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Town of Elk Point welcomes new recreation-communications coordinator

Town of Elk Point discussed a variety of topics during the Jan. 8 regular council meeting.
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ELK POINT – Elk Point Town Council started off their first meeting of 2024 on Jan. 8 with Mayor Parrish Tung offering a welcome to Caitlyn Bush, who added her new duties in a just created position, as Recreation/Communications Coordinator to the Animal Control Officer position she has held since Nov. 1.

“I’m used to wearing multiple hats,” Bush said, telling council that becoming the animal control officer was “a welcome add-on” to her pet care business in Bonnyville. When it was “simply time to leave” her previous six-year position with a media outlet in that community, the recreation and communication opportunities here presented a good fit for her interests, she said.

“I love event planning, I’m the vice president of the Bonnyville Chamber of Commerce and I was the organizer of Cold Lake’s RibFest,” she listed. “But Canada Day in Elk Point is the best. Thank you for letting me be a part of the town.”

Coun. Tim Smereka was enthusiastic about the new addition to Elk Point’s lineup, saying, “There’s a lot more that could be done here, this is a big plus for us.” Coun. Dwayne Yaremkevich and Coun. Jason Boorse agreed.

Deputy Mayor Wanda Cochrane told Bush she will “lighten the load for us,” with Manager of Operations Jay Duffee declaring, “I’m sure glad she’s taking over the animals,” duties which had for a time been delegated to his department.

Municipal Controlled Corporation

The unfinished business regarding the Municipal Controlled Corporation (MCC) was moved to the closed session that followed the evening’s new business and reports from Duffee and Animal Control.

Coming out of the closed session just under two hours into the meeting, council moved to have administration contact the town’s solicitors to review the emails regarding the MCC that arrived on or before Dec. 18 and to respond to the emails.

The town wishes to create a new MCC to be called the Green Building Corporation as part of a limited partnership in Askiy Asiniy, the Town to be the sole shareholder in the MCC. 

Council then passed a resolution to create a business plan in respect to the MCC, which along with the public hearing will comply with all the obligations required under the Municipal Government Act and to proceed with setting up the MCC. 

Motions were then passed stating that council is satisfied that the MCC will provide both a service and a direct benefit to the residents of the town and following incorporation, to enter into a unanimous shareholder agreement with the MCC.  A motion was also passed to appoint an administrative officer to implement the transition.

Recorded votes followed, approving the business plans for the MCCs for Elk Point Investment Corporation and Green Building Corporation as presented.

Administration was directed to allocate $60,000 for professional and legal fees for adjusting the business plan for MCC and preparing the legal agreements.

A motion was approved to rescind Resolution 23-597, made on Nov. 7, regarding the Elk Point Investment Corporation’s payment of deposits to Askiy Asiniy. 

Administration was directed to take $200,000 from surplus and $300,000 from the fire pumper reserves to fulfill the initial commitment to Askiy Asiniy, and to set up accounts for Elk Point Investment Corporation and Green Building Corporation to also meet the commitment.

Council also requested the CAO to pay $10 to Elk Point Investment Corporation for the Town’s share in that corporation.

New business

The HM Aero Draft Strategic Implementation Plan was moved to the Jam. 22 council meeting.

Council was approved to attend the Regional Joint Council Meeting on Jan. 9.

Jason Boorse was chosen to represent the Town of Elk Point on the Elk Point Historical Society’s digital committee.

Council briefly discussed the Small Community Opportunity Fund grant that the County of St. Paul will apply for on behalf of the STEP municipalities, with the County as the managing partner, that grant to be used for the future of STEP and economic development in the STEP area.

Council approved sending a letter for support to the Elk Point Fire Department for a grant that would fund a regional tabletop emergency management exercise.

Operations report

Manager of Operations Jay Duffee gave his monthly report, with the lack of snow to that point not only saving a substantial amount of time and fuel for equipment, but also allowing time for equipment maintenance and repair. The 2015 bobcat has been sold and the broom on the current one replaced ready for snow sweeping duty.

Duffee’s programs for the past year included cleaning culverts, catch basins and sewers, winterizing hydrants, maintaining regional line valves and manholes, planting trees, in addition to replacing three valves and one hydrant as part of a new program. A new hydrant testing program that will determine standing and running pressure is planned to start in 2024.

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