By Tim Kalinowski
Redcliff Town Council had a lighter agenda at last Monday’s meeting. However there were some tidbits of interest which came out of the meeting.
Council approves investment in higher risk/ reward funds
As discussed at the previous meeting, council authorized Redcliff’s Director of Finance Jenny Tu to invest a total of $8 million in funds from general accounts and reserves to seek a better return in the current moribund investment atmosphere. $1.5 million of that will be invested in very short term (less than one year) bonds and $6.5 million in short term bonds (to be invested for three to six years).
As with the previous discussion along these lines reported in the Jan. 19 Courier, Coun. Larry Leipert was the sole councillor to vote against the riskier investment strategy. He reiterated his objections prior to the vote.
“I don’t think it is a good idea,” said Leipert. “The way I look at if I wouldn’t do it, I don’t think I’d support the town doing it.”
Coun. Eric Solberg also wanted to clarify the town’s risk with Redcliff Director of Finance Jenny Tu before deciding on whether or not to vote for the investment.
“On a one to ten risk level,” asked Solberg, “what would you suggest this would be at as far as risk? We are in a very downtrodden economy now. My concern is investing this kind of money in a risky environment.”
“Written in the agreement (with Wood Gundy),” replied Tu, “ninety per cent (of the bond) is very low risk and ten per cent is not.”
Coun. Cathy Crozier also took the opportunity to further question Tu prior to her vote.
“The only concern I actually had,” said Crozier, “was in case of emergency can this money be accessed fast?”
“If you really need it I can give them a call and they will sell (the bond) right away,” replied Tu.
Council then voted 5-1 to empower Tu to make the investments on the Town’s behalf.
Council votes to establish new ties between local bylaw enforcement and the Alberta Sheriffs
Council voted to apply to Alberta Justice and the Solicitor General to enter the provincial Peace Officer Program at last Monday’s meeting. The application was deemed necessary because the Town’s Bylaw Officer needs to have access to some police records (such as license plate information to write parking tickets) to carry out his enforcement duties in the community.
Previously the Redcliff RCMP had acted as a surrogate agency for the Bylaw Officer’s functions in this respect, but recent changes to RCMP policy will soon make this impossible. By applying through Alberta Justice and the Solicitor General’s office to the Peace Officer program the new surrogate agency will be the Alberta Sheriffs.
Province pays its cheques for two major infrastructure projects
A letter dated January 6 from Alberta’s Minister of Municipal Affairs Danielle Larivee presented at council last Monday confirmed MSI monies will be forthcoming to help pay for upgrades to Redcliff’s Wastewater System and for Slope Stabilization initiatives in the community. The funding had previously been approved by the former Progressive Conservative government prior to last spring’s election. The current NDP government will honour those commitments.
$430,000 will be forthcoming for the Wastewater System upgrades and $1,079,000 will be contributed to Slope Stabilization. The actual work on these projects was completed in 2015 so confirmation from the government of the forthcoming payments was very welcome.