County of Paintearth

County of Paintearth Oct. 5 meeting highlights

County council has made some changes to the committees its members sit on

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

Under current County of Paintearth policies, individuals who retire from the County after long terms of service are eligible for “recognition of service” rewards.

In the case of County of Paintearth staff members, an individual retiring from the county is eligible for a cash gift of $50 per year for the first nine years, then $100 per year for following years.

The policy extends to retiring councillors as well, although the rewards are different. A councillor retiring from the county is eligible for a cash gift of $200 per year for the first nine years, and $500 per year for years 10-plus. In addition to the cash gift, the councillor is also eligible for an engraved watch, and a $100 gift certificate for “an evening of dining out.”

Despite the policy being in place, the payments are not automatic, and must be approved by council. With both a long-term employee and a councillor retiring, both with 29-years of service, council approved the awarding of the retirement gifts.

Schedule of Fees Bylaw

In the spring of 2021, the County of Paintearth council adopted a new Schedule of Fees Bylaw. Part of the new bylaw is a mechanism which sees the bylaw reviewed annually every fall. As part of the fall 2021 review, brought forward at the Oct. 5 council meeting, were two recommended changes.

The first change would see “NSF Fees” be recategorized as “Returned Cheque Fees” just to clarify language.

The second change would affect the cost of weed picking under section three of the Agricultural Service Board, Vegetation Management. The recommended change would see the price change slightly from, from $35 to $40 per hour, plus GST.

In a motion put forward by Coun. Maurice Wiart, the changes were approved.

Due to Government of Alberta legislation, instead of just passing the changes through resolution, the previous bylaw must be repealed, and new bylaw, with the changes, enacted. The bylaw will be reviewed again in the fall of 2022.

Council appointments

The County of Paintearth council has made some changes to the various committees its members sit on.

Council has decided to add the Castor and District Community Bus Society to their list of committees once the new council forms after the Oct. 18 election.

“I think it’s important that we have a rep on there for fundraising, to bring something back to council,” said Coun. Diane Elliot, making the motion to add the committee.

As part of the motion, council agreed to maintain the recent appointment of a councillor to the Castor Public Library.

Due to changes made at the provincial level, the county has removed themselves from the Assessment Negotiating Committee. Council has also opted to remove themselves from the Canadian Badlands Tourism Association as that group is folding, the Red Deer River Municipal User Group, and Red Deer River Water Shed Alliance.

Coun. George Glazier made the motion to delete the committees.

Bylaws

In the final meeting with this council, three bylaws were passed.

The first, Bylaw 702, is an updated Schedule of Fees Bylaw, which updates costs associated for the various fees and services provided by the County of Paintearth. This bylaw, discussed above, repeals and replaces the previous version of the bylaw.

The second bylaw, Bylaw 703, is an update County Procedure Bylaw which discusses how council meetings are organized, when they are held, how long delegations may speak, and other minutiae of running meetings.

The third bylaw passed, Bylaw 704, is a “Non-Residential Tax Incentive Bylaw” designed to draw investment into the region by introducing tax deferrals on qualifying developments.