M.D. of Opportunity Council notebook

May 10, 2023 meeting

Joe McWilliams

Lakeside Leader

Council accepted the agenda with the following additions:
Emergency control centre, a policy on compensation of fire staff and a facility operator agreement with the Wabasca Lions Club.

Tourist booth allocated

After the agenda was accepted, councillor Gerald Johnson moved that “the M.D. of Opportunity allocate the use of the tourist booth on June 9 – 10 for the annual fish derby.”

Temporary discoloration

In CAO Chad Tullis’s report for council was the news a temporary discoloration of water in Wabasca was due to a power outage. Staff flushed the lines and had bacteria testing done.

Meanwhile, Bigstone placed a boil-water advisory for Reserve D, Tullis said, due to a pinhole leak in a water line.

Gas for Sandy Lake

Council approved ‘Scenario 2’ of the Sandy Lake gasification project report, which includes the following:
“Identify lots for development by Bigstone Cree Nation and M.D. of Opportunity. Sixty per cent application fee paid for each lot, resulting in allowable investment per lot with remaining 40 per cent paid for at the time of sign-up.”

Seventeen urban pool lots in Sandy Lake

Six rural pool lots in BCN

ATCO investment of $650,000.

Further, ATCO is to “support and facilitate the customer conversion process by leveraging procurement department.”

Emergency control centre

This late addition to the agenda was about communication between council and administration. It was evidently added by a councillor who would like to have more information to share with residents who ask questions when there’s some sort of emergency happening.

What the minutes have to say about it is that something called the Emergency Control Centre communicates with the chief administrative officer, “who will then provide the information to council.”

Playschool presentation

Linda Gladue of Wabasca’s Children’s Place Playschool updated council on ‘the current situation.’

Gladue asked when the playschool could apply for funds; also if the M.D. would supply office equipment.

Council heard that minor repairs are scheduled. Administration was going to look at the financials and get back to Gladue. A lease agreement will be prepared by administration when a formal proposal is received.

RECESS donation

A community organization that supports Red Earth Creek School (RECESS) had asked the M.D. for a donation for its silent auction event. The goal is to raise money for new playground equipment.

Council voted in favour of a Brendan Powell motion to “release the annual $3,000 grant” to RECESS.

Rod and gun donation

Council also dealt with a donation requested by the Red Earth Rod and Gun Club, for its May 13 Mothers Day Shoot.

Council approved a $1,500 donation.

Councillor Brendan Fraser later told The Leader the event turned out really well, with a pig roast and 30 – 35 people attending.

“It was awesome,” he said.

Financial report

M.D. revenues as of April 30 amounted to $4.73 million, council heard in a report from the director. Operating expenditures as of that date were $17.4 million.

Year to date capital expenditures were at $1,695,411.

Job openings

Per the director of corporate and regulatory services report, the following positions at the M.D. were open: custodian for the golf course and arena in Wabasca, RCMP admin support, FCSS admin support, PFT equipment operator/labourer in Chip Lake, daycare supervisor, fitness attendant, seasonal parks labourers.

Medical clinic

The Golden Opportunity Centre (medical clinic) in Wabasca catered to 1,598 people in April. In the same period, 71 ultrasound cases were handled.

Fibre optic, REC and Loon River

Telus hopes to begin construction on underground fibre optic services for Red Earth Creek and Loon River First Nation this year. This was an item in the written report in council’s agenda package. The goal is to finish the work in 2024.

Calling Lake seniors’ homes

Council voted in favour of awarding the contract for servicing the new seniors’ homes in Calling Lake to a company called ‘D Aqua.’ The contracted amount is $1,011,167. The work runs from clearing the land all the way up to installing water and sewer lines, road-building and concrete work.

Municipal reserve

Council gave all three readings to a bylaw change needed to designate two Wabasca lots as municipal reserve. The lots are located on Caribou Crescent.

Fire staff get raise

Increased rates of compensation for M.D. firefighters was one of the late additions to the agenda (meaning no report on it was in the agenda package). The minutes record a unanimous vote in favour of giving all classes of firefighters a $5 per hour raise.

Additionally, the amended policy states that M.D. employees who respond to fire dept. calls during working hours, with supervisory approval, will be paid their regular salaries.

Bus purchase request

The M.D. had received a request from the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service to purchase (or trade for) one of the M.D.’s charter buses. The bus would allow them to get to scenes faster and easier, says the written report, “due to not having to hook up a trailer and pulling it.”

Council accepted the report as information.

No gravel sales this year

Due to a shortage of crushed gravel this year, none of the M.D.’s supply will be sold to residents this year. That was the recommendation, accepted by council.

Sales are to resume next year, when the M.D. expects to have sufficient stockpiles.

Last year, says the report, the M.D. sold 89 loads in Wabasca, 96 loads in Calling Lake and 19 in Red Earth Creek.

Kidney pit gravel

The M.D. has worked out a partnership deal with Ruel Concrete Ltd. on gravel from the so-called Kidney Pit, near Red Earth Creek. Ruel will lease and manage the pit and sell gravel to the M.D. at $3 per tonne. Sand would be at $1 per tonne.

Parking lot line painting

Councillor Gerald Johnson moved that the M.D. award a parking lot line-painting contract to Battle River Striping, for $21,546. Battle River had the lowest bid. The work will take place in Wabasca, Calling Lake, Sandy Lake and Red Earth Creek.

Roadway line painting

A different contractor won the job of painting lines on M.D. roadways. Checkmark Services gets the contract, for $62,142.50. According to the minutes, that was the lowest bid.

The work will take place in Wabasca, Calling Lake, Sandy Lake and Red Earth Creek.

Francis Drive paving

The M.D. will be having roads in Wabasca paved in 2023, but Francis Drive wasn’t on the list. It is now, after council approved a Leo Alook motion to add it to the program, at an estimated cost of $266,112.

Lions Club agreement

Council agreed to amend the M.D.’s agreement with the Wabasca Lions Club on operation of the Lions Campground. The purpose is to “provide greater clarity on what the expectations are….and to renew the agreement for another three years.”

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