By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The following are selected briefs of the Oct. 24 meeting of M.D. of Taber Council.
Organizational Meeting Highlights
Council held an organizational meeting in chambers and Councillor Tamara Miyanaga was elected the new Reeve. After Reeve Miyanaga was sworn in, there was a vote for Deputy Reeve and Councillor John DeGroot was elected the new Deputy Reeve for the M.D. of Taber. Councillor Reynolds was afterwards appointed to chair of the Agricultural Service Board while Councillor Hildebrand was elected vice-chair of the Agricultural Services Board. Council and Administration were thrilled to honour Darry Gilbert for his 20 years of dedicated service within Public Works.
Sergeant Stu Gemmill from Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment presented the September 2023 RCMP report to Council. Gemmill said that last month, the detachment responded to 161 calls for service and 144 of those were within the M.D. There were zero alcohol suspensions last month, one Criminal Code offence was reported, and 34 9-1-1 hangups, with 33 of those being within the M.D of Taber. Gemmill said that the detachment also did 54 criminal record checks and seven fingerprints for the general public. In addition to that Gemmill said, the detachment did 11 patrols in Enchant, 28 patrols in Grassy Lake, and 11 patrols in Hays for a total of 50 hamlet patrols. There were also three patrols at the M.D. Park Campground, and six in Enchant for a total of nine campground patrols, Gemmill said.
As far as tickets and charges go, Gemmill said, the detachment wrote seven tickets within the M.D., 15 last month, and with the help of Redcliff Traffic, they wrote two extra tickets for 17 within the detachment area. The detachment, Gemmill said, also laid charges in four criminal investigations during the month of September and had one complaint of family violence for the entire detachment area. Charges were laid where evidence existed that an offence had been committed and all supports were made available to the victim last month.
Gemmill stated that with the start of school, the detachment met with each school in the detachment area and updated their Safe Plan. He also explained that a Safe Plan is a database that the RCMP maintains on every school in the province that contains blueprints and photographs, and it exists in case anything ever happens; it gives the RCMP an idea of what they can do in the face of a situation.
At the end of Sergeant Gemmill’s presentation, Council made a comment that the province is moving to a regionalized victim services as of April 1, 2024 and expressed hope that the M.D. of Taber gets to maintain the same level of service as those in the town of Taber receive.
Grand Forks Park – ASA Event Proposal
Bryce Surina, Director of Community Services for the M.D. of Taber, brought a request for discussion to Council that the M.D. of Taber approve the use of the Grand Forks Park and the Hamlet of Grassy Lake Park and Ball Diamonds to host the Taber Archers Shoot as a weekend event in June or July of 2024. Surina stated that there is also an approval needed from the province called a Temporary Field approval that the Taber Archers would have to apply for. Jamie Brehaut, Archery Alberta ASA Director, stated that he put in the letter that growing up in Grassy Lake made him want to have another shoot in the area and showcase it. Brehaut stated that the Archery Shooting Association basically does a form of 3-D archery that involves ASA rules plus the IBO rules that includes a different target scoring system. Ultimately, Council made a motion that the M.D. of Taber approve the use of the designated areas of the Grand Forks Park and the Hamlet of Grassy Lake Park and Ball Diamonds to host the Taber Archer Shoot as a weekend event in June or July of 2024 while ensuring all course management and safety practices are fully implemented with the approval required from the province for a Temporary Field Approval. That motion was carried unanimously.
Councillor Harris Report
Councillor Harris gave a report to Council on the Drainage Committee, stating that Phase Three tendering didn’t get put out this fall as the proper amount of money, so it was not in place and now it’s too late in the fall to get the project out to tender and have it done before spring irrigation season. Harris stated that there is hope that things will progress in early spring and that Phase Two and Phase Three will be put out once the necessary money is put in place. Councillor Harris also stated that he has been working with the Municipal Affairs office to get a meeting with Minister Ric McIver and once that meeting is arranged, the M.D. will be inviting somebody from their member community or member municipalities from the committee to attend alongside them. Councillor Harris stated that the M.D. was also invited to attend a Tri-Council meeting with Medicine Hat, Redcliff, and Cypress Country and make a presentation on stormwater projects across the region and the projects that impact their regions. Those projects, Harris said, include the Murray Reservoir, the Sauder Spillway and the Paradise Creek Dry Dam proposal. Many questions came from the councillors, Councillor Harris said, including a comment from Medicine Hat Mayor Linnsie Clark that their Council should be part of the committee, so Harris said the M.D. looks forward to having them.
Enchant Phase Three Lot Pricing
Bryce Surina, Director of Community Services for the M.D. of Taber, brought to Council a Request for Decision (RFD) that the M.D. of Taber approve the Hamlet of Enchant Phase 3 Residential Lot Pricing proposal based on lot size at a cost of $59.80 per square meter that, according to Surina, is meant to cover construction costs and to contribute to future lot development planning. Council then discussed proposed options with respect to the subdivision lot pricing for the 35 residential lots that are ready and for sale in Enchant. Surina said that not only was the recommendation brought forward for consideration, but an alternative was as well. One option, Surina said, includes an allowance to help fund planning and design for the next phase while the other option is more in line with the traditional status quo approach of just pure cost recovery on construction costs. During discussion regarding the two options, there was question about the project’s budget and Surina stated that the project has come in under budget. Ultimately, a motion was made to approve the Hamlet of Enchant Phase Three Residential Lot Pricing proposal. The motion was carried unanimously.
Community Garden Sea-Can Request
Reeve Miyanaga shared that the Community Garden initiative presented a request for decision to locate its storage container within the former M.D. of Taber Operations Yard. Miyanaga explained that the Community Garden is an initiative that was started by an organization in Taber and they have done a fantastic job, and Councillor Harris has been instrumental in the watering and organization of it. The garden, Miyanaga said, is now moving from its current location to a location near the Taber Trout Pond and Councillor Harris prepared the land that will be the next garden, but they have a sea-can that needs to be stored. Councillor Harris made a motion that the Community Garden initiative be allowed to locate its storage container with the former M.D. of Taber Operations Yard in accordance with the Town of Taber development requirements. That motion was carried unanimously.