Edson Town Council this week, in a recorded vote, adopted the revised Council Remuneration Policy to establish Council wages at the median (50th percentile) based on the 2018 data collected through a third-party market review.
Prior to the adjustments, Council was ranked in the 20th percentile compared with 10 similar sized Alberta municipalities, while the Mayor’s compensation was ranked at 0%.
The policy also mandates that market adjustments be made to keep pace with inflation.
The current compensation levels are $40,200/annum for the Mayor and $24,600/annum for Council.
The approved adjustments will be done incrementally between now and 2022, and are as follows: The Mayor will receive an additional $2,570/year for 2020 and 2021, and then $2,560 for 2022, while Councillors will receive and additional $1000/year between 2020 and 2022.
Other amendments to the policy include the removal of the $0.20/km travel reimbursement, which Council says was seldom used and could present tax issues.
Council passed the revisions by a vote of 4-3, with Mayor Zahara, Councillor Baier, Councillor Currie, and Councillor Sorensen in favour, and Councillor Bevan, Councillor Chouinard, and Councillor Wilkinson opposed.
Also at the February 18th meeting, Edson Town Council gave the approval to install three pedestrian crosswalk lights, with a cost of $60,000, to be funded from the Public Safety Initiative Reserve.
This is planned to be a multi-year project with more locations to be included once the full costs and effectiveness are known. The first three crosswalks will be installed at 48th Street and Edson Drive, 16th Street and Edson Drive, and 3rd Avenue and 56th Street.
Council approved an additional $3,000 in funding for the Edson Cultural Heritage Organization (ECHO) following a presentation and funding request in January. ECHO has had the same level of funding ($15,000) for the last 10 years.
Council also approved a new Snow and Ice Control policy, which combines some of the previous policies and adjustments to reflect updated practices and priorities. The new policy is available on the Town of Edson website.