M.D. of Lesser Slave River
Oct. 10, 2018 meeting
Council meeting dates in 2019
Council approved a slate of meetings for the new year; it will again include regular council meetings in Smith, Flatbush and Widewater.
For the most part, meetings will continue to be held the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, at the main office in Slave Lake. However, the next few will be at the Mitsue fire hall, due to HQ being under construction. The Apr. 24 meeting will be in Widewater; May 22 in Smith and June 26 in Flatbush.
Flood-mapping for Sawridge Creek
The M.D. has been asked for its support (in the form of a letter) for an application for funding for a flood hazard study for Sawridge Creek. There was no question of saying ‘no’ to it, but in his report for council, CAO Allan Winarski noted that it might seem “callous” for the M.D. to be promoting a flood study on a creek that doesn’t seem to need it, when Marten Creek obviously does.
Council passed two motions: first to provide the requested (by Alberta Environment and Parks) letter of support for the Sawridge study; second, via Brad Pearson, “to strongly advocate for Marten Beach flood mitigation.”
Changes to SDAB
“This is a horrible thing to spring on you,” said Winarski, starting off the discussion on a late addition to the agenda. It consisted of changes to the bylaw on how the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board is constituted, per the new Municipal Government Act (MGA).
With the changes, the SDAB becomes a six-member board instead of seven, quorum drops from four to three, and when it comes to a hearing, only one member of the panel can be an M.D. councillor. If one isn’t available, the public members can go ahead with the hearing.
Councillor Brian Rosche wasn’t happy with that last point.
“Shouldn’t quorum have one councillor?” he asked.
That’s not the way the MGA has it, he was told. However, council could pass a resolution saying that ‘where possible’ a councillor should be present.
“I think a councillor has a far bigger perspective on things that the public does and I think it should be there,” Rosche said.
Councillor Robert Esau disagreed.
“I think you guys are totally beating a dead horse,” he said.
Lana Spencer – the recording secretary and the clerk-designate for the SDAB – said the SDAB had heard maybe three appeals in the past four years.
Council gave all three readings to the bylaw.
Letter of support for training centre
Council was asked to provide a letter supporting an application by the Lesser Slave Lake Firefighters’ Society for a grant to cover further developments of the ‘disaster village’ training centre at Hall #1 in Slave Lake.
“I just want to say how impressive that is,” said councillor Becky Peiffer.
Council passed the motion unanimously.
Road issues in jack pines
Subdivision of a residential property is in limbo, because it doesn’t have legal road access. That’s the situation, Winarski reported. Although the residence has been there for several decades, access has been over oil lease roads that pass through private and public land.
“It’s a complicated thing,” he said. But, “we’ve made some progress.”
Success would be the M.D. taking over the title to the road, which is about three kilometres in length.
“The M.D. should work with the developer to get the LOC into the public domain,” he said.
And, if that happens, asked councillor Brad Pearson, “would the M.D. have to dump a bunch of money,” to bring it up to standard?
No, said Winarski. “We’d take it as is and call it a day until future development.”
Report from the CAO
Winarski started off his status report for council with a bit of pre-budget news: Admin. is working on about 300 items at the moment, he said. They include 70 proposals for spending on projects in the area of transportation (roads, in other words). Others are in the utilities area.
“You’re going to have to prioritize,” he said.
The good news is “the base budget is more or less complete.”
Moving on, Winarski said that despite being “scattered over hell’s half acre,” staff morale seems pretty good. Due to a lengthy renovation of the M.D. main office (expected now to last into December) M.D. operations are going on in two or three different locations.