Town Council Highlights – March
Wade Martineau spoke at the fifteen minute public forum before the March 14 meeting and informed Mayor and Council that Alberta Health Services has added a 4 x 4 ambulance back at Fox Creek ambulance service.
Sergeant Warren Wright provided council with the 2015 Statistical Crime Report that was put together by the K Division’s Strategic Analysis and Research Unit. (Fox Creek Detachment 2015 Crime Statistics) Sgt. Wright also informed council of the changes being made to the RCMP Auxiliary program.
He explained there were not a lot of calls to camps and the number one on file from 2015 was the double homicide. He added the report was a blended report, not just from town crimes, but in the surrounding area. Councillor Robin Gervais was curious of the percentage difference between the Town of Fox Creek and in the M.D of Greenview #16.
Sgt. Wright said he was meeting with the M.D the end of April and will clarify the percentage, as requested by Councillor Gervais and clarify the stats as presented.
Calls for service in 2014: 2, 224 (a large # were 911 hang ups) and in 2015: 1, 936. The most calls for service are on a Tuesday at 7 pm.
He explained motor vehicle accidents can take 2-3 hours and personal crime or assaults can take 12 hours, depending on what they are doing. He asked Mayor and Council to provide their priority list to the RCMP for 2016.
The Auxiliary Constable Program and the changes were discussed. Fox Creek has one volunteer Auxiliary Officer.
“The world is a dangerous place and violence is going up, it boils down to safety and liability,” said Sgt. Wright.
The changes include; auxiliary officers no longer go on ride-ons, have more of a community relations role, there is discussion about taking away their uniforms, they are not to be in harms way anymore, cannot make any arrests and cannot carry any weapons. They also have a new name – community core volunteers – almost like a go-between the RCMP and the community,explained Sgt. Wright.
“What does that look like for your community and what do you think?” said Sgt. Wright.
Councillor Tom Thompson expressed his concerns and said he “was not in favor of a cheerleader and feels we need the resources for everyday policing.”
Sgt. Wright also updated council on the vacant secretary position; interviews were done and he is optimistic the position will be filled by September. One Constable is out on paternal leave and Rodney Koscielny is filling in for an undetermined amount of time.
At the March 29 meeting, Councillor Jim Hailes motioned to direct administration to inform the RCMP the top three priorities are: greater police visibility, property crimes (B&Es, vehicle thefts, theft from vehicles) and person’s crimes (substance abuse – drugs) .
Fire Chief report
Fire Chief Les Paul is creating a new green light awareness campaign for the fire department, using media and signage.
Three probationary firefighters just passed the new program: Danielle Tetrault, Rachel MacGregor and Randi-Lynn Ratuszniak. Formal creation of four senior firefighters roles were complete; Paul Marinus, Ian Morin, Andrew Tomlinson and Chris McKennitt.
Request for decision for Fire Rescue Services was given all three readings and final reading to bylaw 764-2016 and carried unanimously.
New Fire Hall General Contractors
Councillor Hailes motioned and it was carried unanimously to direct administration to enter into an agreement with Field Engineering and Associates to act as the general contractors for the Fire Hall for $245,000, funded from the Fire Hall Reserve.
Field Engineering and Associates have compiled the architectural drawings and the construction drawing used for other fire halls in the M.D, a cost savings for the Town of Fox Creek, as these drawings would have costs approx $400- $500, 000 but have been supplied by the M.D free of charge.
Normally on a project of this magnitude, the town would have to follow the NAFTA agreement, tendered projects over $250,000 – however since the M.D is supplying half the cost for the project and the M.D has used this company for the design of the building, they are able to award the contract to Field Engineering and Associates without a public tender.
The engineering firm will tender out all aspects of the hall and make recommendations which firm should be awarded that item and also recommend payment to the various trades.
Councillor Brenda Burridge motioned and it was carried unanimously to direct administration to enter into an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest Division, for an Annual Mutual Aid Fire Control Plan.
Request for decision for Bylaw 763-2016, Removal of Municipal Reserve Designation from Lot 1 – 11MR, Block 44, Plan 12-3938 and first reading, was motioned by Councillor Chris Stadnyk and carried unanimously.
Councillor Hailes motioned and it was carried unanimously to direct administration to carry forth the annexation process of town’s purchased lands E3 62-19-5 with M.D Greenview No. 16 as presented.
Representatives from Encana Corporation provided an updated presentation to council, reviewing past statistics, assets, water management and future goals at the March 29 meeting. Council accepted their presentation as information.
Volunteer members from the For the Children’s Playground Society updated council on their fundraising and projected costs for new playground equipment and were requesting 1/3 funding of the estimated $300,000 project. Mayor Ahn requested a letter be sent to the Town of Fox Creek with a clear list of the money raised and total costs needed before they proceed.
The snow removal policy, motioned by Councillor Burridge was passed.
Councillor Hailes motioned to amend bylaw 759-2015, the Fees and Charges bylaw by incorporating the water and sewage rates structure with amendments to reduce residential rates as 0-5 M3 – $15.50 flat rate, 5-20 M3 – $1.25/M3, 21-36 M2 – $1.80/M3, 36-100/M3 – $2.00 M3, 100+ M3 – $3.40 and non metered rates to be $200 flat rate. Furthermore, the rates will not be charge until September 1, 2016.
Residential rates will remain flat rated ($18.00 plus $4.00 water sur.) until further notice and the new commercial and industrial rates will be effective May 1, 2016. Two Councillors, Gervais and Stadnyk were opposed, motion was carried.
“Water should pay for water. The more you use, the more you pay – that is the way it should be,” said Mayor Jim Ahn during the discussion of rate changes to the Fee and Charges bylaw.
Councillor Chris Conlin motioned to approve the heavy truck route map as amended and direct administration to proceed with sign installation. Furthermore, that funding be taken from the operating budget.
Councillor Burridge motioned to direct administration to send letters with a copy of the truck route map to all the business and oil companies in and around the Town of Fox Creek.
The next Town Council meeting is April 11.
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