Overnight childcare, Conklin housing and the new chief executive’s hiring committee on Tuesday’s council agenda

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Council will hear at its meeting on Tuesday a proposal to allow overnight services in child care centres. A report to council from the municipality’s planning and development department says passing the bylaw will provide “a much-needed opportunity for local childcare operators to provide an important service to local residents”.

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The settlement is a response to a $9.7 million Alberta government program in 2021 to help child care operators create more spaces. This includes overnight care for parents and guardians who do not work a typical daytime schedule.

The Planning and Development Department says local child care centers want to offer overnight services, but the bylaw must lift current restrictions on overnight stays.

While the provincial government has its own health and safety guidelines that licensed child care centers must follow, the proposed settlement also includes local changes to the operation of child care centers in the region.

Permits for home child care facilities will not be approved in homes that include a basement apartment, bed and breakfast, boarding house, home-based business or secondary suite.

Day care centers must have outdoor play areas suitable for children. Development permits will specify the occupancies and locations of on-site passenger drop-off stations.

Parking rules would remain unchanged. The current regulations stipulate that one cabin per employee on duty must be available, with a minimum of four cabins. The amendment also does not change the zoning of places where childcare is permitted.

The changes would not affect day center operators, who have no more than six children, or child care centers that have already received development permits.

Formation of a committee for the search for a new CAO

The board should also create a committee for hiring a new chief executive officer (CEO). The proposed hiring committee includes Mayor Sandy Bowman and Councilors Ken Ball, Allan Grandison, Jane Stroud and Stu Wigle. The council will discuss the matter at its meeting on Tuesday.

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Former general manager Jamie Doyle resigned earlier this month to take a job in Nova Scotia. The position is currently filled on an interim basis by Chief Financial Officer Linda Ollivier.

The meeting will also discuss the appointment of members of a committee to improve applicants for Community Investment Program grants during annual budget discussions. This committee would review the application process and make recommendations setting out

Conklin housing lots, renaming the park after Jeremy Snook on the agenda

The Council will also discuss plans to add reduced lots for housing in Conklin, which faces a crisis in affordable and safe housing for long-term living.

Development in Conklin limits housing lots to 4,000 square meters. Conklin’s Resource Development Advisory Board is asking that he be allowed to divide five parcels he owns into smaller lots for new housing developments.

The Department of Town Planning and Development argues that recent infrastructure programs in the hamlet, such as plans to bring running water and sewage services to homes, can support this amendment.

Management at events company Wood Buffalo Presents is also expected to advise the board that it is withdrawing its request for $368,345 in funding.

The council will also debate the renaming of Thickwood Park to Jeremy Snook Memorial Park. Snook died of cancer in 2013 at the age of 19.

The municipality’s planning and development department says his family already maintains a trail that crosses the park in his memory.

“The Snook family’s commitment to maintaining trail amenities at this local park reflects and celebrates Jeremy’s passions and interests, and the proposed name change offers greater recognition of their son’s memory,” reads- on in a report to the council.

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