Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Council Meeting of May 3, 2011 Crowsnest Pass

Council Meeting of May 3, 2011

Adoption of Agenda:

Mayor Decoux added two items under other business, rescheduling retreat and Prosperous Places, Councilor Saje added one item under other business the Bellevue Campground and one Land item under In Camera, Councilor Gail added one Land item under In camera, and Councilor Saindon added two personnel items under In camera.
Motion to accept the Agenda as amended was passed unanimously

Adoption of previous minutes:
Minutes of the Council Meeting of April 19, 2011, with some slight corrections. Motion to accept was passed unanimously

Delegations: None

Administrative and Agency Reports: None

Business arising from the Minutes:

1. Motion Review 2004-2010 17 motions that were passed during council of those times that are still in the process of being dealt with by administration, (six of which are Land and will we dealt with In Camera), Motion made to schedule a Special Meeting to deal with these, passed by a vote of 6-1 (Councilor Gallant opposed)

Correspondence: None

Committee Reports:

1. Minutes of April 12, 2011 G+P Committee, Motion to accept passed unanimously.

2. Minutes of March 27, 2011 Subdivision and Development Authority, Motion to accept passed unanimously.

Bylaws: None

Notices of Motion: None

Other Business:

1. Crowsnest Lions Club- Multi year lease Blairmore Seniors Building, After much debate about the condition of this building and the merits of keeping it, fixing it up or getting rid of it, in addition to placing the group in another venue. Administration was directed to bring this issue back to council with more information. Motion passed unanimously

2. FCSS Board Appointments, Leslie McCallum, Val Danielson, and Rose Farfus appointed for three-year terms unanimously.

3. Full Moon Adventure Company-Waiver of Bylaw #722, Councilor Gallant excused himself at this point, Motion to accept was passed unanimously.

4. Budget Update, BDO presented 2010 Financial Audits. Head of Finance Marion Vanoni made the following comments:

Municipality increased its assets by $910,000 in 2010.
The financial report shows that there is $2.8 million in cash but $2.1 million in liabilities and accounts payable.
There are property tax issues with some developers
This was the second year of clear audits (some previous audits were qualified due to reporting issues with the Crowsnest Centre, can read on the Municipal web site).
Property taxes showed for 2011 at $6.7 million when actual will only be $6.5 million some taxes are anticipated to be uncollectible.
Mayor Decoux wished to know does administration review licensing fees on a regular basis. ($$$)
After some debate regarding the timeliness of not receiving the report prior to the meeting Motion to accept was passed 5-2 (Mitchell and Saje opposed)

5. Crowsnest Pass/Elk Valley elected officials meeting June 22, 2011 in Elkford. Councilor Saje wanted to know if he could attempt to set up a round of golf with all the various groups prior to the meeting. Motion to accept passed unanimously.

6. Amendments to the Septage Bylaw 823, further research was done by administration after the bylaw was passed, it was found that the proposed rate was too high compared to other municipalities, administration recommended a lower rate. Motion to accept passed Unanimously

7. North Area Structure Plan- Regarding the development of an Area Structure Plan for the area north of the high school, after some debate about the cost ($15000) of using ORRSC to undertake this work. Motion of council to accept this process passed unanimously.

8. Equipment Purchase- Administration as determined that a new trailer is needed to transport the new track hoe to various locations ($25,000) Motion of council passed by a vote of 5-2 (Gallant and Saindon opposed)

9. Equipment Replacement Policy- This policy as come in front of council previously very detailed policy that requires $408,000 per year to be placed in reserves to meet the municipalities needs, the following comments were made:
What will be the impact on the residents tax bill, Administration stated that it could be significant but that will be determined during the budget process by council.
Concern about doing this policy in isolation when council knows that other reserves will also have to be addressed including overall reserves, Buildings, Infrastructure in addition to the Equipment policy.
Councilor Mitchell stated that the community must accepted that more dollars are going to have to be brought in from the taxpayers, the municipality cannot continue at zero tax increases.
Councilor Saindon stated that these types of costs must and will be covered off by reductions in operating costs, getting rid of inefficiencies, duplication of services, etc.
Motion to pass the policy carried unanimously

10. Reschedule Retreat to May 10. Motion passed unanimously.

11. Prosperous Places presentation to be put on in Fort Macleod, Motion to send Mayor Decoux, Councilors Saje and Gail passed unanimously.

12. Bellevue Campground Councilor Saje reported that somebody appears to be squatting in the Bellevue Campground, point was made that the property is owned by the Alberta transportation department, administration to check out and bring back to council.

Council Member reports: None

Public Input: None

Motion to go In Camera: Passed Unanimously


Anonymous said...

Dean do they have any idea where this money is going to come from. They couldn't find money for reserves this year.


Anonymous said...

"there are property tax issues with some developers", wonder who that might be.Bridgecreek would be my first guess.But the mayor said there are things we can do, I am waiting.

Anonymous said...

Now to see that Mitchell as lots of money, well Larry I'm a senior to and I don't have a lot of money and I would like to stay in my home as well. But its getting harder every year and its not just the 2.5% that my taxes went up this year. Its the increase in water and sewer, next year it will be what? especially when I see Decoux asking for a review of all fees. That certainly does not mean that they are going to lower them does it?

Anonymous said...

Well one problem will be solved eventually you won't have the locals/weekenders debate because all the locals will not be able to afford to live here.

Question I thought the business of council was to be conducted in public?
These guys seem to be going into camera all the time. Almost every month I read about retreats. Are the public allowed to attend these retreats? I hope this is not a council that does all the business behind closed doors, then Council meetings are just a rubber stamp process.
Reading the council meeting both here and on the municipal web site it appears that a lot of issues are being dealt with in a very short time at Council meetings.
2+2 usually makes 4


Anonymous said...


Maybe they are "In Camera" (in private) so often because open debates are reported on this blog! The comments are sometimes critical of the positions of individual councilors ... ouch. If issues can be hashed out in private, individuals may save face.

Dean, what is your take on the time spent "In Camera" or just in private compared with the last two councils?

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

Of the top of my head the "In Camera" time does not seem out of line. But when I have the time I will go back and compare.
I agree with the concern about the lack of debate, come to a council meeting and see for yourself.
The agendas are usually full and they seem to whip through them fairly fast. They are always having retreats, there is one this week.
So as Jack raised a valid concern? are council meeting just a rubber stamping process, time will tell. Is the real work of council done at retreats?

Anonymous said...

gee I'm sorry.
I thought they were elected (and paid) as PUBLIC OFFICIALS answering to and representing their I wrong?

Anonymous said...

No public debate decisions made before the council meeting?????
This sounds like history repeating itself the Mayor in total control?????

Dean did they ever get their advertising policy in place?????

Joe said...

Any time frame on when the Task Force will be coming back with all the solutions to our problems

Anonymous said...


Method of giving notice
196(1) Notice of a council or council committee meeting is
deemed to have been given to a councillor or member of a council
committee if the notice is delivered to an adult person at the
councillor’s or member’s home or place of business.
(2) Notice of a council or council committee meeting to the public
is sufficient if the notice is given in a manner specified by council.
1994 cM-26.1 s196
Public presence at meetings
197(1) Councils and council committees must conduct their
meetings in public unless subsection (2) or (2.1) applies.

This should apply to the Policy Committee, Retreats and Task Forces, they all meet the definition of "council committee" on p.37 .

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

Task Force

Orignally Mayor Decoux said there report would be back by the end of May.
I see they are still asking for submissions, I think you will see due to the "large amount" of public interest that it will drag well into June.
Then of course there will be the break for summer so I would guess that the public won't see the report until at the earliest September even possibily October.
But you never know maybe I will be off on my timing.

Joe said...

If the Task Force Report is 2-3 months behind how far behind is the policy on advertising??? Is this a council who says a lot but does very little? All I hear around town is to give them a little time. How much time do you need to make a policy?

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

The famous advertising policy, first issue they tackled I hope its not going to be the last!
Personally I felt the old policy works, but I guess if you don't want part of the media attacking you for three years?