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News Review
City Council Highlights
Posted Date: 5/7/2018 9:45 PM

Mayor Given Recognized by Stompede

Trevor Denis – President of the Grande Prairie Stompede Board

Mayor Bill Given was presented a western hat and belt buckle to recognize the City’s $50,000 investment in the Stompede for its 40th anniversary in 2017 by Stompede president Trevor Denis. The funds were provided through the Large Scale Tourism initiative.

Denis also lauded the City for participating in a pilot transit project for this year’s event, which runs from May 30 to June 3 at Evergreen Park.

County Councillor Bob Marshall – Water North Coalition

Bob Marshall, County of Grande Prairie Councillor and Chair of the Water North Coalition, requested the City once again provide representation to the organization, which formed in 2014. Council referred the request to the standing committee process for discussion.

Membership in the WNC is free.

The group seeks to ensure, through collaboration, that sustainable water systems are available to every northern community. Its mission is to find and implement northern solutions to water sourcing and water challenges through Advocacy, Public Education, Attraction and retention, and, Training

Voting membership is open to all northern municipalities, First Nations and Metis Settlements.

Northern water partners, including water and wastewater professionals, organizations owners and government can participate as non-voting members.

The WNC is supported administratively by the Northern Alberta Development Council, a provincial advisory body mandated to advance the development of the north. The coalition is inclusive of the NADC region.

Municipal Development Plan – Subdivision Guidelines

Council approved Municipal Development Plan Amendment C-1237M. The amendment enables the Planning and Development Department to better meet the needs of the rural service area.

The City of Grande Prairie has received several unique development enquiries within the rural service area since the 2016 annexation.

The Municipal Development Plan (MDP) requires an Area Structure Plan (ASP) and an Outline Plan (OP) prior to development. The amendment provides an opportunity for some development to occur prior to the adoption of an ASP and OP. This will allow for some non-residential development to occur in these more rural areas where extensive, urban style development may be premature.

For example, this could allow for the development of a truck stop along highway 43X without the delay of the ASP and OP process. The amendment requires a shadow plan to demonstrate that the subdivision won’t interfere with continued subdivision and the efficient provision of infrastructure in the future. The amendment will allow for a maximum of four parcels from a quarter section with a maximum area of 10 acres each for commercial, industrial, or institutional uses.

The provisions do not permit residential development. The restrictions allow for a range of potential development opportunities while preventing development in excess of 25% of a quarter prior to statutory planning documents.

The amendment also allow for creation of a single statutory document that meets the requirements of both an ASP and OP, rather than requiring both documents in some circumstances. This exception is limited to areas where municipal boundaries and the boundaries of other plan areas make it impractical to include more than two quarter sections in the plan.

ASPs are typically at the section level and subsequent OPs provide greater detail at the quarter section level. In cases where the ASP and OP would both be at a one or two quarter section scale, having two documents would be redundant.

The amendment is in line with Council’s Focus Area of Capitalizing on Growth. It will create opportunities for development that may not be feasible under the current regulations. This could attract more industrial development by reducing the barrier to entry.

Land Use Bylaw Amendment – Setback from Roadways Overlay District

Council approved Land Use Bylaw amendment C-1260-90, Setbacks from Roadways Overlay District.

The LUB amendments will ease access to the regulations regarding the setbacks from roadways by creating an Overlay District containing theses setbacks. The amendments will also update the setbacks from the roadways table to reflect the current need for setbacks along the relevant roadways. 

The LUB amendments will include a reference to the setbacks from roadways Overlay in the relevant land use districts to ensure these setbacks won’t be missed during the application review process.

Procurement Process – Delegated Authority

Council approved Bylaw C1277C, an amendment to the City Administrative Bylaw, and adopted Policy 310, the Purchasing Policy, as amended, to align with Management Delegated Authority For Procurement.

New thresholds will streamline the procurement process.

For purchases between $1,000 and $10,000, departments must get a minimum of three quotes.

Purchases over $10,000 are subject to a competitive bidding process. If the award value does not exceed the Council-approved operating and capital budgets, department managers have an approval level of up to $100,000.

Directors can approve awards between $100,000 and $500,000. The City Manager has unlimited approval with the provision that awards deemed as over the approved budget may be approved by City Manager up to 15 per cent over a maximum of $250,000.

The Procurement manager ensures compliance.

Under the current system, staff are required to create and submit Administrative Report (RFP/Tender) for awards above the $250,000 threshold to:
• The Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) meeting
• The relevant Committee Meeting
• Council Meeting

This process can take from 4 to 6 weeks. It’s estimated that up to five hours per report is allocated. Estimated hours for 2017 for RFP/Tender reports was 285 hours.

The time to award for competitive bids that are above the $250,000 approval level of the City Manager span from 85 to 145 days.

Richmond Storm Ponds Tender

Council voted to:
• reallocate $1,500,000.00 from the Storm Line Upgrades project, funding source Facility Renewal Reserve, to the Richmond Industrial Storm Pond South Lot 8 U Storage project
• Reallocate $307,000.00 from the Annual Storm Pond Upgrade, funding source Future Expenditure Reserve, to the Richmond Industrial Storm Pond South Lot 8 U Storage project; and
• Award tender T-10-552-18 to Green Acre Ventures Ltd. for $3,194,401.50 exclusive of GST, as the lowest, qualified bidder meeting the City’s specifications.
Engineering Services has combined both projects into one overall project to create an economy of scale for the work.

The storm pond improvements are recommended in the Grande Prairie Richmond Industrial Park Storm Basin Study, prepared by Focus Corporation, December 2013, to help alleviate flooding in the area during major storm events.

The scope of the tender includes underground storm sewer, waste excavation, block wall construction, fencing and landscaping. This tender is for full construction of the Richmond Industrial Storm Pond South Storage site.

This project was determined to be a priority and to have the maximum potential impact to enhance the current system and alleviate flooding in the Richmond Industrial area, therefore funds were reallocated from parallel programs to ensure delivery of this storm pond.

The initial allocated project funding was lower than the final tender amount due to several factors, including significant changes in scope, unforeseen additional costs, and the unique nature of this project, which presented no comparable for reliable cost estimation.

After the funds transfer, it is expected there will be sufficient remaining funds to complete the projects currently scheduled within the Storm Lines program. This is a biennial program budget – any additional projects will be added to future years’ project plans.

Upon completion of the Storm Flushing and Cleaning program and the Storm Drainage Master Plan study, it may be determined that other high priority projects are identified.

The Storm Flushing and Cleaning project has not yet covered the entire City; those portions already completed have revealed satisfactory condition ratings, however it is uncertain if completion of the program may reveal other urgent projects.