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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 05, 2014 06:00 am

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Sturgeon County deal delayed

St. Albert city council has referred the proposed memorandum of understanding with Sturgeon County to administration for review.

Council questioned why staff wanted to wait until May 26 to report back, negotiating with administration to get it back by May 5 instead.

“I’m struggling to understand why we need two-and-a-half months to review this MOU,” said Coun. Tim Osborne during Monday’s council meeting.

City manager Patrick Draper said that while the memorandum is only one page, its impact could be significant and staff need time to assess what that impact could be.

Draper said staff have a number of projects on the go so need time to do a proper review.

Council voted unanimously to have administration bring back its recommendations by May 5.

Lakeland College partners with city

The city’s fire department will play host to Lakeland College this summer as some of its facilities are used to deliver a 12-week fire-fighting course.

The city’s economic development department initiated the partnership and executive director Guy Boston said having students come for weeks at a time could be good exposure for tourism purposes and helpful for local businesses.

Fire Chief Ray Richards said there’s no real cost to St. Albert and that summer is the department’s quiet time due to vacations.

Council authorized the city manager to execute the contract with Lakeland College.

This is a trial run to see if there could be long-term opportunities between the city and college.

Water conservation bylaw questioned

Coun. Sheena Hughes tried to remove examination of a water conservation bylaw by the environmental advisory committee’s priority activities for 2014.

The chair of the committee was on hand presenting the committee’s annual report and asked council’s approval of the proposed priorities for the year.

Hughes wanted the water conservation bylaw off the books as she’s concerned that block water rates could come in.

Osborne pointed out it’s a resident committee advising on environmental issues, not council making a decision quite yet.

Hughes’ motion to remove the exploration of a bylaw from the priorities was voted down in a 5-2 split vote.

The priorities were passed in a 6-1 vote.

Surplus allocations made

Coun. Cathy Heron made a motion to fund a few different business cases from 2013’s operating budget surplus.

Her motion to spend $126,000 on environmental liabilities for city-owned contaminated sites, $5,300 on resources to support the social master plan, $10,000 for transit botanical branding and $50,000 on noise monitoring along Ray Gibbon Drive was passed unanimously by council.

Organic collection options

Coun. Gilles Prefontaine’s motion to get options from bidding contractors on the organics collection service levels was passed unanimously by council.

Prefontaine said the motion was to make sure council was doing its due diligence in perhaps looking at reduced collection during winter or other options.

Traffic mitigation measures

Council will have a report back from administration on the traffic and parking mitigation measures suggested in the Erin Ridge traffic and parking impact report by July 7.

Coun. Wes Brodhead brought forward the motion and said he wants to “put some teeth” into the information in the study, noting there was a traffic and parking issue in that area even before the controversy over the new school.

The motion was passed unanimously.

Build St. Albert business plan

Council was presented with a business plan for the city’s newest department, Build St. Albert.

The business plan outlined the goals and responsibilities of the department.

Specific initiatives in Build St. Albert’s care are the employment lands plan, the Capital Partnership Program, the 50+ Club building project, the civic space plan, the corporate grant program, the corporate land strategy and the new facility prioritization model.

Council noted in particular they’re looking forward to getting the proposed model on how to assess what new facilities to build when.

The business plan was approved unanimously by council.


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