April 10 Town Council Update
On April 10, Eckville held their regular council meeting. The meeting almost didn’t meet quorum for the first time during the 30 years that Mayor Helen Posti has been in office until Deputy Mayor Scott Kinley arrived in the nick of time.
The meeting continued as scheduled.
Change in Banking
Council listened to the Town of Eckville Administration’s request to switch banking over from the Eckville Credit Union to ATB Financial.
The Town has been offered favorable terms to switch over their accounts, including a quicker turnover when it comes to payments made on the Town credit card. Town staff were previously faced with payments not going through for 30 days, meaning that the Town was collecting late fees and would often not have space on the card for payments - leading to staff making out of pocket expense payments.
Council felt that since ATB is a much larger institution, it will be able to offer more services and options for the Town - as well as more security.
Deputy Mayor Scott Kinley made a motion that directed Administration to seek out an arrangement with ATB Financial to move the Town’s accounts over from the Eckville Credit Union.
Councillor Kevin See noted that the Town has many shares in the Eckville Credit Union after 20 years of being a customer and will likely see much of those shares returned to the Town.
The transition to ATB Financial will take place no later then September 30, which is in time for the 2017 municipal election.
New Utility Vehicle
A representative from Public Works spoke to Council about the purchase of a new utility vehicle that would serve multiple purposes throughout town, including the watering of plants.
Public works and Town Administration presented five different models of utility vehicles ranging in price from $23,475 to $31,208.95.
A MSI Capital Grant allows for a budget of $31,000 for this project. Luckily for the Town, the suggested model is the $23, 475 Kubota RTV-x1100c. This means that the extra budgeted funds could go to attachments which would benefit the Town like a spreader, sprayer, snow-blower, snow plow or sweeper.
Councillor Kevin See pointed out that the size of this 40 km/hr vehicle would be ideal for maintaining the Town’s walking path throughout all seasons.
Colleen Ebden made a motion for the Town to purchase the Kubota model utility vehicle for the cost of $23, 475.
Council also requested that public works look into what attachments would be immediately most useful for Town staff.
Arena Liquor License
Councillor Kevin See informed Council that the Eckville Arena has received permission to have a year-round liquor license.
Previously, the arena was forced to purchase temporary licenses for events like the Eckville Rodeo - which was often a delayed process. The new license allows arena staff to use their own discretion when liquor is served under AGLC law.
This will come as welcome news to the Senior ‘AA’ Eagles Hockey Team, who was hoping the license would come during their 2016-2017 season. If the hockey club chooses to do so, they will now be able to serve spirits.
Municipal Bylaw Act
With a new Municipal Bylaw Act approaching, Mayor Helen Posti suggested that Council should start going over each Eckville Town bylaw individually, in order to ensure that they meet provincial standards.
Town CAO Jack Ramsden suggested that this would be best dealt with by forming a committee, which would then present their findings on each bylaw to Council.
Mayor Posti let Council and staff know that it has been suggested that municipal bylaws should be somewhat compatible with neighboring municipalities to fit the demands of the new act.
Council decided that any extra Council time in 2017 should be used to go over these bylaws.
National Day of Mourning
Council received a request from the Worker’s Compensation Board of Alberta to lower their flag to half mast on April 28 to honour workers killed, injured or disabled at work.
Council agreed to lower their flags to recognize the day, however Town staff did discuss that the bylaw regarding the lowering of Town flags is fairly specific regarding when it is appropriate to do so.
Council requested that this bylaw be looked into in order to ensure compliance in the future.
Library Lego Day
The Eckville Library requested that Council send representatives to help judge their Lego Build Day Contest on April 22, at 10 a.m.
Mayor Helen Posti and Councillor Kevin See will represent the Town as judges for the event.
Request For Funding
The Town requested funding from Lacombe County for their Canada 150 celebrations.
To the pleasant surprise of Council, Lacombe County awarded an extra $1,644 for the event.
“Events such as this bring the community together and we commend you on undertaking the planning and coordination of the Canada 150 Celebration,” Tim Timmons, Manager of Corporate Services for Lacombe County said in an email.
Public Works Week
A letter from the APWA Alberta Chapter requested that Council declare a proclamation stating that May 21-27 is National Public Works Week.
“NPWW[National Public Works Week] calls attention to the importance of public works in community life and seeks to acknowledge the efforts of tens of thousands of men and women in North America who provide and maintain civil infrastructure and services,” the letter stated.
Council made the proclamation for National Public Works Week.