County ap­proves route changes for pipe­line project

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE -

A reg­u­lar meet­ing of the Coun­cil of Star­land County was held in the Ad­min­is­tra­tion Of­fice, Mor­rin, Al­berta, on Wed­nes­day, April 13, 2016, com­menc­ing at 9:00 a.m.

Present: Reeve: Bar­rie Hoover; Deputy Reeve: Allen Avra­menko; Coun­cil­lors: Mur­ray Mar­shall, Bob Sar­gent and Steven Wannstrom, Staff: CAO R. Rawlusyk, Spe­cial Projects Man­ager M. Kreke, Record­ing Sec­re­tary S. Bre­mer

At 9:00 a.m., Jeff Fau­pel, from En­deavor Char­tered Ac­coun­tants, at­tended the meet­ing to re­view Star­land County’s 2015 Au­dited Fi­nan­cial State­ments with Coun­cil. He also pre­sented the In­de­pen­dent Au­di­tor’s Re­port to mem- bers of Coun­cil. He noted, that the con­sol­i­dated fi­nan­cial state­ments present fairly, in all ma­te­rial re­spects, the fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of Star­land County as at De­cem­ber 31, 2015, the re­sults of its op­er­a­tions, change in its net fi­nan­cial assets (debt) and its cash flows for the year in ac­cor­dance with Cana­dian pub­lic sec­tor ac­count­ing stan­dards. Mr. Fau­pel re­viewed the var­i­ous con­sol­i­dated state­ments of op­er­a­tions, de­ferred rev­enues, debt lim­its and eq­uity in Tan­gi­ble Cap­i­tal Assets with Coun­cil, who are also the Au­dit Com­mit­tee. In con­clu­sion, Mr. Fau­pel ad­vised Coun­cil that he had no rec­om­men­da­tions to sub­mit with his au­dit find­ings and that Star- land County is in a good and sta­ble fi­nan­cial po­si­tion.

Moved that Star­land County’s Au­dit Com­mit­tee ac­cept the 2015 Star­land County Au­dited Fi­nan­cial State­ment as re­viewed, and au­tho­rize the re­lease of the in­for­ma­tion found therein. CAR­RIED UNAN­I­MOUSLY.

At 10:10 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 have been busy with sea­sonal labour items such as tak­ing down snow fence, hy­dro-vac­c­ing cul­vert ends, fin­ish­ing up brush­ing trees in the road al­lowances, pump­ing wa­ter on a cou­ple of back roads and re­mov­ing snow equip­ment. - The Michichi Hall de­mo­li­tion is com­pleted and the hole has been filled in. It now needs lev­el­ing and seeded to grass. - Al has been get­ting cul­vert quotes for 2016, as well as fenc­ing ma­te­rial quotes.

CAO Rawlusyk noted that our Au­di­tor re­quires us to have an up­dated opin­ion of prob­a­ble cost on the reclama- tion of each of the County’s gravel pits, in­clud­ing Star­land, Mar­shall & Hand­hills Court­ney Pits. For 2015, Stan­tec up­dated these costs re­sult­ing in a slightly lower recla­ma­tion li­a­bil­ity as was recorded in 2013. He ad­vised that we will be up­dat­ing these costs an­nu­ally for au­dit pur­poses.

At 11:15 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 reg­u­lar op­er­a­tions in­clud­ing wa­ter­flush­ing op­er­a­tions, trailer re­pairs, re--deck­ing trailer beds, daily wa­ter sys­tem mon­i­tor­ing and test­ing, bac­te­ri­o­log­i­cal sam­pling and re­cre­ation equip­ment re­pairs and an­nual main­te­nance. - New West Geo­mat­ics did some training and pro­gram­ming for the Trim­ble hand held GPS unit. The up­dated pro­gram al­lows for not only iden­ti­fy­ing ceme­tery plots, but also lo­cat­ing wa­ter lines and other in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing valves or hy­drants. - The Mor­rin fire truck ar­rived and the de­part­ment mem­bers are very pleased with the fi­nal prod­uct. The pumper con­trol panel is lo­cated and en­closed within the ex­tended cab of the truck and the unit can trans­port 6 fire fight­ers at a time with 4 seats equipped with ready-to-use BA har­ness. - The re­lo­ca­tion of the used Rum­sey fire truck to the Craigmyle Fire De­part­ment poses some is­sues with the ex­ist­ing build­ing. They can­not store the newer truck to­gether with their res­cue van as there is not enough room. The FPMP de­ter­mined that their fire hall was con­sid­ered as a long range pri­or­ity, how­ever, with the in­crease in over­all ve­hi­cle size and de­part­ment ap­pa­ra­tus, the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties are no longer com­pat­i­ble. Glen noted that we do have an op­por­tu­nity to pos­si­bly lease one of the Olm­stead build­ings that are for sale, to use an in­terim fire hall. - Glen met with Ja­clyn Roul­ston, the DWOS per­son for our area, to visit the Rumssy wa­ter sta­tion. They dis­cussed the plans to en­hance the wa­ter qual­ity and op­er­at­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties and one item she sug­gested was to use an elec­tronic scale to bet­ter eval­u­ate our chlo­rine dosage and de­mand re­quire­ments. MPE En­gi­neer­ing will be pro­vid­ing a re­vised equip­ment break down and pric­ing for the re­mote reader and mon­i­tor­ing ap­pa­ra­tus. - An Al­berta Emer­gency Alert Sys­tem Training ses­sion is sched­uled for May 26, 2016 com­menc­ing at 9:00 a.m. in the Coun­cil Cham­bers.

Moved that Star­land County au­tho­rize Man­ager Riep and each of the Fire Chiefs in­ter­ested within the County to at­tend the Fire Chief’s Con­fer­ence in Cal­gary, from May 29 to June 15, 2016; and that reg­is­tra­tion and ex­penses be paid. CAR­RIED UNANlMOUSLY.

Man­ager Riep dis­cussed cor­re­spon­dence re­ceived from Evolve Sur­face Strate­gies Inc. on be­half of Bearspaw Pe­tro­leum Ltd. As re­quired by the Al­berta En­ergy Reg­u­la­tor (AER) they are no­ti­fy­ing the County that Bearspaw Pe­tro­leum Ltd. is in the process of ac­quirirg sur­face rights for a pro­posed pipe­line project on the E 1/4 18-29-19-W4M and W 1/4 17-29-19-W4M. They pre­vi­ously ac­quired a PLA prior to 2011 with Star­land County ap­proval. How­ever, they did not build the PLA in time and af­ter re-ap­ply­ing for a new crown ap­pli­ca­tion, con­sul­ta­tion came back with 7 bands that re­quire con­sul­ta­tion prior to con­tin­u­a­tion of the crown ap­pli­ca­tion. This is very costly and time con­sum­ing, there­fore, Bearspaw is re­quest­ing route changes to avoid a small cor­ner of crown lards due to the fact that it would have a rel­a­tively low im­pact on the County; it would re­move a pro­hib­i­tive cost barrier for Bearspaw; and the cur­rent Crown ten­ant is open to the pro­posal.

Moved that Star­land County grant ap­proval to Bearspaw Pe­tro­leum Ltd. to pro­ceed with their pipe­line project as out­lined on the E 1/2 18-2919-W4M and W 1/2 17-2919-W4M as per the con­di­tions out­lined on the ap­proval agree­ment. MO­TION CAR­RIED.

Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer Ross Rawlusyk re­viewed his CAO Re­port with Coun­cil. High­lights of his re­port in­cluded the fol­low­ing: - The au­dit process went very well, with no is­sues of any sub­stance to work through. Our un­re­stricted sur­plus in­creased by $68,546.00 and our re­stricted sur­plus in­creased by the $35,000.00 that we are re­quired to put to­wards fire halls. We have $3,373,292.00 in de­ferred rev­enue which is wait­ing for the new pub­lic works shop and Mun­son Fire Hall. - Prairie Land School Di­vi­sion is still pur­su­ing fund­ing as­sis­tance for out­door fit­ness equip­ment to be in­stalled in com­mu­ni­ties where they have schools. The 2016 Grass­routes Com­mu­nity Sport In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge grant pro­gram may pos­si­bly pro­vide the funds nec­es­sary to see this project be a re­al­ity. - Un­der the new Wet­lands Pol­icy, if a project could dis­turb wa­ter bod­ies or wet­lands, a Wa­ter Act ap­proval is re­quired and this would re­quire a tech­ni­cal re­view and pub­lic no­ti­fi­ca­tion. La­combe County ‘in­tends to sub­mit a res­o­lu­tion at our next zone meet­ing to try and stream­line this process and deal with these ap­proval con­di­tions. - The Prov­ince an­nounced the in­tro­duc­tion of the Elec­toral Bound­aries Com­mis­sion Amend­ment Act. This Act would make it pos­si­ble for changes to pro­vin­cial elec­toral bound­aries to be con­sid­ered be­fore the next an­tic­i­pated gen­eral elec­tion. In an­nounc­ing the bill, the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Solic­i­tor Gen­eral noted that “Al­ber­tan’s Char­ter right to vote in­cludes a guar­an­tee of ef­fec­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion, which is fun­da­men­tal to democ­racy.” If these changes are strictly based on pop­u­la­tion, ru­ral Al­berta will lose many rid­ings and ul­ti­mately their voice in Al­berta. - AESO re­leased its 2015 Mar­ket Sta­tis­tics re­port, not­ing the an­nual av­er­age pool price for whole­sale elec­tric­ity fell 33% and the av­er­age nat­u­ral gas price fell 40%. - We have now com­pleted all of the MSI Grant claim forms, as well as the Fed­eral Gas Tax Fund claims for 2015. - A joint meet­ing be­tween the Coun­cils of Star­land, Delia, Mor­rin and Mun­son has been es­tab­lished for April 28 at the Mor­rin Com­mu­nity Hall. The Hon. Kevin Soren­son has con­firmed his at­ten­dance as well. The pri­mary fo­cus will be on fire agree­ment amend­ments for cap­i­tal, shared in­fra­struc­ture pro­grams and mu­nic­i­pal co­op­er­a­tion.

At 2:10 pm., rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Cana­dian Nat­u­ral Re­sources Lim­ited at­tended the meet­ing to fur­ther dis­cuss their let­ter to mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties which was sent out Fe­bru­ary 25, 2016. In that let­ter, they re­quested con­sid­er­a­tion of a 30% re­duc­tion in prop­erty taxes by a re­duc­tion in the non­res­i­den­tial mill rates. They also sug­gested that we re­assess pop­u­la­tion and ac­tiv­ity fore­casts that un­der­pin mu­nic­i­pal devel­op­ment plans to bet­ter re­flect re­duced ac­tiv­ity lev­els. They noted that given re­duced ac­tiv­ity lev­els in the past few years and into the fu­ture, it is likely that de­mands on mu­nic­i­pal in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices will also be re­duced. The third item noted was to re­view cap­i­tal and op­er­a­tions spend­ing to find cost re­duc­tions and en­sure that spend­ing is built-to-need and right-sized.

CAO Rawlusyk ex­plained that Star­land County is one of the smaller mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the Prov­ince and we main­tain a staff of only ap­prox­i­mately 33 em­ploy­ees. He also noted that the County is very fis­cally re­spon­si­ble, as shown in our re­cent fi­nan­cial au­dit. There is not much flex­i­bil­ity in the realm of the County’s rev­enue and ex­pen­di­tures and a large por­tion of the 2016 bud­get has al­ready been ex­pended. He did note how­ever, that the to­tal as­sess­ment for non-res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties has de­creased by nearly 7%, which will re­sult in a re­duc­tion of taxes to CNRL in the to­tal amount of ap­prox­i­mately $68,000.00.

The group thanked Star­land County Coun­cil for their time and con­sid­er­a­tion, de­part­ing from the meet­ing at 2:45 p.m.

A copy of the Star­land Re­gional Wa­ter Author­ity au­dited fi­nan­cial state­ment for the year end­ing De­cem­ber 31, 2015 was pro­vided to Coun­cil for their re­view.

con­tin­ued next week

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