Town of Sexsmith
Regular Meeting of Council
July 5, 2021
In Attendance: Mayor Kate Potter,
councillors Dennis Stredulinsky, Ken Hildebrand,
Bruce Black, Isak Skjaveland, Jonathan Siggelkow,
Fire department tools: The Sexsmith Fire Department will be receiving new extrication tools as their current tools require repair.
Nolan Jespersen, Sexsmith deputy fire chief, said that upon inspection of the department's current extrication tools, they found that they required repairs due to leaking hoses. The tools are scheduled to be replaced early next year.
Jespersen said that the current extrication tools they use are all about 20 years old and have no residual value. The cost of repair would be around $6,600.
Extrication tools are used for rescues from vehicles and machinery, said Jespersen.
Council decided to approve the fire department’s requests to replace the extrication tools with a cost of up to $60,000 coming out of town reserves.
Support small biz: Council received a letter from the Town of Ponoka asking that council join them in writing letters to local MLAs and MPs in support of more supports from the province and the federal government for small rural businesses.
“We worry that a number of our small businesses may not survive,” said the Ponoka town council in its letter.
Ponoka town council noted it takes much longer for rural businesses to recover than those in urban centres. Blanket measures taken are more favourable to businesses in areas with larger populations.
“Our frustration with the government has been that their actions and solutions always appear to be a one-size-fits-all measure with the emphasis tilted toward the larger cities in our province,” reads the letter.
Coun. Black said he doubts that any additional funds for municipalities would come from the government since other programs already exist.
Council decided to accept the letter for information.
Business licence bylaw: Council reviewed changes to the business bylaw, most notably that appeals can now be made to council if a business license can not be obtained by the town administration.
Once council hears the appeal, it can issue a business licence upon terms that council may specify, renew or reinstate a business license that was expired or revoked, revoke or refuse to issue or renew the business licence.
All three readings passed unanimously.
Council meeting length: Coun. Black requested that a procedural bylaw change would allow for a maximum of three hours be set for town council meetings, rather than the current four.
Counc. Skjaveland said that council shouldn’t making such a change so close to the October municipal election, when a new council will be settling into chambers. But counc. Siggelkow said long meetings might in fact discourage new candidates from running for council if they are looking at meetings that start at 6:30 and end at 10:30 p.m.
Alternatively, the meetings could commence at an hour earlier, suggested counc. Hildebrand, and finish an hour earlier.
After discussion, counc. Black made a motion to postpone any changes till a later meeting to allow council to think more on the matter.
Civic Centre needs internet: Mayor Potter recommended that the town add internet services to the Civic Centre. There was discussion around whether the Elks Club based there would be charged for the internet service.
Coun. Froehlick made a motion to discuss with the Elks regarding internet access at the Civic Centre.
Internet service would help in the future to provide live streaming for meetings, weddings, and funerals, said Potter.
She said that with AUMA Municipal Leaders Caucus later this month happening at the Civic Centre, the town could had offered a livestreaming opportunity for those who could not attend in person had there been internet service available.
The town also changed its council meetings from the Civic Centre to the community centre because of the lack of internet service.
National Drowning Week: Council proclaimed July 18 to 24 as National Drowning Prevention Week in Sexsmith.
The decision came after a letter from the Lifesaving Society to bring awareness and reduce water-related injuries. The letter stated over 400 people a year die from drowning.
CUPW: Council decided to draft a letter saying they do not support the Canadian Union of Postal Worker’s (CUPW) Delivering Community Power project. On June 21 council received a letter asking for support. This week, council decided to accept it as information only.
“There was concern about the cost of it and concern about the way in which the union was trying to drum up support and now the apparent support that they say they have, which has not been verified,” said Potter.
Natural gas rate: Council was presented with a new contract for natural gas from the Alberta Municipal Services Corporation (AMSC).
The town currently has a contract that will end in 2022 at a rate of $2.30/GJ.
The new rate in the renewal for the 2023 to 2026 period will see an increase to $2.42/GJ.
Council agreed to sign a contract and accept the new rates.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News