A highlight of the Vermilion Town Council meeting on April 4, was their recognition of the many volunteers throughout the community declaring April 16-22 National Volunteer Week.
CAO Kevin Lucas read the proposal and recommendation saying, “The theme for 2023, ‘Volunteering Weaves Us Together,’ celebrates our individual and collective actions in creating a strong, interconnected, and vibrant community. Volunteering weaves us together, strengthening the fabric of our community by sharing our time, talent, and energy to support one another. Thanks to all the volunteers that dedicate their time and effort to make our community a better place to work and live.”
Councillor Rob Snow said, “Thank you to all the women and men that volunteer throughout all of our non-profits; it’s amazing to see the value in our community.”
Councillor Kevin Martin added, “It’s amazing to even see the children picking garbage, etc. There are a lot of people that don’t get recognized, and it makes our community stronger.”
The motion was carried and Mayor Greg Throndson read the declaration saying, “Volunteers serve in leadership roles on boards and committees assisting community events, programs, sports/leisure, services clubs, and churches. Vermilion’s volunteers are individuals, families, workers, retirees, community members of all ages and backgrounds, who have stepped up to support families, friends, neighbours, and strangers. The collective result of the work done by our volunteers is that Vermilion is a more desirable place to live.”
Next, they carried a motion to send a letter of support in regards to any grant applications by the Lt. Col. Craig Armouries Historical Society for facility upgrading.
Following the economic development report when asked to provide a summary of the Race of Vermilion, Manager of Economic Development Mary Lee Prior said, “With 25 teams it was a huge success; overall everyone had a great time. Participants came from Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and afar.”
Councillor Rob Pulyk asked about the challenges of living in rural areas regarding a presentation by yolonomads.com. Prior said it was an interesting presentation but they had not signed up for the services yet as they intend on asking them more questions in person at an upcoming conference. Councillor Snow said, “The uniqueness of this organization is to draw people out of the major centres and into the rural communities.”
Regarding ice rates Councillor Martin said the committee looked at eight or nine neighbouring like-sized communities, and that over COVID, the rates were never upped. Even though there had been a historical increase of three per cent, the concerns in the discussion included a potential of seven or even 10 per cent increase.
Council moved to postpone the ice rate decision until the next meeting with a friendly amendment for when they receive additional information.
Councillor Pulyk had concerns on the Intermunicipal Liaison Committee report, and suggested the CAO and Fire Chief review the fire section. CAO Lucas agreed and said he will provide council with a recommendation. About the previous committee meeting Councillor Martin said, “It was a very good and open conversation with the County. Having that openness allows good rapport and makes tough decisions easier; it was definitely a good way to start off.”
Under the financial report, Director Brian Leibel noted that the fees for RCMP in the community are $166,165 annually, and that they do expect them to increase in the future to as much as $230,000.
During round table discussions, Pulyk congratulated Leibel and the finance department on receiving a distinguished award for their preparation of the budget. Councillor Kirby Whitlock said he received a lot of concerns from public regarding false and misleading information on the airport survey.
“I sent an email and still request to take it down and have a review,” said Whitlock.
Others noted that the Vermilion Airport Public Engagement sessions and survey are open to members of surrounding counties, not just residents of Vermilion. They encouraged as many people as possible interested in learning or sharing their feelings about the airport to attend the upcoming session on April 15, from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Vermilion Town Hall Council Chambers.