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Business Arising from Closed Session – Black Nugget Lake Campground
In a Closed Session, Council discussed on-going repairs at Black Nugget Lake campground. According to the County’s Purchasing Policy, the County should be formally tendering for work to upgrade the sewage system. Campground season is underway and as time is of the essence, Council passed a motion to waive the Purchasing Policy and authorize a change in the scope of work for the contract to replace the septic system and repair the dumping station at Black Nugget Lake campground without a formal tendering process.
Kevin McCoy – Claystone Dividend and Good Neighbour Grant
Kevin McCoy, Beaver County resident, attended the Council meeting to discuss the Claystone Waste Ltd. Dividend and Good Neighbour Grant. Council invited Mr. McCoy and other landowners adjacent to the landfill to submit suggestions for allocation of the Good Neighbour Grant.
Legal Services – Request for Proposals
At the request of Council, the County issued a Request for Proposals for legal services. Responses were received from Brownlee LLP, Reynolds, Mirth, Richards and Farmer (RMRF), Parlee McLaws, and McLennan Ross.
The RFPs were evaluated on the following criteria:
- Relevant municipal experience/qualifications of legal team (40%)
- Staff resources/service delivery approach (25%)
- Cost and fees/insurance (25%)
- Presentation of submission (10%)
References were also sought on the two firms that ranked the highest.
2 members of the Executive Leadership Team reviewed the RFPs and ranked the proposals.
Brownlee LLP and RMRF are the two firms in Alberta that specialize in municipal government law. It is administration’s opinion that either firm will serve the County well, however Brownlee’s services are preferred for the following reasons:
- Brownlee’s proposal highlighted the addition of a new practice group for emergency management law as well as the hiring of a senior lawyer who specializes in water law in Alberta.
- RMRF is the lawyer of choice for 3 of the 4 urban municipalities in the region, 2 of the 3 regional services commissions, as well as Claystone Waste. The remaining urban municipality and regional services commission use a lawyer other than Brownlee. Although the County’s relationship with our regional partners is very good at present, there have been occasions (and will be in the future) when the County needs to seek legal advice about a matter of shared interest (e.g. annexations, intermunicipal agreements, planning and development, etc.). A conflict of interest will arise if both parties use the same lawyer.
Council passed a motion that Council enter into a five-year agreement for legal services with Brownlee LLP, with the possibility of extension for an additional five years.
Amendment to Community Hall Funding Administrative Procedure
At the April 20, 2022 Council meeting, Council discussed the financial challenges faced by community hall associations with respect to insurance premiums and options for assistance.
At the conclusion of the discussion, Council directed administration to review the Community Hall Funding Policy to address the high cost of insurance premiums.
A preliminary review of 2022 insurance coverages for the community hall associations indicates that premiums vary significantly (from $196 to $6000+). Of the 7 organizations that are eligible for the grant, premiums for 6 of them are below $2100 and the other is $6000+.
The Community Hall Funding Policy provides a grant of up to $1000 for insurance coverage, which is approximately 50% of the amount paid by most of the organizations.
Administration believes that this level of funding is adequate and suggested to Council that any further assistance be limited to providing the community hall associations with a referral to either the Rural Municipalities of Alberta or Alberta Municipalities for coverage under their Community Group Policies.
Under the Community Group Policies, organizations are covered under their own name and are not linked to the County’s insurance policy. The organizations are responsible for payment of premiums, submission of documents, risk management training, etc. Losses incurred do not affect the County’s claims history or premiums.
To facilitate this, an amendment to the Community Hall Funding Administrative Procedure was recommended. In addition to this amendment, administration recommended that the March 1st deadline for grant applications be extended to June 1st as some organizations are finding it difficult to meet the early deadline.
Council passed a motion approving the amended Community Hall Funding Administrative Procedure.
Amendments to Cash Control Policy and Administrative Procedure
A review of the Cash Control Policy was necessary with the awarding of the banking services contract, coupled with the closure of the ATB Ryley location. An advanced ATB bank machine will still be available in Ryley to take deposits, although it is unable to accept coins.
The current policy states that deposits are made when cash revenue exceeds $200 on the last day of each week, and on the last day of each month. This results in a large number of trips to the bank, often with small amounts of money. The money that is not deposited is kept in a secure lockbox and kept in a vault in the County Office overnight. Administration recommended an increase to a minimum of $5,000 cash revenue before a deposit is made as this will reduce the number of trips to the ATM.
The health and safety of employees will be paramount in all procedures for cash deposits.
Other minor updates made to keep the policy up to date are as follows:
- The “Director of Finance” title was updated to align with the new organizational structure.
- The administrative procedure was updated to clarify how the float will be counted each day.
- When it comes time to make a deposit, coins will be exchanged for bills with a designated float.
After a Closed Session discussion, Council passed a motion to approve the amended Cash Control Policy and Administrative Procedure.
The next Regular Council Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 16, 2022, commencing at 9:30 am.
The Next Governance and Priorities Committee Meeting has been schedule for Wednesday, June 22, 2022, commencing at 9:00 am.
For more information, contact Beaver County toll free at 1-866-663-1333 or 780-663-3730.
Did you know…our website is a useful way to get the information you need. www.beaver.ab.ca