Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 AUMA Convention News

Last week, members of Beiseker village council attended the annual convention of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association in Edmonton.  The convention venue alternates between Edmonton and Calgary, and this year was Edmonton's turn.

There's a trade show, workshops, meetings with the Ministries, and get-togethers throughout the three day convention. 

Beiseker's meetings with the ministries were all on Wednesday.  First, we met with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to discuss our flooding issues.  Our biggest difficulty with flood water is dealing with the huge volume of water we receive into the village from Rocky View County!  We asked Alberta Environment to help us deal with this huge volume of water, simply because we can't afford to do it alone.  We will be developing a plan to help alleviate the problem, working with the province and the County.

Next we were off to see Municipal Affairs.  To our surprise, the newly appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs, Diana McQueen was there to greet us.  We once again talked about our flooding issues and asked for their help, too.  We also discussed the difficulty small municipalities have with the new policy of depreciating Tangible Capital Assets (TCAs).

About three years ago, the provincial government decided that all municipalities should record ALL their assets.  That included all village owned buildings, vehicles, property, fire hydrants, water pipes and sewer pipes!  Then we have to depreciate all those things and include that amount in our yearly financial statements!  When we have an expensive year like 2013 (huge snow removal bills, water main leaks, etc.), and we include the TCA depreciation, it shows us operating very close to the wire!  This policy is not fair to small municipalities.  I think we made that quite clear.

Our last visit was to Alberta Transportation to talk about slowing down the traffic on North Road (aka Highway 72).  Vehicles are still exceeding the 50 km/h and the 30 km/h speed limits, some by a considerable amount.  A number of strategies were discussed. Stay tuned.

Councillor Karen, Assistant CAO Gail, MLA Bruce Rowe and I at the AUMA convention reception,
at Edmonton City Hall!
Councillor Dave is behind the camera!
(photo via Facebook)

Overall, I believe that our attendance at the AUMA Convention was a great success.  In the months following we'll see if our suggestions and requests took root in the provincial  ministries.

Next year's AUMA Convention will happen in Calgary in the fall of 2015.

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