Wednesday, 30 April 2014

May's Schedule

This is my tentative schedule for May. Like the other months there will likely be additions.

May   1 – Premier’s Dinner – Saskatoon
May   3 – Fireman’s Ball
May   5 - Special Meeting
May   5 – Mayor’s Hours
May   6 – Rec Committee Meeting
May   7 – SUMA: City Mayor’s Caucus (Lloydminster)
May   8 – SUMA: City Mayor’s Caucus (Lloydminster)
May   9 – SUMA: City Mayor’s Caucus (Lloydminster) (Tentative)
May   9 – Mayor’s Hours (Tentative)
May 12 – Mayor’s Hours
May 12 – Council Meeting
May 15 - SUMAssure
May 16 – Mayor’s Hours
May 16 – KHS Needs Assessment Meeting
May 21 – Rotary Meeting
May 23 – Mayor’s Hours
May 29 – Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) (Niagara Falls)

May 30 – FCM (Niagara Falls)
May 31 – FCM (Niagara Falls)
June   1 – FCM (Niagara Falls)

June   2 – FCM (Niagara Falls)

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mayoral Report: March - April

Date
Activity
Purpose/Outcome
Follow Up
Policy Number
Mar 21
Health Consultant Meeting
·      Introduction
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Mar 21
Kindersley Health Services Needs Assessment Meeting
·      Enhance health care in Kindersley
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Mar 23
4H Regional Public Speaking Judge
·      Rank participants for provincials
         
·      GP.4.
Mar 24
Council Meeting
·      Public Meeting
·      Refer to minutes
·      GP.0., GP.1.
Mar 25
Asset Management Meeting
·      Update
·      Ongoing
·       
Mar 26
WCMGC – Neilburg
·      Urban Co-Chair
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Mar 28
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Mar 28
Infrastructure Costing & Asset Management
·      Professional Development (Free Webinar)
·      Ongoing
·      GP.8.
Mar 31
Tools & Resources for Assessing District Energy Opportunities
·      Professional Development (Free Webinar)
·      Ongoing
·      GP.8.
Mar 31
KHS NA Meeting
·      Enhance health care in Kindersley
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Mar 31
Budget Meeting
·      2014 Budget
·      Ongoing
·      GP.2.
Apr 2
Council Retreat w/George Cuff
·      Enhance Council Effectiveness
·      Ongoing
·      GP.1.
Apr 3
Council Retreat w/George Cuff
·      Enhance Council Effectiveness
·      Ongoing
·      GP.1.
Apr 3
Budget Meeting
·      2014 Budget
·      Ongoing
·      GP.2.
Apr 4
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Apr 4
Meeting w/Mayor of Kerrobert
·      Knowledge Sharing
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Apr 7
SUMAssure
·      Quarterly Meeting
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Apr 8
Public Budget Consultation
·      Budget Highlights
·      Public feedback
·      GP.2.
Apr 9
Public Budget Consultation
·      Budget Highlights
·      Public feedback
·      GP.2.
Apr 11
Health Meeting
·      Ministry Update
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Apr 11
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Apr 14
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Apr 14
Council Meeting
·      Public Meeting
·      Refer to minutes
·      GP.0., GP.1.
Apr 15
2nd Annual SK Municipal Infrastructure Conference
·      Host, share, and learn
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Apr 15
Meet w/Nipawin Mayor
·      Knowledge Sharing
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Apr 16
2nd Annual SK Municipal Infrastructure Conference
·      Host, share, and learn
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Apr 17
KMS Meeting
·      Listen to Concerns
·      Ongoing
·      GP.2.
Apr 23
WCMGC – Herschel
·      Urban Co-Chair
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

City Mayors' Caucus Invitation

Yesterday Kindersley received an invitation to attend SUMA's City Mayors' Caucus in Lloydminster in May.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Water and Sewer Information Graphics

I take for granted that I can turn my tap and get water. And I take for granted that when I push the handle on the toilet the contents will make their way to the lagoon and beyond. These are important services, perhaps the most important services the Town provides. Here is an information graphic.
This is the system we take for granted.

The next graphic is about costs. Our costs are higher because we pump our water 55kms from the South Saskatchewan River south of Eston.
Another perspective and this is from the States. Kindersley is currently reviewing water rates.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Scenes from the Municipal Infrastructure Conference

The Municipal Infrastructure Conference was well attended with 200 participants plus sponsors and presenters. There was good humour in the room despite the challenges we face as a group and for some communities, significant challenges. Here are some photos for you:
200 Attendees plus Sponsors and Presenters at the KI.
The Kindersley Inn hosted the conference and were terrific!
Kindersley's own Vickie Newmeyer: Sponsor and Presenter
Vickie Newmeyer, the General Manager of Meridian Community Futures, presents on the importance of infrastructure for economic development. She used her shoes in her presentation.





























SUMA's Roger Hayward, Minister Jim Reiter, SARM's Dave Marit, and MC Steve McLellan
The first session featured Minister Reiter speaking about the province's role in infrastructure.

Engineers Don George, Ryan King, Doug Thompson
These three gentlemen headed up the team who conducted our recent Infrastructure Capacity Assessment. The study projected needs based on consumption and gave us a 5 year capital plan. If growth continues at the current pace we could be looking at $37.5 million in infrastructure investment. Investments are needed in such things as a new sewage lagoon, which is necessary in the near future, and increased capacity at the Bernie Haubrich Water Treatment Plant if use continues to grow.

Workshop Participants listening to the engineers who assessed Kindersley's infrastrcuture.
The engineers shared alot of information relevant for both rural and urban municipalities.

Steve McLellan, Master of Ceremonies
Steve McLellan has to be the province's best MC. Dignified, gracious and humourous, Steve knew how to keep our attention and the conference on time. As auctioneer Steve helped us raise $600 for Kinder Kollege.




























David E White was the key note speaker of the conference. David spoke on resilient communities and how communities need spirit.
David E White

Moment with the Mayor: Budget and Infrastructure Conference

Hi Everyone:
A couple of significant topics this past week: the 2014 Budget and the Saskatchewan Municipal Infrastructure Conference we hosted in Kindersley.

This year, to conduct the normal course of business, which includes infrastructure maintenance and replenishing reserves, all we have recommended was to keep inflation at 2%. The last inflation rate we saw was 2.3%. However, we have to make some key investments:
·         Fire Hall - $500,000 for both 2014 and 2015
·         Regional Landfill Site - $400,000 for both 2014 and 2015
·         West Central Community Centre - ~$350,000

Council will be meeting over lunch on the 24th to review this information and its impact on our pocket books. As I look forward, we need to make timely investments. It is good we take for granted many services such as water, sewer, garbage, and fire suppression. However, we also need to make those investments that contribute to our quality of life.

As I write this week’s column, we are hosting the 2nd Annual Saskatchewan Municipal Infrastructure Conference at the Kindersley Inn. The conference sold out and we have 200 municipal leaders from around the province in attendance.

Guest speakers, including our own MLA Bill Boyd, Minister of Economy, and MLA Jim Reiter, our neighbouring MLA and Minister of Government Relations. Also speaking are experts in the various private sector fields needed for the healthy development of a community, discussing everything from waste water to curbs to recreation facilities. Here are the titles of some of the sessions held:
·         Growing Linkages of Strategic Infrastructure
·         Making Informed Decisions in Prioritizing Financial Investment
·         Effectively Navigating the Political Decision Making Process, Taxpayers Concerns, and Community Priorities
·         Asset Management – Progress, Integration, and Lessons Learned after 3 years (Shellbrook)
·         Building Resilient Communities
·         Economic Advantage of Good Municipal Planning
·         Municipal Infrastructure: How to Pay for It?
·         Navigating project Agreements and Project Finance
·         P3s for All and P3 Risk Management

I have received many positive comments about the conference and I want to thank Vickie Newmeyer and her team at Meridian Community Futures, Theresa and our staff at the Town Office, and Verona and her colleagues of SEDA for their hard work.

Please write or phone if you would like me to discuss a particular topic. If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at the town office or email me at mayorenns-wind@kindersley.ca. You can also check out my blog at http://mayorjohn.blogspot.ca/. I appreciate your feedback. 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Sask Power Information

During our Municipal Infrastructure Conference Sask Power bought lunch the first day. Guy Bruce, the President, gave a presentation on how Sask Power manages their assets. Here are some interesting highlights:
  • the demand for power grew 6% in 2013 which is the 2nd highest growth rate in Canada
  • a new power consumption record was set in December of 2013
  • Sask Power has 308 metres of power line per customer
    • this means there is 308 metres of power line for just me :)
  • it costs $1 billion per year to renew and expand the power grid
  • in 2014 Sask Power will replace 14,000 power poles
  • Sask Power has more power poles than Saskatchewan has people
    • the population of Saskatchewan is about 1.1 million people
    • the number of power poles Sask Power has is 2.5 million

Some Council Policy Considerations

We have been doing a fair bit of work on governance. It is still a work in progress and as such I have sent these items to Council to consider as policies.
  • To have one community group present to Council every meeting.
    • The delegation will be the 4th or 5th item on the agenda.
      • Purpose: greater connection with Kindersley.
  • False alarms are to billed back to the owners of the property.
    • 1st time is a warning.
    • 2nd time is 50% of cost recovery which is $1,250 to respond to an incident
    • 3rd time is 100% of cost recovery which is $2,500
      • Purpose: to encourage optimal use of fire department and reduce strain on municipal funds.
  • First heard then deferred.
      • Purpose: to enable Council to make an informed and reflective decision on items first presented to Council.
  • No property tax exemptions or abatements.
    • Should we have a grant process which pays the difference between the minimum tax and the municipal taxable portion?
      • Purpose: provide transparency in the property tax exemption and abatement process while reducing expenses.
As an information point: we are no longer considered, given the way our governance operates, a Carver Governance Council. We operate with the Kindersley Governance Model.

Kindersley Health Services Needs Assessment Update

A health update on our study:

  • the good news is no money has been spent;
  • the bad news is the Ministry of Health has changed personal resulting in a transition period and a ministry review of expected outcomes including a review of the contract.

Budget Update

Here are some budget updates and the numbers are mostly rounded and may change:

  • The Water West and Water Tower Projects has $10,838,585 left to pay.
    • The debt repayment for 2014 is $712,529
  • Revenue Ratios
    • Property Taxes 45%
    • Grants/Donations 14%
    • User Fees 41%
  • Capital Investment is ~$3,000,000
  • Reserves are receiving an investment of $1,514,200
  • Due to Caleb Village's abatement ending, revenues are going up
  • We face significant infrastructure challenges
    • Fire Hall - $1,00,000 over two years
    • Regional Landfill - $800,000 over two years
    • West Central Community Centre Phase 2 - ???
    • Sewage Lagoon - $11 million - $16 million over 2-5 years
    • If we do all of the work outlined in our Infrastructure Needs Assessment over the next five years the total is $37.5 million. The good news is that if population growth is slowed then our capital expenditure will be slowed as well.
    • Over the next year we are anticipating these expenses related to the Infrastructure Needs Assessment regarding waste water:
      • Sanitary mains condition assessment - $55,000 per annum for 5 years
      • Rosedale Forcemain Replacement - $35,000 (2014) and $503,000 (2015)
      • Downstream Use Impact Study (DUIS) for new sewage treatment facility - $40,000
      • Preliminary Treatment Facility Design for new sewage treatment facility - $100,000
      • Waste Water flow monitoring - $15,000 (2014), $5,000 (2015-2016)
    • If our water consumption increases significantly then we are looking at investing approximately $16 million in our water treatment plant and the water line to the South Saskatchewan River.
We have some challenges and we are working to manage them effectively. However, if you know how to get blood from a stone let me know.

Infrastructure Funding Update

During the recent Municipal Infrastructure Conference we proudly and very ably hosted we learned a few things about funding for infrastructure.

Various funding levels have been discussed and publicized by the federal government.

  • Community Improvement Fund 
    • $32.2 billion including both GST Rebates and indexed Gas Tax Fund
      • These are not new monies.
  • New Building Canada Fund
    • $14 billion in support of major economic infrastructure projects with national, regional, and local significance
      • $4 billion is designated for nationally significant projects
      • $9 billion is for municipalities with a population over 100,000
      • $1 billion is for municipalities with a population less than 100,000
        • 53% of Canada's population live in a municipality with more than 100,000
          • 53 communities have populations with more than 100,000 (Wikipedia 04/19/14)
    • Canada, according to Stats Can has 11,200 municipalities
      • The net result is a highly competitive environment in which municipalities are competing against one another to have their water treatment plants and sewage lagoons funded.
    • Access to this fund is conditional on the project being delivered as a P3 (Public Private Partnership)
  • Renewed P3 Canada Fund
    • This is for projects with a minimum value of $100 million 
  • Province of Saskatchewan
    • Commitment to match funding of federal programs
      • The province has no plan at this time
        • Through the WCMGC we have a resolution sent to the Minister of Highways and Infrastructure requesting the development of an infrastructure development program including funding.
I believe that the infrastructure challenges we face in Kindersley, across Saskatchewan, and across Canada are manageable. However, it requires political will including a willingness on the part of my neighbours and friends to invest in infrastructure. The current funding available is inadequate and if not addressed will lead to the infrastructure challenges becoming much more difficult to manage.

The Lounge at WCEC

A new lounge is being developed at the WCEC. The purpose of the Lounge is to provide visitors an enhanced experienced at the rink. The beverages and food to be offered at the Lounge are not the same as at the concession booth. The idea is similar to having a box suite. The cost of developing the Lounge is less than $4,000.

Last year Council directed Administration to start working to achieve 50% cost recovery from Town facilities and programs. Currently the cost recovery at the WCEC is less than 35%. As a result Administration developed a plan to generate more revenue using the underused space between the Co-Op Rink and the Events Centre.

The Lounge will also be available for private rental and public use. Programming plans are in being developed to use the space. Programs such as Welcome Wednesdays and the upcoming World Cup are a couple of examples.

Work is still being completed on the Lounge and recruitment is ongoing to manage and staff the Lounge.

If you are concerned about the Klippers: access to the Lounge will only be with a game ticket. The Klippers will still be operating their beer garden.

We are looking at confining alcohol purchased at the Lounge to the Lounge.