IN THE NEWS
Standing Committee on Communications Struck
Clearwater County Council recently formed a Standing Committee on Communications to investigate directions the county should take with regards to providing or not providing telecommunication services throughout the county. The committee is made up of two councillors, Jim Duncan (Division 1) and John Vandermeer (Division 4) as well as Members at Large from each of the county divisions: Division 1, Stacy Ingham; Division 2, John Reid; Division 3, Helge Nome; Division 4, Mike Maki; Division 5, Scott Sheldrake; Division 6, Terry Hunt; and Division 7, Michelle Swanson. There are also representatives from the three Chambers of Commerce in the county, industry, and the school division.
The committee is currently working on establishing guide lines for their operation and gathering ideas/input as to the direction county taxpayers would support on this issue. We encourage you to voice your opinion and contact any of the committee members.
Linear Tax Concerns
Current discussion and pressure from urban centers to “pool” linear tax revenue may have very serious consequences for Clearwater County if the Alberta government proceeds with legislation in this regard. Here are some facts:
- Linear tax is collected by municipalities for the placement of pipelines, telecommunications systems, and power lines
- M&E (Machinery and Equipment) tax is collected for the placement of property such as underground tanks, compressors, refineries, and pulp/paper plants.
- There is a push by the urban centers to have the tax income from these sources “pooled” by the provincial government and redistributed on a per capita basis.
- This would result in a HUGE loss of revenue for rural municipalities who would still have to bear the brunt of maintaining infrastructure (roads and bridges) that deteriorates at a faster rate due to industry activities.
- Clearwater County would lose $24million (44.4%) of its annual revenue and receive only $2.5 million back on a per capita basis
What can we do?? It is vitally important that we support the county in their opposition to linear pooling. Call your MLA Jason Nixon, send an e-mail, or write a letter to him, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, or even the premier. Our tax dollars are at stake.
Roses: This month’s bouquet of roses goes to all the organizers and vendors of Market Place on Main and the Country Market. These are great places for locals to purchase fresh, locally grown produce as well as support area vendors of various other goods and services. Special kudos to everyone for their efforts in providing these super, community focussed endeavors.
Rant: This month’s rant focusses on the negative impact of frac trucks hauling to and from the Di-Corp facility located west of Leslieville. Reports have been received of trucks going into the opposing (westbound) lane as they turn east onto SH598 from the Alhambra Road. Then, not only do they not gain normal speed before turning into the Di-Corp facility, but they re-enter 598 very slowly and take significant time to speed up. At certain times of the day this becomes a hazard as well as a serious inconvenience.
This was a major concern expressed by locals when the development hearings/appeals were held in 2014. The need for turning lanes fell on deaf ears in the Alberta Transportation department as well as in the county. Perhaps the only wake-up call will come when a serious accident/death occurs…a pricey penalty for not valuing common sense comments from those most affected!
October 8, Monthly meeting, 7:30PM, Leslieville Elks’ Hall
November 12--- CCTA Annual Meeting, 7:00PM,Leslieville Elks’ Hall; Guest speaker- Don Bester, speaking on Alberta Surface Rights issues