Annual Report 2017
Message from the CAO
Chief Administrative Officer Michael Merritt
I am thankful and privileged to have the opportunity to become the CAO of the Town of Olds. My career has taken me back and forth across our country, and this is my third time back to Alberta. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Administration arm of the town and work with the elected officials that comprise our Council. I am impressed with the array of facilities, ame-
nities, and the high rate of volunteerism that the Town of Olds has attracted. We are â€˜theâ€™ connected community, and we see this as a well thought out strategy that will position our town to grow into the future. Our broadband capabilities will give us the advantage in growing our economy through business attraction, retention and expansion.
Town of Olds Statistical Information
The 2016 Statistic Canada figures for the Town of Olds were released February 8, 2017. Federal Census figures show a population increase of 11.5% since 2011. Population (2016) Federal Census Population (2011) Federal Census Total Private Dwellings Private dwellings occupied by usual residents Population density per square kilometre Land area in square kilometres
9,184 8,235 3,942 3,698 615.3 14.93
Olds Sundial Growers Inc. broke ground July 18, 2017, for the construction of their flagship cannabis production facility in Olds. Phase 1 of the project will encompass 35,000 square feet of development, and is expected to be completed by mid June 2018. Once fully licensed, the facility will produce an estimated 3.8 million grams of cannabis annually.
The Town of Olds, population 9,184, is centrally located along the busy QEII corridor. Olds is a major service centre and regional market for over 42,000 people in Mountain View County. The proximity to Red Deer and Calgary contribute to our continued growth and economic stability.
2017 - 2021 Election Term
Councillor Mary Jane Harper
Councillor Heather Ryan Councillor Wanda Blatz
Councillor Debbie Bennett Councillor Mary Anne Overwater
Councillor Wade Bearchell
Mayor Michael Muzychka
2017 showed a sure sign of progress, and it is my pleasure to highlight a few of the accomplishments over the past year.
ensure programs and services are delivered efficiently and effectively to all residents.
Our country celebrated its 150 Anniversary, and Olds celebrated right along with the rest of the Canada. Citizens were invited to participate in a year long “Eye of the Lens” project where professional photographers took over 400 photos of residents depicting what Canada meant to them. The project culminated in a digital history and the making of a mini documentary.
As you thumb through this annual report, you will see that the goals of communication, engagement, and learning over the 2013-2017 term of Council were achieved and recognized through the receipt of the Town’s first Municipal Award of Excellence on Innovation for work on “This Affects You” community engagement program.
The fundraising initiative for the Northwest Athletic Park kicked off in early February, with donor and pledge commitments equalling $703,000 by the end of 2017, including a $500,000 commitment from the Olds Rotary Club. Council awarded naming rights and the future park will be known as “Rotary Athletic Park of Olds”. Stripping and grading of the land was completed in 2017. Construction on soccer fields and baseball diamonds will begin in early 2018. Other major construction projects include infrastructure replacements, and the completion of both 54th Street and 50th Avenue. Following the resignation of the former CAO and the appointment of two interim CAOs, Council was pleased to welcome Michael Merritt to the helm permanently in May 2017. Regional work with Mountain View County continues to lay the foundation for future growth through responsible and sustainable planning as sub-agreements on Shared Facilities and Funding were signed to
2017 Municipal elections took place on October 16, 2017 and saw a few changes on Town Council. I am pleased to take on the role of Mayor, and welcome new Councillors Wanda Blatz and Heather Ryan. I also congratulate incumbent Councillors Wade Bearchell, Debbie Bennett, Mary Jane Harper, and Mary Anne Overwater. We will strive to continue the progress and hard work to fulfill our commitment to good governance and fiscal and social sustainability. A dedication and honourific re-naming of 65 Avenue to Memorial Way was held November 1, 2017, in honour of all the military and emergency services (past and present) in our community, and banners were hung proudly along the newly named thoroughfare. Council strives to be connected, responsive and accountable. We have been elected to carry the ongoing responsibility of strategic stewardship and leadership and we look forward to working with Administration to chart the course for the future. Mayor Michael Muzychka
Community Services - Events Canada 150 Celebrations
P.U.G. (Pick Up Garbage Day - Olds Lions Club) •
The Town of Olds worked with the Olds Lions Club on their 2nd Annual P.U.G. (Pick Up Garbage Day) in May 2017. Five Schools participated in the event. Olds residents were encouraged to take a garbage bag around their residential block to help keep our community clear, litter-free, and beautiful. A barbecue took place in Centennial Park following the event.
• The ‘Eye of the Lens’ project kicked off the New Year to celebrate Canada’s 150 Anniversary. Over 400 photos of Olds and area residents were compiled and made into a mini documentary. Some of those photos will be displayed on the Public Art display at Citizens on Patrol the corner of 65th Avenue and Highway 27 in 2018. Canada Day celebrations were memorable, starting with the parade • The resurgence of COP occurred when a number of community residents stepped forward to volunteer for patrols. The Town prowith 48 entries, followed by a host of family activities in the park, a vided assistance with setup, organized training, and provided office BBQ where over 2,000 hot dogs were served, a family movie on a space in the Emergency Services Building. The Town encouraged large screen in Centennial Park and ending with an amazing firethis group of committed volunteers, working in conjunction with the works show at Olds College set off by our local fire fighters. RCMP, to become active in helping maintain a safe and crime-resisA Canada 150 skate was held in December, where families skated tant community. together wearing red and white to show their Canadian Pride.
Honourific Renaming - Memorial Way
National Aboriginal Day
In honour and recognition of all the military and emergency ser- • vices (past and present) in our community, the portion of 55 Street / 65 Avenue between 57 Avenue and Highway 27, was renamed to Memorial Way. The Memorial Way dedication took place on November 1, 2017.
National Aboriginal Day programs generated community awareness around this national celebration in conjunction with information that appeared in the local paper. The Town applied for and received funding from Celebrate Canada, Heritage Canada, United Church, and the Truth and Reconciliation Fund to support community-lead events.
Nu2U expanded the store to increase warehouse space and provide • The Town has developed 2 acres in the new section of the cemetery, and a perpetual care fund policy is underway. an improved retail outlet. $20,000 annually is given out to community initiatives through the grant program. Applications for grants are avail- Christmas Lights able at the Nu2U Store and the Town of Olds Administration Building. • Uptowne and Highway 27 completed a 3 year Senior Supports phase-in of new Christ• Assistance to seniors is provided in the areas of information and mas lights. application to federal and provincial programs such as Old Age Security, Canada Pension and the Alberta Senior’s Benefits. Senior’s Week is celebrated annually in June. Check the local paper for details of events. •
Aquatic Centre Online Booking •
Patrons can now and OAC information and schedules are available on O-NET TV Channels 855 & 856.
Heritage Initiatives and Highlights
• 2017 marked the 17th Annual Volunteer Appreciation event, where volunteers are invited to dinner and entertainment.
• The 4th annual Art Battle was held in Olds in 2017. • Facilitated with project funding from Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, local storyteller, Mary Hays, produced “See Olds First”, one of our Canada 150 projects. • Another Canada 150 project taking place in August 2017 was the continuation of the Heritage Plaque program, – a collaboration between the Town of Olds, and Olds Historical Society. This project received funding from Alberta Historical Resources Foundation for Heritage Awareness. Four (4) additional plaques were installed on Municipal Historic Resources during the first week of August in advance of Heritage Day.
Facilitation & Engagement 2017 Budget Engagement •
The Town of Olds strives to engage citizens when planning the future of our community. To help us understand spending priorities on various municipal services, we asked the community for feedback. A new online interactive budget similator was available for the public to help council and administration understand the spending priorities of the community. The online tool was used to help explain services that depend on tax revenue and how tax dollars are currently allocated. Charts, links, and background information were included and the tool used a default of $317,310 which was the 2017 average assessed property value for Olds to demonstrate the actual tax distribution in key spending categories. $2,662.58 of property tax would be collected based on an assessment of $317,310. Citizens could also confidentially enter their own property assessment value which automatically updated the charts with the actual value based on their own tax dollars. The feedback gathered in this consulation will help Council and Administration make more informed decisions. Managing funds is a critical part of our service to the community and we sincerely appreciate and thank you for participating. A full report on the finding is available on the Town of Olds website www.olds.ca
2017 Parks Engagement •
In March 2017, a three week community consultation on Parks, Trails, and Open Space occurred. Engagement included an afternoon and evening public meeting, a community and a student survey, as well as well as two community chalk boards which provided an alternate avenue to gather ideas. The specific focus pertained to Centennial Park, Cornerstone Park Open Space, Wayfinding (Town Signage), Trails & Pathways, Outdoor Ice Rinks, Heritage Features, the Cemetery, the Off-Leash Dog Park and the Rotary Athletic Park of Olds. A full report on the findings is available at www.olds.ca
Minister’s Award for Municipal Excellence •
Council received its first Municipal Award of Excellence from Municipal Affairs on Innovation for the Town’s work on “This Affects You: Municipal Engagement Excellence” project.
Fundraising Initiative for North West Athletic Park
Fundraising kicked off in early February 2017. Donor and Pledge Commitments equalled $703,000 at the end of 2017. The Town received a $500,000 commitment and naming rights were granted to Olds Rotary Club, the new facility will be named “Rotary Athletic Park of Olds”.
Schematic of the future “Rotary Athletic Park of Olds”
Major / Minor Soccer Fields
Small Softball Diamond
Potential Washroom / Maintenance Facility
Major / Minor Soccer Fields
TOWN OF OLDS
Potential Covered Multi-Use Field w/Possible Future Expansion for Fieldhouse
Horseshoe Pits Potential Future Playground
Small Softball Diamond
Scale 1: 1000 NORTH
• • •
Sport Fields Development Concept
Operational Services Water Leaks •
Operational Services worked to indentify unaccounted water through leak detection systems and repair of approximately 40 water lines. Preliminary reviews indicate repairs have reduced water loss from 39% to approximately 20%. Monitoring will continue on an ongoing basis.
Fire Hydrant Replacement •
Four (4) Fire Hydrants were replaced due to age and unavailability for parts.
Municipal Development Plan •
The current Municipal Development Plan was developed in 2007. Council has undertaken a revision with completion of the new document expected within 2018.
2017 Capital Projects Include: • • • • • • • • •
Site preparation for the Rotary Athletic Park of Olds and the Northwest Development area. Municipal Street improvements on 63 Avenue between 55 Street and Winter Drive. Replacement of water, wastewater, curb & gutter, and asphalt along 54 Street between 53 Avenue and 55 Avenue. Centennial Park upgrades, including solar lighting and trail upgrades. Tree Planting along Memorial Way and 46 Avenue (Hwy. 2A). Sportsplex Concession Upgrade. Continued maintenance to underground infrastructure including 54 Street and 63 Avenue. Completion of Christmas Lights on Main Street. New Equipment purchases include: • John Deere Gator • Tool Cat • Water Truck • Tandem Axle Unit with Sander and Plow • 1/2 Ton Truck
Solid Waste •
The Town of Olds has entered a new contract with Waste Connections of Canada. The 3-week rotational pick up with compost, recycling, and garbage. This three-week rotational pick up program is being closely studied by other communities in Alberta to increase recycling and composting practices and reduce garbage.
Curling Rink •
The Town of Olds worked with the Olds Curling Club to replace all the lights over the six (6) sheet ice surface with LED lighting.
Crews mow and weed whip approximately 280 acres of grass weekly. Plantings include 19 Flower beds; 50 Hanging Baskets; 39 Barrels; 27 Planters along Highway 27. Pruning; mulching; shrub bed maintenance; dead heading and watering take place throughout summer into fall.
Fleet Maintenance •
The Town continues to build and maintain their fleet to ensure heavy equipment is available, dependable and safe at all times. The preventative maintenance program ensures compliance with all corporate policies and government regulations.
Concession Renovation •
The Sportsplex concession received a complete overhaul with new flooring, walls, countertops, and equipment. The area was designed to be user friendly with accessible countertops, display cases, and energy saving LED lighting.
Operational Services Advocacy Efforts • • • •
The Town engaged the Government of Alberta regarding the funding of the Olds Connected Community Network (OCCN) Fibre to the Premises project. This resulted in a successful receipt of $600,000 through the CARES grant program. Key Ministry messages have been established for key issues within our community. Council met with the Minister of Infrastructure, Sandra Jansen, on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA). Introductions and relationship building including discussion on federal funding possibilities in 2018 to assist with O-NET endeavours. Council also met with members from the Ministry of Transportation where road safety was top priority throughout discussions. Priorities for Olds include a crosswalk on 2A at 54th Street at the intersection of the Aquatic Centre and Auction Mart, flashing lights at Highway 27 and 57 Avenue, preliminary talks regarding the high school entrance and a potential set of lights, and finally, in support of our neighbour Mountain View County, extension and widening of the northbound merging lane off QEII overpass at Highway 27.
Goldfish Eradication Winter Lake
• Measures were taken to eradicate a growing population of invasive goldfish out of Winter Lake Storm Water retention pond to keep them from spilling into Olds Creek and onward to the Little Red Deer River. Two separate treatments of Rotenone were applied in the summer of 2017. The treatments were successful and the goldfish have been eradicated.
Financial Services Financial Review of 2017
• • • • • •
• The Town of Olds Finance team provides service to the residents of the Town of Olds in the areas of records management, accounts payable and receivable, reception, budgeting, annual reporting, utility invoicing, investment management, and other financial services. In 2017 the activities of the Finance team included: Working with Council and other Town departments, the property tax rate was held to an increase of 1.5%. The total value of non-residential assessment increased 3.9% from 2017, while the total value of residential assessment decreased 0.2% from 2017. Overall, the total taxable assessment value increased 1.7% to $1,421,808,590 (2017 - $1,398,201,970). Non-residential assessment was 22.8% of the total taxable assessment in 2017. The total number of taxable properties in the Town of Olds increased to 4,141 in 2017 from 4,130 in 2016. The assessed value of the average Single Family Dwelling for 2017 was $317,310 (2016 - $318,509). The municipal tax rate in 2017 was 0.0057107. This meant that the average Single Family Dwelling paid $1,812.06 (2016 - $1,792.03). The taxes paid by a Single Family Dwelling make up 0.021% of the total revenue generated by property taxes. Municipal taxes are used to pay for road maintenance ($1,574,290), the RCMP policing services ($852,900), Aquatic Centre ($840,580), Administration ($929,000), Parks operations ($848,210), Sportsplex ($661,160), Fire Protection ($592,270), Office of the CAO ($533,510), Economic Development ($439,810), Planning department ($504,700), Council expenses ($350,560), Town staff engaged in municipal enforcement ($253,500), and maintenance of the Town sports fields ($170,830). The Town of Olds operates the water, wastewater, solid waste, and storm water systems on a user-pay basis. There is no contribution from municipal tax revenue that is used to provide utility services. It is estimated that a family of four uses an average of 20 M3 of water each month. The charge for this level of consumption was $192.67 (2016 - $187.67).
Requisitions • Property Taxes levied by the Town of Olds include amounts collected on behalf of other organizations and comprise 32% of each property tax bill: • Alberta School Foundation Fund (Education Taxes) - $3,856,489 (2016 - $3,617,910)
Goes to Operate the Town, $0.68
Goes to Public & Separate Schools $0.30
Goes to Senior’s Housing $0.02
• Mountain View Seniors’ Housing $208,684 (2016 - $190,690) • Parkland Regional Library - $69,280 (2016 - $67,070) • The Town receives a requisition for the amounts to be collected from each organization prior to setting the tax rates. The requisition amounts are collected along with the Town’s municipal taxes and are then remitted to the requisitioning organization.
Financial Services 2017 Municipal Revenue
2017 Municipal Expenses
Municipal Enforcement Advocacy Efforts • • • • • • • • • • •
Monitoring school zones. Providing assistance to Public Works, Fire Department and RCMP. Providing assistance for events: Oldstice, Canada Day, Oldstoberfest, Halloween, Remembrance Day, Christmas Parade, Memorial Way dedication. Speed reader boards deployed April through October. Licensing of cats began in 2017, in addition to a Spay and Neuter program. Encourage the maintenance of trees and shrubs for sightlines, clearance for pedestrians and beautification of our Town. Recreational vehicle parking enforcement. Enforcement of heavy vehicle traffic and parking in residential areas. Enforcement of residential parking restrictions. Snow removal from streets and walkways. Implementation of evening shifts.
It was a full house at the Emergency Services Building for the dedication and naming of `Memorial Way` on November 1, 2017.
Olds Fire Department
Reporting to the Office of the CAO, the Fire Services Team for the Town of Olds consists of a fulltime fire chief, an administrative assistant, a contracted Director of Emergency Management and 36 volunteer paid-on-call firefighters. Olds Fire Department Annual Report The primary focus of the department is to provide residents and businesses in the Town of Olds community with fire protection, rescue services, environmental protection, fire prevention services, Reporting to the Office of the CAO, the Fire Services Team for the Town of Olds con and in conjunction with Alberta Health Services, time fire chief, an administrative assistant, a contracted Director of Emergency Man assist with medical first response. volunteer paid-on-call firefighters. In 2017, the Olds Fire Department responded to The primary focus 392 incidents varying from motor vehicle collisions department is to p (MVC), fires and medical first responses. and businesses in Regular training is provided to the firefighters Olds community w each Wednesday evening throughout the year protection, rescue except during the summer months when they environmental pro train every other Wednesday evening. Theoprevention service retical training is facilitated in the training room located at the fire hall, while practical training Alberta Health Se frequently occurs at the fire training grounds first response and located off 70th Street just north of the solid waste transfer site. This training facility is also used by surrounding fire departments throughout Mountain View County. Some of the training members received included: In 2017, the Olds Fire Department responded to 392 incidents varying between mot • NFPA 1001 (Standard for Structural Fire collisions (MVC), fires and medical first responses. Fighters), NFPA 1002 (Standard for Fire Type of Response for 2017 Urban Rural Other Apparatus Operators), NFPA 472 (StanFire 22 23 dards for Dangerous Goods Awareness and 2 17 Rubbish or grass fire (no dollar loss) Operations). Investigation of smoke 2 2 • Vehicle Extrication Outside Fire Investigation 2 5 • Fire Dynamics Rescue miscellaneous 1 • Medical First Response Motor Vehicle Collision 19 48 2 Six (6) firefighters along with the aerial truck Mutual Aid Requests 10 2 were called for assistance to provide vital Medical First Response 12 3 protection in the townsite of Waterton during the Medical Assist - Echo 15 5 wildfire impingement on the town in September. Medical Assist Medical Assist (lift) Medical - Stood Down Public Hazard - gasoline or fuel wash down Public Hazard - power line down Public Hazard - hazardous object removed Public Hazard - miscellaneous Gas Leak - natural gas Gas leak - response to carbon monoxide detector Alarm Public Service - citizens trapped in elevators
60 12 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 2
Public Service - assist police or other agency Public Service - miscellaneous Alarm No Fire - accidental miscellaneous Alarm No Fire - smoke or steam mistaken Alarm No Fire - sprinkler surge or discharge Alarm No Fire - detector activated Alarm No Fire - miscellaneous Controlled Burn – Arrived on Scene
5 6 14 2 2 57 1
Economic Development Housing Area Growth
Housing Area growth based on Area Structure Plans (ASPs) in the 2017-2018 year are as follows: • Highlands (Ongoing Phases) • Vistas (Ongoing Phases) • Tamarack Developments (Phase 1, possible Phase 2-2018) • Kasawal (Next Phase, indicated 2018) • Westview (Phase 1, indicated 2018) • Cornerstone (Phase 1, indicated 2018) • Discovery Plains (Start Up, indicated 2018) • Chinook Meadows (Start Up, indicated 2018) • Miller Meadows Phase 1 (Potential)
Economic Growth in Olds
The Town of Olds monitors economic growth by Industrial, Commercial and Residential housing throughout the Central Alberta Region. The Town works closely with many partner organizations such as our local Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development; the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA); Rural Municipalities of Alberta (formerly known as AAMD&C); Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP); Access Prosperity; Alberta Innovates; Alberta Agriculture; as well as Economic Development Alberta (EDA). Olds is beginning to experience a resurgence of building and economic activity. Overall Building Permits in 2017 value $27,000,000 surpassing the 2016 value of $13,000,000. This is a key indicator of changing investment climate in Alberta. 2017 Economic Highlights include the following: • Industrial land sales of 170 acres in the South East industrial area of 350 acres. • Permits are in place for a significant expansion of Walmart. • Two additional quarter sections of residential land have approved Area Structure Plans (ASP’s) in place.
A Brownfield site is any previously developed land that is not currently in use. Brownfield redevelopment can provide many benefits to a community including an increased tax base, creation of new jobs, utilization of existing infrastructure and in some cases, the removal of contaminants (i.e. old gas station sites, etc.) which help protect health and the environment. • In the commercial core, on the former 8 acre Olds High School football site, the first medium density housing unit broke ground and is targeted for completion and occupancy in 2018. Servicing on this site will also allow for additional medium density housing phases, commercial bays, and potential hotel accomodations. • Cornerstone acquired a former 5 acre site of uncompleted serviced medium and high density land bordering their existing commercial 35 acre site (North of Sobey’s). • Construction of a commercial service area on the corner of Highway 2A and Highway 27 (7-Eleven) was completed on a former three-lot consolidated brownfield site, revitalizing the entrance to Olds. THE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT WAS DESIGNED AND PUBLISHED BY TOWN OF OLDS COMMUNICATIONS
Town of Olds Council and CAO accept an Honourable Mention Award from Minister Shaye Anderson on the citizen engagement work “This Affects You.”