October 17 Town Council
The October 17 organizational meeting of the Vermilion Town Council began with a couple of amendments: first, to have Larry Bingham speak on the Airport Advisory Committee, and second, to move the sections of the meeting about councillors’ committee involvements to October 24 to ensure thorough conversations before finalizing assignments on October 30. Both motions to amend were voted on and carried.
Mayor Throndson then reflected on his two years as mayor, highlighting the strength of partnerships and working as a team, particularly with respect to regional matters. He emphasized, “Our focus is for the community, not for individuals. We’re going to make decisions that are going to affect the community for the next 20, 40, 80 years.” To do so, he noted that decision-makers need to maintain honesty to the community and to themselves, uphold integrity, have an open mind about possibilities for the future, and possess sincere attitudes about community-focused work.
Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers and Councillor Michael Diachuk then spoke to Council about the Vermilion River Regional Alliance (VRRA), which comprises Lloydminster, Marwayne, Kitscoty, Paradise Valley, the County of Vermilion River, and Mannville. They, too, emphasized the importance of working as a larger geographic area, using the strengths and resources of one community to support another. For example, the VRRA invested substantial funds in the laying of a fibre optic internet network that primarily benefited Vermilion, but Lloydminster recognizes the benefit of investing in a neighbouring community without receiving direct benefit from the funding itself.
As a further example, Mayor Aalbers shared about an upcoming project in Lloydminster that will bring 3,000 workers to the city for 45 days, and noted that the city does not have capacity to host all of those workers alone, so the opportunity will arise for surrounding communities to benefit from the influx of workers needing food and a place to stay. Diachuk noted that, “A project is stronger when people focus on the region. What are the common interests we can start building on together?” He continued, “We’re going to get a lot further working as neighbours than working individually.” “Everybody wins when everybody wins. We’re looking for that next big win,” said Aalbers. Throndson and Vermilion councillors thanked both Mayor Aalbers and Councillor Diachuk for speaking and attending.
Larry Bingham then presented to Council on the Airport Advisory Committee (AAC). He highlighted that the organization has provided expertise and leadership to the community regarding the airport and grant funding, and recommended that Town Council regard the AAC as a valuable source of technical expertise. He continued, requesting that Town Council “regard the airport as infrastructure that is vital to this community and must be maintained, protected, and improved because it does have value to the area.” He also recommended that a geotechnical survey be done on the airport regarding repaving of the runway and taxiways. Bingham noted that scheduling AAC meetings during regular working hours made them difficult to attend, and recommended that the AAC be permitted to make a short quarterly presentation to council as well as whenever the need arises. Council thanked Mr. Bingham for his comments.
The organizational meeting ended at 7:30 p.m. after reviewing council meeting dates for the upcoming year.
The regular town council meeting then began at 7:35 p.m. Councillor Conlon took the Oath of Office for Deputy Mayor for November and December 2023. The mayor proclaimed October 2023 as Disability Awareness Month, and Councillor Whitlock highlighted Inclusion Alberta and the Rotary Employment Partnership, and emphasized the importance of creating and finding employment for people with intellectual disabilities.
Council then reviewed strategic priorities in its Strategic Plan, covering facility and administrative security, staffing levels and succession planning, community lifestyle, fibre optic lines, sewer trunk links, and developers’ interest in Vermilion’s future.
To view the minutes of the meeting, visit https://vermilion.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/132386/