Vermilion Town Council met on February 5, and invited the public to comment on their draft of the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan.
The strategic priorities of the draft include 1) Community Engagement 2) Grow a Resilient and Vibrant Community through strong economic development 3) Infrastructure for Today and Tomorrow 4) Enhance Health and Livability of the Community. More draft details will be made available at vermilion.ca, and residents can submit comments in writing to the Town Office, and via email, or social media until the end of February. Following review of the comments, the Strategic Plan will be finalized in March, and will continue to guide council through the remainder of their term.
In Economic Development, Council accepted a letter of intent from McDonalds Restaurants of Canada towards the purchase of a one acre site in the Junction Sixteen 41 commercial development.
Council also discussed 2019 Local Improvement Pavement for the Garnett Industrial Subdivision. To move the project forward, with an estimated cost of $352,798.25, three readings were given to By-Laws 1-2019 and 2-2019.
In New Business, council carried a motion to accept the engineering proposal from Bar Engineering Ltd. for the 2019 Street Improvement Program concerning Garnett Industrial Subdivision (near Fountain Tire) and an intersection reconstruction for 52 Street Service Road (near the Ventura Motel) for a total of $40,400.00 plus GST and a contingency of $4,040.00.
Council also appointed a new Broadband subcommittee including members Councillor Robert Pulyk, Councillor Richard Yaceyko, Chief Administrative Officer George Rogers, Director of Infrastructure and Planning Services Derek Young, and Economic Development Officer Mary Lee Prior.
They also appointed Councillor Justin Thompson to the Vermilion River Regional Waste Management Services Commission.
The 2019 Staff Negotiations were carried with a 1.0% cost of living adjustment for 2019, a 0.5% cost of living adjustment for 2020, and an additional $300 per year in the form of a health spending account.
“I’d like to thank the staff for their patience and service to the community,” said CAO George Rogers.
“With other municipalities having much higher increases, it was difficult. Ours needed to reflect the economy and our community, so thank you for working through this,” added Mayor McAuley.
Council approved no increase to rental rates for the Vermilion Regional Centre for 2020.
Derek Young noted that the town received reduced tonnage to the transfer station resulting in a credit applied to next year.
“In theory with organics coming, we should see additional saving,” added Young.
“This is good news, and we have to thank our residents for jumping on this program. It is you that we have to thank for this savings,” said Councillor Pulyk.
“There have been conversations with other municipalities not seeing the same numbers. The results of these recycling programs are encouraging other communities,” said Councillor Thompson.
During round table discussions, Mayor McAuley noted looking into the requirements and feasibility of having SL4 beds in a current Vermilion facility, e.g. Valley Lodge.
She also noted that the Town had received congratulations on their smoking legislations and were to be awarded for being a leader in the province in Edmonton on February 7.
“ICSC was a very fruitful opportunity for us to meet up with some developers, even one looking to possibly build an SL4 facility,” said Mayor McAuley.
Councillor McCullough noted the recent ACE Open House and that Islay is tentatively scheduled to begin February 11.
“The Snowmobile Drag Races were a phenomenal event. There were over 100 sleds, and it was a lot of fun; they did a great job,” said McCullough.
Regarding the Vermilion & District housing Foundation, Councillor Henderson said, “It’s really neat to see positive changes; the staff seem happy, as are the residents which is the most important thing.”
She is looking forward to ParticipACTION looking at coordinating groups in town.
“I think we have a very good chance with all of the things going on in our community,” said Henderson.
Councillor Pulyk noted that at ICSC, he met with 11 developers many of whom were reaching a saturation point in their larger centers and were interested in Vermilion (two of which for an RCMP building).
“It was Wainwright’s first time attending, as well as a number of other Alberta municipalities. We met with one international developer, and we plan on keeping in contact to keep these conversations going,” said Pulyk.