The backbone of our community March 2013
from your County Councillor
Vic Bidzinski Councillor, Ward 1 Office phone:
Strathcona Village Mills Haven Broadmoor Estates Broadmoor
Sherwood Par k Free
Highway 16 / Yellowhead Trans Canada Highway
Westboro Village on the Lake Wye Road
WOW!! As I previously said in my news column, time does fly by when you are having fun... This will be my last newsletter of this term, as per our policy. I, as an Elected Official, am not allowed to write any newsletters after March 31 of an election year. For those who don’t know, we will be going to the polls on October 18 of this year to elect a new Council who will, for the first time, represent our municipality for a term of four years. While there is much I would like to relay to you, I think I will just highlight a few of the accomplishments this Council has or will finalize before our present term is finished. I am proud of the work this Council has accomplished under the leadership of Mayor Linda Osinchuk and feel it is one of the best I have had the pleasure to be a part of. We have grown exponentially under the guidance of Mayor Osinchuk who had the vision, and sometimes perseverance, necessary to bring us together. I believe we have just started to evolve as a group and look forward to exploring the potential opportunities we, as a Council, have in ensuring our community is the best place to live, work and play for ourselves, as well as for future generations. In the meantime, I would like to expound on a few of the endeavours we have or will have finalized before this term is finished:
• A new vision for the County • A new and inspirational strategic plan • A new and transparent budget process utilizing our recently completed 4E (Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness and Equity) Review • A new Chief Commissioner with a fantastic attitude – one who looks for ways to make things happen • A new Finance Committee made up of Councillors and residents to compliment our new budget process • A new emphasis on our staff and new ways to help them accomplish the tasks necessary to do their work for both Council and our residents • A new Taxi Bylaw to ensure safety and fairness for our residents • A new and improved public engagement policy • A renewed Economic Development Committee comprised mostly of citizens with expertise in specific fields to advise Council on economic trends and strategic objectives continued on page 2
From your County Councillor (continued from page 1)
• A new and exciting brand and identity for our municipality • A revitalization of a number of our parks and other open spaces, such as the dredging of Woodbridge Farms Pond • A new bus terminal and extensive parking facilities • An artificial turf field in Emerald Hills • A new fire station on Bison Way • New traffic calming procedures e.g. Beauvista Drive • The approval of a new spray park to be built this summer • The approval of a new Aquatic Wellness Centre to be built near the new ABJ High School • A celebration of the 120th Anniversary of our municipality being designated the first selfgoverning area in Alberta
I would be remiss if I did not again thank all of you who have been so supportive of me over the years during which I had the honour and pleasure to serve as your representative on our Council. I look forward to continuing to serve you to the best of my ability for the next eight months, and also with your concurrence, for four more years after that. I also look forward to meeting you at your doors as I will begin my annual door knocking early in July and will complete my entire ward before the October election. Have a great summer and if I can be of any assistance to you at anytime, please call me at 780-464-8005 or email me at email@example.com
Emergency notification in Strathcona County In the event of a disaster, Strathcona County residents will be notified through the Alberta Emergency Alert system. This will be the first place information will be posted. Alberta Emergency Alert can issue warnings to Facebook, Twitter and to RSS feed subscribers. All residents are encouraged to subscribe for alerts. Sign up today at www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca
Residents can also call the Strathcona County switchboard (780464-8111), open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. After hours, phone 2-1-1. When warranted, information will also be posted to the Strathcona County Facebook (www.facebook.com/strathcona.county ) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/strathcocounty) pages. ■2■
Other sources for emergency notification
Phone the industry's UPDATEline for information on current industrial site activities in the region that you may be curious about, such as unusual loud noises or alarms; prolonged flares; smoke or fire; traffic levels coming to and from a plant; or smells that are prolonged. Industry is responsible for posting information about training or drills that may affect surrounding neighbourhoods. Did you know you can also subscribe for RSS feeds from Environment Canada to receive weather warnings? Visit www.weatheroffice.gc.ca and once you've selected the Edmonton region, sign up under "Warning RSS" at the bottom of the webpage. Strathcona County is currently researching ways to expand the public notification system.
On the move!
Council approves final ITMP Over the past two years Strathcona County has been working with residents to develop an Integrated Transportation Master Plan (ITMP). This plan will guide policy development and decision making about the County's transportation network for 30+ years. The final plan was approved by Council on November 20, 2012. The ITMP considers various types of transportation modes – private and commercial vehicles, public transit, cycling and walking. Resident input for the document was gathered via questionnaires, public events, and stakeholder forums. Copies of the plan are now available on the County’s website
For further information, or to obtain a paper copy, please contact the Capital Planning and Construction Department at 780-464-8277.
Make tax time pay Did you know that many of our residents are eligible to receive subsidies and benefits but can’t apply until they submit a tax return? Strathcona County Family and Community Services will be hosting free tax clinics for income qualified residents at the Strathcona County Library in March and April, 2013. Trained volunteers will be preparing simple tax returns for income qualified residents and providing information on municipal, provincial and federal benefits and subsidies. For more information or to book an appointment please contact 780-464-4044 or go to www.strathcona.ca/fcs for details. Ward 1
the separation is over Residents can stop separating their paper recycling from their container recycling as of March 1. Paper and containers can be placed in a clear blue plastic bag for collection. There is no longer a cost savings to separating the recyclables and combining (co-mingling) recycling makes it more convenient for residents. Residents are reminded to: • keep clear blue bags under 25 kg (50 lb) • cut or fold cardboard down to 60 cm x 1 m (2'x3'). Larger pieces can be taken to a recycling station. • rinse all containers before placing them in a blue bag for collection. Dirty recyclable containers will contaminate the recycling process, which will result in the recyclables going to landfill and increased processing costs. • crush or squish your containers to get more items into the clear blue plastic bag. • mix heavier recyclables, such as glass or newspapers, with the lighter containers, such as plastic. This will help reduce the chance of your container recycling from blowing away. It is important to include only acceptable recyclable items in the blue bag. Blue bags with unacceptable items will not be collected. Visit www.strathcona.ca/utilities for a list of acceptable items. Ward 1
Are you 55 years or better?
Join us for the Active Living Conference! Strathcona County Family and Community Services is hosting the third Active Living Conference in Sherwood Park on Saturday, April 13, 2013. This one day event provides an opportunity for men and women age 55 and better to learn new things and connect with others. With 42 sessions to choose from, there is something for everyone. Look to your future with retirement planning or reflect on your past through genealogy. Find out ways to stay connected to your family, friends and neighbours. Treat yourself to a new hobby, or discover how you can Laugh Through Life. This is an event you do not want to miss! Register with a friend, relative or spouse and receive a discount. The registration fee is $45 for an individual or $80 for two people. Subsidies are available for those who qualify. Conference registration fee includes:
• inspirational keynote speaker Iris Evans • choice of three session topics ranging from hands-on hobbies, interactive activities, and thought-provoking sessions • Bev Facey High School’s famous continental breakfast and hot buffet lunch • chance to win door prizes and the grand prize draw package – a Getaway Spa Package from Headquarters Salon, Spa and Laser and a 10 visit Millennium Pass Registration deadline: Friday, April 5, 2013 Conference registration packages can be picked up at: • Strathcona County Family and Community Services • Strathcona County Library • Strathcona County recreation facilities • Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County For more information and to download registration forms, go to www.strathcona.ca/seniors or call Strathcona County Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044.
Transit hosts open house to discuss proposed service plans
Transit is currently developing a new route structure to be implemented once the new Bethel Transit Terminal opens late this year. It is vital to Transit that they provide services that satisfy the needs of our community. We are looking for feedback on our proposed new route structure. Please consider attending the open house to let us know your thoughts.
April 3, 2013 12:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Transit Centre, 970 Ordze Road (off Wye Road) Transit users are also encouraged to take a few minutes between buses to stop by and review our plans. If you are driving, we encourage you to come after the rush hour – sometime after 5:30 p.m. If you are unable to attend our open house, please visit www.strathcona.ca/ transit/proposed-new-transit-routes.aspx to see the plan. Transit is accepting feedback until April 15, 2013. ■3■
its history, its people, its military
Mayor Linda Osinchuk joined museum volunteers Chuck Howell, Henry Unrau and Barb Flowers in providing residents with a hearty pancake breakfast on Family Day. The event, held at the Strathcona County Museum, marked the official kick off of the 120 anniversary celebrations.
This year, 2013, ignites a year of celebration for Strathcona County. This community is filled with a rich tapestry of people who have laid the foundation for the success we enjoy today. Strathcona Celebrates…its history, its people, its military focuses on the rich history of Strathcona County, the people who have influenced the County’s direction and those who have defended personal freedom. On August 24, a grand scale community event will honour the County’s military heritage through a grand scale Freedom of the County ceremony and parade featuring Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). Lord Strathcona’s Horse regiment was personally maintained by the County’s namesake, Lord Strathcona. “Our history is full of wonderful
tales of leadership, success and strong values,” says Mayor Linda Osinchuk. “Clover Bar was the first area, 120 years ago, in what is now Alberta, to be declared a district under the NorthWest Territorial Legislature. This official declaration was a first step in the development of Strathcona County as a rural self-governing body. Today, Strathconians continue to model the values of hard work and determination.” Residents are invited to take part in the celebrations through community events leading up to the full-day event on August 24, 2013. Further details on upcoming events, including Strathcona Celebrates on August 24, 2013, will be announced over the upcoming months. Further information
Have a Friendly Visitor stop by to see you
Strathcona County gets Tour of Alberta spot Strathcona County will be featured as part of Tour of Alberta, Canada’s first major international professional bicycle race. The event will take place from September 3 – 8, 2013. It is the highest sanctioned staged event ever held in Canada, sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale and Canadian Cycling Association. Tour of Alberta will have seven stages including a prologue and finish in Edmonton and Calgary respectively. Strathcona County will be the primary location of stage 2 (Heartland Highways) of the Tour of Alberta on Wednesday, September 4, 2013; it is expected stage 2 will start at Festival Place in Sherwood Park. With an anticipated viewing audience of 30.6 million television viewers and over 900 million combined newspaper and web impressions world wide, the event will showcase Strathcona County as a community of choice to an international audience. Tour of Alberta is an event composed of 15 teams (approximately 140 elite international competitors) competing in a bicycle road race across communities in Alberta. The event is funded by the Rural Alberta Development Fund; marketing support is provided in partnership by Travel Alberta and host municipalities of the Tour of Alberta. Further information about Tour of Alberta is available at www.tourofalberta.ca
Friendly Visitor volunteers are interested in connecting with local seniors. Volunteers and seniors enjoy weekly visits that focus on good conversation, going for a walk or sharing their interests and hobbies. This program helps seniors stay connected to the community, while providing meaningful volunteer experiences for residents. If you or a senior you know would enjoy social visits, contact Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044. ■4■