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SNEAK PEEK: Athabasca County councillors to review video surveillance policies, grant applications

Councillors to discuss draft video surveillance, emergency alert app policies
Athabasca County councillors will gather at the administration building the morning of Feb. 13 for their first regular meeting of the month. Agenda items include a video surveillance policy, an emergency alert use policy, and a Trans Canada Trail Care grant request.

Editors Note: In a previous version of this article, a description of the Trans Canada Trail Care grant request for decision in the Feb. 13 agenda was incorrect. The Feb. 13 agenda item is a request to direct administration to apply for the Trans Canada Trail Care grant for spring clean up of trails. 

ATHABASCA — Athabasca County councillors will be congregating at their usual time and place this week for the first regular council meeting of the month to address a number of draft policies, revisit a grant for trails in the county, and more.

During their Feb. 13 meeting, councillors will discuss three policies referred from the policy review committee around video surveillance, county vehicle use, and a dedicated emergency alert system.

The video surveillance policy will allow the county to put three cameras purchased and installed on county property in 2021 to use. Policy contents focus on the storage and use of video surveillance, as well as access to footage and privacy concerns.

Athabasca County’s vehicle policy is also on the agenda for councillor review. After the policy was slated for administration review during the Dec. 5 council meeting, it was forwarded to the next regular meeting from the policy review committee Jan. 31.

The amended draft carries one change, which would allow councillors to take a county vehicle home prior to a sanctioned event or conference in cases where collecting the vehicle from the county office or public works shop is not reasonable or practical.

Councillors will also review proposed guidelines for administration’s use of emergency notifications within the county. According to the discussion report included in the agenda, the app Voyent Alert has been used by Athabasca County to notify residents of changes in service and emergency situations, such as the Jackfish Lake fire in May 2023. According to the report, the number of registered app users doubled during May when alerts about the 2023 Jackfish Lake fire were being issued.

A request for decision submitted by Coun. Tracy Holland is also on the agenda, with an ask to direct administration to apply for the Trans Canada Trail Care spring 2024 grant, which she said has helped inspire increased volunteerism and efforts in caring for the trails and other recreational amenities around the county.

Applications for the 2024 Trail Care grant close Feb. 29, and projects are eligible to receive up to $,1500 in funding. According to the discussion report submitted by Holland, Athabasca County successfully applied to the grant in 2022 and 2023, and funds were used to aid volunteer cleaning, maintenance, and improvement efforts.

The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Athabasca County administration building. An online version of the agenda can be found here, and meetings are also streamed live on Athabasca County’s YouTube page.

Lexi Freehill,

About the Author: Lexi Freehill

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