MR of McKillop first meeting of the new year

The McKillop RM board met for its first regular meeting of 2022. Gary Gilbert declared conflicts of interest for the list of accounts to be approved for payment to Elanna Gilbert of $362.62. $23.31 for entry poles on January 11, 2022 and mileage for the same day for $339.31. Reeve Bob Schmidt also declared a conflict of interest for $86.39 for a grammar software program on November 27, 2021. The CAO explained that Reeve Schmidt uses his own grammar when creating the RM newsletters, and the payment consisted to renew their subscription. The Council approved the accounts for payment.

There was minor debate about how the RM drafted the Sun Dale Septic Haul RFP. The Council wanted to ensure that those submitting bids were submitting the correct measurement in Imperial gallons, as this was not specified. Four offers have been submitted. Once the administration confirmed it was in imperial gallons, the prefect called for a motion for the lowest bid. Councilor Dixon moved a motion to accept Aquarius’ offer ‘based on track record and working relationship and matches the RM’s previous commitment to pay this’. Councilor Arndt pointed out that the offer was not the lowest. The Board voted to award the tender to Aquarius. Northshore Septic submitted an offer lower than 0.046, and Aquarius’ offer was 0.050. Councilor Arndt requests a roll call vote. Arndt said that while he agreed with Councilor Dixon, there must be a sufficient reason other than what he thought was anecdotal reasoning for not accepting the lowest bid. Councilor Arndt and Prefect Schmidt were the only no’s.

Council met in camera for 45 minutes to discuss staffing and long-term strategic planning. Upon returning from the closed session, council passed a motion to approve wage and salary increases of $12,996.48 effective January 21.

Communications – there were several updates on the agenda including one from PARCS – Provincial Association of Resort Communities. Councilor Garry Dixon is the President and Councilor Marilyn Labatte is a Director.

Council discussed an application for an Aquatic Habitat Permit for which Council had previously requested additional information and photos. The Applicant confirmed that there would be no embankment excavation and that there would be no “in-water work”. The claimant stated that the rocks would not be removed from the lots; they would be “placed” on the shore or beach. The claimant said the only other thing they would do is level. Warden Bob Schmidt was concerned about the environmental reserve next to the plots. Schmidt said that due to his previous experience, he said “you are not allowed to change the environmental reserve in any way.”

Schmidt said grading could not include vegetation removal. Councilor Don Whitrow replied, “I don’t understand what the problem is here. They’re going to move some rocks and buttress the line and open it up so they can put their lifts in there and everything. I don’t think that’s a big deal here. WSA [Water Security Agency] don’t have a problem with that. I don’t understand why we would.

Council discussed what was permitted. General Manager Morissette informed council of other permitted uses for an environmental reserve, including access to navigable waters. The CAO said the WSA needed approval from the RM before approving the permit. Reeve Schmidt said many people had been prevented from altering environmental reserves in the MR and others in the province had been fined. Councilor Dixon said that was true, but people do it all the time. Dixon reminded Schmidt that the RM had allowed him in the past, such as at Sundale. Schmidt said Sundale had no environmental reserve, Dixon corrected him – saying there were ERs around every lake. Whitrow reiterated that previous endorsements regarding Sundale were no different from this application. Schmidt said it was mostly trees and shrubs. Councilor Whitrow presented a motion of approval. Schmidt said he wouldn’t approve of something he knew wasn’t fair. “We cannot break the rules in other acts by any of our motions.”

Schmidt reiterated that he wanted to confirm this was happening. Dixon said from the WSA’s request that they were aware of this; they just want RM’s approval first. Whitrow amended her motion to say that the MR wants a before and after photo and that the Council approves the permit based on the information provided by the applicant. Councilor Arndt requests a recorded vote. Councilor Labatte abstained – which is a no, Whitrow – yes, Gilbert – no, Dixon – yes, Arndt – no, Romanyk – yes, and Schmidt – no. The motion was defeated. Warden Schmidt offered to defer the decision and he would investigate for more information.

Schmidt said, “You know the course we took Brandi. He said we couldn’t make a motion that bypasses any of the acts. The CAO replied, “But I don’t know if you’re circumventing the regulations… There are different types of land uses dedicated to an RE as long as they’re compliant.” The motion is carried.

After months of debate, a delegation, a drone flyby and a report, the RM finally released ASL’s claim bond.

Board, adopted the second and third and final reading of the amendment to the board’s procedure by-law.

The board made further changes to the building by-law because it was considered a minor change and approved second and third readings with those changes.

The board made several appointments for the new year. Development Appeal Board and Review Board – Western Municipal Consulting, RM Lawyer – MLT Aikens, Financial Auditor – Census Chartered Professional Accountant, RM Assessor – CAO Brandi Morissette, Pest Control Officer – Lorne White, Weed Inspector – Fred Stein.

The board made a motion to approve the allotments for organized hamlets. It was noted that these are subject to change and relate only to the current budget. All organized Hamlets were 43% Hamlet and 57% RM, with Spring Bay 40% – Hamlet 60% – RM, which was by special agreement.

Some changes have been made to the positions of president. Howard Arndt joins the agriculture committee and Garry Dixon takes over the post he had resigned and takes over as chairman of the hamlet committee. Craig Romanyk takes over as president of public works.

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