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2012 Highlights

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER  2012

New Fire Rescue Vehicle
Council met with our fire chief, Ken Westwater to discuss the proposed new rescue vehicle. 
The existing rescue vehicle is nearing the end of its lifespan, and the Hythe Fire Department will be fundraising for its replacement.  Council has voted to make a $30,000 allocation for the replacement in its 2013 budget.

Bylaw Enforcement Contract
Council met with senior officials from Grande Prairie County to discuss the bylaw enforcement contract.  In the upcoming year, we will be shifting some emphasis from traffic violations and parking to bylaw enforcement, including unsightly premises and derelict vehicles.  If you have any complaints, please feel free to stop by the Village Office, and pick up a complaint form.  Or, if you wish, you can use the County website at www.countygp.ab.ca  (online services) to report occurrences directly. 

RCMP Statistical Report
In November Council met with our Beaverlodge RCMP detachment commander, Mike Bennett, to policing in Hythe.   Council reviewed a statistical report, and there was some discussion about a cost-shared administrative position at the detachment office which the Village supports.

Subdivision & Development Appeal Board
Council gave three readings to a bylaw updating our Subdivision and Development Appeal Board bylaw.

Residential Use of Commercial Buildings
A bylaw has been prepared that would add more flexibility regarding residential use of commercial buildings.  Presently, in the area zoned the Primary Commercial district, only apartments and residences that are an accessory use for this business are allowed.  Council is considering expanding the ability for residential use.  A bylaw has been prepared, has been given first reading at the December 10th Council meeting, and is advertised in this issue.  A public hearing will be held at the January 14th Council meeting to obtain public input on this matter.

Christmas Light Up Contest
Village Council will once again be doing the judging for the Christmas Light Up contest.  The judging will take place after 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 17, 2012.

Grant Application re sewer lines in Hythe
Council approved a grant application for additional funding to replace more sewer lines in Hythe. 

Public Works Operation
Council has been meeting with our public works supervisor at every meeting to discuss operations.  During the first weekend of December we had a heavy snowfall, and we appreciate the extra hours our crew put in clearing snow.  We have put an additional article in this Headliner edition to repeat some points we made earlier snow removal, and add new information.  There are some things that residents and motorists are doing that interfere with the process.

Betty Atkinson replaces Judy Amendt
We bid farewell to Judy Amendt, who worked at the Village Office for nine years.  Judy has retired and we wish her all the best for the future.  Betty Atkinson has replaced her, and we welcome Betty to our team.

Windrows Policy when plowing
In December, Council reviewed its policy on leaving windrows in the streets when plowing snow.   This practice makes it easier for us to get more streets cleared more quickly, and then pick up the windrows when after clearing is done.  Council has directed staff to ensure that windrows are only placed on streets that are wide enough to accommodate them.

Hythe Headliner Changes
Changes are coming to the Hythe Headliner.  Editor Gisela Everton is leaving at the end of December, 2012.  Council approved in principle a proposal from a new firm, Next Chapter Publishing, to assume the publishing responsibilities for the Headliner.  There will be some changes in format, but the paper will continue to be distributed in mailboxes in Hythe and the northwest part of the County as it has been in the past.   The Headliner will continue to be published once every two weeks.  Council thanks Gisela for her past eight years of service as Editor.

Next Council Meeting
Council will be meeting on January 14th and 28th next month.  Meetings begin at 5:30 p.m.  Village Council and staff wish all our businesses and residents a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


OCTOBER 2012

Highway Twinning
MLA Wayne Drysdale met with council to review some staging options for the highway twinning of Highway 43.  Council felt the best option was to proceed with the four-lane between Beaverlodge and Hythe once the other sections on the priority list are completed.
Fracking
The province is actively looking for options for fracking that don’t include using potable water.  MLA Wayne Drysdale noted that carbon capture and storage had great potential as the carbon dioxide that was captured could be used for fracking material.  Council had been involved with proposed exploratory drilling near Hythe that contemplated using potable water.  Fortunately, that project did not proceed.
GPREP – Grande Prairie Regional Preparedness Program
Council agreed to authorize the City of Grande Prairie to participate in an application for the iVUS – Integrating Unmanned Vehicle Systems – into Alberta Emergency Management project.
Regional Water Line
Council approved a motion that supports the County of Grande Prairie as the managing partner for an application for funding a Water Feasibility Study with priority to investigate the option of the Ksituan River as a raw water source to serve the immediate needs of the Central Peace Region and focus on the Peace River as a long-term regional raw water source for the South Peace Region. 
ATCO Franchise Fee
Council approved a motion to keep the ATCO Power Franchise at 5% for 2013 calendar year.
Assessors – Chris Gardner and Karen Nunnweiler
County Assesors noted that municipal affairs audit the assessment records and systems that the County uses, so there is a separate audit for most assessment concerns.  The assessors would encourage rate payers to talk to them directly about any assessment concerns. 
Next Council Meeting Schedule
The next Council meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 26, and Monday, December 10 in the Village Office.

Feel free to contact CAO Greg Gayton at the Village Office if you have any questions in regards to these items.


AUG/SEP 2012

Auditors
Council has been satisfied with the work of our audit firm; and after reviewing a tender from them once again appointed MNP as auditors for 2012 and 2013 fiscal years.
Bike Helmets
Under the Provincial Regulations children under 16 years of age are required to wear a bike helmet when riding a bicycle.  Please ensure that your children abide by this law.  It is for their safety and protection.
Surveillance System
The Village is putting in a surveillance system at the compost/wood burning area by the maintenance yard.  There continues to be abuse with the dumping of household refuse in the area.  The use of surveillance video will hopefully put an end to this practice.
Tree Cutting
Due to the wind storms this August many of the older trees around the Village needed to be trimmed or cut.  Rick’s Tree Removal was hired to help with the clean-up.  We are continuing to monitor our aging trees, especially on the boulevards.
Medivac Options
The County of Lac La Biche is pursuing the option of having the Canadian Forces Base at Namao selected as the medivac landing site for Edmonton, rather than the international airport south of the city.  The Village has written a letter of support regarding this matter. Options are needed in Edmonton once the municipal airport is shut down for air ambulance.
AUMA (Alberta Urban Municipalities Association) Conference
Councillors Cheryl Phillips and Carol Descoteaux along with CAO, Greg Gayton attended the AUMA Conference in Edmonton on September 26-28. 
Tax Comparison
We have compiled a 2012 tax comparison from several communities in Northern Alberta with approximately the same population and assessment base.  If you are interested in viewing the information you can stop at the Village Office.
Road Repairs
There are some road repairs being done around the Village.  More work is scheduled for the spring.
Bylaw Enforcement
Council will decide whether it is worth while to continue on with the County Bylaw Enforcement contract.  It is currently under review.
Next Council Meeting Schedule
The next Council meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9, and Monday, October 22 in the Village Office.


JULY 2012

Physicians’ Incentives
Council agreed to purchase the existing doctor’s equipment from Dr. Langer for Hythe’s new doctor, Dr. Dressler.  Council also agreed to some tax incentives for the Clinic in 2012.   We are pleased to welcome Dr. Dressler to our community and wish him a long and successful tenure at the Hythe Medical Clinic.
Pet Owners

Council encourages residents who are dog owners to purchase dog licenses from the Village Office.  $15 for a life time tag.  If you are a dog or cat owner be a responsible one and ensure that your pet isn't annoying or disturbing your neighbours. And please don’t let your pet run at large.
Road Repairs
Knelsen Rock Products will begin their contract paving repairs within the Village on September 10.  Cost of these 2012 repairs will be $127,390.  The reconstruction sites are at the intersection of 104th Street and 101st Avenue;
99th Street and 101st Avenue; west of 104th Avenue off 99th Street; and West on 98th Street to 102 Avenue. 
Council is aware that some of the main roads are in need of repair.  Reconstruction of pavement will be held off until the sewer main replacement are complete as many of the main roads will need to be torn up for these upgrades.  This is all part of a long-term plan for main replacement.  In 2011 we completed phase two of this ten-phase project.  Public works staff are doing some road patching with cold mix.  We are dedicating one day per week to this activity.

Compost and Garden Waste
The Village provides a compost depot near the public works shop for your use. Remember to take your bags and/or containers with you after disposing of your compost.  There have been on going issues with people dumping garbage at the site.  This site is for compost and garden waste only.
Industrial Area
Council approved work on the industrial area road to improve the ditches, tighten the shoulders on the road (99th Avenue) and  do some graveling.  $7,500.00 will be used for upgrades to the ditches in 2012.
Next Council Meeting Schedule
The next Council meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 10, and Monday, September 24 in the Village Office.


JUNE 2012

Quad Usage There is still some concern regarding off-highway vehicles and dirt bike usage in the Village.  Please see that they are not used within the Village boundaries.  Children should not be riding quads or dirt bike unsupervised at any time.  Council has been discussing the matter with our bylaw enforcement service. Contact the Village Office about the procedure to lodge a complaint if quads or dirt bikes are a nuisance to you.
SPPARC (South Peace Physicians Attraction and Retention Committee) 
Council has agreed to participate in SPPARC on a cost sharing per capita basis. This committee works towards finding and retaining physicians in our region.
Pet Owners
Council is encourages residents who are dog owners to purchase dog licenses from the Village Office.  $15 for a life time tag.  If you are a dog or cat owner be a responsible one and ensure that your pet isn't annoying or disturbing your neighbours.
Road Repairs
Council has accepted a tender from Knelsen Rock Products for paving repairs within the Village.  Cost of the 2012 repairs will be $127,390.
Water Rationing
In late May there was a shortage of water in the town reservoir which caused us to dramatically lower pressure for houses on the municipal water system.  We have since made some improvements to the system increasing the flow into the reservoir.  The water system has been returned to full pressure. Thank you to those affected for your understanding and patience during that time.  Please continue water rationing as noted in our advertisement.
Noxious Weeds
The Village of Hythe is working closely with the County’s agriculture department to control noxious weeds in Hythe. If you see any noxious weeds in the Village (for example, oxeye daisy, toadflax, common tansy,
Canada thistle, or scentless chamomile) please contact the Village office during office hours.  We will forward the information onto the County’s weed inspectors. For more information on noxious weeds in Alberta, see the government website at www.invasiveplants.ab.ca.    Dandelions are not considered a noxious weed.
Access Policy
Village Council passed a policy regulating vehicle accesses on to streets and back alleys.  Anyone wanting to construct a new access is required to obtain Council permission. Council will consider the effects of the proposed access on drainage and traffic safety, and the need for culverts.  All costs associated with the construction of an access are the landowner’s expense.   Copies of policy #32-01 are available at the Village Office.
Compost and Garden Waste
Please do not throw your compost, garden waste, or other debris in the back alley behind your property, even if it is an ‘emergency access only’ alley, or in your household waste garbage containers.  The Village provides a compost depot near the public works shop for your use. After disposing your garden waste remember to take your containers and bags.
Summer Council Meeting Schedule
The summer Council meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, Monday, July 23 and  Monday, August 13 in the Village Office.


APRIL / MAY  2012

Pancake Supper Volunteer Recognition Evening on April 18th, was a huge success.  The largest attended event yet. Thanks to FCSS and all who made the evening such a success.  Audrey Crichton was the recipient of the Ken Brandsater Memorial Volunteer of the Year award. Leaders of tomorrow awards went to Hayden Hollowell, Nicole Jones, Steavie Lind and Nathan Paquette. 
Spring Cleanup 
Bins are in place across from the Hythe Firehall for our annual spring cleanup. Please use these bins properly.  One bin is for household garbage and the other for recyclable electronics.  Metals and old appliances should be taken to the metals bin at town shop yard.
Budget 2012
This budget features:
support to community groups through direct grants and insurance coverage – recreation facilities, our library, the tourist booth
higher levels of service in public works  operations (snow removal, road repair)
municipal tax increases based on mill rate – 0% residential, 0% commercial
increased support for providing quality water and sewer
increased levels of service in bylaw enforcement plus a commitment to working regionally   – landfill, emergency services, weed control
Dog Owners
Council is encouraging residents who are dog owners to purchase dog licenses from the Village Office.  $15 for a life time tag.  If you are a dog or cat owner be a responsible one and ensure that your pet isn't annoying or disturbing your neighbours.
Road Repairs
Public Works will be patching a lot of the streets this summer.  However, some areas will not be extensively fixed as they will eventually be torn up for the sewer rehabilitation program.  Please be patient with us as we endeavor to do what we can within the constraints of time and budget. Some intersections will be totally repaved.  Council will be reviewing paving tenders at the May 28th council meeting. $137,000.00 has been allocated for these repairs.
2011 Village Audit
The 2011 Audit was done by Meyers Norris and Penny and council moved to accept their 2011 Financial Statements. Copies of the statements are available for review at the Village Office.
Water Rationing
We are experiencing a dry spring, and the well systems that service the municipal systems have limited capacity.   So we will be enforcing restricted outdoor use of water, effective immediately.  Properties with an even numbered address can use water outdoors on even numbered days, and properties with odd-numbered addresses can use water on odd numbered days.   Hours allowed for outdoor use are from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the evening.  Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.
Compost and Garden Waste
Please do not throw your compost, garden waste, or other debris in the back alley behind your property, even if it is an ‘emergency access only’ alley.  We provide a compost depot near the public works shop for your use.
Next Council Meeting
The next council meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. on May 28th and June 11th in the Village Office.


MARCH  2012

Hythe Fire Department Our fire chief Ken Westwater talked to council about the Fire Department’s proposed level of service.  He explained the training each fire department member will strive for in terms of fire fighting, rescue technical skills and incident command expertise.  Council supports our volunteers as they increase their level of expertise.  Fundraising plans are underway to help with the purchase of a new rescue vehicle for Hythe.
Highway Banners
Council approved the purchase of new “Welcome to Hythe” banners along the Highway.  They were put up in time for the Bantam D Provincials.  
Bantam D Provincial
The Bantam D Hockey Provincials were held in Hythe March 23-25, 2012.  Council appreciates the work of all the many volunteers who came together to make this a special event to host.  A special thanks to those who worked so diligently to make our guests feel welcome.

Safety Codes Inspection

The County of Grande Prairie has assumed the role of inspection services and they will be performing all safety code functions for the Village. This includes building permits, electrical permits, plumbing and gas.  Contact information is available at the Village Office.
New Councillor

Brian Peterson was sworn in to the position of Councillor and welcomed to his first council meeting on Monday, March 26, 2012.  We look forward to having Brian’s input on Village Council.
Pancake Supper

The Volunteer Appreciation Pancake Supper will be held April 18th the third Wednesday in April to coincide with Volunteer Week in Alberta.  The supper will be at the Hythe Legion.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend.
Next Council Meeting

March council meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. on April 10th and April 23rd in the Village Office.


FEBRUARY 2012

Hythe Fire Department Our fire chief advised council that the Fire Department is doing strategic planning.  Training is a high priority for them to ensure fire fighter safety and accountability.  Hythe is proud of the caliber of our Volunteer Fire Department.  They are looking for more volunteers. 
County of Grande Prairie
Council approved a motion to enter into an agreement with the County of Grande Prairie for safety code services.  The County will provide accredited services for building permits and for plumbing and electrical permits to the Village. 
Recognition Supper
On Friday, February 17th council presented retiring Sergeant Robert Finley with a gift expressing appreciation to him for his years of service to the community of Hythe.

Hythe Public Library

Council approved the appointments of Terry Fisher and Marcy Mack to the Hythe Library Board.

Pitch In Canada
Council approved participating in the Pitch in Canada Program designed to encourage voluntary action to: keep communities clean and beautiful and restore and maintain a healthy environment.  This program fits well with out "Spring Cleanup" during the month of May.
Pancake Supper
The pancake supper will be held April 18th the third Wednesday in April to coincide with Volunteer Week in Alberta.  The supper will be at the Hythe Legion.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend.

Bantam D Provincials

Council approved sponsorship of $1500 towards the Bantam D Provincials which will be hosted at the Hythe Area March 23-25.  We welcome having the Bantam D players and their families here for their games.

Skid Steer

The purchase of a Volvo Skid Steer was approved by council.  Funds from an insurance claim helped pay for this purchase.

Resignation

Council accepted the resignation of Councillor Krista Olson.  Thanks Krista for the contribution of your time to help the Village by serving on Council.

Nomination Day
March 26, 2012 has been approved as Nomination Day.  If you are willing to serve on Hythe Council, feel free to stop by the Village Office and find out what is involved.
Next Council Meeting

March council meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. on March 12th and March 26th in the Village Office.


JANUARY 2012

Physician Recruitment A delegation met with council to express concern regarding doctor recruitment and replacement.  Finding Physicians for rural areas has become very challenging.  A committee is being formed to look into this problem.
Grande Spirit Foundation
Pioneer Home has signed an agreement with the Grande Spirit Foundation regarding finance.  This is a six month agreement and they trust the transition will go well.   
Hythe Grain Elevator
Demolition is well under way and clean up is being down.  Plans are to have it all clean up by the end of February.
Home Support
Effective January 1, 2012 Home Support is now available through the County of Grande Prairie.  If you can utilize this service contact Molly Weleski at the FCSS department at the County 780-532-9727.
Alberta Environment
Hythe received a good review from Alberta Environment regarding the water works system inspection Alberta Environment did in November 2011.
RCMP Clerk
Five participating communities (Wembley, Beaverlodge, Horse Lake, County of Grande Prairie and Hythe) have been contributing to the salary of a RCMP Clerk at the Beaverlodge Detachment to free up officers for their other duties. Council is looking at continuing our contribution to this endeavor.
Next Council Meeting
The next council meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. on February 13rd in the Village Office.

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