M.D. of Opportunity Council notes

April 27, 2022 meeting – Sandy Lake

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The April 27 council meeting was held at the Sandy Lake Community Hall. Deputy reeve Brendan Powell chaired the meeting in the absence of reeve Marcel Auger. Other councillors present were Leo Alook, Larry Cardinal, Louis A. Cardinal, Cheri Courtorielle, Robin Guild, Darlene Jackson, Gerald Johnson, Tahirih Wiebe and Roy Yellowknee.

Council also met, briefly, on April 28 to hear the auditor’s report on the 2021 financials.

Grants policy updated

Council approved a minor change to the M.D.’s policy on grants. The change adds one word – ‘memorials’ – to a clause that lists some things that do not meet the criteria for M.D. grants. Also on the list are funerals, birthdays “and those that benefit only individuals.”

It’s worth noting that although many applications for grants do not qualify under one clause or another of M.D. policy, council is quite adept at getting around those and approving the grants anyway. But not always.

Child care policy

Another policy amendment approved by council – or rather a series of them – was to the M.D.’s policy on child care. These have to do with the day care service provided by the M.D. They mainly appear to be ‘housekeeping’ type of changes, with tweaks to the wording. A couple appear to be aimed at getting back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crack-sealing goes ahead

Council voted in favour of a proposal to advertise a 2022 crack-sealing program “as a local stimulus project,” for Wabasca, Calling Lake and Red Earth Creek.

The plan is to invite proposals from local companies. The cost is estimated to be $30,000. It continues a program started last year, in which a local contractor sealed cracks using M.D. equipment and materials.

Tanker sale to BCN

Council went against the recommendation from administration and decided not to sell an M.D. water tanker directly to Bigstone Cree Nation for its fire department. Instead, the unit will be posted for sale on a government auction site. Its value is estimated to be $5,000.

Wabasca drainage issues being addressed

Perennial drainage problems on a couple of Wabasca streets have been causing headaches for residents and the M.D. council accordingly voted in favour of a motion to allocate $100,000 to solving the problem. It includes some drainage improvement work, plus the installation of a water line to a property on Waskway Drive, plus for “any unforeseen issues.”

The drainage improvements – as prescribed by Milestone Engineering – involve blocking one culvert and installing five new ones. This is to keep water away from an address on Neewatin Drive, and is estimated to cost $42,914.

For the afflicted lot on Waskway Dr., the solution calls for raising a driveway and building a swale.

Golfing in Mundare and Barrhead

Councillors are cleared to attend the Gene Zwozdesky Memorial Charity Golf Tournament in Mundare on June 17. ‘United For Ukraine’ is the theme of this year’s fundraising event. Council also gave its blessing to council members and administration people to attend the 43rd annual Alberta Transportation North Region Golf Tournament in Barrhead, which also happens on June 17.

The minutes contain no indication as to whether anyone actually will attend either event, or whether any M.D. money is involved.

Closed session

Council went in camera to discuss the following items: Wabasca Desmarais Housing Authority (WDHA) board appointments, council remuneration policy, tax forfeiture of property, and the Red Earth Creek fire guard.

Being in camera, the purpose and details of these discussions are not available to the public and does not show up in the minutes. However, council did make a couple of decisions on the above matters, after returning to open session one hour and six minutes later. As follows:

The Council Remuneration Policy is amended to allow council members to claim $50 for traveling to a day meeting outside of their home communities.

The WDHA board appointments were accepted as information. The names of the appointees were not included in the minutes.

Org. chart amendments

Council amended the M.D.’s organizational chart, by adding the following positions.

In the Corporate and Regulatory Services Department, a manager to be in charge of senior home repair, wolf bounty, animal control, bylaw enforcement and security.

In the same department, a daycare child educator for Wabasca.

In the Public Works Department, one supervisor and four summer students.

Berry patch clean-up

The M.D. will look into the clean-up of ‘the’ berry patch in Calling Lake. The motion was made by Darlene Jackson and unanimously approved.

Financial statements

Meeting in Edmonton on April 28, council heard a report on the M.D.’s 2021 financials, from auditors Kaelyn Bodnarchuk and Colette Miller of Wilde & Co. No details were provided in the minutes.

Subsequently, councillor Cheri Courtorielle moved that the 2021 audited financial statements be approved as presented. This was carried.

Share this post

Post Comment