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News Review
City Council Highlights
Posted Date: 1/29/2018 8:45 PM

Aquatera Advancements

Council authorized Mayor Bill Given to vote the City's shares in favour of Aquatera Utilities Inc.'s proposed actions to enable parties other than the original shareholders – the City of Grande Prairie, the County of Grande Prairie and the Town of Sexsmith – to become Aquatera shareholders.

This includes revising the Unanimous Shareholders Agreement, Bylaw No. 1 and the Articles of Incorporation.

The Town of Wembley has asked to become an Aquatera Shareholder as part of the provision of water to the Town from the utility company's system.

Council also endorsed Aquatera advancing interim financing to the Town of Wembley to enable construction and commissioning of a water transmission line to the community.

Development Decision Timelines

City Council approved Bylaw C-1260-86. The amendments to the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) clarify how long the Development Officer has to determine whether an application is complete and changes the development decision appeal period from 14 days to 21 days. The changes are required to meet the new standards of the Modernized Municipal Government Act (MMGA).

The MMGA calls for the Development Authority to notify an applicant whether their application is complete within 20 days, unless another timeline is indicated in the LUB. The amendment states that the City has 30 days. Though it will not take the development 30 days in most cases, the City regularly receives more complex proposals that require more time.

The amendment states that additional information may be required after the 30 days in case the need arises during the review process. These changes are reflected in Section 17.7 and 17.8. The MMGA extends the appeal period for development and subdivision decisions from 14 to 21 days.

The amendment updates the LUB to reflect these changes either by changing the stated number of days, or removing references to the appeal period. The change means that the applicant will have to wait an additional week after a decision has been made to start construction in cases of approvals. It will also give applicants and stakeholders more time to submit an appeal. The amendment will update the LUB to reflect the changes to the MMGA.

It is not expected to have a significant impact on development.

2017 Park Improvement Grant Allocation

Council allocated funds for the 2017 Park Improvement Grant Program as follows:

1. $2,000 for the Cobblestone and Riverstone Neighbourhood Association to be used for the purchase and installation of two bike racks for Clifford Hook and Harry Watcher parks.

2. $2,000 for the Ecole St. Gerard School Playground Committee to be applied toward the Playground Enhancement Project.

3. $2,486 for the Highland Park Neighbourhood Association toward buying and installing two park benches and three concrete pads.

4. $2,500 to the Hillside Neighbourhood Association toward purchasing and installing 20 fruit trees and 40 fruit bushes.

5. $13,514 to the Royal Oaks Neighbourhood Association to purchase and install an LED light and pole for the outdoor rink at John Edwards (Jack) Soars Park.

6. $2,500 for the Signature Falls Neighbourhood Association for the purchase and installation of Multi-Use, Multi-Season Play Surface Phase 1B.

Extended Producer Responsibility

Council endorsed the concept of an Extended Producer Responsibility Program and directed Mayor Bill Given to write a letter to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi confirming Grande Prairie's support for the City of Calgary's Alberta Urban Municipalities Association resolution for the Government of Alberta to establish an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy and approach in the province.

EPR shifts the financial responsibility toward the producer and away from municipalities and taxpayers, while providing incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations in the design of their products.

Administration agrees this is a serious concern in Alberta that warrants a province-wide, co-ordinated effort to increase the durability and reusability of products that will lead to a decrease of waste sent to landfills. The community can be encouraged to consider reducing or reusing rather than focusing on recycling.

On June 13, 2016 Council approved Policy 215 that commits the organization to considering the impact of its actions and lead by example. It includes a statement pledging to reduce the municipality's environmental impact.

The City of Calgary contends that EPR can provide opportunities to shift the funding and, if municipalities choose, the operational responsibility for recycling, recycling collection, processing and materials marketing to the producer, resulting in potentially significant cost savings for municipalities.

EPR incentivizes producers to make and sell products that are more durable, reusable and recyclable. As a result significant progress can be made to divert waste away from landfills which supports the sustainability objectives of our community.

EPR is directed at fostering harmonization and waste diversion programs across the province which would contribute to the Government of Alberta's waste diversion and climate change goals. EPR also supports the creation of sustainable jobs, reduces waste management costs for local governments and taxpayers, reduces Green House Gas emissions, increases social awareness of recycling and creates social consciousness about consumption.