By Cal Braid
Westwind Weekly News
Raymond Council met June 7 to discuss current community projects and concerns. The following are selected briefs.
A Development Officer Council Brief was heard regarding a rezoning application for Stonegate Meadows. The application is for rezoning from Urban Reserve to General Residential and Parks and Open Space. The brief stated, “The applicant is wanting to proceed with Phase 4 & Phase 5 of Stonegate Meadows, which would see the creation of 49 residential lots and 2 parcels of Municipal Reserve.” Notices have been sent to adjacent landowners and a date for a public meeting needs to be set.
Three delegations appeared before Council. Chinook Arch Public Library System CEO Robyn Hepher was present. His appearance before Council represented a ‘tour’ of regional councils to get feedback and present the services of library boards. He noted, “We have a $4 million annual budget. The largest chunk of our revenue comes from member fees. Our members are the municipalities and library boards. Member fees are based on a per capita levy. The current levy is $7.76 per capita. Communities with library boards have a differential fee of $3.57 per capita. The levies cover bibliographic and IT services, which now comprise a large part of library information.”
The boards respond to the requests of individual libraries and spend about $800,000 per year on books and materials for the entire system. “We’re thankful to see people moving back into the library. Most of our stats are up 40 – 50 per cent,” Hepher said.
The Raymond Wellness Coalition (RWC) and Alberta Healthy Communities Initiative (AHCI) was represented by Myrna Sopal, who gave an engaging report to conclude a three-year grant project. The five-step process of their initiative was to “engage and create connections, understand our community, prioritize and plan, implement and evaluate, and sustain, improve and share.” She gave a detailed overview of what the RWC had accomplished and thanked Council for their support.
The third delegation was from a representative of the C.J. Baker family, regarding challenges the family has had tying into the water network. The Bakers property is tied onto the rural water network. Their original house caught fire and burned down, and in the aftermath the County of Warner asked that the new house be built and set back to comply with a land use bylaw as well as to allow for a potential future subdivision. Three rural water networks were developed independent of the Town from the 1980’s to the early 2000’s. Since then, the Town has accepted ownership of those networks. The Town knows where the main lines and services are but admits the individual lines somewhat of a “mystery.”
The Bakers asked the town to mark out the lines, but when the placement of the house was decided upon, it was discovered that the service was directly beneath the designated spot of the house. With the confusion over the location of services, the family is asking Council to authorize operational staff to go to the site to help with the proper tracing and locating of lines. The cost of a privately hired hydrovac or excavator is expensive, and the family is not asking for cash, but equipment and man hours.
Council passed the second reading of Tax Rate Bylaw #1118-22, which includes a 2.5 per cent increase on mill rate, as well as adjustments to the minimum tax.
“For every dollar that the town collects in property taxes, 48 cents is left with the town for municipal operations that are things that are within our control,” said Kurtis Pratt, CAO, in response to a concern that the Town should live within its means.
Council voted in favour of the 2022-2024 operating budget.
A reconsideration for a Vicious Dog Appeal from a local family was brought forth. A vicious dog declaration was issued against their dog after it bit a resident. The issue was brought back to Council after a previous committee meeting. The declaration is legitimate according to a local bylaw, and Mayor Depew expressed that he was prepared to side with the victim of the dog attack. Councillor Kindt spoke in agreement, supporting the victim, and Councillor Jensen said that “there was obvious evidence of a (dog) bite to a human.” Councillor Tollestrup noted that “if neighbours can work things out and it doesn’t come to us, it’s a little different, but once it comes to this table we have to act for the good of the community.” Bylaw 993 – 2.29 specifies pet control, and the family who made the appeal shall comply with the ‘Vicious Dog’ regulations set out in Section 4 of the bylaw.
A request from the Raymond Stampede Society (RSS) was revisited, in which Council has agreed to provide $100,000 to the RSS. The Society would like to use up to $20,000 to allocate towards purchasing new chutes for the rodeo. Council voted in favour.