The regular meeting of Chestermere’s town council met on July 20 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at the town’s municipal office. The public portion of the meeting lasted approximately three hours and 55 minutes. All of the councillors and mayor Patricia Matthews were in attendance.
There were no notable changes to the meeting’s agenda or business arising from the July 4 meeting minutes.
Two people approached council during this portion of the meeting.
1.) Chestermere resident Granger Lowe brought his safety concerns over East Chestermere Drive back to council for the second consecutive meeting. Since the July 4 meeting, Lowe said he’s collected a 32-name petition from other residents living on East Chestermere Drive. He recommended council change the management features of the awarded tender to increase the scope of the project to include traffic calming measure, which would correspondingly increase the project’s cost 15 per cent or $750,000. After listening to his proposal, Mayor Matthews stressed the need for council to remain fiscally responsible. Council again referenced the fact that the East Chestermere Drive paving project has been in the works for several years, and how it’s unfair to raise concerns when the project has also gone out for tenders. It was decided the information would be passed on to Town infrastructure manager Michael Lewis.
2.) Gloria Wilkinson of the Watershed Stewardship Coordinating Council appeared before council. Wilkinson’s visit appeared to be something of a “check-up” on a number of water related issues such as future drinking water supply, flooding concerns and storm water issues. ”It’s just a friendly reminder you’re doing great work and don’t drop it,” she said to council.
Council was asked to make five decisions during the meeting.
1.) Councillor Davies raised some concerns over the expense of a bull ride, but Town events co-ordinator confirmed that it was for the upcoming Water Festival. Leighton moved that “all Cheque Listings as per the memo dated July 13, 2011 be accepted as information.” Carried.
2.) Council was asked to make a ruling on a proposal to expand its SCADA (Supervisory control and data acquisition) system,, which monitors the town’s sanitary liftstations. A ruling was tabled at the last council meeting as the mayor, councillor Hutchinson and Town finance director Ray MacIntosh were not in attendance. Council raised several questions about costs, the lifespan of the technology and payment plans. Ultimately, councillor Hutchinson moved that “council accepts the SCADA Communications Term Sheet, as presented for a total cost of $281,270.56 and authorize the CAO to sign.” Carried.
3.) Councillor Davies moved that “three members of council and the CAO attend the 2011 annual AUMA Convention to be held at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre September 28 to 30 at the cost of $650 each.” Carried.
4.) Councillor Davies moved that “Mallory Muller’s resignation from the Library Board be accepted with regret and Lennox Gomes be appointed.” Carried.
5.) Councillor Hutchinson moved that “Cameron Mill’s resignation from the Subdivision & Development Appeal Board be accepted with regret.” Carried.
Council discussed two bylaws in great detail.
1.) First, a public hearing was held for bylaw #010-11 — a land re-designation plan. Although a hearing had originally been scheduled on June 20. However, it was ruled another one was needed because of a lack of advertising and information circulation. Applicant Steve Grundy is seeking the re-designation of a 10 acre-site, located near the intersection of township road 240 and range road 792 (section 35). The land was formerly used for tomato farming, and Grundy’s seeking to change the designation from large land residential to business park and light industrial. If accepted, Grundy would be looking to build an interim self-storage business until an area structure plan would be developed. He suggested that the business could then eventually expand to house RVs. Five people stood up to speak against the re-designation. Their concerns ranged from a lack of notification to increased traffic, higher crime levels, and one man’s plans to eventually build a residential development on his adjacent piece of land. Council then addressed both parties, in what appeared to be an emotional issue for the residents. Eventually, councillor Bergen moved to end the open house, and after some further discussion, the hearing was dismissed at 8:05.
2.) Town project planner Elizabeth Armitage presented the committee’s findings on Bylaw #019-11 – the First Reading West Chestermere Context Study. The context study is essentially a high-level planning document for large urban growth areas – in this case, 970 hectares of land located on the west side of town. Brown & Associates Planning Group has been working on the plan on behalf of WestCreek Developments Ltd for years. According to documents presented at the meeting, the project’s first deliverables came in October 2009. The application was formally deemed insufficient on April 15, 2010. Similarly, the Brown & Associates group didn’t fare well during the first reading. Staff and council cited a number of gaps in the document including the lack of a communication plan, an insufficient connection to the Town’s Municipal Development Plan and a failure to establish a link with the area’s physical, social and economic conditions. ”I think I was pretty clear on what I thought of your document in April 2010 and I think less of this one,” Councillor Johnson said. (Before 9:00) Councillor Bergen moved to “refuse Bylaw 019-11 as proposed and cite the reasons for refusal into the minutes of record.” Councillor Johnson moved to have a recorded vote. All of the councillors and the mayor voted against the bylaw.
Development manager Graeme Melton asked council if they would like to receive an update on the Wastewater Lift Station 10 upgrade. Melcor one of a group of developers who previously agreed to pay for the project. Although early estimates were around $2 million, the project cost were announced during the June 20 meeting to have doubled.
Melton said Melcor still planned on honouring it’s previous commitment, but said the developer couldn’t foot the bill for the highly increased cost. A representative from developer Mattamy Homes presented a similar question and answer to Melton’s. More details are expected to be released.
Councillor Bergen met with the Chestermere Planning Commission to review a minor subdivision of some land, and also reviewed a parcel of land behind Safeway. Bergen also briefly watched the Tri It Triathalon.
Councillor Davies met with the planning commission concerning a townhouse development permit application, which was tabled with feedback to the developer for the application to be reworked. She also attended the Town’s Stampede breakfast, as well as her usual council duties.
Councillor Hutchinson fielded questions from residents concerning the lake dredging project and East Chestermere Drive paving project. He also performed regular council duties.
Deputy mayor Johnson attended a RVCFS on rescue procedures, a WID meeting with the GM and chairman of the board to discuss final details of the sale. He also reviewed emergency management procedures, flipped pancakes with the Town at a Stampede breakfast, met with the Calgary Yacht Club and was at the site for the $1.3-million grow op bust.
Councillor Leighton made stops at the Town’s law firm’s BBQ and social and Lakeside Greens’ Stampede BBQ and social event. He also attended to regular council duties, such as answering email.
Mayor Matthews attended a CBRE in town square, Chestermere Utilities Incorporated meeting, inter-municipal meeting with Rocky View County where recreation facilities were discussed, a CRP general assembly meeting in Crossfield. She also fielded questions from residents about the dredging project and worked with Megan Smienk on creating an FAQ for the project.
Councillor Steeves attended to his regular council duties.