The April 9 meeting began with a moment of silence in honour of the Humboldt Broncos accident victims, their families, friends and communities.

  • Staff updates included:
    • SK Environment staff expect to provide a report next month on their work related to FireSmart: Wildfire Risk Assessment within the District,
    • Spring drainage plans,
    • Plans for the ‘bins in place transfer station’ at the Emma Lake landfill, and the work being done by Pinter Consulting to update the Environment Site Assessments for all three landfills (McPhee, Anglin and Emma) to meet Minister of Environment standards and deadlines.
    • A report and comparison with other municipalities related to the use of shipping containers as storage during renovation and construction in residential areas. A bylaw will be brought forward for consideration of allowing the use of these containers for a limited time period and within the accessory building setbacks through an approval process related to development and building permits.
    • Participation of Protective Services personnel during a check stop with Waskesiu Lake / Montreal Lake RCMP and Ministry of Environment Conservation Officers with a focus on impaired drivers, licensing and vehicle registration.
    • Notices of assessment were mailed out to all ratepayers. As this is not a re-evaluation year, the majority of assessments will be the same as 2017. If you have questions about your property assessment, please contact the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) Melfort office at 306-752-6142 or Toll Free: 1-800-216-4427. If you still disagree with the assessment, you can file an appeal by May 2, 2018, by contacting the District office.
  • Council and staff meet at the end of March to review and discuss operations and plans as part of the 2018 budget process. Based on those discussions and revisions, approval was given to:
    • the annual operating budget,
    • the five-year capital purchases budget, and
    • a municipal park development plan for placement of playground equipment (2018 Neis; 2019 Bell’s; 2020 Sunnyside; 2021 Guise; 2022 Spruce Point) based on current conditions and usage. Other areas will be considered following completion of the first five locations.
  • After reviewing results of various inquiries from a variety of municipalities to determine if the District is providing appropriate rates of indemnity for Council, the following levels were approved effective April 1, 2018:
    • Base monthly indemnity: Reeve $350; Councillors $250
    • Council meetings: $220/day ($110 for half day meetings)
    • Committee meetings: minimum $110/half day ($220/day) based on $27.50 per hour
    • Conventions, Workshops, Supervision: $27.50/hour
    • Mileage: $0.55/km (travel time not reimbursed) – capped at $150 for Council / Committee meetings)
    • Communication: $25/month phone allowance
  • A two-year pilot for addition of a third Community Safety Officer was approved to maintain visibility and response to the community during off peak months, typically October to May. While the summer student position utilized in 2017 was beneficial and well-received, a short-term position does not allow for continuity of service and maximum realization of the training and orientation period which would have to repeated on an annual basis. An administrative analytical review will be conducted as part of the evaluation period to determine if the position should continue past the two-year time period.
  • The 2018 mill rate was set at 2.34 mills which is the same rate as 2017. The provincial education mill rate was not changed in the provincial budget delivered on Tuesday, April 10, and remains at 4.12 mills for residential properties.
  • Jade Dreaver has returned as the CPL Recreation Director, following her maternity leave. Thanks for Diana Bird for her work over the past year in filling this position.
  • With Kelley Delorme’s resignation as Branch Librarian, interviews were conducted last week. The position has been accepted by Kristin Burton, a local resident, and she will begin in that role on April 14. Please drop by the Library to say hello and meet Kristin.
  • Ratepayer concerns related primarily to snow removal and garbage pick up. It was also noted that some people are blowing or moving their snow onto municipal roads, lanes, back alleys and property. Letters will be sent to these ratepayers to advise them that this practice is prohibited, resulting in fines and charges. Snow dump sites are available for clean snow – check the Public Works: Frequently Asked Questions on the District website or call the office for these locations.
  • Following the meeting, Administrator Tammy Knuttila reviewed a restructuring plan for the office positions. As a result, the position of Accounting Clerk was eliminated, and Mandy Fowler was given notice of layoff. Thanks to Mandy for her service to the District, and best wishes for her future endeavours.

As I mention in each update, while the contact information for myself and all councillors is on the website and/or available through the District office, we encourage you to contact the District office if you have a concern or require municipal services so that it can be addressed in a timely manner. Saying thank you is always a good reason for a phone call as well, and greatly appreciated by our Staff and Council.

Cheryl Bauer Hyde