Hello District B Communities, here is an update from the July 14 EFCL Board Meeting. Download the package for the July 14 board meeting.
How is your summer going? I had the pleasure of meeting City Councillors, staff, business people in Medicine Hat last week as part of my regular work. I was there to learn about their "Hat Smart" program that provides rebates for energy efficiency and subsidies for citizens to install renewable energy on their homes and businesses. It's all part of Medicine Hat (also known as "Gas City) looking to the future and helping citizens and businesses learn to incorporate innovative new green energy systems into their homes and businesses. I mention this because I site on the City of Edmonton's Renewable Energy Task force and we are just now working on our final report for council. Would't it be great to see a program that offered Community Leagues the opportunity to install solar or other renewable energy systems as demonstration projects in communities in Edmonton?
Here is a summary, adapted from an email from Allan, of what came up at the board meeting, please refer to the board package for details.
- Family Literacy Program. The Family Literacy Group (which includes a former Area 17 person by the way) has a program called The Classroom on Wheels (COW) that is available for Community League Day events. The also have programs suitable for Community Leagues. You can contact Adrienne or Wendy at info.@famlit.ca
- Community League Training Officer. We will be pitching city council for $30,000 to cover half the cost of a new staff person, who will focus on workshops and training sessions for league executive members. We proposed to fund part of this positon from a very modest membership fee increase, which we will be pitching to the leagues at the Oct. 4 RGM. This person would essentially help community leagues up their game. Many leagues ask for such assistance regularly! (pgs. 5-6)
- Membership Fee Increase. The board will be taking proposal to the membership to change the league fees to $275 plus 2% of the league’s annual operating grant, to help pay for the position noted above. This will be discussed at the Oct. 4 RGM, so we will have to delay invoicing the leagues by about two months this year. We secured a 40% increase in operating grants for the leagues and as you will see below we are asking for another similar increase for next year.
- 2012 City Budget Request. We will be asking for the $30,000 mentioned above, along with another $1.5 million in capital dollars for the leagues and $668,000 in annual operating grant money, both of which represent the second half of what we asked for last year. In addition, we will request the customary inflationary increase for EFCL operations which is generally 2 or 3 per cent.
- On-line Membership Cards. The board has agreed to recommend to our membership on Oct. 4 that membership cards be available online so folks can get memberships easily and quickly in time for registrations. This is primarily a back up for leagues who normally sell most of their own membertships.
- Family Oriented Housing and CB3 zoning amendments. Recommendations from the planning committee were passed. (pgs. 14-15)
- Meeting with the Planning Committee. The board has agreed to meet with the planning committee and going over a work plan for the committee, to make sure everyone is comfortable with the direction we are going and the priority that is given to different initiatives. (pg 16)
- Meeting with Aboriginal Agencies and Elders. The board will meet with these groups to review our cultural inclusion project and other partnership opportunities.
- Annual Meeting with Edmonton City Council. The board decided that we should meet with Edmonton City Council once a year, as a matter of policy (so we will need to include this in our policy manual, Joanne). We will set up a meeting for this fall. We have met with council each year for several years now.
- Memorandum of Understanding with the Multicultural Coalition. The board approved the draft MOU, which spells out how we will work with this organization. This is an important step and our increased cooperation with this group is most helpful to our ongoing work to reach out to new residents and folks from diverse cultural backgrounds. (pg 18-19)
- Meeting with the Police Chief and Chair of the Edmonton Police Commission. The board agreed to request a meeting, and invite representatives from Neighborhood Watch and Community Patrol.
- Capital Ex Parade. The banners are made, the balloons are ordered and work is proceeding nicely on dressing up the truck Al Innes has borrowed from Don Wheaton. Everyone is welcome to join us on Thursday morning for the parade.
- 100th Anniversary Celebration Project. The consensus was that we focus on the Hawrelak Park water feature option, which seems to match our plans very nicely. We will try to flesh out a concept design with the city shortly.
- Community Sustainability Workshop. Approximately 30 people attended our second and final session. The EFCL will use the ideas generated at this workshop to prepare a draft paper for the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Sustainability by the end of August.
- Web Site Hosting. The board has agreed to phase out this service over a number of years and not accept any new leagues. Many are now on their own and it's time we helped leagues move to their own hosting arrangements. (pg. 30)
- Advertising Contract with TheOneCo. The EFCL is considering the possibility of using this company to help sell advertising on its website.
- Covered Rink Proposal. A local consortium is looking at building roof structures for outdoor rinks, along with geothermal systems that could help keep the ice cool while heating a hall nearby. The consortium would like to pitch the EFCL on the idea in the next couple of months. It looks like a smaller community rink could be covered, cooled by an ice plant and a geothermal system for under $600,000. More on this later. (pgs. 37-41)
- Surplus School Sites. The city has just released a list of 19 sites that will soon be turned over to the market for residential, commercial or institutional purposes. The EFCL will ask the city to notify each league and engage them in discussions to help determine the best use of these lands before asking for expressions of interest for various other uses. You will recall the first round of sites that were identified for "Affordable Housing." This is the next round. You can download a short report from Allan on Surplus School Sites. Please note there is a site in Miller.
I hope your summer is going well, there is much going for for community leagues this summer.
District B Rep. and President, EFCL