Mayor Wilson absent.

Request For Decision (RFD)

Council reviewed 3 RFDs:

· National Public Works Week: May 19 – 25 is recognized as National Public Works Week for 2024. The Alberta chapter of the APWA (American Public Works Association) asks that municipalities recognize this in Council. Council passed a motion proclaiming May 19 – 25 as National Public Works Week in Swan Hills.

· Seniors’ Week Proclamation: June 3 – 9 is recognized as Seniors’ Week for 2024 in Alberta. The Town declares Seniors’ Week each year to show support for our senior population and recognize their contributions to the community. Council passed a motion to declare the week of June 3 – June 9 to be Seniors’ Week in Swan Hills.

· Bill 20-Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act, 2024: The provincial government has proposed changes to the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) and Municipal Government Act (MGA) through Bill 20 – Municipal Affairs Statues Amendment Act, 2024. The bill covers many changes to both acts. Council reviewed a comparison of the changes to current statuses and a preliminary analysis of the bill from Alberta Municipalities. Some of the proposed changes would have clear benefits, but some proposed changes, such as granting the province’s Cabinet the power to require a municipality to amend or repeal a bylaw, have caused some concern. Council passed a motion to receive the changes to the LAEA and MGA put forth in Bill 20-Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act, 2024 as information.

CAO Report

· Administration continues to work with representatives from the Disaster Recovery Program on reimbursement for the May 2023 evacuation.

· The Director of Emergency Management (DEM) attended an emergency management roundtable discussion with Big Lakes, High Prairie, and other stakeholders on April 25 at the High Prairie fire hall.

· The financial statements, financial information return, and statistical information return were submitted to the province on April 30 by the town’s auditor prior to the May 1 deadline.

· The Community Clean-up is May 9 – 12. Pembina Pipelines and the Community Matters Committee will have a kick-off BBQ on May 9.

Operations And Infrastructure

· The Reservoir upgrade and equipment installation is set to resume during the first week of May.

· Replacement tanks for the Water Treatment Plant microfiltration system have not arrived yet. 

· After repair, the street sweeper is now up and running. PW will be working on coverage of the main areas of town at the time of this report.

· The Tourist booth preparations for the season will be complete at the time of this report.

· PW’s focus will be on potholes and tarring moving forward.

· The campground pre-season preparations are now complete.

· The seasonal preparations for the community gardens are now complete.

Protective Services

· The DEM attended an Emergency Management meeting in High Prairie. The discussions centred primarily on last year’s evacuations (the challenges faced and what functioned well).

· There were two calls for the Fire Department for the month of April.

· The Swan Hills Fire Department has accepted the bid from Fort Gary Fire Trucks to build a new Pumper Engine. 

· The DEM and Fire Department have been continuing preparations for wildfire season.

· The fire tanks around town are being filled.

Reports

· Councillors LaBerge, Kuyek, and Watson attended the Health Professionals Appreciation Luncheon on May 8. It was a pleasant luncheon that was well attended and provided an excellent opportunity to show the community’s deep appreciation for the many individuals who keep our hospital and medical services going.

· Councillors Goebel and Watson attended the West Fraser open house. The company plans to conduct logging operations fairly close to town this year. 

· Councillors LaBerge and Kuyek will be attending the Whitecourt Chamber of Commerce trade show this weekend to staff the GROWTH Alberta/WILD Alberta booth.

By Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 15, 2024 at 15:02

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

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