Fire call numbers down, false alarms up
A regular meeting of the Council of Starland County was held in the Administration Office, Morrin, Alberta, on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, commencing at 9:00 am,
Chief Administrative Officer Ross Rawlusyk reviewed his CAO Report with Council. Highlights of his report included the following: - The Federal Government 2016 includes investments in housing, transit and green infrastructure. There will be an increased federal contribution to important infrastructure projects and a streamlined process to ensure these investments move quickly to build, repair and maintain Canada’s core infrastructure. - Ross noted that the downturn in the economy will ultimately effect Starland County as well. While farmland remained relatively the same and residential experienced a 5.82% increase in assessment, the oil and gas sector declined in assessment nearly 7%, resulting in a decrease of approximately $650,000.00 in taxation dollars for the County.
However, we do have a large capital component we can scale back and some other cost reductions are available as well. - Reeve Hoover presented Starland County’s resolution on “Improving Oversight of Delegated Legislation” at the AAMDC Spring Convention. The resolution, if accepted by Government, would require the legislature to introduce all regulations simultaneously with Bills. This would ultimately allow both Government members and citizens to know what a Bill contains prior to it being passed. - AESO has been tasked to develop and implement a program to bring on new renewable generation capacity over the period to 2030 and provide draft recommendations on its plan in May 2016. AESO is reaching out to the developer and investment community to seek their input into the structure of the Renewable Electricity Program and are encouraging parties to participate by completing the questionnaire in this regard. - Endeavor has scheduled the first week to complete the 2015 financial audit for County. - Starland County’s Tax Arrears List must be forwarded to the Land Titles Office before March 31 and is now prepared and ready to be signed and submitted. - Ross completed the Assessment Review Board training program in Edmonton on March 17 and 18.
At 10:00 a.m., Public Works Supervisor Pratt attended the meeting and reviewed his Public Works Report with Council. Highlights of his report included the following: - Crews put a fence up around the Michichi Hall site after the building was demolished and also watered down the building materials to minimize the dust particles in the air. - Crews have also been cutting trees in road allowances, steaming and hydro-vaccing frozen culverts, hauling gravel for soft spots, installing and replacing signs, hauling concrete from the Michichi Hall to Courtney/Handhills Pit, hauling fill back to Michichi from the Courtney/Handhills Pit, helping with washouts on various roads; of April Starland - Stabilization on the solar stands in Delia and Morrin has now been completed; - Al created a new safe work practice / procedure for “Demolition of a building” which was needed for the Michichi Hall demolition. - He has been getting quotes for some of the equipment on his capital list.
CAO Rawlusyk noted that the dates have been finalized for the 2016 Road Construction Meeting and Road Tour. The Road Construction Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 14, 2016, commencing at 9:00 a.m. in the Administration Office. The Road Tour will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016, commencing at 8:30 a.m. Stantec Consulting Ltd. will be in attendance as well and will be providing the transportation for this tour. Council reviewed the proposed schedule of roads and sites on this tour.
At 11:25 a.m., Manager Riep attended the meeting and reviewed his Municipal Services Report with Council. Highlights of his report included the following: - Crews have been busy with cemetery internments, assisting with re-certifying fire extinguishers, daily water system monitoring and testing, bacteriological sampling and doing annual maintenance and repairs on recreation equipment. - A joint emergency services meeting was held on March 21, 2016. Bruce Mackenzie and Craig Sallows from AEMA attended the meeting and discussed the changes within the provincial departments as well as reviewed our emergency program and any issues we may have had. - Goose Creek has been out doing work on the CLV solar inverter system connection. This involves the battery bank within the system, which will operate the plant during after hours or during night time until the solar panels are re-energized and supply power to the station, however, the solar panels have not yet been installed. - There will be an Alberta Emergency Alert System Training session on May 26, 2016, commencing at 9:00 a.m. in the Starland County Council Chambers. - The Annual Fire Protection Committee Meeting was held March 10. - The Morrin Fire Truck is substantially completed now and is scheduled for delivery on April 15. - Glen noted that water system audits were completed by AENV on the CLV and Rumsey water systems. The audit is completed by an evaluation of the water system records and reports that are compiled daily and submitted monthly. If the audit reveals a non-completion or non-compliance within any of the 26 categories, this will result in a fail grade. Glen is working on his written comments and response to the AENV audit review which includes plans to upgrade and additional equipment and monitoring abilities for the operations of the plant and assurance of future compliance in this regard.
CAO Rawlusyk provided Council with a copy of Starland County’s Regional Emergency Plan for their perusal. This plan is designed to provide guidelines for implementing a coordinated response to large emergencies or disasters affecting the Starland Regional Emergency Partnership and/or any of the individual municipalities in the Partnership, includ- ing Starland County and the Villages of Delia, Morrin and Munson.
In addition, he reviewed a draft of a “Municipal Emergency Management Bylaw”. Under the Emergency Management Act, Chapter E-6.8, Revised Statutes of Alberta 2000, Starland County must enact a bylaw to appoint an Emergency Advisory Committee and establish and maintain a Municipal Emergency Management Agency. He noted that this bylaw will be brought to a future meeting for Council’s endorsement.
As Director of Emergency Management, Manager Riep reviewed his Annual Report. He noted that over the years there have been a number of courses provided to our personnel, however, further development in this area is necessary in order for us to be compliant with provincial requirements.
Several buildings and locations have been identified as EOC locations or facilities that can be used for evacuation centres. These facilities have been equipped to accommodate our back--up generator when needed. In addition, the County also has a portable solar/generator unit which can provide other remote power supply where and when needed. Glen also outlined his projected goals for future development including: ICS 200 training for staff and EMC; emergency power source to communications I Internet service; EOC kit; 72 hour preparedness kits; and testing of our plan.
CAO Rawlusyk provided a copy of the assessment guideline used by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) for Potable Water System Inspections. As noted in Manager Riep’s report, water system audits were completed by AENV on the CLV and Rumsey water systems. These aud’ts resulted in several items that need to be addressed to improve these systems and the reporting for same.
As Fire Marshall for Starland County, Manager Riep also presented his 2015 Fire Marshall’s Annual Report. He noted that the total number of calls had declined by more than 10% overall from the previous year, with a reduction in non-fire incidents being the major contributor. There was a decrease in the medical assist calls, but an increase in the false alarms. The false alarm numbers reflect those calls where a second department was dispatched as a result of a non-response to the initial dispatch by Red Deer 911. He noted that when a department is neglecting or failing to use the Standard Operating Procedures necessary when dispatched by not acknowledging the page—out, 911 dispatches an additional department to respond to the emergency. Glen reported that a grant for training was obtained under the Alberta Fire Services and Emergency Preparedness Program for a joint training initiative with the Town of Drumheller. A number of courses were provided and training continues to be a priority in future development of the fire services within the County. Fire apparatus and equipment upgrading is ongoing and essential to maintain levels of service to our communities. A new Rosenbaur TX Maverick all-terrain four wheel drive unit was purchased for the Rumsey Fire Department and the Rosenbaur pumper unit from Rumsey will be reas- signed to the Craigmyle Fire Station. In regards to communications the County completed a review to determine where improvements were needed and alternative means to enhance the overall system. This evaluation identified key areas which require upgraded equipment or additional towers. The Fire Hall Utility program has been expanded to all the departments and has also shown to be a very useful tool in our communications capabilities. In regards to fire permits, he noted that a new policy was adopted by council for the controlled burning of brush piles or other related debris. He noted several objectives going forward, with one of the main objectives for 2016 being the completion and adoption of the Fire Protection Master Plan.
CAO Rawlusyk discussed an issue which was brought up at the recent Fire Protection Meeting. Fire Departments are being called out and then they are required to stay for extended hours beyond the initial incident, to provide traffic control. It was suggested that some type of honorarium should be provided to members providing “Traffic Site Accommodation”.
Moved that Starland County implement a fee of $20.00 per hour per member, to be charged out and then paid to the fire department members involved in incidents involving traffic site accommodation. CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Chief Administrative Officer Rawlusyk noted that he had been approached once again by the Board of the Morning Glory Water Co-op to have the County look after meter readings and invoicing services. He discussed the various issues involved in regards to the operations of the Morning Glory Water Co-op system. Council determined that CAO Rawlusyk and Manager Riep should work together to establish an agreement for the Board of the Morning Glory Water Co-op to consider and if they approve this agreement, then the County will move forward in taking over the operations of this system.
CAO Rawlusyk noted that Alberta Environment and Parks are providing user training for the Alberta Rivers Webpage. Their website has been updated and modernized and the new website will be launched April 15. Due to the size and scope of the website training, they will only be able to accommodate 2 persons from each client group. Training is available for the Red Deer River Basin on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 and CAO Rawlusyk will register two County representatives.
At 2:10 p.m., Agricultural Fieldman Hampton attended the meeting to discuss the proposal received for completing a feasibility study for the proposed new seed cleaning plant for Delia. Stantec Architecture Ltd. provided a quote to complete this study in the amount of $44,891.82 plus travel expenses and GST. Council discussed this issue and suggested that other quotes should be obtained if possible for proposals to do a feasibility study.
The next regular meeting of the Council of Starland County is to be held on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at the Starland County Administration Office, Morrin, Alberta, commencing at 9:00 am.