March 12, 2018

Council Meeting Highlights 2018.03.12

Delegations

The Currie Museum’s Executive Director Susan Hunter and Chairperson Linda Side provided a presentation to Council regarding the museum’s activities in the past year. Paleontology research is very active in research in the Municipal District of Greenview. There is fossil discovery potential in waterways along the Simonette and Kakwa Rivers. Current museum exhibits which have connections to Greenview include a collection of Robert Guest paintings with fossil locations in the Grande Cache and Grovedale wards, and the Roy Bickell Collection which was donated by the Bickell family formerly of the DeBolt area. Students from schools throughout Greenview have attended educational programs at the museum and the scientists from the museum have provided in class presentations to Valleyview schools. The museum has changed their membership fee structure to be more affordable to families and is developing dynamic programs to encourage repeat visitors. For more information go to the Currie Museum website.

ATB Investment Management Inc. provided a presentation to Council regarding the status of Greenview’s investments including bonds, securities and GICs which are the most stable investments available. All municipalities in Alberta are required to invest in secured investments per Section 250 of the Municipal Government Act. Council accepted the presentation for information.

Troy Birtles, Ray Fortin and Sean Barrett from Accurate Assessment Group (AAG) provided the annual Greenview Property Assessment Report. AAG is contracted by Greenview to provide assessment services on all properties within Greenview. Their company assesses forty per cent of the Designated Industrial Property across Alberta. Stabilizing oil prices have led to signs of economic growth and minor increases in market values throughout the municipality.

In 2017 Greenview’s Residential Assessment increased by 2.1 per cent to $13.7 million due to residential growth. Market changes due to inflation also accounted for an additional 2.9 per cent in assessment growth at $18.7 million. The total assessment base for rural residential properties in the Grovedale area showed the greatest growth with an 8.9 per cent increase, followed by 2.6 per cent growth in the Valleyview area and 2.4 per cent growth in the DeBolt area. Signs of increased construction and development include the 110 new residential and non-residential parcels created in the past year, such as subdivisions and new gravel pits. There were 379 development permits issued in 2017 compared to 368 in 2016.

All residential and non-residential properties in the municipality are re-inspected on a five year cycle. In 2017 the Grande Cache area and the green zone in Greenview’s southern region were re-inspected. In 2018 the area south of Valleyview to Little Smoky will be reassessed. The AAG assessor will be available to meet with Greenview ratepayers regarding their assessments in the Valleyview and Grovedale Offices several times throughout the year, dates will be communicated on our website and in the Greenview Pages when they are scheduled.

Due to changes to the Municipal Government Act, all assessment which was previously referred to as “linear” is now referred to as Designated Industrial Property (DIP). There are 6,715 Designated Industrial Properties in the municipality which account for the largest portion of Greenview’s total assessment base. An assessment class for Major Plants was added in 2017 by regulation. This includes large refineries, upgraders, pulp and paper mills. There are 23 properties in Greenview which are designated in this category. Each year AAG reassesses 20 per cent of all existing DIP parcels and initial inspections are conducted of all new well sites and facilities. Within the municipality 590 new wells were drilled in 2017 with 350 new DIP rolls created and 73 major capital projects added.

Accurate Assessment is involved in provincial stakeholder consultations with Alberta Municipal Affairs. It is anticipated that significant changes to industrial assessment processes will be taking place in 2019 and 2020 through updated regulations and Minister’s Guidelines on how DIP is assessed.

Greenview’s 2018 Linear Property Assessment presentation was provided by Director David Imrie and Linear Advisor Michael Minard of the Alberta Municipal Affairs’ Linear Property Assessment Unit. Linear property includes pipelines, gas distribution systems, wells, telecommunication and cable distribution, electric power systems, and electric power generation. An annual report regarding linear property assessment in Greenview will be published in early April on the Municipal Affairs website.

Administrative Items

Greenview will purchase CaseWare Budget Book Automation Software at a cost of $71,195 with funds to come from the Contingency Reserve. The software will be used to automatically produce Greenview’s annual budget publication. The system works directly with the accounting software that Greenview uses. This automated process will be more efficient and less costly leading to an estimated 30 per cent decrease in the amount of staff time required to prepare the budget annually. Several Alberta municipalities have implemented automated budget preparation software and realized significant savings, including the Cities of Fort Saskatchewan, St. Albert, Wetaskawin, Lacombe and Lethbridge.   

Council approved the fees for Landry Heights Municipal Water Installation Costs at $12,500 per lot plus the additional application fee outlined in the Schedule of Fees Bylaw. All related labour, material, and installation costs for water service from the building structure to the property line will be the landowner’s responsibility. Further information regarding the installation process and fees will be provided to the community at an open house. All Landry Heights landowners are welcome to attend the event which will take place on March 22, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Grovedale Public Service Building.

The Road Allowance Restriction Policy (Policy EES 12) will be brought forward to the April 10, 2018 Policy Review Committee meeting.  

Infrastructure and Planning provided a report regarding Township Road 672 Connector Road detailed accounting costs for information.

Administration provided a presentation to Council regarding the Draft Caribou Range Plan Report. The range plans are being implemented by the provincial government due to requirements under the federal Species at Risk Act.  There are a number of potential impacts to industry which in turn will have considerable impacts on the local economy. The changes recommended in the range plans could also impact municipal tax revenues and service delivery. There are four caribou ranges in Greenview: the A La Peche, Little Smoky, Redrock-Prairie Creek, and Narraway. Several areas of the municipality have high levels of disturbance and activity in the forestry and oil and gas sectors. Greenview is asking the province to work with industry to restore caribou habitat.

Greenview is part of the Northern District of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) whose members share many of the same concerns about the caribou range plans. The Northern District is bringing a resolution forward at the upcoming Spring 2018 AAMDC convention requesting the province review tenure requirements as part of a potential solution to their concerns. For example, if the province is willing to grant tenure extensions, projects could be delayed and coordinated to allow orderly development and minimize fragmentation lessening the industrial footprint on caribou habitat. The resolution has received support from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

A report regarding School Snack Programs was also provided to Council for information. Council has received funding requests for supporting School Snack or Meal Programs. During Budget 2018 deliberations a request for school snack/meal funding was denied due to the matter falling outside of municipal funding responsibility, however Council requested more information on the programs which exist in the area and how they are funded. A variety of programs exist throughout Greenview although they are not available at all schools. The programs are often run by volunteers through Parent Councils and funded by corporate donations. The offerings vary from free snacks and breakfast on an as needed basis to a free lunch pilot program for all students at St. Stephen’s Catholic School in Valleyview offered with a grant from the Government of Alberta. Sheldon Coates Elementary School in Grande Cache has also received provincial funding for their breakfast program which will be used to remodel the kitchen and provide food safe training for staff. Council accepted the report as information.

Events and Meetings

  • Regular Council Meeting: March 26, 2018.
  • Committee of the Whole: April 16, 2018 at Grovedale Public Services Building.
  • Municipal Planning Commission: March 13, 2018.
  • Green View FCSS: March 21, 2018.
  • Agricultural Services Board (ASB): March 22, 2018.

Unless otherwise specified, all meetings (except FCSS meetings) take place in the Council Chambers at the Administration Building in Valleyview beginning at 9:00 am. ASB and FCSS meetings begin at 9:30 a.m. FCSS meetings take place at the Green View Community Resource Centre. The public and media are welcome to attend our meetings in person or view the agendas and minutes online at www.mdgreenview.ab.ca/governance.