City Council has held their regular meeting this week.
On Monday, May 9th, 2016 in addition to the proclamation to observe Sexual Assault Awareness Week in Lloydminster starting May 15th, there were several amendments made to the Business License Bylaw. One point, however, was brought up by Councilor Linnea Goodhand about businesses that don’t pay the licensing fee.
“It seems to me that professional offices make up a large part of our business community. I own one, a lot of my colleagues own one. We operate out of the downtown core more often than not, and for us, as professional offices, not to pay a business license, just seems a bit odd to me. I did a little bit of research and it seems to be fairly standard across the province that we don’t, but I’m not sure why. We use City services, we use city water in our businesses, we certainly send our clients in and out on city sidewalks. I wouldn’t know why we’d be exempt from the business license fee.”
Regarding the amendments to the Business License Bylaw, the key changes affect Pop-Up Shops, Mobile Vendors, taxi companies, which must now abide by the Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw that has now been passed, and tobacco retailers, for which an additional fee has been proposed for the sale of tobacco products in the city.
In addition, citizens may notice some changed speed limit signs around town soon. At the meeting, the Traffic Bylaw was amended to reflect what the City felt were necessary changes to local speed limits to keep traffic moving both efficiently and safely.
“Today we just cleaned up some speed sign postings and some Traffic Bylaw management around 59th Ave., highway 17 going north, and highway 16 going east. Some of our signs didn’t match up with our bylaw and some of our signs reflected speeds that are higher than appropriate given the volume of traffic that we’re seeing, or have seen in the last few years,” says Goodhand.
As well, a number of safety concerns from residents have been expressed about the speed limit of 80 kilometers per hour on 59 Avenue between 12 Street and 250 meters south of 23 street.
Council also renewed the Lakeland College Student Access Agreement for another 2-year term. According to Councilor Larry Sauer, the college fits the bill for membership fees to city recreational facilities at a reduced rate and about 70 per cent of full-time students take advantage of the access to these facilities.
“We’ve had an ongoing agreement with Lakeland College for full-time students there to access both the Servus Sports Centre and the Leisure Centre, of which they have, of course, easy access to. It’s a program and an agreement that allows them, at a lesser rate, to be able to use both of those facilities on an ongoing basis while they are at the Lakeland College for the year. So that came up for renewal process and Administration made another 2-year agreement with them,” explains Sauer.
From the meeting, it was also learned that the City of Lloydminster has sent resources to help with the Fort McMurray disaster. And although many local efforts from businesses and charitable agencies involve sending items or money for the cause, the City has only sent human resources at this point.
“Our Manager of Roadways, Dave Henning, has been asked to go to Fort Mac to help out with the roads situation, logistics, and everything. He belongs to the Alberta Public Works Agency so with his history and experience, he’ll be utilized for that… We deployed 10 RCMP officers last week. Tuesday, 7 went, and 3 followed,” says Mayor Rob Saunders.
Saunders says there has been no formal request for firefighters or EMS to be sent from the area, but that Lloydminster does have 2 designated evacuation points.
“So there are 2 locations, Lakeland College being one of them, and the Lloydminster Exhibition Association, another one. So we can handle just under 1,000 people, if we need to, in short term… The City of Lloydminster is on standby. If there’s any support needed for Fort McMurray and area, the Alberta Emergency Management Agency knows that we are willing, ready, and able.”
In the event Lloydminster does take in evacuees, the matter of getting necessary items for them such as cots and blankets, would primarily come from the Red Cross.
Finally, the City granted First Reading to Bylaw 17-2016, which involves the rezoning of City land recently acquired from Husky.
“We know what we want to develop there. We want to develop and expand our storm sewer channel, and so we don’t need the discretion that DC4 allows us. So really, it’s just about acknowledging that we know exactly what’s going to be developed there. We acquired the land so that it could happen; now we’ve zoned it so it reflects what the project will look like going forward,” explains Goodhand.
Currently, there are no structures existing on the land in question. The City wants to rezone 4.33 hectares, north of 44 Street, near the tracks, to protect an existing drainage channel.