Bigger Christmas in Sexsmith event to come this year

·4 min read

Town of Sexsmith

Regular Meeting of Council

September 20, 2021

In Attendance: Mayor Kate Potter,

councillors Dennis Stredulinsky, Ken Hildebrand,

Bruce Black, Isak Skjaveland, Jonathan Siggelkow,

Clint Froehlick.

Christmas in Sexsmith: Town council granted Melody Sample, Sexsmith farmers market manager, request for $6,200 in funding for the Christmas in Sexsmith event.

The event, slated for Nov. 18 to 20, will include the town light-up, farmers Christmas market, and activities for children.

“This event was such a success last year that we are bringing it back bigger and better,” said Sample.

Fireworks will be added to the light-up event that will see the Christmas lights brighten up the town.

Sample said that the support for local businesses and the town are helping the event grow.

Local businesses are showing support for the event by providing financial gifts, gifts-in-kind and personnel for the event.

“It’s a time where you can come out with family and have a hot chocolate and watch the lights,” said Sample.

GREP agreement: The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GREP) has combined two documents in hopes of streamlining and reducing the risk of duplications.

Changes to the agreement include removing Hythe from the documents after it was dissolved in July and became a hamlet in the County of Grande Prairie.

Council agreed to the changes to the document as presented.

Council remuneration and meeting attendance policy: Corporate services recommended changes to the council remuneration and meeting attendance policy.

The changes were prompted by the addition of mandatory courses required for council, according to Municipal Government Act.

“Council also wanted to add a recommended course called municipal corporate planning and finance,” said Rachel Wueshner, Sexsmith chief administrative officer (CAO).

Details were also added to the monthly supervision which is a $450 payment to each councillor ($750 to the mayor) to cover the time invested in such things as conversations/meetings with residents, preparation for meetings, and any research required.

As well, mandatory and recommended courses for council members will be limited to a maximum distance of 250 kilometres from Sexsmith.

Additionally councillors can attend two conferences annually and it is recommended that one be the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA).

Any conference outside of Alberta will require council approval.

Council approved the revised policy.

STARS support: Council decided to continue its annual donation of $2 per capita which amounts to about $5,240 per year, to the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) and give an additional $5,000 this year for the new helicopter in Grande Prairie.

Council received a presentation from STARS at the previous council meeting and learned of the difficulties the organization has faced with fundraising due to the pandemic.

“Every year we have in general at least one or two STARS landings right in the town, and it's a very tangible service that our residents see and know how critical it is for those who need that,” said Kate Potter, Sexsmith mayor.

“The town is selling STARS 2022 calendars and advertising on (in the newspaper) and on Facebook that they are available for sale at the town office,” said Wueschner.

“I think that council just really recognizes the importance of having stars available.”

STARS is looking for additional funding for their new H145 helicopter that will be based out of Grande Prairie and has seen additional funds from other municipalities like the County of Grande Prairie.

Bobcat trade-in renewal 2022: Council decided to trade in the 2021 bobcat for a 2022 bobcat as part of its trade-in program with the Bobcat dealer.

This year council needed to make the decision earlier than previous years due to the dealer needing to secure the delivery.

The cost of the lease renewal is $7,562.38.

The town has participated in the trade-in program since 2003.

If the town decided not to trade in the Bobcat, it would be disqualified from the program; re-entering the program would come at a cost.

The Bobcat skid steer is used for cleaning walking trails, ice rinks, landscaping, sanding sidewalks, and many other uses throughout the town.

Wueschner said it’s a “good program because they always have a working order bobcat with almost no maintenance costs”.

Small Business Week: Council decided to proclaim the week of Oct. 18 to 22, Small Business Week in Sexsmith after a request from the local Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber is hosting a trade show at the Sexsmith Farmers’ Market on Sept. 28 and has reached out to FCSS to add groups who were unable to have a table at the Fall Showcase, which was cancelled.

The chamber hopes the declaration will help put the spotlight on small businesses that have had a tough time throughout the pandemic and help bring residents to local shops.

Day of Older Persons: Oct. 1 will be declared the International Day of Older Persons.

The day recognizes and acknowledges older Albertans and their contributions to our communities, raises senior concerns and addresses misconceptions about older persons.

The town has previously participated in the movement with a proclamation in 2019 and 2020.

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News

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