present name in 1981.

Her Power Point slide presentation, along with the meeting agenda and links to documents presented as well as the video of the meeting are available on line under Kneehill County Council Meetings.

Mrs. Jackson-Berry spoke to issues of funding reductions by the province, how that impacted staff and services. FCSS in its name really describes how far reaching its services are in that if families and communities need support, there is probably an aspect of a service in which FCSS has a part.

The next delegation/appointment was scheduled for 10:00 am, and the council proceeded with other matters before taking a break and coming into session for that presentation.

Under Community Services, Council attended to the Appointment of the Agricultural Fieldman. Shelby Sherwick, presently the Manager of Parks and Ag Services has been appointed by Council to this position. From the background information for the councillors, this is what is given: “This is a required position under the Agricultural Service Board (ASB) Act, if a municipality has an ASB and subsequent ASB grant agreement in place between itself and the Province. In the past, the incumbent to the Manager of Parks and Ag Services position has been appointed by Council to the Ag Fieldman role. Fallon Sherlock was appointed in the interim while the Manager role was being filled. Shelby has recently completed her Certified Agricultural Fieldman training and has been working in the Ag Services & Parks Department for over 5 years. She brings a strong understanding of the Provincial Acts and legislated requirements for this appointment.”

Under New and Unfinished Business, Council responded to a letter from MP Martin Shields concerning RCMP retroactive Payment. Again, this is best explained in the background provided to the Councillors.

“Costs of policing are currently shared by the Federal, Provincial, and municipal governments. Each year, Kneehill County includes this expense in its annual operating budget. This funding is paid to the Province of Alberta. The RCMP has entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Federal Government. A part of that agreement included retroactive salary coverage for up to five (5) years. How the Federal Government provides this funding is outside of the scope of the agreement. MP Martin Shields is writing a letter to the Minister of Public Safety and President of Treasury Board for further clarification regarding where this funding will come from and is asking for municipalities to provide letters of support in order to strengthen this request. MP Shields is requesting that letters be sent to his office prior to January 21st, 2022.”

Council approved that such a letter of support be sent to several ministers.

Another item of correspondence to be considered was a letter from the office of Ric McIver, Minister of Municipal Affairs, inviting council to book a time to meet with him at the spring convention of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta. Some discussion followed, and inasmuch as Council did not have any specific or pressing topic that they would have prepared for such an interview, Council declined this invitation. There are other less formal opportunities to be in discussion with ministers and if something should come up, there would be opportunities in other meetings.

Under County and Committee Reports, Reeve Wittstock attended a 2 part meeting of Aqua 7: Regional Water Services Water Works Systems, being under the Alberta Environment and Parks umbrella. He gave an oral report. Coming out of that meeting, the Reeve was able to report that looking at the 3 year budget, the Kneehill rate will be $3.39 “per cube” as of January 1, 2022.

Councillor Debbie Penner gave an oral report on her December meeting of the Drumheller and District Solid Waste Association. One change that will be effected is that regarding “tipping fees” and whereas some companies had previously been exempted from these fees, now all users will be charged.

A regular feature of Council Meetings is the presentation of the “Council Follow-Up Action list”. Questions per Road bans, Horseshoe Canyon and Recycling were raised and answered. Further discussions would take place at a Committee of the Whole.

Reeve Wittstock called a recess at this point and reconvened at 10 am.

Janette Sandiago, Regional Coordinator for Junior Achievement Southern Alberta was welcomed by Council.

Janette began with the following:

“Mission Statement Inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Vision JA will be the partner of choice for businesses, educators, and policy-makers around the globe seeking to expand workforce and economic development. We will be revered for providing experiences that promote the skills, understanding, and perspectives students will need to succeed in a global economy and become productive, contributing members of society. We believe in the boundless potential of young people.”

While the cold statistics do not really indicate the depth and impact of the programs which are offered to students from grade 3 to grade 12, these are what were related for the year 2021 January to December and followed by what JA hopes can be reached in 2022, considering what variables Covid protocol will affect.

2021:

295 students

in Dr. Elliot, Carbon and Three Hills Schools

Delivering 15 “Programs”

Involving 16 volunteers.

Presented by teachers, community guests, and online.

2022:

355 students

Adding Acme, Trochu Valley and Linden Schools

To deliver 23 programs, and to have 23 Volunteers.

Reeve Wittstock thanked Ms. Santiago for her presentation and several Councillors expressed their appreciation for the value of JA in the County.

Council concluded the regular meeting by “Disposition of Delegation & Public Hearing Business in moving to: “Accept for information the report by FCSS director” and “To approve support for Junior Achievement at $3,000.00/ year for the 3 year period, 2022-2025.

There was no Closed session.

Reeve Wittstock adjourned the meeting at 10:40 am.