Mayor Craig Wilson absent.

Request For Decision (RFD)

Council reviewed 2 RFDs:

· Ladies Curling Bonspiel Donation: The Swan Hills Curling Club has made a request for donations for their upcoming Ladies Curling Bonspiel. The Town has donated to this event in various forms in past years. Council passed a motion to approve a donation of $200 to the Ladies Curling Bonspiel event.

· Local Government Fiscal Framework Rollout: The Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) will replace the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) in 2024. The province has released further information about this funding model. Read the article on page 7 for more details. Council passed a motion accepting this provincial communication regarding the program and rollout of the Local Government Fiscal Framework as information.

CAO Report

· Staff continue to work on the Alberta Disaster Recovery Program paperwork and requirements.

· Deputy Fire Chief Neale Rushoway resigned from the Fire Department.

· Turple Contracting has donated more firewood for the public to use.

· Follow-up items from the Registries audit have been completed by Registries staff and sent in for approval.

· 2024 financial information (interim budget) has been entered into iCity software and can now be utilized as required. The 2023 budget will be closed as soon as possible once the final December invoices and payments have been received/paid.

· Administration will begin work on required year-end reporting for the province (Grant SFEs, etc.).

· Pre-registered with the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) for the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program. More information will be coming out in the future.

Operations And Infrastructure

· PW is modifying the transfer station metal and appliance sections to facilitate easier drop-off and pick-up in these areas.

· PW will install a culvert into the metal pile area at the transfer station so that larger vehicles can drive through rather than be required to turn around.

· PW will remove the Christmas lights display from the plaza the week of January 8.

· The Water Treatment Plant will host contractors for pump and pumping system repairs at the reservoir and the WTP in January.

Protective Services

· The Town received the new Peace Officer vehicle on December 29, 2023, after the necessary equipment had been installed.

· There were 6 Fire Department calls for the month of December 2023.

· The Town of Swan Hills was approved by FRIAA for FireSmarting around the town. This project will begin in February.

· Swan Hills Fire Department is in the early stages of finding a vendor to purchase a new Pumper Engine Vehicle.

Reports

· Councillor LaBerge attended a WILD AB meeting on January 6. WILD hasn’t met for a few months and took the opportunity to get organized for 2024. They will build an inventory of tourism operators in the region and the businesses supporting tourists as they visit (grocery stores, gas stations, stores, repair shops, etc.). WILD has received feedback from the Regional Economic Development Specialists with the provincial government that they will need a two-year financial history and data to prove an increase in customers for tourism operators to apply for grants. To this end, WILD will be putting together a survey for tourism operators in the area to establish a baseline for this data so that it can be collected going forward. WILD also voted to send two members to the 2023 Alberta Tourism Advocacy Summit in Edmonton from February 27 – 28; the motion will be forwarded to GROWTH AB for approval.

· Councillors Krawiec, Kuyek, and LaBerge attended the Economic Development Committee meeting on January 8. They discussed ideas for projects for 2024 and will be focussing on signage in town. This will include signs pointing the way to attractions around town (the pool, the arena, etc.) and a large version of the tourism map created a few months ago. Councillor LaBerge will be meeting with representatives from Invest Alberta (a crown corporation founded in 2020 to seek out investment projects and opportunities to bring back to Alberta communities) on January 16 to learn more about how they can help Swan Hills attract investment projects and put the town on their radar. He will bring his findings back to the committee.

· Councillor Goebel spoke with Curtis English from Fish and Wildlife about arranging a bear awareness presentation.

In-Camera

· After an in-camera session Council passed motions approving the appointment of:

-Sherry Pfannmuller to the Economic Development Committee for a term of three years.

-Dean LaBerge to the Municipal Library Board for a term of three years.

By Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 17, 2024 at 13:52

This item reprinted with permission from   Grizzly Gazette   Swan Hills, Alberta

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