ELK POINT – Mayor Parrish Tung and CAO Ken Gwozdz have agreed to attend the Nov. 14 inaugural meeting of a new regional healthcare committee organized by the office of MLA Scott Cyr in collaboration with Alberta Health Services (AHS).
The committee will have representatives from Cold Lake, Bonnyville, Elk Point and St. Paul and hopes to facilitate dialogue between mayors and CEOs with doctors and hospital administrators. The aim is to improve coordination between healthcare professionals and municipal leaders, encouraging the exchange of ideas, identification of common challenges and explore opportunities for local governments to assist with physician recruitment and retention and enhance healthcare delivery.
This new initiative “holds the potential to significantly enhance the quality of healthcare services in the region,” Cyr said in his invitation to the mayor and CAO.
Bylaw, Animal Control appointments
Elk Point will once again have bylaw enforcement and animal control officers in the community. Investigative Assurance has been appointed as the Bylaw Enforcement Officer, with enforcement of cleanup of unsightly properties as one of the important duties.
Bonnyville-based BUSH-els of Fun Pet Care will provide part-time animal control services for the community as of Nov. 1. It was noted that the Animal Control Officer will not be available for emergency animal calls and that those who encounter dangerous animals should call RCMP. The Animal Control Officer has 48 hours to respond to a call.
Winterland tournament returning
The Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Winterland Invitational Hockey Tournament will be back in Elk Point on the Family Day weekend in February 2024. Deputy Mayor Wanda Cochrane brought council a message from Oreen Skiba regarding the importance of the annual fundraising tournament that supports Ronald McDonald Houses across the province, noting that in 2022, these “homes away from home” for families with hospitalized children served 1,200 families from 200 communities, and provided 10,000 shuttle trips to hospitals.
The tournaments have been held in this area since 2018, increasing from an initial 24 teams to 48 teams who will play a total of 86 games on six sheets of ice across the area, this year with 120 teams registering in hope of taking part. Council voted to once again donate $500 toward the tournament, where Elk Point’s U9 team will be part of the action.
Area Structure Plan revised
Revisions to the Buffalo Trail North Intermunicipal Area Structure Plan, with the move of a proposed stormwater pond out of industrial/commercial land to a location outside the IASP, were approved by council, pooling funds from the Alberta Community Partnership Grant funding contingencies from the North and South areas of the IASP. The Town will support the County of St. Paul as managing partner in a scope change requested to the province if required for the South IASP Alberta Community Partnership grant.
STEP Economic Development Officer Linda Sallstrom visited council to provide a comprehensive update on the many projects and grant applications underway and upcoming. These range from taking a look at regional recreational facilities that were not previously assessed, including the A. G. Ross Arena, Elk Point Curling Club and the CAP Arena, to studying the condition of waterways, researching opportunities for agricultural product processing and determining priorities regarding tourism. An area trail system map including a number of new trails is being worked on by the Lakeland DMO, she noted, and Travel Alberta funding could be available for upgrading Iron Horse Trail staging areas.
Elk Point Airport
One of several motions coming out of last Monday’s closed session was to explore the option of purchasing the Elk Point Airport, with other stakeholders to be invited and the County of St. Paul to be notified.
Development permit deposits
Council also passed a motion regarding the return of development permit performance deposits, approving the transfer of 11 deposits to the town’s general operating account and to contact the 12th depositor to request compliance with the permit. Administration was also asked to draft an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw regarding development permits and to bring it back to a future council meeting.