The regular meeting of Chestermere’s town council on Nov. 21, 2011 first saw an appointment with library representatives Marilyn King and Gemma Noon, who presented to council the 2012 Library budget. This year’s budget is $476,843, an increase from the 2011 total which was $417,655. Most of the change comes from an increase to salaries and benefits for library employees.
Director of finance Ray MacIntosh presented to council the Operating and Revenue Expenses up to Oct 31, 2011. It was noted that the revenue for the RCMP is approximately $1-million less than anticipated which would be for fine revenue. He said that fortunately, there is a corresponding transfer of fine revenue that be be lower than expected ($250,000), as well that RCMP contract payments will be around $500,000 less than budgeted.
It was motioned that council accept the report as information, and the motion was carried.
Council then discussed an invoice dispute with a resident regarding a reduced utility bill.The main basis for the request was to reduce the bill that was issued during an intense watering period for new sod, but only because the sanitary sewer portion of the utility bill did not adequately reflect the real use of that part of the billing. The water used on the sod does not get processed by the sanitary system. Members discussed the fact that they do not allow for reductions, and if they were to have a change of heart in this case, that they would need to do so in further cases as well. It was mentioned that if they were to make any exceptions, a full policy change would have to be considered.
It was moved that council deny any change to the utility bill, and the motion was carried.
The operating hours for town hall were then discussed. It was suggested by staff that the hours be changed from the current 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Council discussed the possibility of a three month trial period to see if the change is worthwhile, but it was eventually settled that the trial period should last at least six months, included the busy months in the spring. It was moved that town hall do a six month trial period of the new hours, beginning January 1. The motioned was carried.
Next, Council discussed some design issues that have arisen with several driveways along East Chestermere Drive following the road rehabilitation project. One issue is with short, steep driveways along the road, which are steep because certain properties are lower than the road, with buildings on the same properties that are close to the road.
New curbs and gutters were installed on ECD to keep water off of private property, so some private driveways were reconstructed with asphalt to fit into the road’s new infrastructure. The curbs were designed to allow for a typical vehicle to cross oer them, but a number of residents have experienced challenged crossing the curbs if their vehicles have low clearance.
Staff said that the curbs are standard height, but the top lift of asphalt have not yet been placed on ECD, and that that final layer will add around another 1 ½ inches. The top lift will be put in place likely in May of 2012.
Staff suggested three ways to potentially fix the problem. The first was to leave the driveways as they are until the top lift is completed. The second option is to remove around 8m of existing concrete curb always the driveway entry and replace it with a standard, City of Calgary recessed driveway crossing for low profile curb and gutter. This would requite the existing asphalt on the driveway to be removed and replaced to match the new curb. This option would required residents to provide a Hold Harmless Agreement for any storm water that may cross over the low profile curb and onto their property.
The third option was remove the existing curb, eliminate 2.25m of street parking, and extend the driveway out into ECD to reduce the driveway’s grade.
Council had concerns about the cost, timeline, risks and workability of all three options. It was decided that council would table the issue until the spring after the top lift is added, and at that time direct staff to look at private and public property to assess possible solutions, and to outline which properties still issues.
It was moved that council table the options until spring, and the motion was carried.
Report from Mayor Matthews:
Attended the swearing in ceremony for Chestermere’s new Chamber of Commerce. Briefly attended the CRP density workshop in Cochrane where land planning was discussed. Met with DM Kelsey Johnson and Staff Sgt. Glenn Henry to discuss Policing Committee future requirements from an RCMP standpoint. Attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at Prairie Waters Elementary, and brought greetings from the Town at the community Remembrance Day ceremony.
Presented at the Community Service’s lunch program with the Whitecappers. Attended a CRP Economic Prosperity presentation done by different Ec. Dev. Officers in the region. Attended the first of a few budget meetings with DFO Ray Macintosh. She said, “A short poll reveals that most municipalities in the region are looking at a three to five per cent increase and that less than two per cent are looking at the CPI for the Calgary region as a guide which is reported at about two per cent.”
·Attended a CRP Executive meeting where the possibility of remuneration for Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary was discussed. Discussed the public hearing outcome of the Calgary/RockyView IDP with RV Deputy Reeve Rick Butler and Councillor Steeves.
Met with Centron’s President and team to discuss potential business opportunities for the lands to the East. Met with former Centron representative Guy Buchanan to discuss the world class recreation facility that she said Council has as a major priority.
Spoke on SurSangam Radio with Staff Sgt. Glenn Henry about community policing needs and the need for feedback on the programs that are offered in Chestermere.