Council passes capital and operating budgets to end 2015

The last council meeting of 2015 and board members announced

By VERNA MURPHY, Connect Contributor

Council is now on recess, until after the holidays. To wrap up 2015, Mayor and Council passed the 2016 Operating and Capital budgets. In regards to the operating budget, Councillor Tyran Ault made a motion to reduce the budget by $30 million by partially eliminating or managing the 30 vacant full time positions within the municipalities’ administration.

The $20 million of that total was supposed to be transferred into the Capital Infrastructure Reserve, and with Councillor Ault’s motion that was eliminated. With the capital budget, there was only one amendment, which was made by Councillor Lance Bussieres. It was brought to council’s attention that a project for the HVAC system was needing funding at the Casman Centre. Therefore council passed Councillor Bussieres’ motion to move the project from unfunded to funded for 2016.

A presentation was made by Pacific Investment to have a water supply line installed for the proposed Prairie Creek Business Park. The project would cost from $10 to $15 million, but council did not move the project to the funded category.

A land use bylaw for the land around the Keyano College went to third reading and the public hearing was held. Council approved the amendment, which means that there could be a more commercial mix on the land, such as for retail and food services.

Every year, a selection committee goes through applications for the various boards within the municipality. This year, there were many applicants for the positions available and the committee made their recommendations to council on December 8. The following people were appointed to these boards, and they will serve the community for the amount of time noted.

Keith Haxton to the Composite Assessment Review Board as an acting member, until Dec. 31, 2017. Donald Gorman, Jennifer Reid and Samuel Odemuyiwa (acting) be appointed to the Composite Assessment Review Board, effective Jan. 1, 2016, until Dec. 31, 2017.

Elliot White, representing UDI Wood Buffalo, be appointed to the Land Planning and Development Advisory Committee effective immediately to Oct. 31, 2016. Pam Burns, Seniors Resource Committee representative, and Paul McWilliams, Wood Buffalo Health Advisory Council representative, to Dec. 31, 2017 for the Advisory Committee on Aging.

Brenda Fortais, Neal Perry, Rene Wells and Alex Wong to Dec. 31, 2017 for the Combative Sports Commission. Erin Alexanders to Dec. 31, 2016 and Julia Bennett, Jacob Connolly, Qasim Malik, Julie Moretto, and James Sedgwick to Dec. 31, 2017 for the Communities in Bloom Committee.

Cathy Dreier, representing the Fort McMurray Historical Society, Carol Cleminson and Jerry Bussieres, to Dec. 31, 2017 for the Community Identification Committee. Funke Banjoko, Maxime Duval-Charland and Robert Parmenter to Dec. 31, 2017 for the Community Services Committee. The Fort McMurray Airport Authority will have Joanne Day, until December 31, 2019.

The Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board was appointed James Marten until December 31, 2016. And Kashif Hussain, Samra Ilvas, Paul St. John and Robert Woodward will sit, until December 31, 2017. Amanda MacPherson will sit on the Library Board until Dec. 31, 2016, while Roy Amalu will sit, until Dec. 31, 2017 and Amelia Schofield, Pratik Tripathi and Greg White will all sit, until Dec. 31, 2018.

Ana Maria Mendez-Barks and Sharon Heading will join the Public Art Committee until Dec. 31, 2018. The Regional Advisory Committee on Inclusion, Diversity and Equality will have Zubair (Zak) Akthar until Dec. 31, 2016 while Janice Bailey, Sara Eweida and Cristabell Simb will all sit until Dec. 31, 2017.

The Regional Recreation Corporation will have Nicholas Germain and Francesca Shannahan until Dec. 31, 2016, Allan Grandison to Dec. 31, 2017, and Jonathan Grant, Mark Hodson and David Tien until Dec. 31, 2018.

The Subdivision and Development Appeal Board will see Ali Farhat join until Dec. 31, 2016, and Alethea Austin, Stacey Houston, Debbie Moses and Rene Wells until Dec. 31, 2017. And finally the Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation will have Jennifer Best, Maggie Farrington and Jason Schulz until Dec. 31, 2018.

The Mayor and councillors thanked everyone for putting their names forward to serve on the various boards for the community over the next few years.

Editor’s Note: Connect’s Verna Murphy has been appointed as the urban public-at-large representative for the Advisory Committee on Aging.

– Connect Weekly –