Red Arrow
Tuesday February 28th, 2012  
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   Volume 82 - Issue 8   email:   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"There is a lot of really good skiable terrain available to us to access."
- Dave Morrison  
Pass PowderKeg Manager   


Councillor Jerry Lonsbury was absent from the meeting.

River Run Update
Chief Administrative Officer Myron Thompson informed Council that portions of the lands within the River Run subdivision are currently in court-supervised foreclosure proceedings.
The foreclosure applies to approximately 20 un-serviced parcels of land, due to the mortgage administered by Olympia Trust being in default.
The mortgagee has asked the court to determine the balance owing under the mortgage and to give the mortgagee the authority to take the initial steps to prepare the lands for sale.
Plaintiffs in the case began the process of foreclosure on the River Run Plaza Corporation on February 14th.
Thompson said the Municipality will continue to monitor the situation.

Fire Guardian Appointments
Administration recommended that Council pass a resolution appointing Council as Fire Guardians for the area, as stipulated by the Forest and Prairie Protection Act.
The act addresses the responsibilities of the Municipality with respect to fire, permitting, pest control, fire control agreements, fighting fires, conscription for fire fighting, closure of forest areas, outdoor fires and other issues pertaining to all lands within the boundaries of the municipal district.
Under the act, the municipality’s Chief Elected Official (mayor) and Council are required to serve as fire guardians, giving them the authority to require any able-bodied adult to assist in extinguishing fires and prevention of spread, commandeer and authorize payment for the possession or use of any equipment for the purpose of fighting a fire, enter a closed area under the act without permit or written permission of a forest officer, and obtain names and information of any and all persons found on or leaving public land.
The role of Fire Guardian is performed on a volunteer basis under direction of the Fire Chief and does not require any additional training, but is simply a formality and requirement under the act.
Councillor Larry Mitchell moved to accept Administration’s recommendation to pass a resolution appointing Council as Fire Guardians.
The motion was carried unanimously.


Property Tax Recovery
Administration presented two drafts of a resolution put forth by Councillor Brian Gallant relating to the collection of property and requisition tax arrears.
Councillor Gallant proposed the resolution as a way to quell the problem of unpaid property taxes in the community.
According to Director of Finance and Systems Marion Vanoni, the current process of collecting outstanding tax arrears takes approximately three years and at present, there are $867,226.91 in unpaid property taxes owing (much of which has been carried forward from previous years) with approximately $260,000 attributable to requisition.
The draft resolution, which will be presented to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) and Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC), asks the two organizations to recommend that the provincial government amend the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to enable municipalities to initiate the tax recovery process one year after the date that the tax is imposed, rather than two years, as the legislation currently states.
“Shortening duration would perhaps provide a better method of collecting outstanding tax arrears,” said Vanoni.
“This is a big issue in this community,” said Mayor Bruce Decoux, noting that outstanding property taxes are almost a non-issue in other nearby communities.
Mayor Decoux proposed that the resolution also be presented at the upcoming Regional Mayors and Reeves meeting for discussion.
Councillor Emile Saindon moved to present the resolution to the AUMA, AAMDC and Mayors and Reeves Association.
The motion was carried unanimously.

Council Meeting Dates
Council voted to continue the current schedule format for Council and Governance and Priorities Committee (GPC) meetings until the end of May.
Chief Administrative Officer Myron Thompson asked that Council consider moving to one Council and one GPC meeting per month, to be held on the first and third Tuesday of the month, respectively, in order to allow Administration and staff more time to prepare materials for meetings.
Thompson said special meetings could also be held as required.
For the past three months, Council and Administration have been operating under the schedule of having a Council meeting the first Tuesday of the month, with a GPC and Council meeting on the third Tuesday.
Councillors Brian Gallant, Emile Saindon, Andrew Saje and Siegbert Gail said they would prefer to maintain the current schedule, as there are several priorities and action items which were outlined in the Strategic Plan which still need to be implemented.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Councillor Gail.
Mayor Bruce Decoux supported the recommendation to move to two meetings per month, adding that increasing the time between meetings has been beneficial so far.
“I think we’ve become much more efficient and we move much faster in our Council meetings than previous councils have ever done,” said Mayor Decoux.
“We are coming into meetings much better prepared than we were with previous meeting schedules and this is because of the hard work of Administration.”
After much discussion, Councillor Gallant moved to continue with the current schedule of three meetings per month until the end of May.
The motion was carried unanimously.
The next Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on March 6th, with GPC and Council meetings on March 20th at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

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