OUTLOOK - The town council of Outlook met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday evening, July 13. Present was all of Council; Bob Stephenson, Sharon Bruce, Justin Turton, Kyle McLeod, Kevin Grotheim, and Ryan Husband, as well as Mayor Maureen Weiterman and Municipal Office Clerk Crystal Fisher. Absent was Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Trew.
The meeting was broadcast live on the Town of Outlook's Facebook page.
A number of topics and items were discussed, including the following highlights.
On the topic of a recommendation from the Associated Engineering firm related to a tender for stormwater outfalls, it was explained that the Town had approved the rehabilitation of several outfalls, including those located at River Avenue, the SkyTrail, and Tufts Crescent. These approvals came in both the 2021 and 2022 capital budgets. It was said that all the stormwater outfalls were in need of rehabilitation, with engineers reporting that the work was necessary in order for the outfalls to have long-term sustainability. As well, the enhancements should slow the sloping and eroding, if not stopping it altogether.
The Town of Outlook was approved for the stormwater outfalls project to be part of the federal gas tax program, in which the federal government provides funds for municipalities to spend on approved capital projects. The Town has been allocated approximately $140,000 per year with an added top-up of $136,000 back in 2020, making for a grand total of over $1 million to be used for the outfalls project.
After a tendering process that was said to be extensive, one bid was received from Accurate HD Ltd., a Manitoba-based direction drilling and civil construction firm. It was said that when Associated Engineering contacted some of the other interested parties, the scope of the project made them pull their interest, notably those who already had full plates for the 2022 season. It was noted that Accurate HD hasn't worked with Associated Engineering before, but their references were "glowing", with a history of excellent project management and proven results in projects of this size and nature.
It was recommended that Council move forward on this and award the tender to Accurate HD Ltd. As such, Council did in fact make the motion to award the contract for stormwater outfalls rehabilitation to Accurate HD at a cost of $1,156,650.
Afterward, Council's main topic of conversation throughout the evening was looking at a number of policies related to tax incentives and deciding whether or not to officially pass them. These included the following:
In discussing Policy 001 Commercial-Industrial Tax Incentive, a motion was made to accept the policy. The motion was carried, but Councillor Stephenson did not raise his hand, showing that he was against it.
In discussing Policy 002 Railyard Subdivision Tax Incentive, Council eventually decided to hold onto it in order to have further discussion, citing a need for the policy to undergo some "reworking".
Policy 003 Commercial-Industrial Change of Owner Tax Incentive was shown to be an unpopular one in the room, as it was said that most in the room "didn't want it". Councillor Husband, for example, said that he didn't see the economic benefit to the Town with the policy. Ultimately, it was decided that changes and corrections will be made and it will be brought back for discussion.
Council made a motion to accept Policy 004 Commercial-Industrial Change of Occupancy Tax Incentive and it was carried, though Councillor Bruce was against it.
In talking about Policy 005 Storefront Enhancement Tax Incentive, it was noted that some corrections were previously made to the policy. A motion was made to accept it, and it was carried.
Council began discussing Policy 006 Residential New Development Tax Incentive, but as the talk began getting deeper, Councillor Bruce said that she believed it needed to be tabled. Mayor Weiterman then moved further discussion of the policy to a Committee of the Whole meeting.
A motion was made and carried to accept the Town's Employee Harassment Policy. As well, a motion was made and carried to accept the Employee Violence in the Workplace Policy, of which the Town is required to have.
Councillor McLeod recused himself before a non-arm's length payment was carried to KTM Exteriors.