CITY OF CHESTERMERE | SPRING 2016
A quarterly community newsletter with updates, stories, and highlights of work happening at the City of Chestermere.
Did you know? Most flowers in community beds are grown from seedlings in the Parks greenhouse as it saves a lot of money. Learn more at www.chestermere.ca/parks.
MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR Spring feels like it has arrived in Chestermere but sadly we all know that there is more winter to come. Our Roads crews are out with the street sweepers in anticipation of the next snowfall. This accomplishes two things; cleaning off the roadways and collecting the gravel to be reused on the streets to provide traction when it’s icy. There is no need to worry about moving vehicles right now as it’s just a preliminary pass through the community. Council will be working on updating and re-evaluating our Strategic Plan for 2015-2018 at our spring workshop on March 4th. Typically we set this Plan at the beginning of every term of office and it provides guidance on decisions for the remainder of the term. Because we’re now at a Provincially set four year term, Council felt it was prudent to review this document after two years. We did that in the fall of last year but since our economic times have changed so dramatically we want to check that the information in the document is still relevant to today’s environment. Story Continues on Page 3
FIRE ON ICE
Chestermere Fire Services trains for ice water rescue
Jumping into a lake can provide relief on a hot summer day, but there are very few people who would want to enter the frigid waters in the middle of winter. That is what members of Chestermere Fire Services (CFS) and the Chestermere Community Peace Officers were doing for three weekends in February as they trained to deliver ice water rescue services to residents and visitors in Chestermere. As CFS crews were certified in aquatic rescue techniques this past summer, ice rescue training was the final step to offer all water rescue services in Chestermere. “In the winter, there is always a safety concern whenever the public is on iced over surfaces,” said Acting Fire Chief of CFS, Brian Pomrenke. “In order to ensure that we can be there to respond if something goes wrong, CFS has partnered with Waterman 5 and Dive Rescue International to train our staff on both water and ice rescue techniques.” Training included classroom and in-water scenarios, which covered a variety of rescue techniques including how to properly use throw ropes, rescue pulls, ice rescue sleds and enter the water to help unresponsive individuals. Story Continues on Page 2
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Fire On Ice Story Continued from Page 1
“We hope that we never have to use this service,” said Senior Firefighter Rob Barchard, one of the certified trainers, “but now that our staff have been trained, we will be there for you if you need us during an aquatic emergency, any time of the year.”
Tips for Ice Safety
CFS wants residents to know that ‘no ice is safe ice’, but recognizes that many enjoy recreation activities on frozen bodies of water in the winter. If you do plan to go out, never go alone and always check the ice thickness measurements, which are available by calling Public Works at (403) 207-2807. If you do fall through the ice on a body of water, the team at CFS has some tips: • Stay calm and call for help. • Clear away loose ice and debris from where you fell in. • Put your elbows and wrists onto a solid piece of the main ice surface. • Kick as hard as you can and pull yourself up. As soon as you are able, roll away from the area as it will be very unstable. • Get inside and dry off to prevent hypothermia. • Seek medical attention. Interested in learning more about this new service? Watch the video and get more information at www.chestermere.ca/waterrescue.
15 TOP PROJECTS OF 2015 Wondering what City staff were up to in 2015? Take a look at our top 15 projects: Anniversary Park: Anniversary Park officially opened in June 2015 with a 60% expansion to the park. New features included a 1900m2 sand beach, concrete promenade along the lakeshore, increased parking spaces and more greenspace and pathways. Cenotaph Completed & Lieutenant Governor Dedication: After extensive planning and consultation, a permanent cenotaph for Chestermere was completed in 2015. An official dedication by the Lieutenant Governor was held in November. Chestermere Middle School Ball Diamond: Thanks to $150,000 from the Jays Care Foundation, the Chestermere Lake Middle School baseball diamond was refurbished. Community Garden: A new community garden south of West Lakeview Drive was created with 38 plots ready for spring 2016. East Lakeview Road Upgrade: In October, the City added an overlay (new layer of asphalt) to this road, which will add approximately 20 additional years of usability. Emergency Services Specializations: Over the summer, Chestermere Fire Services participated in water rescue training to ensure safety on Chestermere Lake. Land Purchase: Last year, the City acquired 101 acres of land for industrial development to become the Chestermere Business Park. There have already been many serious expressions of interest. Marina Drive & Chestermere Boulevard Intersection Upgrade: City staff upgraded the intersection to include construction of a by-pass lane with crossings and connection to the pathways. New Intersection & Pathway: To improve pedestrian accessibility and safety at the intersection, a new paved pathway has been added on West Chestermere Drive from Chestermere Boulevard to the Recreation Centre entrance. New RCMP Building: City staff coordinated the construction of the new RCMP building, which opened in June 2015. Outdoor Rink: The City’s Parks & Recreation team constructed the outdoor rink, located near the Chestermere Recreation Centre. The rink is a collaboration between the Rec Centre and the City. Range Road 281 & Township Road 241A Upgrades: Staff coordinated the design and re-construction of portions of the two roads. Road Upgrades: Completed the overlay of Range Road 284 and East Lakeview Road/Sandpiper/East Chestermere Drive. Skateboard Park: Reinstalled features such as the half-pipe in its new location. Sunset Parking Lot: Curbs and a cement pad have been added to improve the aesthetics of the lot and accessibility of the mailboxes. Instead of new asphalt (as the subsoil was not able to support it), crews replaced the gravel surface with packed recycled asphalt.
Deputy Mayor Christopher Steeves Christopher grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick and has been a proud resident of Chestermere since 2004. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Acadia University. Outside of Council, he works as an Account Manager in the construction, civil and industrial industries. Christopher joined Council in 2010 with the encouragement from previous Councillors. He enjoys being a part of the decisions that are growing our great City, going out to community events and connecting with residents.
“I believe some of our greatest achievements are yet to come. I look forward to the new businesses, residents and developments in the coming years, and adding to our local economy. But most of all I look forward to continuing to serve the amazing residents of Chestermere.”
New Video Series:
Coffee with Council Wondering what’s new around Chestermere or if a rumour you’ve heard is true? You can schedule your own coffee with a Councillor or get the scoop by watching our short ‘Coffee with Council’ videos! www.chestermere.ca/ youtube
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We are also working with the Provincial government and communities in our region to provide feedback on the proposed Growth Management Board, brought forward by Municipal Affairs in September 2015. The intent of this Board is to provide good regional planning oversight to communities in the Calgary area. While we have worked seamlessly to do exactly that with the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) and the 13 other communities (including Calgary) in this area, over the past 10 years, the Growth Management Board will require participation from all municipalities, not just those who are currently partners in the CRP. For more information on the CRP please see www.calgaryregion.ca. Chestermere is still a growing, vibrant community despite the current economic slowdown. We are seeing new building permits, new businesses and new faces in our neighbourhoods every day as well as new initiatives coming forward from dedicated community groups. Good luck to the group bringing forward an application for the 55+ Senior’s Games, the group applying for a Junior A girls hockey team and the United Way group that is hosting the annual Easter Egg Hunt. These are the kind of volunteer efforts that keep Chestermere great! If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities please feel free to contact us at (403) 207-7050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 18, 2015: Zoe Gottwald is presented with an award from City Council for her outstanding service as a War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) ambassador.
Mayor Patricia Matthews
YOUR INPUT NEEDED: Off-Leash Area
We’re evaluating the current off-leash area and need your help! Take the off-leash survey and help us create welcoming and respectful spaces for you, your dog and all park users.
January 6, 2016: The City launches a new online guide for youth and children’s programs. Learn more at www.chestermere.ca/recguide.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Chestermere Utilities Incorporated (CUI) Rate Increase Request Why did CUI request a utility rate increase? In late 2015, the new CEO of Chestermere Utilities Incorporated (CUI) discovered an oversight in the way utility rates were being calculated and the company was facing a significant shortfall because the rates were not covering the actual costs in providing utility services. This happened because the structure of CUI was inadvertently set up with a municipal accounting process rather than a standalone corporate utility accounting process (funds coming directly from a cost recovery model).
January 7, 2016: Minister of Municipal Affairs Danielle Larivee comes to Chestermere to announce that Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) funding will be available for Chestermere residents affected by 2015 flooding.
Who was held accountable? All the members hired for the CUI Board before July 2015 are no longer with the company and CUI has made significant staff and upper management changes. As Council approved the establishment of CUI, they have taken accountability for the absence of more qualified oversight that led to this situation. What was the increase requested? In January, CUI brought forward a request to City Council (the regulator of the Utility company) to increase rates by 25% (approximately $30/month per household) to cover the cost of services provided to Chestermere. Did City Council approve the request? Council met at a special meeting on February 18, 2016, and decided not to grant the full 25% increase in rates as CUI requested but approved a 15% increase on water and sewer, and 25% on solid waste and storm water. This decision was made after consultation with an independent third party regulatory professional who reviewed CUI’s request.
January 26, 2016: Lemonade Day is coming to Chestermere June 11, 2016. Visit chestermere.lemonadeday.org for more info.
When will the increase come into effect? The new rates will be visible on bills that go out in April (for March consumption). What are you doing to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Council recognizes this is unwelcome news and are doing everything to ensure Chestermere is not put in this situation again. This includes changing practices, conducting an independent review and increasing regulatory oversight. In the coming months, Council will adopt a rigorous regulatory process, and will also evaluate the viability of CUI as a whole. Interested in learning more? The history of this topic and more FAQs are available at www.chestermere.ca/cui
February 26, 2016: Premier Notley announces a $591,500 grant for Chestermere to improve flood mitigation at the Westmere storm pond.
STAFF AT THE CITY
The people behind the work happening at the City of Chestermere Renovation season is coming up! If you are planning any upgrades or significant changes to your home, you may need to obtain permits from the City. The permitting process is put in place to ensure that development meets the requirements of the City’s Land Use Bylaw and the Alberta Safety Codes Act.
UPCOMING EVENTS March 19 from 10:00-4:00: Mind, Body, Spirit Expo Activate your optimal health & well-being with products, services and resources at the Expo. Chestermere Recreation Centre (201 West Chestermere Drive) www.chestermerecrca.com March 26: 6th Annual Easter Egg Hunt Come for a morning of family fun collecting Easter eggs into your basket! All it costs is a minimum donation of $5 per child and all proceeds go towards the United Way/Chestermere Partnership. Lakeside Golf Club (555 Lakeside Greens Drive) www.6th-annual-easter-egg-hunt.eventbrite.ca
The permit team at the City is ready to help you.
April 2 at 6:00: Fun Money Casino Fundraising Event Enjoy a fun night out with friends from the community while raising money for our local recreation centre. Tickets are $40 and include dinner, silent auction, live auction and a fun money casino. Chestermere Recreation Centre (201 West Chestermere Drive) www.chestermerecrca.com
“Obtaining a permit and completing your inspections means that you or your contractor have finished work properly,” says Development Services Manager Michelle Lavallee, “This ensures that your family and any future home buyers can be confident their home is up to standards and safe.”
April 11 from 9:30-4:30: Early Childhood Services Open House & Registration Day Families will have the opportunity to tour and learn about Parent Link programs and services offered to families with children 0-5 years. Chestermere Municipal Office (105 Marina Road) www.chestermere.ca/plcprograms
The City requires permits for a range of construction from building a deck (over 0.6m high) to developing a basement. If you are wondering whether you need a permit, call the Development Team at (403) 207-7075 or visit www.chestermere.ca/permits. Once you know a permit is required, you can download the application forms and drop off completed forms at the Municipal Office.
“Obtaining permits ensures that you can be confident development was done correctly and that your home is in line with provincial and local standards” The permit team will review completed applications to ensure they comply with all regulations. If everything is within the acceptable standards, they will issue a permit. Ensure that you review the conditions and call for your inspections after you have received your permit. Once a Safety Codes Officer deems the completed project meets the intent of the Safety Codes Act, the permit will be closed and you can be certain your completed project was done correctly and is up to code.
April 16, 2016: Volunteer Appreciation Pancake Breakfast National Volunteer Week falls on April 10-16 and is a time to recognize volunteers who have made splashes and waves throughout Chestermere and SE Rocky View. Join us for a free pancake breakfast for all volunteers! Chestermere Municipal Office (105 Marina Road) www.chestermere.ca/calendars April 16, 2016: Mom 2 Mom Sale An indoor multi-family sale for kids-only items! Browse a huge selection of gently used children’s clothing and toys. $2 Admission. Chestermere Recreation Centre (201 West Chestermere Drive) www.facebook.com/chestermeremom2mom May 2, 2016: Annual Census Begins Count yourself in and participate in this year’s census online. Your unique PIN will be delivered to you sometime after May 1. If you do not complete it online, census takers will be door-to-door later in May. Please note that the federal census is also happening this year. While it would be preferable to combine them, federal results are not published early enough to be used for increased grant funding for Chestermere. As such, the City will continue to conduct its own municipal census. www.chestermere.ca/census June 1, 2016: Community Flower Planting Event Help kick off Chestermere in Bloom at this free flower planting event for preschoolers! Chestermere Municipal Office (105 Marina Road) www.chestermere.ca/bloom
For more information about permits, visit www.chestermere.ca/permits or call (403) 207-7075.
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