Here are the highlights from the December 13, 2022, Sturgeon County Council Meeting:
Council approved the 2023 Fees and Charges Bylaw, which outlines the rates, fees and charges for accessing County services with proposed changes outlined for 2023. Administration reviews the charges against specific criteria, including comparing charges for similar services in other municipalities. Council passes a Fees and Charges Bylaw each year as part of the annual budget process.
Council approved the 2023 Operating Budget and 2023-2025 Capital Budgets. The Operating Budget represents a 3.9 per cent tax rate increase and includes service enhancements and budget requests discussed during the Budget Meetings held in November. The Capital Budget for 2023 is $35.7 million, $42.1 for 2024, and $38.6 for 2025. Read more about the 2023 budget.
Council gave first reading of Bylaw 1612/22, which amends the terms of borrowing for indebtedness in nine separate borrowing bylaws. Sturgeon County is required to amend the bylaws due to dissolution of the Alberta Capital Finance Authority in December 2021, and changes to the lending rates the Province offers to local authorities. The bylaw will be advertised in local papers and on the County website to provide residents information regarding the proposed bylaw.
Following a presentation at the November 29, 2022, Regular Council Meeting, Council refused a request to cancel tax penalties from 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 in the sum of $2,648.30.
Council also appointed Fire Guardians for 2023. The County is required to appoint Fire Guardians each year, who are responsible for processing in-person fire permit requests. Administration noted that most fire permits are requested online via the County’s website.
Council demonstrated its commitment to domestic and global competitiveness and attraction by passing the new Sturgeon County Major Investment Incentives Bylaw 1600/22. The bylaw provides incentives for value-added agriculture and solar power production projects. Read more about the new Sturgeon County Major Investment Incentives Bylaw.
Sturgeon County continues to explore a sheltering approach for stray or unwanted cats and dogs following a presentation by Administration during the December 13 meeting. Following presentation of different options, Council chose to enter into a contract with the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) for kennel services and with Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) for temporary holding of less than 24 hours. The estimated cost for 2023 is $21,800 to be funded from the General Operating Reserve.
Proposed Land Use Bylaw Amendments
Council gave first reading of two separate bylaws proposing to amend the County’s Land Use Bylaw:
- Bylaw 1605/22, which proposes to redistrict a 5.13 acre parcel between Richfield Estates and Green Acres from Agriculture to Country Residential. If approved, the applicant proposes to subdivide the parcel into two lots for residential development.
- Bylaw 1606/22, which proposes to redistrict approximately 8.9 acres of an existing parcel from Agriculture to Institutional to allow for the relocation of a church from St. Albert.
Public Hearings will be scheduled in January 2023 for the public to provide feedback on the proposed bylaws.
Council also approved the Gravel Supply Contracts for 2023:
- Legal Stockpile to Dale Croswell Construction Co. Ltd. at a contract price of $446,250
- Lily Lake Stockpile to G.M.S. Aggregates Inc. at a contract price of $566,500
- Villeneuve Stockpile to Lafarge Canada Ltd. at a contract price of $481,250
Council passed the St. Albert – Sturgeon County Intermunicipal Affairs Committee Bylaw 1614/22, which replaces the previous bylaws established in 2014. The bylaw helps facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the two municipalities in discussing matters of mutual interest.
Sturgeon County will be looking at ways to help support the Agricultural Service Board’s recommendation to celebrate Canada’s Agriculture Day, which takes place on February 15, 2023. This will include Mayor Hnatiw sending a letter to local school boards asking for them to observe the date, as well as Administration identifying ways Sturgeon County can recognize and celebrate the day.
Next Council Meeting
The December 13 meeting was the last Regular Council Meeting for 2022. The next Sturgeon County Council meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. on January 10, 2023. Future agendas and past meeting minutes can be found on the Sturgeon County website.