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Thursday, June 28, 2018 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - Whitecourt Town Council Update June 28, 2018

CN representatives were present at the June 25 Regular Meeting of Council to discuss how the company is working to minimize traffic disruptions by trains throughout Whitecourt.  CN is working with its crews to change start times to avoid trains disrupting traffic flows during rush hour times, and is also working with industry to change loading/unloading times to minimize the frequency and duration of railway crossing blockages within Whitecourt.   Residents are encouraged to contact the Town of Whitecourt at 780-778-2273 to report extended railway blockages (over 15 minutes) to help the municipality better track incidents within our community.

The Downtown Core Streetscape Vitalization Design has been approved.  The detailed designs for downtown include an overhaul of the downtown area with new storm water management systems; rebuilding and redesigning of roads, sidewalks, and intersections; selection of street furniture, street lighting, and a comprehensive planting plan.  The Plan was developed by the Ad Hoc Vitalization Committee, which includes members of the public, the Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from both the highway corridor and downtown business community.  Due to the significant construction proposed, projects included in the Plan would be completed in stages.  The Town of Whitecourt is awaiting final costs for the projects, and information will be brought back to Council for deliberation and inclusion in the 20 Year Capital Plan and future budgets. 

The Town of Whitecourt will be hosting a community meeting to determine interest, and recruit volunteers to develop a Community Foundation.   A community foundation is an independent charitable organization that works to build an endowment fund where interest earned is re-invested into the community over the long term.  The concept was discussed in 2012 and 2013, however community interest was not high.  It is hoped that recent expressions of interest in building a community foundation will help to grow interest and participation in the concept.  Details on when the meeting will be held will be posted online and throughout the community. 

The 2018 20-Year Capital Plan has been adopted.  The Plan, which includes 131 projects, provides a vision for the long term development of Whitecourt’s infrastructure; land development; parks and trails; and, building and recreational/cultural facilities to meet the needs of our growing community.  The Plan incorporates projects and timelines identified through engineering studies, planning sessions, workshops, budget deliberations, and public engagement activities.   The Plan is available for viewing online at www.whitecourt.ca.

The Community Business Beautification Grant Program assists businesses/organizations to make permanent landscaping enhancements to properties to contribute to the beautification of Whitecourt.  The following have been approved for funding in 2018:

  • St. Patrick Anglican Church - $5,734.48 to construct a labyrinth meditation path;

  • Community Lunchbox Society - $824.68 to add plantings, stones and rain barrels;

  • Associate Medical Clinic - $2,987.50 to complete boulevard landscaping.

Whitecourt will be entering into development agreements with the following organizations:

  • Millview Development Corporation - for the provision of cash-in-lieu of parking stalls;

  • The Friends of Whitecourt Society - for the construction of the alleyway and 47 Street approach.

Whitecourt Town Council has adopted Code of Conduct Bylaw 1540. The purpose of the bylaw is to establish standards of conduct for both Council and Council Committee Members in their duties as representatives of the municipality.  The Town of Whitecourt had a policy in place that established such guidelines, however recent changes to the Municipal Government Act requires all municipalities to have a bylaw in place.  The bylaw also includes procedures for the investigation and enforcement of those standards. The Bylaw will be available for viewing here.

Council has approved the cancellation of a portion of the 2018 property taxes for four properties that suffered loss from fires.  The tax reduction reflects the portion of the year that the home is uninhabitable.

Administration completed a review of Off-Site Levies, and based on the review rates will be changing as of January 1, 2019.  Off-Site Levies are a cost recovery tool that helps municipalities pay for infrastructure projects that allow the community to grow, including roads, and water and sewage treatment, to name a few.  For further details visit the Construction and Permitting page on this website.

Development Type 2018 Off-Site Levy Rates 2019 Off-Site Levy Rates
Residential    
   Single Family Dwelling $4,206/dwelling unit $4,208/dwelling unit
   Multi-Family Dwelling $1,831/dwelling unit $1,832/dwelling unit
Non-Residential    
   Non-Residential $49,016/hectare $49,036/hectare

 

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