Council Highlights

Council Highlights - May 16, 2017

Citizens' Minute with Council

Residents are welcome to speak to Council about issues, events, celebrations or concerns during Minute with Council. At the beginning of each regular Council Meeting, Mayor Mackin opens the floor to the public to speak and share with Council members, administration and meeting observers.

Jeff Ciecko
Speaking on behalf of CK Golf and the Hinton Golfing Society, Ciecko informed Council that an 8 member board has been elected, and that the Society has already observed membership numbers exceeding last year's totals. They have cleared up some more outstanding bills and cleared their line of credit, showing continued progress in moving towards more solid financial ground. View his full update in the Council video, available here.


Geothermal Energy Development in Alberta Update - Presented by Maureen Kolla and Jonathan Banks
This study provides critical information to stakeholders for catalyzing the growth of an as-yet non-existent geothermal industry in Alberta. On a broader scale, this study provides a case study for quantifying regional scale geothermal resources in sedimentary basins. Although considerable amount of work remains to be done in order to bring a commercial geothermal project to fruition in Alberta, this study conclusively reveals a viable technical and potentially cost competitive geothermal resource base in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.  For full study details, consult the agenda package, available here.

Comprehensive Planning & Development Strategy - Presented by Wendy Jones and Brian Conger from ISL
The Strategy is intended to systematically realign Town planning policies in a manner that:
  • supports the Town of Hinton 2014-2017 Strategic Plan;
  • promotes an “open for business” culture, and;
  • strengthens Hinton’s position in the regional economy.
For full presentation file of the delegation, please consult the agenda package, available here.

Action Items

Hinton Golfing Society (HGS) - $1,500,000 Loan - Presented by Denise Parent
At the Standing Committee meeting of March 28, 2017 Council directed administration to provide four (4) options for Hinton Golf Club to be discussed at the April 4, 2017 Regular Council Meeting. At the April 4th Regular Council meeting council approved the motion, “That Administration bring a borrowing bylaw to Council for $1,500,000 over a 15 year term on April 18, 2017”. Two bylaws are required to provide a $1,500,000 loan to the HGS. The first bylaw is to authorize the Town to incur indebtedness of $1,500,000 by the issuance of a debenture with Alberta Capital Finance Authority or another authorized financial institution. The second bylaw authorizes the Town to enter into a loan agreement with the HGS. At the April 18th Regular Council meeting, first reading of bylaws #1113 and #1114 was approved by Council. Council also passed a motion to appoint a councillor as a voting member to the HGC board as a condition of the loan. The bylaws have been advertised in The Hinton Voice on April 20th and April 27th and no petition of the electors for a vote has been received by the Town.
A 30-day waiting period is required before the bylaws becomes valid (if no application has been made to the Court of Queen’s Bench to have the bylaw declared invalid within 30 days after the bylaw has been passed or application is dismissed).
The bylaws allow the HGS to refinance all indebtedness related to the clubhouse and for the refinancing/purchase of equipment. It is proposed for the HGS to pay interest only in year 1, and to make blended payments from year 2-15 to help with the cashflow in 2016. The loan would be non-revolving, not re-advanceable and payable upon demand.
The HGS has been reviewing its operation and is requesting Town support to 1) refinance their existing clubhouse construction loans and 2) purchase/refinance capital equipment. The HGS cannot restructure its debt and accounts payable without Town’s support as the Town owns the land where the clubhouse is located. 

Council gave second and third reading to bylaws #1113 and #1114.
Sanitary Sewer Backup Policy #038 - Presented by Dale Woloszyn
The Sanitary Sewer Backup Policy, originally approved by Council in May 1990 by resolution #900323, deals with the backup of sanitary sewers into private residences and businesses. It is intended to cover only sanitary sewer backup and is not applicable to the storm water drainage system. Its purpose is to minimize the impacts of wastewater service line disruptions. The Town typically receives approximately 11-15 reports of sewer backups each year, resulting in 3-4 repairs on the Town line each year. The revised policy reflects amendments directed by Council at the Standing Committee meeting of April 11, 2017. It also provides the opportunity to align it with the Town’s numbering and policy format established in 2010. The original Sanitary Sewer Backup Policy was approved by Council 27 years ago and has not been updated since. The revised policy reflects industry best practices and addresses ongoing issues for both property owners and the Town. Council approved the revisions to Policy #038 - Sanitary Sewer Backup as presented.
Water Conservation Action Plan - Presented by Dale Woloszyn
This item is before Council to present an action plan on water conservation that will reduce water consumption in the Town of Hinton by approximately 30% and bring the Town closer to the provincial average of 350 liters per capita per day (Lpcd). At the January 10, 2017, Standing Committee Meeting, Council was presented with a report on water conservation that included a two-phased approach. Phase 1 was to develop a water conservation strategy which would include education on proper water usage and possibly restricting times of watering lawns and washing cars, etc. Phase 2 was to move to the installation of residential water meters. Council directed Administration to focus on Phase 1 in 2017. At the April 25, 2017, Standing Committee Meeting, Council was presented with a water conservation strategy that would reduce water consumption in the Town of Hinton by 30%. Council directed Administration to bring this strategy to the May 16, 2017 Regular Council meeting. The proposed Water Conservation Action Plan (Attachment #1) includes, in priority order, 10 (ten) projects, their estimated start and completion dates, as well the anticipated budget requirements for each. The Town of Hinton’s water consumption (Lpcd) is almost double that of the provincial average. By implementing a water conservation action plan, it is anticipated the Town would be able to significantly reduce water consumption (123,000 m3 ) without implementing a residential metering system. Council approved the Water Conservation Action Plan as presented.
Health & Safety Advisor Contract - Presented by Denise Parent
The Town’s Health & Safety Coordinator is retiring at the end of June. After careful review of how best to fill this role, Administration deemed it beneficial to request proposals from Health & Safety businesses to manage and implement the Town’s safety program as a contract. The contracted advisor will be responsible for the coordination and administration of the Town’s health and safety initiatives for all departments and ensuring compliance with Alberta OH&S Act, Regulations and Code. They will develop and implement work practices focusing on incident prevention through leadership, education, guidance and support to staff on all health and safety matters. This provides an opportunity to access a variety of expertise on health and safety matters, and to ensure all systems and processes are current. The Town, as an employer under the OH&S Act, must meet mandatory standards and reporting in order to remain compliant with the Act. The Town received two bids for the Health & Safety Advisor Contract. The tender amounts for 1 year at 20 hours / week were $46,800 and $98,800 (plus travel expenses). The proposal from Barrow Safety Services Inc for $46,800 met the best value criteria for the Town. The agreement can be cancelled upon 30 days written notice to the contractor. Since the owner of Barrow Safety Services Inc is a current councillor, under the MGA section 173 no agreement with a municipality under which a councillor of the municipality has a pecuniary interest is binding on the municipality unless … (c) the proposed agreement is approved by council before the agreement is signed by the municipality. Therefore, this item is before Council to approve entering into an agreement with Barrow Safety Services Inc. to manage and implement the Town’s health and safety program. The document from Municipal Affairs on Pecuniary Interest for Councillors is available here. Council approved entering into an agreement with Barrow Safety Services Inc. for the Health & Safety Advisor Contract for the management and implementation of the Town’s safety program (one year term). 

Information Items

Councillor Matthew Young -  Young attended BSN, which featured a discussion on population growth and aging, and the factors that a community needs to be aware of as the population changes. He recommended that Council consider hearing from experts on this concern in the future. 

Councillor Albert Ostashek - Attended ladder truck ceremony, and mentioned being amazed at the operation of the sophisticated piece of machinery. Also attended prom, mentioning that it was remarkable to see the transformation of the arena facility into a gala venue. 

Councillor Ryan Maguhn: Councillor Maguhn read a proclamation for Seniors Week, which begins on June 5, 2017. Maguhn also reported having attended the Gerard Redmond Community High prom, giving accolades to the event, and recommended that residents visit the newly opened Northern Rockies Museum of Culture and Heritage. 

CAO Mike Schwirtz: CAO Schwirtz spoke to the ongoing work being taken to combat the Mountain Pine Beetle in the community, saying new grant funds have been secured to ensure that our community can attempt to repel the invasive species. Schwirtz also encouraged residents to obey the recommendations issued by the Parks and Recreation staff regarding the Beaver Boardwalk. Finally, Schwirtz informed Council that the Volunteer Tax Program offered through FCSS saved residents an estimated near 22,000 dollars in tax preparation charges, earning nearly 125,000 dollars in tax refunds for residents. 

Town of Hinton Newsflash

No dogs on the Beaver Boardwalk After consulting with provincial and industry biologists, we have determined that the boardwalk may be opened for residents and visitors without further disturbing the beaver’s habitat. However, as the water has receded and provided unprecedented access to the beaver’s lodge, one core section of the Beaver Boardwalk will be closed off to dogs.  The four access points closest to the beaver lodge now identify the boundaries of the No Dog Zone, and have been marked as such by signage. Find more information here.

Can you help? We need your assistance in making our workplace better for employees who grapple with scent sensitivity. All it takes is the decision to forgo cologne or perfume and choosing scent free grooming products when you come to visit the Government Centre. This simple change can help staff members avoid symptoms that can range from sniffles to difficulty breathing. Thanks for doing your part! 

myHinton App Now Available! The myHinton app has gone live! You can download it to your device by using the following links:

You can view the entire agenda package here.

Just a reminder, the next Council meeting will be held May 23, 2017 in The Committee Room at 4:00 pm.

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