Rimbey council is making a bit of a change this year by trying out committee of the whole meetings.
“The second Monday of every month is now going to be a committee of the whole meeting and the fourth Monday of every month is going to be a council meeting,” said Rimbey Mayor Rick Pankiw.
The first committee of the whole meeting was held Jan. 10, where they heard from the Historical Society and Neighbourhood Place, who spoke about the Blindman Youth Action Society.
The Society seized operations last month, so the Town took it back. Neighbourhood Place approached the Town to now manage the building, but the decision will come back at a future council meeting.
Pankiw said there is still an agenda with committee of the whole meetings, however no motions are made.
“They are more open and more relaxed,” he said.
The meetings also allow for council to hear from community members on various topics.
“If you came to present in front of council in a council meeting, our bylaws say that you have 10 minutes, but we all know that’s not nearly enough time, so we thought we would do those presentations at committee of the whole meetings, and they can take as long as they want.”
The most recent council meeting was Jan. 23, where council had elementary school students from Rimbey Elementary School sit in on the meeting to ask questions, which is something they do every year. In February, Rimbey Christian School will be in attendance.
The Town of Bentley, which holds its council meetings the second and fourth Tuesday of the month, has some exciting things happening this year.
They are currently working on wrapping up their budget and improved their proposed budget for this year, trying to not raise the taxes.
The Town has been working on asset management, along with strategic planning for future development south of town, which they are working on with Lacombe County.
The Town of Bentley recently heard from a mountain bike trail group who wants to work with people at the ski club to put in a trail there.
“We just approved funding to go ahead and do the research,” said Bentley Mayor Greg Rathjen.
Rathjen said the Town is also working to support the owners of the recent grain elevator that burnt down. It has been burning now for weeks, and crews are working on digging it up.
The Town is now at a point where their new subdivision New Beginnings is ready to be sold, and they changed the lots from four-plex lots down to two single dwelling homes. They are currently wrapping that up and moving all of the services. Around 17 lots will be up for sale.
“There’s lots of good things happening. We are keeping pretty active,” said Rathjen.