At City Hall
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 06:00 am
150th final report finished
Margaret Plain said St. Albert’s 150th anniversary celebrations would not have been possible without the many volunteers participating in the event.
The chair of the organizing committee presented her final report to city council on Monday evening, listing the events of 2011 and the work that took place in preparation for the celebration.
“There are records of many community celebrations throughout our history and now we added another one. Or several, depending on how you define the activities of 2011,” Plain said.
The committee was created in 2007 and Plain said it left a lasting impact on St. Albert’s present and future. She also thanked city staff, co-workers and sponsors, and the large number of volunteers that participated.
“I would like to offer a final thank you to the residents, businesses, schools, churches and other organizations that participated so generously as we tackled the task we were given,” she said.
The report also listed the financial statement for the committee. Originally, it was granted $500,000 and Plain said a balance of about $42,000 remained after all expenditures were paid for.
The money will now be split with 60 percent going to the City of St. Albert permanent art collection committee for a commemorative artwork named The Spirit of St. Albert. Forty per cent will go to the Spirit of St. Albert Society for future events.
Plain said the financial statement showed a net of zero though it was not finalized. The city is waiting to hear back on money granted by the federal government toward the installation of the Millie Seitz Volunteer Appreciation sculpture.
The statue was installed on June 26 and pays tribute to former St. Albert volunteer Millie Seitz who passed away in 2009. The $80,000 project was supported by a federal grant of $25,000 while sponsors and donors raised the remainder.
Councillors thanked Plain for preparing the report and for the committee’s work. Coun. Wes Brodhead said he looked back at 2011 with fond memories.
“One thing that stuck out to me and continuously surprises me is the part of the community that chooses to volunteer as much as they do,” he said.
“And your section on volunteerism and 20,000 hours of volunteer activities only shows that the money that the city spent was well used. You’ve done a wonderful job.”
Mayor Nolan Crouse used the moment to announce the city had placed a time capsule in the mayor’s office. The capsule is in a glass box, along with a key and a letter requesting the council of 2036 open it in time for the 175th anniversary celebrations.
“In the box it has a lot of stuff from the 2011 events, a lot of the memorabilia and this report is the last thing to go in,” he said.
Crouse said he wanted Plain to put the lock on the box with him and hoped they would be invited by the council of 2036 to re-open it.
Arts and Heritage status report
Council also heard from city manager Patrick Draper on ongoing discussions between the city and Arts and Heritage St. Albert.
In September council voted to renew its contract with Arts and Heritage. In doing so it asked Draper for a status report on Oct. 22.
The agreement outlines the responsibilities of both the city and the foundation and how the two parties communicate. The last agreement was due to expire in June of 2012 but both sides agreed to a six-month extension.
In a previous council meeting, director of cultural services Kelly Jerrott said there was duplication of services and confusion about the foundation’s roles and responsibilities. This led to the creation of subcommittees from both the city and the foundation to negotiate a new agreement.
“The negotiations have been ongoing. We are meeting on a regular basis to go through as what was drafted as a number of key points,” Draper said.
“I am very pleased with the progress. Discussions have been very positive and it seems that both organizations are working to find agreeable solutions to this process.”
Draper expects two more meetings will take place before the drafting of a legal document.
He added the foundation scheduled a board meeting on Nov. 14 that could see the election of new members. He proposed to extend the current agreement by two or three months to give new board members time to understand what the new agreement would entail.
At this time, Draper said council could expect about 20 changes to the existing agreement. The budget will not be affected, as Arts and Heritage plans to offer the same kind of services.
Coun. Malcolm Parker said he was pleased to hear the city manager was making good progress on ironing out some of the difficulties they had in the past.
“We are on the road to creating a new partnership agreement that I think we all are looking forward to see,” he said.