The Vermilion Town Council met on November 1 and had one delegation from Vermilion Play Development (VPD).
The non-profit organization provides childcare and early learning for families in the Town of Vermilion and the County of Vermilion River. They currently run three programs at Vermilion Elementary School and one at Lakeland College but are planning to expand with two new programs.
One will be at Parkview Alliance Church in Vermilion and the other will be in Two Hills.
“We currently have more children registered than spots available in Vermilion and there is a waitlist for all programs (37 on the preschool waitlist alone),” said Darla Snow. “The new location at Parkview will alleviate about 20-25 spots, providing relief for The ‘ARK’ program at the college.”
Statistics from VPD show that there are 659 spots in the town and county, and 684 children enrolled.
As for the Two Hills location, she said the community has a population of over 5,000 people and no child care (but perhaps some privately run ones) so they reached out to her to create one.
Snow asked the council to draft a letter within the next month on behalf of the Town as a formalization showing the need for childcare in the community. It is a requirement for her to apply for the Alberta Space Creation Grant which also has a federal agreement.
“There’s is a desperate need for child care in our community,” said Snow.
“From what I’ve seen demographics have changed quite a bit; there are quite a few young people in our community,” said Councillor Robert Pulyk.
In other news, it was noted that the survey results from the town’s strategic plan can be found on their website for the public to view anytime. Pulyk said, “I’d encourage you to have a look. The feedback we receive from the public helps the council to know if we will be effective moving forward. It’s a valuable source for us, so please keep providing feedback over the next couple of years.”
After being asked about it while reviewing the financial report, Brian Liebel said the RCMP funding formula requires municipal and provincial portions.
“With the municipal portion increasing it truly has added another financial burden, and for future budgets as well,” said Liebel.
During round table discussions councillor Joshua Rayment said contractor selection for the Vermilion River Regional Waste Management should be announced next week. Councillor Pulyk said the Vermilion District Health Care Providers Attraction & Retention Committee is looking forward to filling two doctor positions in the community. He said they received an overwhelming number of applications, and it will take some time before they arrive as the process likely involves coming from overseas.
Regarding the new budget deliberations, Mayor Greg Throndson said, “With such a new, young council this budget has our fingerprints all over it. I think the council can be proud of what we’ve accomplished; we put a lot of thought into it.”
There will also be a public budget forum coming up, so they encouraged everyone to keep an eye out online for the upcoming date.