October 18th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 42
Council holds last meeting of term
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
Acting Assignment policy

Council passed a motion to approve a policy that outlines the compensation for employees covering short, mid and long-term absences of exempt management employees, like the position of Acting CAO. The policy places the acting appointment wage at the higher end of the Director’s band, which is the lower end of the CAO range. If the employee is already earning salary at the higher end of the Director’s band, they will be compensated 20% more.

“This is a fair approach in most instances because it ensures that payment is provided for the work done,” indicated the Council package.
The policy is retroactive to July 20. Council moved to terminate former CAO Lorrie O’Brien’s contract on July 24, effective immediately. Patrick Thomas, Director of Engineering & Operations, has been instituted as interim CAO.

Pool capital expenditure – under budget!

Now that the majority of pool construction is complete and on schedule, Thomas reported that the pool is coming in slightly under budget.

There is still outstanding work do be done: roofing, replacing front doors with automated doors for accessibility, installing shoe racks for change rooms, fixing up the sidewalks in front of the building and improvements to the staff desks and front counter. A pool sign is also in the plans, but there is the possibility of it being received as a donation to the municipality. An additional $2,500 is budgeted for contingency usage.
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The outstanding work is within the allotted budget for the pool.

The majority of the work is to be completed this fall, in time for the pool opening next year.

Council also decided to commemorate the pool with a plaque on the outside of the building with a cost of up to $2,000 taken out of the pool budget. The plaque will recognize everyone involved with the construction of the pool: Council, municipal staff, the Pool Society, those who donated funds or equipment and the taxpaying citizens of Crowsnest Pass.

“It’s not very often we build something around here, so why not celebrate it?” said Councillor Dean Ward. “A lot of people put in a lot of effort into getting it open and it’s a really good thing for the Pass.”

Acquisition of New Lawn Mowers

Council passed a motion to approve two new lawn mowers in the fleet, the addition of which will enhance capabilities and efficiency, says Thomas. The price tag of roughly $66,000 for the two lawn mowers was already approved for the 2017 budget, and the request was only to increase the size of the fleet from three to four lawn tractors.

“With this purchase, the fleet would consist of one wide area mower, one terrain mower, one zero-turn mower, and a front deck mower which will be replaced next year. The zero-turn mower is one of our most used mowers and operations would be severely hindered without one. With the terrain mower, this will save countless hours of hand weed whipping and enable staff to complete other tasks throughout the department,” indicated the Council package.

Tourism and Relocation Marketing Strategy

Council passed a motion to award the Request for Proposal (RFP) bid to carry out a tourism marketing and strategy to Calgary-based NATIONAL Public relations. The RFP, which was launched for tender on September 5, received five responses.

“In order to ensure a fair and open process, all bids were examined using 5 criteria developed between Administration and the Economic Development Committee. The criteria are: Presentation, Value Added, Prior History, and Quantitative & Qualitative,” indicated the Council package.

Once all bids were received and scored, NATIONAL proved to be the strongest applicant with the best proposal.
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In their RFP bid, NATIONAL says they will deliver an integrated marketing communications strategy “to create a unified and seamless experience for people to interact with the brand of the Crowsnest Pass.”

They plan to complete projects such as creating and deploying an ambassador program with key individuals both from the Pass and outside the Pass to promote and market the CNP brand, creating a stream of steady content on social media platforms, and creating an e-newsletter to be sent out monthly. A primary course of action for them is to update the existing website and develop a schedule to ensure that content remains fresh and that issues are addressed quickly. All web traffic, usage patterns and other analytics will be monitored to track success.

The cost of hiring NATIONAL PR is approximately $50,000, which is already within the EDC budget. The overall price tag may be slightly more, as several types of expenditures determined on a “case by case” or an “as needed” basis. This includes things like additional work outside of the scope described within RFP, travel-related expenses and additional camera and recording equipment.

In 2016, NATIONAL was hired to create the GoCrowsnest.ca website and develop a municipal marketing plan. They will now be acting on the plan that they had devised.
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Budget Discussion

Council passed a motion to retain the ATCO Gas franchise fee at 25% and the Fortis Franchise Fee at 16%.

Council also discussed which new initiatives they would like to see in the 2018 Budget. The discussion at this stage in budget deliberations was simply to see which projects there was an inclination to pursue in theory; no finances were discussed.

Council discussed initiatives like hiring another Community Peace Officer or Bylaw Officer, creating a fenced off-leash dog park, acquiring a third cargo trailer to transport equipment, installing bear-proof bins in the community, landscaping of the eastern welcome sign, storm sewer repairs, water source well decommissioning and others.

Council added several additional initiatives that they would like to see in the community, like signage for trail systems and an allocation for community beautification.

Council had a difficult time eliminating initiatives, as they were all projects that would contribute positively, however, budget does not allow for all initiatives to be pursued and Council agreed that cost will be a major factor in determining which projects to retain.
October 18th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 42
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