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SEXSMITH, ALTA – Sexsmith August 3rd Regular Meeting of Council highlights:

Green retrofits: The town may be looking at retrofitting some of its buildings to lower its greenhouse gasses emissions. Council accepted information from the AUMA on possible grants to replace lighting with LED lights and furnaces in the town buildings.

The upgrades would include retrofitting LED lights into the public works shop, the community centre and the old firehall, along with new furnaces in the civic centre, town office and the old firehall.

“There’s quite a bit that can be grant-funded, so that’s a benefit if we can take advantage of that,” said Potter.

Funding for the new upgrades could come from the AUMA’s Energy Management Program using federal grants covering up to 80 per cent of the cost.

The town administration and public works had a meeting with AUMA on Friday to discuss grant funding opportunities.

“Our service model guarantees energy savings, and we provide support to members throughout the process of securing the necessary funds for capital projects,” said Dan Rude, AUMA CEO, in a letter to council.

Mayor Potter told the News she is excited as the town works toward more sustainable living situations while taking care of the town’s buildings at the same time.

Council accepted the information and will wait for more information from the town administration.

Council procedures: Town administration returned to council with changes to bylaw 1037, a procedural bylaw for council meetings, as requested from council in a previous meeting.

Council discussed adding a committee of the whole once a month to streamline meetings to be more efficient.

The first reading was completed and Potter said that the following two readings should happen at the next meeting and be implemented before the new council terms begin.

Speaking order will also change: Councillors will have one turn to speak,other than a councillor who puts forward a motion. The latter will speak first and then last to answer any questions.

Currently, councillors can speak as many times as they please.

Mayor Potter said she wants to ensure that meetings still allowed discussion but mitigates repetition. Other changes including moving council meeting start/end and length are postponed to be discussed in January 2022, after the municipal election in October.

Fire department tools: The Sexsmith Fire Department is looking to donate its decommissioned rescue tools to another local municipality that could use them or the Rotary Club’s Highway to Mexico program.

The Sexsmith Fire Department recently received new battery-powered rescue tools after it was found that their previous devices needed repair.

“There are other communities that don’t necessarily hold the NSBA standard in the same way that larger communities do,” said Potter.

The Holmatro Rescue Tools include two hydraulic powerplants, a spreader/cutter, a ram, and a door bracket, and currently do not hold much value as the fire department was planning on replacing them next year.

Council was advised not to sell the tools at an auction for public sale due to the risk of being used for illegal activity but asked the fire department and administration to look locally if any other municipalities may use them.

Town hiring: Council is moving forward on hiring an assistant CAO who will work toward economic development and planning.

“If we want to keep moving forward, economic development has been a priority for us,” said Potter, “we need to make sure that we resource our administration well.”

The position’s responsibilities will also include acting as CAO when required, preparing agenda backgrounds and research assigned by the CAO.

“We agreed that there was more work than our current administration can handle,” said Potter.

“We have the smallest number of administrative staff, amongst most of the small municipalities across Alberta.”

The estimated cost for the position is $80,000 to $100,000, along with benefits at 15 to 20 per cent of the wage.

Council agreed to begin moving forward by hiring a consultant who will be contracted to recruit for the new position and confirming the position when it comes to the budget in November.

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