News

Friday, May 22, 2020

Despite a tough economy and ongoing closures in both the public and private sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Cold Lake is seeing signs of confidence in its future.

Friday, May 22, 2020

NEWS RELEASE
May 22, 2020
For immediate release

Cold Lake’s Compost Days program sees phenomenal growth

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake’s compost program has seen a significant uptick in use, with over 200 people visiting the transfer station to take compost in a single day.

“It’s amazing to see the success of this program grow over the years,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “We were thrilled at the response to the program when it started, and it’s grown beyond our expectations each year since.”

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Outdoor parks and playgrounds in the City of Cold Lake, including the skatepark, are open for use by the public under the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Cold Lake Council has scheduled a statutory public hearing prior to considering a motion that could amend the city’s Land Use Bylaw to allow cannabis micro-processing within the City of Cold Lake’s commercial districts

Friday, May 8, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake is preparing to take steps to open in accordance with the Government of Alberta’s relaunch strategy.

Council has requested that administration reestablish full Council Meetings in council chambers, which has been rearranged to provide for enhanced social distancing for elected officials, administration, and members of the visiting public. Prior meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic response were held with three of the seven elected officials joining the meeting via teleconference.

The Cold Lake Golf and Winter Club and the Cold Lake Marina are also being staffed to prepare to open with the necessary public health restrictions in place.

“It is heartening to see that residents have heeded the Federal and Provincial calls for caution in this time, and we are happy to see this first tentative step towards reopening,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Many people have been without work for an extended period and, once the economy reopens, they are hoping they will have jobs to go back to. By following the Government of Alberta’s lead in opening some businesses and facilities, we hope to save as many businesses and jobs as possible. Government assistance has helped in the interim, but we are also hearing concerns from business owners that the government assistance may be de-incentivizing people from returning to work. We will need a properly functioning economy in order to be sustainable.”

The Cold Lake Marina is scheduled to be opened for the May long weekend, but the actual date of opening is dependent on ice conditions.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Garage sales may be a staple of summer activities, but residents should expect to see less of them this year.

The Province of Alberta is not prohibiting garage sales, and is leaving the decision to each municipality.

“We have been following the recommendations put forth by the Government of Alberta when it comes to COVID-19 and the restrictions that come with it,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We are not going to put a restriction in place at this time, but this could change as the situation with the virus develops.”

Though it is not being prohibited, the City of Cold Lake is not recommending that residents hold or attend any garage sales at this time, and to consider alternative methods to exchange goods. Should a resident feel the need to hold a sale, both sellers and buyers are reminded to obey Public Health Orders, which currently includes:

  • No gatherings over 15 people
  • Maintain a physical distance of two metres

In addition, it is recommended that residents consider e-transfers instead of handling cash, and provide hand sanitizer for both sellers and buyers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake Transit will be reducing its hours of operation in response to COVID-19.

“Ridership has seen an impact with the closures of schools and many businesses in the city,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “A lot of people are staying home right now, which is what the Province of Alberta is asking of all communities – to stay home as much as possible. Unfortunately, this continues to have a significant effect on our local economy as well.”

Council voted to reduce the hours of operation by three hours each day during the week, and remove the Saturday schedule entirely. The new hours would be Monday to Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to the service ending at 6:00 p.m.

Though Cold Lake Transit is still seeing an average of 122 riders per day, this is a decrease from the average 549 riders per day the bus system would normally be seeing this time of year.

The City of Cold Lake is seeing substantial retractions in revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions mixed with no decisions on the I.D. 349 from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs since 2018 and the federal government not paying its share of the municipal taxes in Cold Lake is creating a precarious financial situation for the City and its local economy.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – In keeping with the Government of Alberta’s direction surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Cold Lake is taking steps for the orderly cancellation of summer events likely to be affected by the pandemic.

“Of course we all want life to get back to normal, but with the government signaling a lengthy course of physical distancing and limitations on gatherings, we are taking action to ensure that summer events are cancelled,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The cancellation of summer events across the province will, of course, be devastating for the economy but to continue to plan for these events when their continuation is unlikely would only serve to put public dollars at risk.”

In response to the cancellation of the 2020 Cold Lake Air Show, the City of Cold Lake is taking steps for the orderly cancellation of the associated Full Throttle Festival, as well as other events such as Canada Day and Aqua Days.

Further to the summer events, the City will be not be accepting any bookings for sports fields throughout the community including the soccer/rugby pitches and baseball/softball fields. The soccer and rugby pitches are considered open spaces for the public to use with proper social distancing measures in accordance to public health rules, but the City will not be booking them for any events, games, or leagues. Other spaces have been closed to the public, such as the Thomas Varughese Artificial Turf Field, ball diamonds, playgrounds structures, outdoor courts, outdoor rinks, skatepark, and splash park.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake Council passed a short-term borrowing bylaw to cash flow its operations through the COVID-19 pandemic and the expected economic fallout.

Administration brought the bylaw to council for consideration after determining that cashing in investments would result in losses greater than the interest that would be charged on the short-term loan. The city has already taken drastic measures to reduce operational costs, including placing a significant number of staff on administrative leave. The employment of over 50 staff members has now been affected through administrative leaves or a reduction in hours. This represents over 35 per cent of the city’s staff.

“We hope that our staff can come back to work soon – and that we do not have to borrow this money to sustain our critical operations through the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have had to take a look at every option available to us to ensure that we can weather this pandemic while providing essential services and maintaining crucial infrastructure,” Mayor Craig Copeland said.

The borrowing bylaw authorizes the city to borrow up to $10 million, and falls in line with measures that a number of other municipalities have taken to ensure the continuity of their operations. The money will only be borrowed if and when needed, which is expected to happen in July, if the current trend continues.

This measure was necessitated by the current economic situation, deferrals to property taxes and utility bills to assist residents, a loss of revenue from closed programs and facilities, no incoming revenue from ID 349 due to the absence of a decision on the city’s sustainability agreement, and the federal government’s continued refusal to pay the entirety of its Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for its property on CFB Cold Lake.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Due to continued facility closures and a reduction in activity and services as a result of the response to COVID-19, the City of Cold Lake made the decision to issue temporary leaves to over 25 staff members.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake expressed support for the Government of Alberta’s decision to invest in the Keystone XL pipeline.

“In a time when many are struggling to see when and how our lives will return to normal, this represents strong, decisive leadership,” Mayor Craig Copeland said.

Copeland recognized that while many residents are diligently following the guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 response, they are also worried about what the future economy has in store once physical distancing measures are lifted. The expression of support came after today’s news that the Alberta Government’s $1.5 billion investment under an agreement with TC Energy will see work on the pipeline start tomorrow. Once completed, the pipeline will supply refineries with over 830,000 barrels of oil a day.

“People need to be working to take care of themselves and their families and pay the taxes governments use to fund public services: Ultimately, it is our business community that allows governments of all levels to provide the services that they do,” Copeland said. “We cannot leave industry or our business community behind. To do so would decimate the corporate and income tax base that funds the services we hold dear as Canadians. Investment in our energy sector will benefit all Albertans by creating excellent jobs and economic stimulus. The benefit will not only reach all corners of our province, but will also help lift the Canadian economy.”

Monday, March 30, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – With the ever-changing situation surrounding COVID-19 in Alberta, the City of Cold Lake is ensuring its response is in line with the province’s measured approach, based on the advice of medical experts.

Mayor Craig Copeland expressed his thanks for the community’s continued attention and support regarding recommendations.

“I think our community is doing an amazing job in response to the virus,” said Copeland. “There are so many people doing their part to keep our community running, and keeping it safe. From our medical professionals to our city staff and the people working hard under stressful circumstances to make sure essential businesses are staying open, we all have a part to play. We encourage residents to continue to stay informed and comply with the provincial recommendations, which can be found on the AHS website.”

The City of Cold Lake has taken steps to ensure that provincial guidelines are being adhered to in its workplace. This has required closing some facilities, closing others to the public as staff continue to work, and maintaining public access to others, although on a limited basis with increased measures to ensure physical distancing and proper sanitization and hygiene. Measures to ensure the continuity of staffing of essential services, such as the water treatment plant, have been in place and will continue as required. 

The City of Cold Lake administration continues to participate in the Cold Lake COVID-19 Task Force. This ensures an open line of communication between the municipality and Alberta Health Services, which is leading the provincial response. The City of Cold Lake continues to support AHS in its response.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – At its regular meeting on March 24, Cold Lake City Council passed an Operating Budget and amended its Capital Budget for 2020. The budgets outline a total of just under $44.3 million in operational spending and $8.8 million in capital projects.

The budget forecasts an average municipal tax increase of 1.11 per cent. It should be noted that the tax increase forecast may vary in either direction depending on the economic impacts relating to COVID-19, as the city continues to consider ways to lessen the impacts to local residents and business.

In 2019, budgets were passed with about $43 million in operational spending and $23.33 million in capital projects, by comparison.

“This is very much a hold-the-line budget that seeks to get our community through some very uncertain times,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “With the price of oil and the COVID-19 situation causing uncertainties, the future of the ID 349 still in limbo, and the city’s intermunicipal collaboration framework being uncompleted, we’ve held fast to as much as we can, but we will have to put many capital projects on hold as we see what the future has in store.”

The 2020 budget contains no increases to staffing levels or to levels of service. It continues to maintain an allowance for uncollectable taxes due to the ongoing dispute over Payment in Lieu of Taxes with the Federal Government for the Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake (also known as 4 Wing Cold Lake) and the Cold Lake Golf and Winter Club. The allowance for 2020 is in the amount of $1.2 million which forms part of the Government of Canada’s outstanding invoice totaling $22.2 million. Of the total outstanding amount, the Government of Alberta is seeking $2.9 million for its portion of the Education Tax.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Council voted unanimously to allow for the deferment of property tax payments and utility bills for Cold Lake residents and businesses, offering relief during the COVID-19 response.

Monthly property tax payments being made under the Tax Installment Payments Plan (TIPPS) and payments on utility bills are both being given a three-month deferral of payments for the months of April, May, and June 2020.

During this time, any unpaid utility bills will not be transferred to taxes; utilities and accounts receivable invoices will not be subject to late penalty fees, and there will be no service disconnects for late payment and no non-sufficient-funds (NSF) charges.

The TIPPS program allows taxpayers to make equal monthly installments for their taxes between January and December of any year, without being subject to a tax penalty. Under the current bylaw, taxpayers can miss two installments without being removed from the TIPPS program, but council has since extended this provision, temporarily, to three months. Any amounts being deferred on the TIPPS program will be adjusted for the remainder of 2020.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake COVID-19 task force continues to work with Alberta Health Services to assist its efforts and share the latest information in response to COVID-19.

The city is encouraging residents to continue to follow provincial guidelines and self-isolate when required. Administration is preparing options for Council to defer any municipal bills, including utility and property tax bills, and will provide and update at a later date.

As the situation across Alberta evolves, the city is preparing to adapt to any changes required, assessing what resources could be needed to assist AHS in its response.

“Our understanding is that there is one confirmed case in the Cold Lake area at this time,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We’re encouraging residents to continue to remain calm, and to visit AHS’s online resources for the most up-to-date information.

“Alberta’s supply chains are robust and well established. People need to understand that supply chains are tailored to community demand and that our local business community serves us well. We know that there are enough goods to support our community and that there is no need for hoarding: That behaviour only serves to bring about the very situation people hope to avoid by creating a sense of panic over supposed scarcity. This is unnecessary.”

Mayor Copeland has been in contact with leaders in the local business community who have confirmed that supply chains remain intact and they are adjusting to the current situation.  Businesses have seen an increase in demand with the added challenge of adjusting to staff members who have had to self-isolate, or take time off of work in response to school and daycare closures.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Following an announcement by the Alberta Government this afternoon, the City of Cold Lake will be making changes to facility operations.

The Parent Link Centre remains closed, though Cold Lake and District FCSS is currently open for limited access.

The Cold Lake Energy Centre will be closed to the public by the end of the day on March 17, 2020, as per guidelines from the Provincial Government. We understand that memberships may be impacted, and compensation or extensions will be considered in due time.

City Hall remains open, though residents are encouraged to practice social distancing by phoning with any inquiries, and refrain from entering the building if you are feeling sick. City Hall can be reached at 780-594-4494.

Included in the Provincial Government release are guidelines such as:

Friday, March 13, 2020

The City of Cold Lake and Alberta Health Services (AHS) have opened up lines of communication and are monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake Council voted to provide interim funding for the Cold Lake Parent Link Centre’s programming up to April 30, 2020, to provide time for details about the provincial government’s pending Family Resource Network program to become known.

In early November, the Government of Alberta announced that it would be cancelling grants and contracts with the 300 organizations that operate Parent Link Centres, effective March 31, 2020. The Government of Alberta’s Children’s Services Family and Community Resiliency Division is currently examining proposals from organizations to provide services for children ages 0-18 years, as well as to their parents and caregivers, under a new Family Resource Network model.

The City of Cold Lake, through Cold Lake and District FCSS, has submitted a bid to provide services under the new model.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Cold Lake, AB – Local businesses will see another year of the Business Retention and Attraction Incentive Program (BRAIP).

“We had nine businesses take part in the program in 2019, which was more than any previous year,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “That showed us there was still a lot of interest in the program, and we would like to continue offering a tax break to the businesses spending time and funds to enhance their businesses.”

Businesses approved for BRAIP receive a financial incentive in the form of a municipal tax rebate, after they enhance existing buildings, construct new buildings or additions, or demolish existing buildings.

“The quality of renovations that have come through over the years is outstanding,” said Copeland. “It’s an investment in our community, and we’re happy to continue providing help through this program.”

Since the policy was developed in 2010, the BRAIP policy has undergone a few revisions, including increasing the amount of the received tax rebate from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the difference in the pre-and-post construction tax levy.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake City Council passed an interim operating budget and a minimal capital budget for 2020.
While the City of Cold Lake generally passes a completed budget for both operational and capital spending before the New Year, uncertainties surrounding the municipal property tax revenue from ID 349 has prompted the need for an interim budget.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake’s Infrastructure Services Department took home the top prize for its Public Works Celebrations in 2019, earning provincial recognition for its efforts to raise awareness about the importance of public works.  

It is the fourth year in a row that Cold Lake has earned the top honours in Alberta for its efforts.

“This is a strong showing, and great evidence that the community supports the effort that the men and women in our Public Works Department put into making this city run,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “It is not often recognized, or even realized, that these staff members are getting calls at all hours to help with sewer line breaks, waterline breaks, and snow clearing – in addition to the work they do to help build and maintain our infrastructure.”

The award for the top National Public Works Week Celebrations – Large Community was presented to Transportation Services Manager George Urlacher and General Manager of Infrastructure Services, Azam Khan, at the Alberta Chapter of the American Public Works Association’s annual conference and trade show on October 9. Mayor Craig Copeland was also surprised with an award for Exemplary Service to Public Works at the same event. This was followed up by a visit from the President of APWA’s Alberta Chapter, Garry Webster, on November 13, who congratulated public works staff and council for their achievements in raising awareness of what public works staff do and the importance of their work in the community.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake has been advised of the provincial government’s intent to cancel grants and contracts with organizations that operate Parent Link Centres across the province and roll out a new service delivery model early next year.

The decision will affect the Cold Lake Parent Link Centre, operated by the City’s Cold Lake and District Family and Community Support Services. On Thursday, November 6, the government opened up expressions of interest so that organizations can bid on managing and providing children’s services under a new model that will be implemented after March 31, 2020. Cold Lake and District FCSS is working to understand the new service delivery model to see if it will enter a bid under the program.

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for the work that our FCSS and Parent Link Centres do,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Our community values these services and we will look at all opportunities available, understanding that the Government of Alberta may have new priorities for programs and services for children, youth and family.”

The Cold Lake Parent Link Centre had over 22,500 visits over the course of 2018 and hosted a wealth of programming geared towards providing families with a caring, safe place to play and learn together. It was funded through provincial Children’s Services grants that will not be renewed in their current form past March 31, 2020. The City of Cold Lake also provides additional funding to Cold Lake and District FCSS to maintain extended hours at the Parent Link Centre.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake has applied for and received approval for a rebate Recreation Energy Conservation (REC) Program offer through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) towards the lighting retrofit project at the Cold Lake Energy Centre.

“We are excited to get started with this retrofit,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Not only will this standardize lighting so that the older phases of the Energy Centre will match the new construction, but it will reduce operating costs and save a significant amount of power needed for lighting a large and very well-used facility.”

The Energy Centre lighting retrofit project involves the replacement of existing fluorescent lighting fixtures in both the Imperial Oil Place Arena and the Reid Field House, with new LED technology.  Retrofit of the Imperial Oil Place Arena involved replacement of 198 fixtures resulting in an estimated annual savings of 168,910 KwH equated to an estimated $10,357.59 in annual cost savings.  The Reid Field House would have 119 fixtures retrofitted resulting in an estimated annual savings of 76,647 Kwh equating to an estimated $4,577.35 in annual cost savings.

The REC Program helps municipally-owned recreation facilities reduce energy use and GHG emissions by providing financial rebates to help identify energy-saving opportunities and implement energy-saving projects.  The rebate equates to either 75 per cent of the Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) or the amount required to reach a one year simple payback, whichever is lesser.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The Lakeview Cemetery is going to see some upgrades over the next nine months.

“This cemetery is an important piece of our history, and deserved to see some improvements,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.

Improvements include an asphalt drive-through lane connecting 25 Street to the back cemetery lane; upgraded columbaria units; a paver stone walkway with memorial wall; bench seating, and planting upgrades. As well, a new sign will mark the entrance to the cemetery.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake was among other participants of the most recent Mid-sized Cities Mayors’ and Chief Administration Officers’ caucus meeting, where new opportunities were discussed.

“We want to make sure Cold Lake is represented at these meetings,” said Mayor Craig Copeland, who attended the event. “With so many municipal leaders in one place, it’s a great opportunity to discuss what hurdles our communities may be facing.”

Gathering in Lethbridge over two days last week, 22 Alberta municipalities discussed a variety of key issues, ranging from the mortgage stress test to a provincial drug strategy. A portion of the meeting focused on the MacKinnon Report, with the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Kaycee Madu, outlining potential impact of the recommendations for municipalities.

On the second day, the caucus heard from Premier Jason Kenney, who spoke about how he will continue to partner with municipalities for economic growth, jobs, diversification, innovation, and opportunities to grow revenue.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake will be opening two locations for recycling drop-off, as part of the city’s commitment to a cost-effective recycling program.

These locations will have large bins to accept cardboard, mixed paper, plastics, aluminum cans, and tins. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the drop-off locations will be located at the Energy Centre and 4811 50 Street, which is the old Grand Centre Hotel site.

“This is an exciting venture for the City of Cold Lake, as we branch out into a more convenient recycling process for the community,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “These sites are meant to give residents a convenient place to drop off of recyclable items, in addition to regular curbside recycling.”

As part of the enhanced service levels for recycling in the community, construction is underway at the Cold Lake Transfer Station for a new Materials Recycling Facility. It will become the central location for all city recycling, where it will be further sorted and bailed, providing a cost-effective recycling program for residents. There is no expected change in the biweekly schedule for residential recycling pick-up.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The Cold Lake Bicycle Park is pushing forward, despite potential hurdles ahead.

On Tuesday, Council voted in favour to proceed as quickly as possible with the Cold Lake Bicycle Skills Park & Trails – Ride / Training Centre Master Plan, pending any environmental screening and historical resources approvals.

“This park has a huge volunteer base from the community looking to support the project,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “It’s great to see so many people keen on seeing this park come to life.”

Council heard that the contractor specializing in bike park construction became available on short notice and that several kilometres of trails could be completed this year, pending provincial approvals and weather.

Work would begin on the "intermediate" and "basic" trails to ensure that the new infrastructure would see the maximum amount of use. Advanced trails and other amenities would be subject to further funding.

Provincial approvals are required for the work to begin, and may impact the start of construction on the project.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

For [Pod]casting in Cold Lake Episode 2 Mayor Craig Copeland and CAO Kevin Nagoya sit down to talk about: Thanks for listening / Pizza, beer and commercial development / The Land Use Bylaw, permitted uses and a landowner’s right to develop / Working with potential investors and discovering opportunities / The city’s role in preparing for development / City-owned land / Relationship building that fosters economic development / Cold Lake as a retail hub / Commercial renovations and incentive programs / Recent changes to parking bylaws in small business shopping districts / Oil and the economy / Residential development and a landowner’s right to develop / Storm water management and developme

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

[Pod]casting in Cold Lake, Episode 1 is now available online for free download! You can find it in iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and a few other major broadcasters. Please not that on some providers may take some time to index the new podcast so that it is searchable.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake is coming to a podcast near you.

“Casting in Cold Lake” will be a podcast featuring elected officials and administration from the city talking about current events, issues, and answering popular questions.

“Apparently we talk a lot,” joked Mayor Craig Copeland. “We definitely have a lot to say, so when the proposal of hosting our own podcast came up, council jumped at the opportunity.”

The initial episodes will feature the mayor, along with Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya. Future episodes are expected to have other members of council as well as special guests from various departments in the city, community groups, or from nearby municipalities.

“This will be a great way to reach the public and discuss topics that matter to them, without the time constraints that come with other forums,” Copeland said. “Once it is up and running we hope to be able to respond more directly to the public’s questions. This will allow us to discuss topics in depth in an informal setting, where we are not pressured by a hard-and-fast timeline.”

The first episode was recorded several weeks ago and covers several general topics including municipal taxes, the state of the local economy and how federal and provincial regulations impact the local economy. Our expectation is that future episodes will be recorded and released within a 24 to 48 hour period, allowing the show to be able to respond to timely issues and promote current events.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

COLD LAKE – The City of Cold Lake continues to liaise with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to monitor water conditions at the designated swimming area at Kinosoo Beach.

The AHS water quality advisory for the beach remains in place, as the average of the test results remains above acceptable levels of the enterococcus bacteria in the provincial guidelines. It should be noted that only designated swimming areas are tested. The Advisory is only applicable to the Kinosoo Beach area.

“Our test results have shown significant improvement in the water quality, but the guidelines take an average of the levels over the past 30 days,” Kevin Nagoya, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer said. “The average remains above the acceptable threshold due to spikes in a few of the results. We continue to urge residents to pay attention to AHS’s advisory until we can communicate that it has been lifted.”

Friday, July 19, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – Artists in the city are getting ready for the second annual Verge Arts Festival in Cold Lake, and city council recently voted to sponsor the event.

“We have an extraordinary amount of talent in our community, and council is proud to support this endeavor to help give artists an opportunity to showcase their work,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.

The Verge Arts Festival encompasses several different varieties of the arts, including theatre, musical performance, and static visual displays. It takes place over three days, Aug. 9-11 at the Grande Parlour on main street in Cold Lake South. Last week, Council voted to sponsor the festival with a grant of $5,000.

“The Cold Lake Entertainment Society took a big leap of faith with starting this festival last year, and we really hope to see it grow with some community support,” said Copeland. “We think it has potential and are thrilled that community groups step up to take these events on.”

There will be four theatre productions over two nights, all of which are written and performed by local residents. During a delegation, council heard that one of the playwrights is Meghan Rennie, an 18-year-old student about to head off to university to study business and art.

The festival will also include musical performances, which will run throughout the two evenings, across three different stages. In addition to the Grande Parlour main stage and the small stage in the café, a third stage will be set up in the back alley, where craft beer and wine will also be available.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake is working to understand concerns about impacts that changes to the delivery of driver’s examinations are having in the community.

“We’ve heard that residents are having trouble accessing this service,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “There are concerns in the community that people trying to access road tests are facing severe waiting times.”

Last year, the former provincial government made the decision to stop delivering road tests through contractors and to hire provincial employees to provide the service. In November of last year, Council wrote a letter to the then minister of Service Alberta, which went unanswered until after the election. The response, which came from the then deputy minister on April 11, 2019, said that demand for driver’s examinations would be monitored by the government.

Council and administration will work to understand the level of service being provided in Cold Lake, and whether the level of service has changed.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – As construction on the Regional Water Line Project continues, road closures will continue to shift.

Starting July 18, there will be a road closure in Cold Lake North, along 16 Street, between Circle K and the Seniors Lodge. Specifically, the closure will be located between 3 Avenue and 5 Avenue, as well as 5 Avenue to 6A Avenue.

Access to 16 Street from Highway 28 will be closed to prevent vehicles from turning off of Highway 28. Residential areas will still be accessible from English Bay Road. With beach access will be made available through 10th Street.

These temporary road closures are expected to be removed on July 24.

Alternative access to Kinosoo Beach and other areas will have detour signs available.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – Fuel is now available for purchase at the Cold Lake Marina, for boaters and other watercraft users.

With the new fuel tank operational, marina users are now able to purchase regular fuel using a credit card. Debit cards and cash cannot be accepted by the pump. The new fueling system has premium fuel capability, however arrangements are still being made to bring premium fuel to the launch, so only regular fuel is available at this time.

Users interested in purchasing fuel can insert their credit card into the pump machine, and follow the prompts to review a safety orientation before being provided a pin number. This pin number will be required to activate the fuel system, and the number should be retained for future purchases with that same credit card, as it will be locked to that credit card number.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – A second scale at the City of Cold Lake landfill and transfer station will help to decrease wait times at the facility.

The second scale became operational earlier this week, and now allows for vehicles and their loads to be weighed in two independent lines – one entering and one exiting the facility. The second scale became a possibility when the road to the transfer station and landfill was realigned as part of efforts to extend the life of the landfill.

“This project made the most out of a necessary change,” City of Cold Lake Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya said. “Thanks to excellent project planning we are now able to extend the life of our landfill, which was nearing its capacity in the previous configuration, while at the same time making improvements that will benefit users. People can now expect shorter wait times both entering and exiting the landfill and transfer station.”

The reconfigured landfill, coupled with an enhanced waste diversion project that will be rolled out in the future, is expected to significantly extend the life of the Cold Lake Landfill.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake joined a growing number of municipalities in Western Canada that are calling on the federal government to scrap Bill C-48 and accept the Senate’s amendments to Bill C-69.

“Our community has suffered a deep, prolonged downturn and our residents have done their best to weather the poor economy and are looking for signs of hope – for signs of a recovery,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Our federal government needs to create a competitive environment that will encourage investment. What these two bills are proposing will accomplish the opposite – they amount to kicking us when we are down.”

At its June 11 Regular Meeting, council unanimously passed a motion calling on the Senate to defeat Bill C-48, also known as the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, and to Defeat Bill C-69 if it returns to the Senate without the amendments the Senate originally passed.

Council has recently returned from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) convention, held in Quebec City, where they were able to discuss Canada’s Energy Industry with municipal leaders from across the country. Mayor Copeland told council that the proponents of the bills in question would always stop short of proposing any measures that would negatively affect the economy in their region, but were quick to overlook the negative impacts the bills would have on others.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – Improvements to the Energy Centre continue as new tile is laid throughout the main floor.

“We’ve come a long way with our recreation facilities,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “There has been a lot of traffic coming through the Energy Centre, especially with the new climbing wall and the second arena. This work will give the older, worn floors in the facility an updated look that is consistent with the new phase.”

The old floor will be removed in the evenings, to help with noise and dust control, with new tile being laid during the day. Facilities and businesses such as Booster Juice will still be open during the construction, though with possible alternative access points. The City of Cold Lake regrets any inconvenience that the work may cause. The public is advised to be mindful of workers and any areas that are blocked off.

The work will be done in four phases, with the first phase having just started. All of the work to update the flooring is expected to be completed late July or early August.

The construction comes on the back of a soft opening of the new grand stand and artificial turf field. An official grand opening for this facility will be announced in the near future.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake will take steps to remove noxious and prohibited weeds from public property in Cold Lake.

Common Tansy is defined as a noxious weed under the Alberta Weed Control Act. The Act requires control measures to be incorporated to reduce the spread of the weed throughout the province. Common tansy is considered to be extremely invasive, with a single plant capable of producing upwards of 5,000 seeds. Though unpalatable to most creatures, if consumed in large quantities, the plant can be toxic to livestock.

The City of Cold Lake will be combatting the weed to prevent its spread from the currently infected areas:

  • Along 54 Avenue and 44 Street
  • Highway 28 when coming into the north between 16 Avenue and 16 Street
  • the Tri-City area east of the mall
  • the ditch along 16 Avenue between the highway and the Public Works Shop

This spray will also be targeting other prohibited noxious weeds, such as Oxeye Daisy and Scentless Chamomile.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – Council will offset the increase in the City’s 2019 Operational Budget with accumulated surplus from the previous year’s budget, bringing the average increase in municipal taxes paid to zero per cent this year.

The residential tax rate is set at 8.0331, the multi-family residential rate is 8.4215 and the non-residential rate is 12.2760. These rates will generate just over $20.5 million from properties within the city, which will then be topped up with $555,381 from accumulated surplus to balance the city’s $52 million budget for 2019. This budget is inclusive of all municipal expenditures and transfers.

Accumulated surplus is the result of not spending money budgeted for the previous year – often in salaries not spent while positions are being filled, for instance. Higher than expected revenue from investments also helped contribute to the 2018 accumulated surplus.

“We know about many hardships in the community due to the economy and so council did not want to see an increase in taxes,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Using accumulated surplus means that the increase in taxes could be felt next year. We will either need additional revenue or we will have to look at reducing services in the City to balance the 2020 budget. These are difficult times and, if things do not turn around, we have some difficult decisions on the horizon.”

The tax rate is a factor used per $1,000 of property value to determine the amount of taxes a property is required to pay for municipal services. Taxes are based on the assessment, which means that a tax rate increase or decrease does not necessarily mean an increase or decrease in the amount of municipal tax a property owner will pay compared to previous years.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cold Lake – The Cold Lake Marina will officially be opening at 4:00 pm today and, as a welcome back to the lake, the city will be offering free boat launches over the May long weekend. Regular launch fees of $8 per boat will commence on Tuesday, May 21.

This year, the city has taken over complete operation of the facility, and thus, new staff members are working at the Marina for the first time. The public’s understanding and patience is appreciated as the staff get used to filling in their new roles.

As the fuel dock is still undergoing maintenance, there is no fuel service until the new tank installation is installed and commissioned, which is expected to be completed in June.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake and the Cold Lake Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) will be hosting a conference to educate the region’s businesses about how to do business with the government – especially when it comes to securing Department of National Defence contracts.

“The oil patch is slow, and we know that a lot of businesses are looking for new opportunities,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “With the presence of CFB Cold Lake in our community, and the manufacturing, environmental services, and engineering expertise throughout our region, we know there are opportunities for small and medium sized businesses to capitalize on. We hope this conference sheds light on how to find out about contract opportunities and how to bid on them while developing a network of new contacts that can provide follow up support.”

The conference, called Contracting Opportunities in the Lakeland, will be held at the Lakeland Inn in Cold Lake from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm on May 22. Tickets to the event are $15, include lunch, and are available on Eventbrite.ca.

Presentations at the conference will introduce attendees to the bidding process, where to find contract opportunities, how to construct a bid and the differences between various levels of government and their procurement processes. The presentations and breakout sessions will be facilitated by Public Services and Procurement Canada, and the Western Canadian Defense Industries Association, in addition to members from Defense Construction Canada.

“Large multi-million dollar contracts for major equipment tend to get the headlines, but our region’s businesses need to know that opportunities to secure work with the government extends from the multitude of smaller contracts associated with providing local purchase items and services to much larger contracts associated with construction projects and environmental services,” Copeland said. “In many cases the government attendees are as interested to learn what the capabilities of the region are as businesses are to win their contracts.”

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The existing fuel tank supplying customers at the Cold Lake Marina will be replaced with a new tank capable of supplying both regular and premium fuels for boaters.

Work on the replacement is expected to begin this spring, and will take about four weeks to complete. The tank will be above ground and will include a structure to obscure its view to ensure it does not alter the facility’s aesthetics.

Refueling at the marina will not be possible while the existing fuel system is being replaced. The City of Cold Lake apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause and will work to ensure that the project is completed on schedule to minimize any impacts to service delivery at the facility.

“This project will make two types of fuel available at the marina, fulfilling a request that we have been receiving for some time,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “As one of our most popular summer destinations we want to ensure that the marina remains an exceptional attraction for locals and visitors alike.”

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – This spring will see two plagues of nature sweeping through Cold Lake.

Residents are likely to remember the wiggling masses of Tent Caterpillars that swarmed the area last spring. Considering the caterpillars are currently in the peak of their seven-year cycle, numbers are expected to decrease over the next couple of years until they are virtually unnoticeable in quantity.

City of Cold Lake staff are taking a mechanical approach to controlling the caterpillar population before they hatch, opposed to chemical. There has also been an increased sighting of house flies, which are one of the natural predators of the Tent Caterpillar. A sudden increase in the black fly population signals an end to the caterpillar cycle.

Residents can also take some control on their property. Before they hatch, be on the lookout for Tent Caterpillar egg masses. These can be pruned off the tree and disposed of with regular household waste. Once the caterpillars have started, a homemade solution of dish soap, water, and vegetable oil can be sprayed onto the newly emerged caterpillars. Once sprayed directly onto the caterpillars, the mixture prevents oxygen intake through the skin. It is best to do this in the early morning when the caterpillars are grouped together.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – City Council will hold a public hearing to gather feedback on a proposed bylaw that would relax parking requirements in the Downtown and Lakeshore business districts.

The public hearing will take place at Cold Lake City Council’s May 14 Regular Meeting, which will be held in council chambers at Cold Lake City Hall at 6:00 pm. The hearing will be open to the public to provide feedback.

Under the existing parking regulations, a coherent set of principles used to allow for new development in certain areas became difficult to distinguish, and parking regulations are increasingly being viewed as a limiting factor for establishing new businesses and for the ability of existing businesses to expand.

The city’s development authorities, including the Municipal Planning Commission and the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, have been working with prospective businesses seeking development permits and compliance with the existing parking regulations. Decisions that would allow for new businesses have become increasingly difficult to accommodate, however. The proposed bylaw being considered by council was drafted in response to these concerns.

The proposed bylaw would create what are known as “parking overlays,” or zones within which parking restrictions would be eliminated for certain types of businesses.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The City of Cold Lake will take advantage of lower-than-expected construction and paving costs to substantially enhance its regional aerodrome’s taxiways, paving the way for economic development initiatives at the air strip.

“We’ve had some businesses kicking the tires at the Regional Airport and we know that, because of its unique location, there will be interest from more businesses in the future,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This project will ensure that the aerodrome can expand and serve a wide variety of interests – from general aviation enthusiasts to businesses that need access to an air strip.”

The Cold Lake Aerodrome’s business plan called for enhancing its grass taxiways to a paved standard in three future phases. Administration was in the process of tendering a single phase of the project when favourable pricing revealed an opportunity to have all three phases completed.

Council voted to increase the project’s budget from $1.2 million to $1.7 million to complete all three phases, inclusive of contingencies for the project. Phase 1 will service the existing hangars, while Phase 2 will expand paved taxiways to the west, servicing future general aviation lots. The third and final phase of taxiway enhancements will service lots to the west intended specifically for commercial use.

The project will be completed in 2019 with funds already committed to the airport, grant money, and $500,000 committed to the project from the MD of Bonnyville.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The city’s compost program is about to kick off the gardening season.

Starting earlier than last year, residents will once again have the opportunity to pick up free compost material. This year, the compost product is again rated “Category A” and can be used in agricultural lands, residential gardens, and horticultural operations.

“This compost is created from the yard waste that gets picked up every summer,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Not only are residents getting a chance to clean up their yards, but after some time, we can return the clippings in the form of a rich compost.”

This year’s Compost Days pick-up will be starting on May 1, and running for the full month of May. Residents may take the lesser of five bags or 100 kg of compost per visit, and are encouraged to bring their own containers or bags.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The outdoor tennis courts at Ivan Krook and Hilltop Park, and the pickle ball courts at Imperial Park, have had their nets installed and are ready for public use. Imperial Park is open from 8 am – 10 pm daily. For more information contact the Cold Lake Energy Centre at 780-639-6400. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – The final deadline for Cold Lake Marina users to confirm their berth rentals for the 2019 boating season is fast approaching.

Staff have been contacting marina users but, to date, 48 users have not renewed their slip rental agreement. Last year, a grace period extending from April 1 to 15 was implemented to accommodate some users who found the hard April 1 deadline difficult to achieve.

Marina users who submit After April 1 but before April 15 can renew their agreement for a 15 per cent surcharge. After April 15, berths will be assigned to people on the waiting list, which currently sits at about 190 people. The public should note that Cold Lake Marina berths do not transfer with the sale of a boat, nor can they be transferred to a family member or friend.

Also, subleasing a berth must be coordinated through the City of Cold Lake with the revenue to be split between the marina user and the city. Throughout the 2019 season, staff will be monitoring to ensure that only the proper boats are being kept at the marina.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake City Council voted to apply to have its voice heard at an upcoming Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) hearing for Imperial’s planned Cold Lake Expansion Project.

“There’s a growing sense of helplessness in the community,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Here we have a project that has been jumping through regulatory approvals since 2016. We had heard it was finally approved, and now another hearing is announced. There are lots of people in Cold Lake who want to get back to work, but the regulatory process seems endless. It’s time for all levels of government to take meaningful action if we want our energy sector to recover.”

Early this month, AER published a notice of hearing for the Cold Lake Expansion Project, which is located about 23 kilometres northwest of the City of Cold Lake. Initial application for the project was filed on March 10, 2016 and was approved on August 14, 2018. The Elizabeth Métis Settlement requested a regulatory appeal on September 12, 2018.

The request for appeal was granted on December 20, 2018.

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