By April 1, 2020, all municipalities are required to adopt an “Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework” (ICF) with each municipality they share a common border with. Therefore the City of Camrose is required by the Municipal Government Act to develop an ICF with Camrose County.

The ICF will address services relating to transportation, water and wastewater, solid waste, emergency services, recreation and any other services that benefit residents in more than one of the municipalities.

Purpose of an ICF

  • To ensure that all parties involved contribute funding to shared services that benefit their residents
  • To manage limited resources efficiently
  • To provide for integrated and strategic planning, delivery and funding of Intermunicipal services

Why is an ICF Important?

With an agreement in place between the City and the County, the municipalities ensure that there is enough funding for services required by the residents of both communities. For example, agreeing to fund the replacement of fire trucks and other emergency response vehicles when necessary provides the residents of both municipalities the comfort of knowing that there are the resources available to respond to emergencies that could have a significant impact on their lives and well-being.

Services We Currently Share With Camrose County

  • Fire and Emergency Response
  • Permitting services
  • Recreation and culture facilities
  • Safety Codes inspections
  • Water and wastewater
  • Landfill Operations
  • Weed control

Key Service Areas

Recreation and Arts

Recreation and Arts services currently provided within the City of Camrose and utilized by residents within the Camrose Region are as follows:

  • Skating Facilities (3 ice surfaces)
  • Swimming Facilities (new pool in construction; August 2020 complete)
  • Indoor Soccer and Other Indoor Activities (Community Center - Field House)
  • Outdoor Soccer Fields (8 fields)
  • Baseball Diamonds (8 diamonds)
  • Arts activities (one location)
  • Camrose County has the following facilities / locations that are used by residents within the
  • Camrose Region:
  • Skating Facilities (1 artificial, 2 natural, and 6 outdoor rinks)
  • Baseball Diamonds (22 diamonds)
  • Curling Rinks (3)
  • Nature Trail (Camrose Nature Conservation Centre)
  • Camping/Day Use/ Beach Areas (3)
  • Numerous Community Hall facilities used for Exercise programs, and intramurals
  • Soccer programming (3 locations) is provided at rural school facilities

 

Camrose County

Camrose County recognizes that County residents make use of Recreation Facilities in nearby municipalities. The Recreation Budget for the County covers:

  • the operation and capital requirements of the County facilities
  • contributions to the operations of recreation boards in 6 County Hamlets
  • contributions to the operations of recreation facilities in 6 neighbouring municipalities
  • contributions to program delivery in 6 County Hamlets and 6 neighbouring municipalities

The deficit funding model that is currently used to calculate the portion of funding payable from the County to the City of Camrose is unsatisfactory to the County for the following reasons:

  • difficulty in "counting" facility users
  • unpredictability of funding requests ($263,000 in 2017 to $482,000 in 2019)
  • discourages increased utilization of facilities which would decrease deficits
  • County has no control over facility operations

The Millrate based model of funding which the County is proposing provides the following advantages:

  • No "counting of users" which is time consuming and doesn' t capture an accurate picture

  • Budget predictability for County and City

  • Flexibility for the City to spend the contribution as it sees fit

  • Incentive to increase utilization of facilities in the City without jeopardizing funding

  • Transparency to County rate payers regarding the portion of taxes going towards recreation facilities in all areas of the County and to the neighbouring municipalities

  • Allows for growth potential in County Assessment to be shared through increased Recreation contributions.

The contribution calculated under the Millrate model for 2019 would equate to a 40% increase in the per capita contribution from Camrose County to the City compared to the current contribution request.

Operational Risks and Capital Costs are the responsibility of Camrose County for Camrose County facilities. Outside municipalities can not be expected to assume responsibility for risks and capital expenditures when they have no decision making or operational control of the facilities.

The contributions made to the County's urban neighbours for shared recreation services are viewed as sufficient to compensate for the use of those facilities by County ratepayers, and to provide proportionately for future reserve allocations as determined by risk and reinvestment.

City of Camrose

CAPITAL: Recreation  services cannot be provided without a facility for the activity arenas, swimming pools, etc). The significant capital and maintenance costs related to the facilities necessary to provide the service should be included when considering equitable cost sharing arrangements. In order to make this possible both parties need to be involved in planning phase prior to replacing or expanding current facilities. Working together on the Regional Recreation Master Plan is a good start to this process.

 

OPERATIONAL RISK: Operational surplus/ deficits with respect to operating the facilities change over time and can be the result of new regulations (HSA) or new laws (Carbon Tax) or other factors. Mechanism should ensure that the benefits/ risks are not borne solely by one party.

 

SERVICE LEVEL CHANGES: Changes to the level of service offered will have an impact on the operating deficit. This could be the result of changes to operational service level and/or expanded facilities. Any changes to service level should be taken into  consideration for cost sharing and all parties should be consulted to ensure agreement with changes in service level.

Fire Services

The City of Camrose has agreed to provide fire and emergency response services to the County via an agreement dated September 25, 2018.  The agreement expires July 31, 2020. The current agreement lists operating costs of the City Fire Department by category and thereafter which of those categories will be shared by the municipalities and to what extent. The agreement is silent with respect to capital costs incurred to ensure that the Fire Service has the assets necessary to provide the services requested. The agreement does note that the County does own one of the pumper units within the fleet. In addition, the County will pay for any non-County owned equipment dispatched to address an emergency in the County on an hourly basis.

 

Camrose County

Capital: The County has no desire to contribute on an ongoing basis to Capital projects in another municipality.

Camrose County currently owns and is responsible for maintenance and replacement costs for 21 fire-fighting apparatus including 11 pumpers, 3 rescue trucks, 3 water tankers and 2 support vehicles.

Camrose County has developed an asset management plan for the maintenance and replacement of all County owned assets, including two fire halls, which is funded by direction of Council.

Camrose County continues to support financially, with funding for operations and capital, all 7 municipally owned fire departments under service and cost share arrangements.

Camrose County fully funds its 2 fire departments operationally and all capital items.

It is the opinion of Camrose County that the annual cost contribution plus fees paid for every County call responded to by the City of Camrose Fire Service in the County should and are sufficient for the City to pay costs and contribute to reserves for future capital costs.

Camrose County continues to be open to discussions on a one- off basis for contributions to capital projects of its partners in the fire service.

City of Camrose

CAPITAL: The fire and emergency services provided are dependent upon the existence of a fire hall, communications equipment, fire-fighting vehicles and fire-fighting equipment.

A well-equipped fire department requires a significant capital investment for items that may have very limited use on an annual basis. The actual cost per use on some of the equipment could be extremely high in any given year.

The City believes that the agreement for Fire Services for the region should ensure that all parties involved contribute to the capital component of the service and also be involved in the long-term plan for the region.

 

Camrose Public Library

The Camrose Public Library provides City residents with free access to books, ebooks, DVDs and many other items such as snowshoes and a bird watching kit. County residents currently pay an annual fee membership fee of $12.

In addition, all regional residents are able to obtain free access to Internet, newspapers, magazines as well as extensive programs such as reading programs, tech education for seniors, summer programming for children and others. The Library works together with local organizations to provide information to the public on a wide variety of topics — grief workshops, farm estate planning, ESL, etc. Programming attendance is over 40, 000 on an annual basis. In addition, the Library has partnered with local institutions to provide additional services that would not otherwise be possible; the Snacks in the Stacks program is one example.

City of Camrose owns and maintains the building in which the Camrose Library provides their services to the residents of the Camrose Region. Camrose County and the City of Camrose provide 80% of the funding for the Library operations.

Additional funding comes primarily from Parkland Regional Library allocations, various grants applied for by the Library and donations from various individuals or organizations within the community.

 

Camrose County

Camrose County funds five public libraries and the Parkland Regional Library. 77% of local library funding and 51% of the PRL funding goes to the Camrose Public Library, this equates to the Camrose library funding being more than double what Camrose County contributes to the other four libraries, on a per capita basis.

Camrose County does not believe that this is a shared service, the Library operates as an individual entity and municipalities contribute to libraries based on perceived need.

Camrose County opinion is that, yes, the library provides a wide range of services to the community as a whole, however those services are not essential but rather discretionary.

Camrose has committed to and advised the library board what the expected funding will be going forward and it is the responsibility of the library to adjust programming to reflect its budget.

City of Camrose

REGIONAL SERVICE: The library provides services to residents of the Camrose Region. Services offered by libraries have generally expanded beyond a location for books to be borrowed. Services have expanded to include programs that support the community - after school programming, reading programs, bedtime stories, tech tutors, access to computers and Internet, etc. All of these services are accessed and utilized by residents of both the City and the County.

The City believes that a fair and equitable agreement on cost sharing of this service and the infrastructure necessary to provide the service would ensure stability for all parties involved and ensure that the service can continue to be offered to all residents in the region.

 

Airport

The City of Camrose owns and operates an airport on the north side of the City. The airport provides the Camrose Region with access to a Class III runway that is utilized by recreational aircraft as well as commercial aircraft. The airport also provides the Camrose Region with emergency support services; the ability to allow for Air Ambulance transportation and a reserve landing site for STARS. The airport is maintained to allow for year- round use and ongoing maintenance to retain the Class III status.

The closest airports to the City of Camrose can be found at Wetaskiwin (38 km), Hardisty (100 km) and Ponoka (69 km).

The airport is currently funded via hangar leases, fuel sales and subsidization from the City of Camrose. No landing fees or other user fees are charged.

 

Camrose County

Camrose County has no interest in participating in the airport costs or operations. Airports and associated services are not services that are used regularly by the general public therefore the County views the airport as a discretionary service and if the airport remains should be self supporting by the users, consideration should be given to application of landing or user fees for ongoing maintenance and operations.

City of Camrose

REGIONAL SERVICE: The airport provides businesses within the Region access to a local airport for use. In addition, it provides recreational users the ability to enjoy their hobby locally. It also serves a role within the Region as support for emergency services. As such, the City is of the view that the Airport services should be supported by both municipalities within the Region.

 

Project Timeline

  • July 2019 - initial meetings with ICF Committee
  • July and August 2019 – public engagement
  • January 2020 – first draft
  • April 1, 2020 – final draft adopted

Going Forward

The City of Camrose and Camrose County are already doing great things together and are committed to continuing their collaboration in ensuring residents receive a high level of service in the most cost effective way possible. Stay tuned to this page to follow the progress.

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