M.D. of Lesser Slave River Council notes

March 5, 2024 committee of the whole meeting

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Marten Beach trees

Dan Tarney, FireSmart Neighbourhood Champion with the Marten Beach Cottagers’ Association, presented to council as a delegation. He asked the M.D. to remove some trees on M.D. land which might fall on people’s buildings. Tarney and some other residents had identified and marked some white spruce, poplar, and aspen growing on two pieces of M.D. land in the northern part of the hamlet. He had maps and showed council pictures of each tree.

“Are the property lines properly defined?” asked Councillor Brad Pearson. He wanted to make sure that any trees which the M.D. removed weren’t on private property.

“I think they should be removed,” said Councillor Sandra Melzer. And soon, before birds build nests.

“Nobody likes to live next to a tree that can knock you out or your asset,” agreed Councillor Pearson.

CAO Barry Kolenosky said the M.D. had a budget for this type of work.

Council accepted the presentation as information. Decisions on the tree removal can be made by administration and don’t require council’s approval.

The rest of the items discussed went over to the March 13 meeting or later for a decision.

Dan Tarney’s map, showing where the hazardous trees are.

Dust Control Policy and Procedure

Council was asked to review the Dust Control Policy and Procedure. It had been updated a year before. The main changes this time are to bring it in line with the new format.

In 2023, 141 residents qualified for free dust control on gravel roads, says the report. Another 11 paid for the calcium treatment.

Residents on gravel roads in hamlets and on through roads with a speed limit over 50 km are eligible for free calcium treatment. This doesn’t include dead-end roads.

Under the changes in 2023, Broken Paddle no longer qualify for free treatment, said Councillor Nancy Sand. They are very upset.

Deputy Reeve Lana Spencer asked if doing less calcium is affecting the quality of the road.

“It does help to keep the road together,” said Cody Borris, transportation and facilities maintenance manager. Therefore, they are keeping an eye on the roads to see the effect of the new policy.

The proposed policy includes a clause to allow people to pay for calcium after the initial application. In this case, the resident pays for any costs associated with it, not just the $350 per 100 metres and $3.50 for each additional metre, which is the rate that residents which aren’t eligible for free dust control pay to be added to the normal application.

Council made a motion to send the amended policy and procedure to the March 13 council meeting for a decision.

Transfer station tipping fees dumped
Council was asked to remove the bylaw for tipping fees at the waste transfer stations.
“We don’t charge tipping fees,” said Dawn Durocher, municipal clerk. The transfer stations aren’t equipped with internet to take electronic payment and people don’t carry cash any more.
Reeve Murray Kerik elaborated. The municipality removed tipping fees “to keep things piling up on our cutlines,” he said, referring to when people dump large items in the bush rather than take them to the transfer station.
Council made a motion to send the bylaw to the March 13 council meeting for a decision.

Policy naming system

Council received some information a new naming system for policies and procedures.

The new names will line up with the financial system used by the M.D., said Durocher.

“Makes more sense,” said Reeve Kerik. “A lot easier way for us and the public to find stuff.”

“I assume there was confusion,” said Councillor Melzer.

“I think it’s a step forward,” said Councillor Pearson.

In the old system, A stood for council, B stood for administration/finance, D protective services, etc. The new system uses abbreviations plus numbers for categories – CL-11 (council) FI-00 (financial), ADM-12 (administration), PS-26 (protective services) etc. These are followed by the policy number -01, -02. So the first council policy will be CL-11-01 and the first procedure under this will be CL-11-01.01 (if there was a second procedure it would be CL-11-01.02).

In the old system, policies and procedures were lumped together, under the new system they will be separate, but have related names. A policy can have many procedures.

Council passed a motion for administration to bring the new naming system for policies and procedures to the next meeting for approval.

Private Driveway Maintenance

Council discussed a policy and procedure which would govern when and how a community member could pay the M.D. to grade their driveways. This would be done when the grader was already on an adjacent road.

The proposed policy said “on a cost-recovery basis,” but Councillor Brad Pearson didn’t like that.
“You’ve got to make some money,” he said. “Prove to me what the cost is. We’ve got to pay for our equipment.”

CAO Kolenosky suggested a fee for service instead.

Deputy Reeve Spencer asked if people would put on flags on their driveway to indicate they had paid for the work.

The flags are being removed from the snowplow program and won’t be used for this, said Borris.

People apply on the website, said Kolenosky. This goes to both finance and the transportation department.

Not many people hire the M.D. to grade their driveways, said Borris. The transportation department gets one or two requests per year.

Council made a motion to send the amended policy and procedure to the March 13 council meeting for a decision.

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