Budget finalization, East Hwy 1 TORs tabled,
BUDGET FINALIZATION – AUDIT REPORT
Administration provided its report on 2019’s year end financials. It was stated that the County had $49.2 million of debt and $42 million in the Tax Stabilization Reserve. However, after all the projects slated for 2020, including the $9.6 million to provide a pipe to West Balzac, that fund would drop to roughly $24 million.
Through the audit report, it was determined that there was a discrepancy in the County’s reporting of gravel reclamation liability – the $750k allocated for reclaiming County pits fell short. Administration acknowledged that it needed to come up with a better formula as to how that would be determined in the future. The remainder of the audit went well.
EAST GLENMORE TRAIL ASP TERMS OF REFERENCE APPROVED
Late last year, Gautreau and Schule also brought forward another proposal for an ASP along East Glenmore Trail. Gautreau was adamant that there was a big demand for growth in the area. Despite this big demand, Administration found that the developers/landowners were only willing to pay for 50% of the costs.
One positive is that the 3,200 acres that were originally identified for the ASP area were shrunk down to a more manageable 2,470 acres. Funding for the ASP ($145,000) would come from the Tax Stabilization Fund – for a project that benefits only a few landowners.
Reeve Boehlke expressed concerns about setting a bad precedent when we had asked for 100% developer funding for this ASP and were willing to settle for only 50%. I support the Reeve’s sentiment. However, Administration stated that they had simply been directed to explore potential funding options, not 100% funding and this was the option available.
Councillor Hanson noted that when an ASP is not fully developer funded it should be considered under the County’s Policy that prioritizes ASPs and determines their viability. However, Schule and Gautreau were adamant this ASP move forward. The motion passed 5-4 with Reeve Boehlke, Hanson, Kissel and me in opposition.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY TASK FORCE CREATED
In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAO Hoggan is assembling an Economic Recovery Task Force to be comprised of two Councillors along with members of the business community. The Task Force will meet several times over the next few months culminating in a report to Council in October.
Deputy Reeve Schule and Councillor McKylor were named to the Task Force. The CAO alluded that the members of the business community had been chosen, but no reference to who they were or how they were selected was made.
REDESIGNATION APPLICATION FOR R1 IN BEARSPAW APPROVED
An application to redesignate a 5-acre parcel into a 3-acre parcel with a 2-acre remainder was approved unanimously on Bunny Hollow. There were 5 letters of support and the application followed local policy. Administration recommended approval.