Town of Slave Lake Council notebook

July 2, 2024 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

It was a meeting with a short agenda, but long reports. Council received two of them – one on Sunset Place and one on the homeless shelter.

Back to what they were before, for three town-owned lots

Three town-owned pieces of property are now back where they started, zoning-wise, after council gave second and third readings to Bylaw #12-2024. The three had been rezoned to Council Direct Control District (CDC) last year, as candidates for the permanent homeless shelter site. Since they weren’t chosen for that purpose, the CDC designation is no longer needed.

Nobody spoke up for or against the bylaw change at the public hearing at the start of the council meeting. There was a letter from a resident who seemed to misunderstand the purpose of the bylaw change.

The three properties are the lot between the town public works yard and the animal shelter on 7 St. NE, the former Centennial Daycare site on 6th Ave. SW and the former Associate Medical Clinic building on 3rd Ave. NE. They are now back to Business Industrial – Institutional, Institutional and Downtown Commercial, Mixed Use, respectively.

Cheques over $50,000

Cheques (or EFTs) issued by the town for over $50,000 have to be reported to and approved by council. Accordingly, Director of Finance Roland Schmidt had a list. It had 23 items on it and totaled $3.638 million.

Breaking it down a bit, $573,622 was for payroll, $350,282 is for the downtown revitalization project and $573,622 is for a sand truck.

Other substantial items in the list include insurance and RCMP quarterly payment – both around half a million. The next biggest area of expenditure is $219,833 for something called ‘asphalt recycler/hotbox project.’

YTD vs. actuals

Council’s next report was an update on how much has been spent, and earned, as of June 30, compared to how much was budgeted.

On the revenue side, most areas are in line with expectations. Sixty-five per cent of what’s anticipated, has already been collected. One area below expectations is revenue from advertising. It is trending “significantly lower,” said Schmidt in his report.

Then there are two “outstanding receivables,” worth around $200,000 that could become “a doubtful item.” Schmidt did not specify.

On the expense side, money was saved on snow removal. On the other hand, unbudgeted security costs could run as high as $200,000 for the rest of the year.

Expenditures were at 43 per cent of the budget as of June 30.

Councillor Kim Hughes asked about the shortfall in ad revenue. It’s mainly from digital signs, said CAO Jeff Simpson. Expectations were perhaps higher than they should have been, given limited staff capacity to pursue advertising.

Question period: large potholes on (or in) Hwy. 88

This just in from a resident, said Councillor Hughes. Can the town do anything to get something done about some bad potholes on Hwy. 88?

“Maintenance is desperately needed,” she said. “I don’t want to see something happen to a resident, or a tourist.”

One thing that might be affecting the situation, offered the CAO, is that the highway maintenance contract is in transition between providers this month. But we’ve got a direct line to the provincial department, he added, and “we can put a bug in their ear.”

A pothole on Hwy. 88 on July 4, 2024.

State of the Lake

Well done to the town for putting on a wonderful Canada Day event at Hilda Eben Park, said Councillor Hughes.

“I really enjoyed having it there. A lot of extra space. Lots of family fun.”

Hughes then put in a plug for Riverboat Daze, which was coming right up the following weekend, and encouraged everyone to come out and enjoy some Small Town Summer fun.

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