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Keep up to date with the Council Meeting Highlights! ........





Rail Safety Week
Council affirmed the 2019 Rail Safety Week Proclamation that Council support national Rail Safety Week to be held from September 19 to 25, 2022

Rail Safety Week supports the ongoing efforts of CN Railways and Operation Lifesaver to raise awareness, save lives and prevent injuries in communities, including Beaver County.

Alberta Development Officers Week
Council proclaimed the week of September 18 to 24, 2022, Alberta Development Officers Week.

Alberta Development Officers Week is acknowledged to help increase public knowledge of the contribution Development Officers make to the quality of development within our communities and environment, and to recognize their commitment to public service.

Public Hearing  - Waiver of Municipal Development Pan 98-800 and Land Use Bylaw 98-801,     Re: Additional Subdivision in Plan 5238 AP, Block Y
Council conducted a public hearing  to hear comments for or against the proposed waiver of Section 1.6 a) of the Municipal Development Plan and Section 6.2 4 (1) of the Land Use Bylaw to enable consideration of subdivision of Plan 5238 AP, Block Y into two parcels.

The new Highway 834 bypass was constructed throughout the SW-7-51-18-W4 quarter section. As a result, the road divided several existing properties within the SW-7 creating new fragmented pieces of land. One of the affected landowners would like to subdivide their fragmented parcel.  The proposed subdivision would be for a 3.24-acre lot located directly east of the new Highway 834 bypass.

All parcels within the SW-7-51-18-W4 quarter section are currently zoned as Agricultural and located within the Municipal Development Plan’s Agricultural Area. As per Section 1, subsection 1.6 of the Municipal Development Plan, and per section 6.2, subsection 4(1) of the Land Use Bylaw, there shall be no more than three (3) titled parcels per quarter section. There are currently eight (8) titled parcels located within the SW-7.

The parcel is located within the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) area between Beaver County and the Town of Tofield. As per the IDP, the future land use designation for this parcel is split by the Highway 834 bypass. The land located west of the bypass (remnant land) is designated for future Urban Residential, while the land located east of the bypass (3.24 acres) is designated for future Industrial use. The proposed subdivision aligns with the IDP Map 2 – Future Land Use Concept.

To allow an additional subdivision, the owner is requesting that Council waive Section 1, subsection 1.6 of the Municipal Development Plan and section 6.2, subsection 4(1) of the Land Use Bylaw to allow an exemption for an additional subdivision within the Plan 5238 AP; Block Y.

Due to the unique circumstances, the proposed subdivision makes sense and will not further impact the surrounding area. The current zoning will remain in place and will not impact the designated future land use as per the IDP. In addition, the landowners no longer have direct access to Highway 834 from their existing dwelling, making the fragmented parcel less accessible to them.

One email had been received from adjacent landowners, Ken and Eva Dodds.  The Dodds have advised that they support the proposed subdivision, to remain agricultural.

There were no members of the public present and no members of the public registered to speak

Following the public hearing, Council passed a motion approving the waiver of Section 1.6 a) of the Municipal Development Plan and Section 6.2 4 (1) of the Land Use Bylaw to enable consideration of subdivision of Plan 5238 AP, Block Y into two parcels.

Tofield RCMP – Sergeant Charles Brown
Sergeant Charles Brown attended the meeting and introduced himself as the Detachment Commander, Tofield RCMP Detachment.  Sergeant Brown reviewed the recent Tofield RCMP Crime Statistics.

Jim Warren – Victim Services Redesign
Jim Warren, Beaver County Victim Services, Chair, attended the meeting to present concerns regarding the Alberta Government’s proposed Victim Services Redesign.  Concerns were noted as follows:

  • The lack of consultation with municipalities
  • The formation of a new zonal model for police-based victim services program delivery; removing the operation from community-based organizations and by police-based victim services units (VSU)
  • The adjustment of the mandate of the Victims of Crime and Public Safety.

Warren requested Council to advocate their concerns regarding the Victim Service Redesign to the MLAs, MPs and the RMA.

RMA Resolution – Government Funding for Nurse Practitioners
Rural Albertans continue to experience significant challenges to health care accessibility.  The number of family physicians has dropped 0.9% between April 2019/March 2020 and April 2020/March 2021 despite an increase in Alberta’s population.  A 2022 survey conducted by the Alberta Medical Association indicates that 34% of Albertans do not currently have a family physician. 

One solution to this issue is care provided by nurse practitioners.

Nurse practitioners are health care professionals educated at the Master’s or PhD level.  They are qualified to provide essential health care services such as primary care, outpatient clinic-based care, or hospital care, very similar to the care that a family doctor provides.

Nurse practitioners offer a wide range of services which include ordering and reading x-rays, tests, and laboratory results, performing exams and diagnosing problems, providing or ordering treatments, prescribing medications, providing follow-up care and education, and referring to specialists.  They are independent and require no outside supervision of their practice.

Across Canada, nurse practitioners work in hospitals (35%), community health facilities (36%), and nursing homes (4%).  The other 24% are educators, researchers, have returned to registered nursing roles, or are employed in private practices.  3 million Canadians receive primary care from nurse practitioners and in a study conducted by the Canadian Nurses Association in 2012, nurse practitioners have contributed to a 20% reduction in emergency department admissions from long-term care, and a 55% reduction in the use of multiple medications.

In Alberta, Provincial Government funding to nurse practitioners working outside the hospital system flows through primary care networks (PCNs).  PCN positions are historically underpaid and have limits placed on the number of patients who can been seen.  The Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta submitted a proposal to the Provincial Government in 2021, suggesting a salary-based model paid directly by the Province.  Compared to a per-patient funding model, a salary-based model would enable nurse practitioners to provide a thorough, wholistic approach to a patient’s health-care needs.

Due to the frequent leadership changes in Government, the proposal has not moved forward.

Council passed a motion recommending a resolution to Rural Municipalities of Alberta District 5 regarding government funding for nurse practitioners.  The intent of the resolution is that RMA request the Government of Alberta to establish a salary-based funding model that will fairly and equitably compensate nurse practitioners for work in local care facilities and independent clinics.

If the resolution is supported by other District 5 municipalities, it will be forwarded to the Fall 2022 RMA Convention for consideration by all rural municipalities.

Adjustment to Capital Equipment Plan
Grader-Mounted Mower
In 2021, the County purchased a grader-mounted mower from Capital I Industries to be utilized for roadside mowing.    Administration proposes to purchase another grader-mounted mower to allow for the elimination of all pull-type mowers for more efficient mowing operations.

The Purchasing Policy requires that purchases of goods with a value greater than $50,000 be tendered, however this requirement may be waived if the goods are of such unique nature, quality, or type that the procurement is unlikely to result in competitive bids.

In this case, Capital I Industries is the only company that sells the grader-mounted mowers.

In 2022, three graders are scheduled to be traded in when new units arrive in September.  Administration proposes to keep the best of these three graders to run a second grader-mounted mower.  The ripper and packer would be retained, allowing the unit to be utilized for mowing, maintenance, construction, or snow plowing as needed.  This past winter, there had been multiple occasions where every grader, including the spare and construction unit, were used to clear roads with large snowfalls.

Council passed a motion to waive the Purchasing Policy and approve the purchase of one grader-mounted mower from Capital I Industries due to the uniqueness of the product, for an amount not to exceed $65,000 using equipment reserve funds, and direct administration to retain the 2017 John Deere 872G grader scheduled to be traded in.

Battle River Coop – Power Pole Replacement Program
Beaver County has established a Backsloping Policy that assists in determining when, where, and how many backsloping projects may be completed in a given year.  Each project is assessed and prioritized based on criteria outlined in the Backsloping Policy.  Projects are then brought forward to Council for approval on an annual basis.

At the October 16, 2019, regular meeting of Council, a motion (19-306) was passed to approve backsloping projects for completion in the fall of 2019 on NE 28-47-12-4, SE 28-47-12-4 and SW 27-47-12-4.

In June of 2022, Beaver County was sent an invoice from the Battle River Power Coop (BRPC) for the replacement of 9 poles in the area, stating that once backsloping work was completed, poles were left on mounds and that for safety reasons, the poles needed to be moved.  The BRPC indicated that they had completed a site check in August 2021 and had started their process at that time for the project.

Administration had reached out to BRPC at the time of the backsloping project, however there was no agreement regarding the movement of the poles.  The discussion at the time was that the poles would be moved when the BRPC undertook scheduled pole replacement works in that area.  The BRPC however has noted that the County should have been aware that these costs would be forthcoming once the project was completed, as this is a typical process followed for this type of dirt work project.

In July of 2022, administration made a site visit to the locations in question to verify the information provided in the quote.  It was determined that there were some discrepancies and BRPC was asked to provide clarification on what was observed.  The BRPC also did their own site visit and follow-up during the second week of August.  An amendment was made to the original invoice and the County received another quote, this time for the relocation of 7 poles that were located on mounds.  The total cost for the project is $13,587.43 including GST.

In order to proceed with any work, the BRPC requires that the quote submitted be signed by a representative of the County.  The County could deny this request, however in the correspondence received on September 1, 2022 from the BRPC it was noted that ‘at this point, any issues, or troubles with this piece of line will be directly billed to the County for repair.  Once the County agrees to proceed as noted, BRPC takes on the full responsibility as it then becomes a scheduling issue.’  It is not fully known what a total line repair would cost but it can be assumed that it will be substantially more than the pole replacement.

Since this is an unbudgeted expense, related to an approved project from 2019, administration must follow the policy for unbudgeted expenditures and request that Council approve the expense prior to proceeding any further with the BRPC.

Council passed a motion authorizing administration to enter into an agreement with Battle River Power Coop to replace 7 power poles left on mounds along the NE 28-47-12-4, SE 28-47-12-4 and SW 27-47-12-4, for the approximate cost of $13,587.43, as outlined in a quote submitted on September 1, 2022.

Backsloping Requests
In accordance with the County’s Backsloping Policy, administration accepted backsloping applications from County residents until May 31, 2021.  Administration received three (3) applications before the May 31st deadline for consideration by Council.

Administration has reviewed, ranked, and summarized the active applications based on the criteria and site conditions of each proposed project.  The applications did not meet more than 2 of the 5 required criteria in the Backsloping Policy.

Council passed a motion to approve the following backsloping applications:

  1. NE 24-49-15-W4 (800 metres)
  2. SE 22-49-17-W4 (800 metres)
  3. SW 26-49-17-W4 (200 metres)

Following a recorded vote, the motion was defeated.

ACP Grant – BESC Emergency Management Plan and Emergency Response
The Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) grant provides funding to partnerships of 2 or more municipalities to develop regional plans, service delivery frameworks, and regional service delivery efficiencies.  There can only be one ACP grant application per managing partner, so it has been determined that the Village of Ryley will be the managing partner for the BESC Emergency Management Plan and Emergency Response project with the understanding that BESC will play a significant role in the scope of project work.

Grant dollars received would be used to support the development of a regional emergency management plan and emergency response training and exercise. 

Fire protection services in the Region are provided by a regional services commission (Beaver Emergency Services Commission (BESC)) and each municipality has delegated emergency management services to the Commission.

In May 2022, a request for proposal was issued for the preparation of emergency management plans and emergency response training and exercise.  4 proposals were received.  A joint administrative team reviewed the proposals and scored them according to the matrix provided in the RFP document.

Based on the review, administration recommended that Bolt from the Blue Management be awarded the tender and act as the consultant for the project.  Their proposal met all the key requirements of the RFP and was the lowest-priced. 

Council passed a motion to support the Village of Ryley’s submission of a 2022/23 Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) grant application in support of a regional emergency management plan and emergency response training and exercise. Council also passed a motion to support the tender award to Bolt from the Blue Management as the consultant for the development of a regional emergency management plan and emergency response training and exercise.

Lease of Land – Equity Industrial Park
Weston Magneson holds a lease on approximately 450 acres in the Equity Industrial Park.  The original lease was for a two-year period (2019 – 2021) and was subsequently extended for a further two-year period, expiring in March 2023.

The terms of the lease indicate that it may be renewed, but only for one, two-year period.

Mr. Magneson has requested early consideration of a second renewal so that he may plan his farming operation.  He has made improvements to the property (fencing) however under the terms of the lease, the fences must remain upon expiry of the lease.

The County has previously been approached by an individual who is interested in leasing the property.

The Disposition of County-Owned Property Policy authorizes the County to lease land held for resale (e.g. Equity Industrial Park) subject to the right of the County to sell the land at any time.  If tendered, the current leaseholder may be given the option to match the highest bid.

Council passed a motion directing administration to tender for the lease of County-owned land in the Equity Industrial Park, subject to an option extended to the current leaseholder to match the highest bid.

Business Arising Out of Closed Session

Disclosure Harmful to Personal Privacy – Complaint
Following a recorded vote Council passed a motion appointing Shari-Anne Doolaege of Sage Analytics Inc to investigate and report on complaints, in accordance with Bylaw 21-1115 and the contract terms provided by Council.

The next Regular Council Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, commencing at 9:30 am.

The next Regular Governance & Priorities Committee meeting has been scheduled for

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, commencing at 1:00 pm

For more information, contact Beaver County toll free at 1-866-663-1333 or 780-663-3730.

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