The Village of Halkirk has hired a new chief administrative officer (CAO), who was sworn in during the April 21 council meeting, to help the municipality navigate through the ministerial orders coming from the province.
A result of the March vote on whether or not Halkirk should remain a municipality or dissolve into the county, the ministerial orders are benchmarks coming from the Government of Alberta that must be met in order for the village to remain viable.
Marcy Renschler, the previous CAO, resigned from the position in April due to not having the municipal or legislative experience to help navigate the council, and municipality, through this uncertain time. Renschler will be remaining on staff as an office administrator to do accounts payable, receivable, and utility billing.
The new CAO for the village will be Tamara Sloboda, a chartered professional accountant who has worked with Municipal Affairs before and is based out of Edmonton.
Sloboda’s primary role will be helping the village navigate the legislative requirements set forth in the ministerial orders and set the village on a path towards long-term viability.
A first step towards the path will be the council undertaking Strategic Planning sessions with Sloboda in May.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Mayor Thomas Schmidt.
“I’ve learned more from (Sloboda) in the last two meetings than I have in the last six months as mayor.”
Renschler feels that Sloboda taking over as CAO will be a benefit to the village as well.
“I think it’s really positive,” said Renschler.
Sloboda previously served as the Town of Thorsby CAO and has conducted Strategic Planning with the Village of Glendon.
Beverage Recycling grant
The Village of Halkirk has received a $20,000 grant for new beverage recycling containers in the community.
Bin production is currently underway, and the new containers are expected to arrive sometime in early May for placement in the village’s parks and Bullarama grounds.
As part of the grant, once the bins are installed the village will have to track the recyclables that are collected on a monthly bases.
The Village of Halkirk sewage lagoon project has been found eligible for cost share funding under the Alberta Transportation Water Grants Program.
Unfortunately, according to Renschler, this eligibility just means that the project can be applied for and there is no guarantee that the project will be actually approved for funding.
The application has been submitted, and is waiting on approval before project start.