At City Hall: Refrigerated rinks, audit work

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A motion for the city to consider paying for refrigerated outdoor rinks will come to council in the new year at the behest of Coun. Sheena Hughes.

The rinks would allow people to use them up to temperatures of 10 C, Hughes said, and would help fill a need for ice in St. Albert.

She pointed to the warm spell earlier this December, which forced the closure of St. Albert’s outdoor rinks.

“The more I talked to hockey users and people who use the ice rink a lot outside, I came to realize this is something we should be exploring,” she said.

While the wording of Hughes’ motion is not final, she said she wants city staff to bring forward a proposal for the 2019 budget cycle to include refrigerated rinks. She cited costs of around $700,000 to build the rink.

“I’m really excited about this idea. I’m hoping to get council support,” she said.

“I think the biggest problem we’d have is how we’d manage the high demand for this ice – which is a good problem to have.”

Audit concerns addressed

A report from the city states city staff have resolved several outstanding concerns from the city’s year-end audit recommendations, dating from 2011 to 2016.

Councillors received the report during the last council meeting of the year on Dec. 18.

The city’s finance department is in the process of addressing an issue of expenses not being recorded in the right year by tracking turn-around time for invoices between departments, reminding vendors to submit invoices to the right department by the end of the year and requiring accrual requests for invoices that arrive after Dec. 31.

Those solutions aim to solve an issue the city’s auditor noted in 2015, where seven out of 25 invoices had been recorded for the wrong year.

Other recommendations the city has resolved include procedures to back up city data, notifying the information technology department of staff termination in order to have their accounts disabled, and managing changes to hardware and software in order to reduce risks to the city.

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