Regular Council Meeting Highlights for March 23, 2020

Posted On Tuesday March 24, 2020

Mayor’s Task Force on COVID-19

Mayor William Choy announced the formation of the Mayor’s Task Force on COVID-19 to address the current and upcoming issues faced by our community as a result of the global pandemic. The task force will consist of two streams: Economic and Social. Councillor Eric Meyer will lead the Economic stream and will look at ways to support our residents and businesses with rebates and deferrals in this time of crisis. Councillor Justin Laurie will lead the Social stream and focus on ensuring the physical and mental health of residents and support ways for us all to continue to connect as a community. More information on the Mayor’s Task Force will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Council Strategic Plan 2020-2023

The Strategic Plan 2020-2023 was adopted at last night’s Council meeting. The Strategic Plan serves as Council’s framework for the next four years of development and planning. Each Strategic Plan is designed with respect to the needs of the community and ongoing expectations from residents. Commitments and key actions are outlined throughout the report to illustrate Council’s vision for continuing to build relationships with government and partners, strengthen economic opportunity, develop supportive infrastructure and cultural aspects of the community, and manage environmental impact.

Find the full Strategic Plan 2020-2023 on pages 17 – 31 of the agenda.

Municipal Development Plan Public Hearing Deferred in Response to COVID-19

In light of current health concerns, Council has postponed the April 27 Public Hearing for adopting an updated Municipal Development Plan (MDP). The MDP works within the framework of the Municipal Government Act to promote a complete, sustainable community with a clear vision for future development. Administration will recommend a new date to Council in the weeks ahead and announced to the public through online channels and mailed out to adjacent landowners.

The decision to postpone the hearing is in line with Government of Alberta public gathering guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Residents concerned about COVID-19 and requiring more information and resources can access the Town’s webpage and the Government of Alberta’s webpage (add GOA link)

Read more about the Municipal Development Plan on pages 33 – 35 of the agenda.

Council Remuneration Committee Formed

Six community members were appointed to the 2020 Council Remuneration Committee by Town Council last night. The Committee was formed after a month-long recruitment campaign and interview process. The Council Remuneration Committee will meet over the coming months to review current remuneration and draft recommendations which will be presented to Council in August. The updated Council Compensation and Expenses policy will then be presented to Council for approval in September effective for the next term of Council beginning in 2021.

COVID-19 Update

Council received an update on the Town’s COVID-19 response and strategy moving forward. The Government of Alberta (GOA) has been providing regular updates and provincial directive to municipal disaster service contacts. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) has been meeting daily to respond to the evolving challenges of COVID-19 and develop strategies for the long term sustainability of municipal operations.. 

Critical staff have been isolated to protect essential service operations.  In addition to following the directives placed by the Government of Alberta the Town has directed staff to work from home and has implemented work practices that will safeguard staff while completing daily tasks. Increased sanitization has been implemented at the Town Office and throughout municipal facilities. All public facilities will undergo extensive sanitization before opening to the public.

The Town will continue to work with the GOA to ensure the health and safety of all community members and our staff. In the following weeks, SLT will be examining the impacts of COVID-19 on work planning, the local economy and exploring strategies for the more vulnerable sectors of the community.

For more information and updates on COVID-19, visit the Town’s webpage.

Council Announces Utility Payments and Penalties Deferral

Town Council approved the waiver of late payment penalties charged on utility billings for 90-days to provide relief to residents and businesses struggling with the impacts of COVID-19. Cut-off notices and utility cut-offs are suspended for a 90-day period to ensure all residents have access to services. Residents and businesses who are unable to make payments on utility bills for these three months will be given until June 30, 2020 to do so without penalty.

While customers will not be penalized if they don’t make payments for three months, we are encouraging customers who are able, to continue paying their utility bills in full or to make smaller regular payments if possible.

For customers on pre-authorized withdrawal agreements, the utility deferral program is not automatic and you will need to contact Town Hall to request a suspension or reduction of payment.

 

Please note: This is not the official Town of Stony Plain council meeting minutes. Please refer to Agendas and Minutes for all supporting documents, and official meeting minutes that have been approved by Town Council.