Adjustments made to council priorities during Executive Council mid-year update

Prince Albert City Hall/Daily Herald File Photo

Prince Albert City Council looked at streamlining some issues during their Executive Committee meeting on Monday, July 13. During the mid-year review of Council and Committee Action Items and Advisory Committee Work by city clerk Sherry Person, councillors had discussions about how long projects remain on lists. These included the water cap and boulevard agreements with businesses.

With an election of a new council on the horizon in October, Ward 6 Coun. Blake Edwards and Ward 8 Coun. Ted Zurakowski raised concerns on the pace on projects.

Edwards main point was that there could be reports on some of these projects.

“I think that carrying it on like that when we took over this list there was motions from 2014. What are we supposed to do with those? We don’t know the discussion, so I don’t believe that we should see these delays. We have to come up with some form of solution to say you know what we can’t do it right now, there is no possible way,” Edwards said.

Director of financial services Cheryl Tkachuk explained that the report was just ready now.

“Back in 2017 we started in the water loss project. The first step was the replacement project, at the same time the water cap came about to look at where we are with our boulevard agreements and our landscape agreements,” Tkachuk said.

“So what I hear is possibly in the fall, likely in the fall we can have an update as to which businesses, which owners do not have landscaping agreements and some recommendations and thoughts.” Zurakowski said.

Mayor Greg Dionne suggested a more wholistic plan would be a good step after finding out what businesses were on board.

“Step one, let’s find out who they are and figure out how big the problem is and then come up with a wholistic plan to deal with them,” Dionne said.

Ward 2 Coun. Terra Lennox-Zepp made a motion to have the matter come back to Executive Committee on September 28.

Zurakowski raised a flag on the strategic plan for the airport not having input from elected officials and only administration, though he acknowledged that the work was important and in capable hands. This was also raised during discussion of airport rates and fees earlier in the meeting.

In planning and development services, the most widely discussed matter was the update to the mobile food vendor policy mainly because we are currently in their season. Director of planning and development (and acting city manager) Craig Guidinger noted that the policy is in place for now but it was to be revisited and the report is ready to go and could be provided to council after further consultation.

“The motion was that we hold a public meeting when we’re available where the restaurant owners can come and express similar to what we did for the cabs and the landlords. So we are waiting for that opportunity because if we don’t and we miss some restaurants to get their input we will be on that,” Dionne said.

“So if we are going to have a conversation than let’s have a conversation with the restaurant owners, with the mobile food vendors and with the public as well because that’s an important conversation because we want all of their different perspectives,” Zurakowski said.

Guidinger said that a public meeting could go ahead now that there was clarity to council’s wishes.

Council decided to make some amendments of dates and closed some motions after the discussion.

Before she began, Person reminded council that administration has been working hard to prioritize and reprioritize some of the outstanding action items and advisory committee work plans following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Person, Dionne and City Manager Jim Toye recently met to review these items. Advisory Committee meetings did not take place due to the pandemic.

The items would either come to an executive committee meeting or 2021 budget deliberations.

Work Plans were the first items in the report. Some have been completed including the Little Red River Park Master Plan which was passed earlier in the meeting. A number of projects including the beautification of the entrance to the city were reprioritized for 2021 work plans.

The City Manager’s open action items bridge replacement, mandatory bike helmets and destination marketing levy. Community Services action items included La Cole Falls development, Christmas Yard Decoration Award plan, off leash dog park moved to 2021 advisory committee for community plan, request for tax exemption agreement and donation for Elks’ Lodge.