The District of Sparwood has released their annual municipal report for 2019, outlining all district actions taken last year.
On top of giving an overview of how the District of Sparwood is managed and who by, the report outlines the activities for every branch of the municipality in 2019. The district’s new chief administrative officer (CAO), Michele Schalekamp, presented key initiatives that were supported by her office over the year.
For example, the CAO served on several committees and initiatives, including the Elk Valley Economic Initiatives Committee and the Socio-Community & Economic Effects Advisory Committee. The CAO also was a working group member for several environmental assessment permit reviews on top of hosting community engagement activities almost every month. The CAO also updated the Development Incentive Bylaw, drafted a livability study and report card and presented the Centennial Square concept plan to the public.
The CAO was certainly not the only busy staff member in Sparwood in 2019. The Community and Facility Services team had several bylaws and policies adopted by council as well as several agreements and permits. Four major projects were on the docket in 2019 including, the Sparwood Heights outdoor multi-purpose facility, a new archery range, fire safety plans for all district buildings and the biannual pool maintenance shutdown.
Corporate Services also saw a busy year with 22 regular council meetings, 15 special council meetings, eight hearings, eight committee of the whole meetings, four public relations committee meetings, four youth advisory commission meetings, nine Socio-Community & Economic Effects Advisory Committee meetings and one parcel tax review panel meeting. On top of some other significant accomplishments, the corporate services department launched a Vulnerable Persons Registry to help first responders and social services to provide proper assistance to vulnerable populations.
The District of Sparwood engineering department submitted several grants for projects in 2019, renewed Shaw Go WiFi, completed several improvements to city infrastructure and drafted a new bylaw for street naming. In addition, the engineering department replaced 469 failed water meter registers, continued the water main and pump house construction for Well #4 and launched the mosquito control program for 2019.
Sparwood Fire Services was also reflected in the annual municipal report, with a table indicating the statistics for fires in the area over the past three years. The total number of incidents responded to in 2019 was down 10 per cent over 2018, while the number of firefighters responding was down 9.2 per cent compared to the previous year. The average number of firefighters responding to an incident and the number of firefighters attending training were both up slightly in 2019 as well.
The Operations Department, which includes a staff of approximately 25 people, had a year chock full of community services, environmental reporting, equipment purchases and repairs, street and sidewalk maintenance, water, storm and sewer maintenance and more. The department prepared grave sites and memorial plaques at the Elk Valley Cemetery as well as the Rivercrest Cemetery. They also completed a clean up of all parks, greenbelts and sports fields in Sparwood and completed many staff trainings.
The planning team is responsible for the long range and current planning activities for the community and played some integral roles in 2019. The team developed the Socio-Community Economic Effects Management Plan and Advisory Committee, updated the zoning bylaw, completed a livability study, took part in community clean up and worked on the Centennial Square Revitalization Project.
The final department represented in the annual report is the Finance Department, that adopted, amended or rescinded a variety of bylaws over the course of 2019. The department also replaced some of their outdated hardware as well as awarding over $390,000 in municipal grants.
A comprehensive table listing all progress that the District of Sparwood made in 2019 towards achieving their goals and objectives is also included in the report so that residents can stay up to date on the progress status of projects. This progress is projected into 2020 and 2021 with several pages outlining the priorities for the upcoming years.
For a more in-depth look at the district’s annual municipal report, please visit the District of Sparwood website or Facebook page.