By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The following are select briefs from the June 27, 2023 M.D. of Taber Council Meeting
Arlos Crofts, Chief Administrator for the M.D. of Taber, told the M.D. Council that he was fairly active in managing and administering both the Horsefly Spillway Project and the Southern Regional Drainage Project.
Crofts also made mention of the Governance and Partnership Formalization project, stating that there was a second workshop held within the last week and that workshop went fairly smoothly. Crofts expressed that financing in the future should be a discussion that should happen at the next workshop and that the workshops themselves are moving along as expected with high levels of cooperation and collaboration within them.
Public Works, Crofts said, is busy with project implementation, capital project implementation, finishing up the design, and getting ready for tender.
Grant from Healthy Communities Initiative
The M.D. of Taber Council discussed that they received a grant of $86,000 from the Healthy Communities Initiative. The Grant, Crofts said, exists to provide enhanced internet access in the park. The M.D., Crofts said, is combining that grant with a bit of the Campground Operations money to initiate the project and the project is currently at the stage where the RFP and purchasing process is being finalized. The definition of the project, Crofts said, is directed at providing free public Wi-Fi.
Possibility of Fire Restrictions
The M.D. Council asked Chief Nathan Cote’ for his thoughts on implementing some kind of fire restriction within the M.D. and Chief Cote’ said that Councilor Hildebrandt said it best in that the M.D is approximately three weeks away from a drought and one day closer to the next heavy rain. Things aren’t as green as they once were, Cote’ said, and he didn’t find anything wrong with putting a fire advisory in place and exercising caution. Ultimately, Cote’ promised the M.D. Council he would talk with all of the district chiefs, and they would decide together whether or not to put a fire advisory on the Alberta fireband’s webside.
Council chatted about how there is a platform for LinkedIn when it comes to recruitment on the economic development side of things. The Council stated that they’re going to start looking at using it, as well as a couple of other platforms, in the near future as far as notifications go because it’s a nice business approach.
The Council also discussed that one of the things mentioned at the meeting in Grassy Lake was the disawareness of who to call in the M.D. with various issues and the Council discussed that they were not sure of what type or level of communication they could have with the residents. They also discussed that one of the residents who attended the meeting was kind of voluntold into serving as a liaison between the community and the M.D. Council determined that a future strategy they could implement would be to post some key communication numbers on some of their public buildings and also clarify how to communicate with the M.D. through the M.D.’s social media channels.
Aftermath of Coffee With Council
Council discussed the fact that there were quite a few ideas and suggestions that came forward at the Coffee With Council meeting on June 20, 2023. They agreed that it is important to follow up from that meeting, as it is no good to have a meeting, receive feedback, and then not advise the community of what was heard and what they did as a result of the information they received. Grassy Lake and area, Council said, are generally happy with current happenings and Council found it also very profound that community members took great pride in their community. Such evidence of this, Council said, is seen in Hays and Enchant where the members of the community roll up their sleeves and do a lot of hard work day-to-day. The Council determined that they were truly grateful for the community members who have stepped up and done all the hard work for their communities.
Letter to Minister Adriana LaGrange Regarding Ambulance Service in Vauxhall
The M.D. Council discussed putting together a letter to Minister Adriana LaGrange regarding the ambulance service in the Town of Vauxhall. Vauxhall, the Council said, is supposed to be putting together a similar letter and the two letters will be sent to Minister LaGrange jointly. The Council all agreed that the letters would be valuable because there is just about zero ambulance service for the Vauxhall Area.
Council discussed some upcoming events happening in the M.D. of Taber: July 1st is Canada Day’s Flag Raising Ceremony at Confederation Park, July 28th is Taber’s Table, July 29th and August 5th are Regional Firefighter Appreciation barbecues at Lion’s Campground with the one on July 29th being in Vauxhall and the one on August 5th being in Grassy Lake. August 1st is the RMA visit.
Grassy Lake Landfill Project Update
Arlos Crofts proposed an amendment to the MSI original grant application to include additional funds that would complete the project. The project, Crofts said, is not coming out of M.D. funds; the funds are coming from the province, but the budget would be affected, so the budget would need to be amended to reflect the right cost adjustments. The proposal itself was to increase the budget from $300,000 to $550,000. Councillor Turcato gave the motion that Council approve the increase to the capital budget amount from $300,00 to $550,000 for the Grassy Lake Landfill Reclamation Project and request Administration to submit an amendment to increase the Grassy Lake former landfill remediation project MSI Grant from $300,000 to $550,000. The motion was carried unanimously.
Donation Request Applications
Council discussed the fact that South Central Rural Crime Watch Association submitted an application for $3,750 for signage, Vauxhall Lions Club submitted an application asking for $7,500 to go towards purchasing mowers and a picnic table and Administration is recommending $5,000.
Taber District Museum Society, meanwhile, is asking for $6,000 for operating expenses while the Motorcycle Association is requesting $8,5000 for water well gravel and clay. Administration, Council said is recommending $5,000 to be on the table for any of those applications.
The Irrigation Impact Museum, Council said, is also asking for $6,000, after receiving $5,000 for a number of years, because they are working very hard to ensure that the history of the M.D. is captured and are currently digitizing it right now to make it available for the community.
The Museum, Council said, is also possibly having to look at a new building because the work being done is well beyond just a place for people to come and see.
Council ultimately decided to grant the donation of $5,000 to Vauxhall Lions Club. Counselor Reynolds then gave a motion to grant a $5,000 donation to the Taber Motorcycle Club and the motion was carried unanimously. A motion was also made to grant a donation of $6,000 to Taber and District Museum Society. Councillor Turcato then made a motion to grant a donation of $3,750 to the South Central Alberta Rural Crime Watch Association and that motion was carried unanimously.