During last week's council meeting, Sundre town councillors OK'd a request for a relaxation of the town's noise bylaw to allow 24 hour a day construction on the Red Deer River Bridge this summer.
A major construction project on the Main Avenue bridge over the Red Deer River will take place this summer, starting in August.
As part of the bridge rehabilitation project, officials requested the relaxation of the noise bylaw to allow work hours to be extended outside the current bylaw limit of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In a note to council interim CAO Watson-Neufeld said: ìRelaxing the noise bylaw so the contractor can work 24 hours will drastically shorten the construction period thereby reducing the disruption to traffic flow. However, allowing 24 hour construction could affect the campground and nearby residents.î
Councillor Tony Jordan said getting the work done as quickly as possible will help end the expected traffic congestion as soon as possible.
Councillor Pat Toone, who voted against the motion, said she could not support the 24-hour relaxation.
The rehabilitation work on the bridge will including milling off a portion of the existing deck and pouring a new concrete surface, as well as repairs to the sidewalk, removing drifted trees caught on the piers, and applying erosion protection.
Intern extension request approved
Caption: Carolynn Grey, Sundre's municipal intern, speaks with councillors during last week's council meeting.
Dan Singleton/Round Up
In other council news, councillors approved a request from administration to apply for a second year grant for the municipal intern position.
If granted the $17,000 Municipal Affairs grant will allow the position to be extended through to 2012.
ìThe Town of Sundre administration believes that we could benefit from the continuation of the internship into a second year for various reasons,î said Watson-Neufeld. ìThe current intern has proven herself efficient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic towards municipal government and has validated herself with current staff and council.
ìShe has gained an understanding of the Town of Sundre's needs and will be an immediate asset to the town.î
Councillor Chris Vardas called the intern program a ìgreat thingî for Sundre.
Annexed land redesignation bylaw coming soon
A bylaw redesignating 1,223.76 acres of land annexed around town in April 2009 will be coming before town council at the next council meeting for possible first reading.
The bylaw redesignates the land from agriculture to urban reserve. A public hearing on the bylaw was held during last week's council meeting.
ìThe annexed lands are proposed to be redesignated to urban reserve, which allow for farms and farming operations to continue. The general purpose of this land use designation is to reserve land for future subdivision and development until an overall plan is prepared for and approved by council,î council heard.
For taxation purposes, commencing in 2010, and up to and including 2019, the annexed lands will be assessed and taxed as if they remain in Mountain View County.
ìShould the landowner choose to redesignate, subdivide or connect to water and sewer services it would be at this point in time that the lands be taxed and assessed as established by the Town of Sundre,î council heard.
Conference fees OK'd
Councillors have approved the allocation of $1,668 to send one administration and one Sustainable Sundre committee member to the Pathways to Sustainability conference in Red Deer next month.
Councillor Pat Toone said, ìI think it would be very beneficial.î
The conference, held every two years, includes ìeducational opportunities and keynote speakers that should be quite informative providing the attendees the opportunity to bring best practices and new ideas back to Sundre for implementation,î said Watson-Neufeld.
Workshops to be held include resilient communities, solutions for sustainable communities and creating change. Presentations will be focused on food, fuel, finance and sustainable communities, council heard.
ìIt is important for the sustainability coordinator to attend to continue learning best practices, implementation strategies for local projects and to actually see more of what is available to the community with regards to sustainable initiatives,î she said.
ìIt would be beneficial for a Sustainable Sundre Committee member to attend the conference to better connect with what the town's municipal sustainability plan has on paper to initiatives the committee could possibly initiate.î
Home show participation OK'd
Councillors have also OK'd the town's participation in the Red Deer Home Show in March and the Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show in Calgary, both in March. The total cost to the town would be about $4,600.
Regarding the Home Show, Watson-Neufeld said: ìIt provides Sundre with the opportunity to remind those who are looking to develop and build that Sundre is open for business and that we have newly annexed lands available as well as new developments for prospective home owners to build on. It can also create new connections between homebuilders and our development department, possibly bringing new businesses to Sundre.î
Regarding the Outdoor Show, she said: ìSundre would benefit by participating in this show because Sundre is a recreational based community. The focus of the materials presented would be the outdoor opportunities that are in and around the community, as well as the quality of life in Sundre.
ìNot only is there the possibility of being exposed to over 14,000 people as a recreation destination, but we could also reach prospective businesses exhibiting at the show that could be made aware of the business opportunities in the region.î
New council procedures bylaw receives second reading
A new bylaw that expands regulations for the procedures of council has received second reading.
ìAdministration found that the current bylaw, while containing good information, was severely lacking other important information,î council heard. ìAdministration undertook an in-depth research and review of other municipal council procedures bylaws and drafted the new bylaw.î
Bylaw 10.10 outlines new and expanded rules for such things as public hearings and public presentations to council.
A new section entitled ìAdministrative Inquiryî states: ìNo member of the council shall have the power to direct or interfere with the performance of any work for the corporation. This shall in no way however, interfere with or restrict the right of a councillor to seek information through the CAO.
ìAll questions and inquiries from council members to the administration should be made in writing to ensure clarity and completeness of the request.î
Skating carnival fee waiver request defeated
Councillors defeated a motion calling for the waiver of the $200 ice rental fee for the annual Sundre Figure Skating Club carnival.
Councillor Myron Thompson said waiving the fee would set an unacceptable precedent.
In a note to council, club president Kelly Richardson said: ìWe are asking for your help to cover our costs so we may showcase our production to the public. This is such an important event for our youth.î
The carnival takes place on March 20 at the Sundre Arena.
Women's Institute donation request denied
Councillors defeated a motion that called for the donation of a copy of the Sundre history book to the Alberta Women's Institute's annual handicraft competition.
In a letter to council, the Alberta Women's Institutes Innisfail, Olds, Sundre constituency said: ìThis is a cost event to host, as we have to pay for the judges and provide incentive awards for top work. Therefore, we wondered if you would be interested in financially supporting this great event again this year.î
Councillors voted unanimously to defeat the motion.
Council defeats conference fee request
Councillors also defeated a motion calling for the spending of $1,575 to send a staff member to the upcoming FCM sustainability communities conference in Victoria.
ìBy providing funding to allow for a staff member to attend it will give the community a chance to benefit from the opportunities that are offered at this national conference,î said Watson-Neufeld.
Councillors voted unanimously to defeat the motion.
Mayor promoting literacy
Sundre Mayor Annette Clews will read a children's story on FM96 on Tuesday evening as part of National Literacy Week.
Permit values released
The Town of Sundre has released permit numbers for 2010, covering development, building, electrical, plumbing and gas projects.
ï There were 106 development permits issued in 2010, including 15 (highest) in March, totalling $12,136,962.
ï There were 50 building permits issued, including nine in March, totalling $18,153.
ï There were 40 electrical permits issued, including seven in August, totalling $5,765.
ï There were 20 plumbing permits issued, including six in March, totalling $2,077.
ï There were 25 gas permits, including five in September, totalling $2,191.