Vermilion Town Council hosted one delegation from the Vermilion Agricultural Society, and discussed writing off an invoice for County of Vermilion River fire services during their meeting on May 16.
“We just completed the Community Facility Enhancement Program Grant (CFEP) to put in new box stalls in the barns because people would rather have those than tie stalls. Built in 1911, Old MacDonald’s Barn needs a new roof that will cost around $100,000,” said Ag Society representative Doug Stewart. “We also want to improve ground on the race track and infield but the new ground will cost about $59,000. If we do that, we can attract more equestrian events such as a High School Rodeo in September that would attract 300 - 400 people for three days to your community. That particular improvement could be a good economic development for the community and allow different jumping or sorting events. Total costs are $310,000; under this grant we can get $125,000 from the provincial government and will have to match the rest. I was seeking letters of support. I received one from the college and would like to thank the Town Administration for also providing one. The application went in on Friday and I came to thank you and explain what you are giving it for.”
Councillor Robert Pulyk said, “That’s great news to hear what the Ag Society is planning to do, and overall it is going to support our community. Economic developers in rural communities all across Alberta are struggling to come up with what they call the three-day-event and you are working towards that to keep people in the community and going to other businesses. I want to congratulate you for being on the edge of that.”
Mayor Greg Throndson said, “It’s so important to maintain those kinds of partnerships; and using those beautiful grounds once per year. Those people bring trailers and families and support for our community.”
A large discussion took place surrounding the Fires Services Agreement, dispute resolution, and the potential to write-off an invoice that is outdated three years. Throughout those years, policies changed, and chiefs and directors have changed. Council opted not to trigger the dispute process.
Deputy Mayor Joshua Rayment said, “This money we are saying is owed to us was billed at a time where there wasn’t an understanding or it wasn’t clearly defined in the contract. We got away with a lot of good grace and by the reading of the contract this money is not actually owed to us. We think it is because it was historically paid, and we could potentially end up losing double this.”
Mayor Throndson noted the meditation process is approximately 18-20 months behind. The amount originally started at over $30,000 and had been negotiated down to the $11,233.50, and is said to be a difference of EI, CPP, and holiday pay.
With only one opposed, they carried a motion to write-off the invoice.
In other news, further discussion on the ice rates will be postponed until their finance meeting. Senior’s Week was declared June 5-11, and they will be hosting a barbecue to celebrate June 6, from 12-1:30 p.m. at Heritage Park.