Council Highlights

April 22, 2024

Brianne Staples, Acting Director of Community Services presented highlights from the Community Resource Centre to Council. Acting Director Staples highlighted the advertisement for the Newcomers Grant Program Facilitator, a two-year position focused on settling newcomers in the community and the additional programs that are now being run through the Community Adult Learning Program. The Books for Babies and Rhymes that Bind programs are both being well received and are seeing high participation numbers.

The Director of Parks and Recreation highlighted the work that is being done by staff to run Women’s Health Day. Over 70 tickets have been sold for the event that is planned this coming weekend. Four new summer staff have been hired, three for outside work and one program support. The Recreation Department looks forward to offering additional programming and summer camps for the community with the added staffing support.

Administration reported to Council that the Census preparation is well underway. A letter will be sent to Commercial and Industrial properties outlining how they can count the permanent and temporary residents who are staying at the property on April 29, 2024. Staff are hoping that by outlining the process ahead of time, the town will receive better and more accurate data when collecting for the census in the coming months.

The Chief Administrative Officer thanked staff for the work that was done on putting together the Emergency Preparedness BBQ. The event saw over 300 participants, featured many exhibitors, and provided the community with great information about being prepared. The CAO also thanked Pembina for their support of the event through the sponsorship of the BBQ for the community.

In the 2024 Capital Budget, Council budgeted for the purchase of 2 new town vehicles and requested that Administration bring back options for Council’s review prior to purchase. Administration presented Council with three options that included the purchase of new 2023 vehicles, new 2024 vehicles and used vehicles for Council’s consideration. Council directed Administration to proceed with the purchase of 2 new 2023 Ford F150 XLT’s from Barrhead Ford.

The 2024 Operating Budget included seniors programming to be funded by a grant from New Horizon. Unfortunately, the town was recently made aware that the application for funding was unsuccessful. Administration presented Council with options to move funds around in the 2024 Operating Budget to cover the need for Seniors Programming in the community. The plan from the Community Resource Centre includes programming such as Coffee and Conversation, Ladies Craft Night, Men’s Night, Senior Week and a Seniors Christmas Dessert Social. Council directed Administration to move funds around in the 2024 Operating Budget to cover the costs of Seniors Programming in the community. No additional funds were added to the budget.

The Director of Corporate Services presented the 2022 Audited Financial Statements to Council for approval. The 2022 Audit is one of three that was completed in the last year to put Fox Creek back in good standing with Municipal Affairs. The Audit was clean and showed no concerns. Staff will be moving onto the 2023 Audit immediately and after 5 year’s of hard work, look forward to being officially caught up.

During the 2024 Operating Budget discussions, Council directed Administration to include a 2.0 point increase to the mill rate due to the decrease in assessment values and the increase expenses due to inflation and to increase the minimum tax rate to $425.00. Administration brought forward Bylaw 873-2024 Property Tax Bylaw that reflected Council’s direction and Council gave first and second reading to the Bylaw. The Bylaw will be brought back to Council at the May 13, 2024 meeting for final reading and approval.