Greetings: Greetings and Happy New Year everyone. We hope you have had some quality time with family and friends over the holiday season. The Clearwater County Taxpayers’ Association is “ready and rarin’ to go” into this new year. We look forward to working on our mandate of advocating for fiscal responsibility, open communication, and decisions that reflect the needs/wishes of the residents of our county. We are always ready and willing to hear your concerns and act on your behalf in any way possible as we “Work together for a common good.”
IN THE NEWS
Bill 6--- This was a well-publicized issue throughout December as it stirred up actions and emotions from farmers province wide. Your councillors and county staff attended various town hall meetings in their efforts to gain information and support our farmers. An informative report was given by Matt Martinson, our Ag Services Manager, at the December 8 council meeting and an enlightening discussion among councillors followed. A letter was subsequently sent from our council and Ag Service Board to the premier and other government officials expressing concerns as well as suggesting actions for improvement. Our council is to be commended for their efforts and support for our agricultural industry.
More land purchased---A December 8 news release on the County’s website announced that the county had purchased a 5.91 acre building site located within the quarter section that the county had previously purchased north of Rocky on the airport road. No purchase price was listed but Reeve Pat Alexander stated that, “Council opted to purchase the acreage to eliminate the need, and associated costs, of providing mitigation measures…meaning things like berms or operational time restrictions.” He also added, “Not only are we required to meet environmental legislation for our salt/sand storage, but we have outgrown our existing administration building.”
2016 Budget--- The adoption of the 2016 budget has been delayed until January/February due to the “potentially significant impact on taxation and other revenue in 2016, precipitated by the continuing downturn in the Alberta economy.” (Council meeting agenda package, December 8) Council will now receive budget information binders no later than January 25 and will then review that information on February 2,3,4. Opportunity for public input will be given on Thursday, February 18 between 2:00PM and 7:00PM at the County office. Final review and approval of the 2016 budget is anticipated at the regular council meeting on February 23, 2016.
Point of Interest---The town of Rocky’s “Petition Committee Representative”, Dale Shippelt, received a letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs confirming that she will be “ordering a municipal inspection.” This process will “report on the management, administration, or operation of the municipality…”, meaning the town of Rocky.
Roses: A bouquet of roses this month goes out to Greg Somers for his efforts in taking a stance and making a presentation to council on November 24. He was expressing concern over the loss of agricultural land due to oil/gas activity as well as the development of multi-lot sub-divisions. This is the very same concern expressed repeatedly by county residents during the development of the Municipal Development Plan in 2010. Thank you, Greg, for reinforcing the need to protect our greatest food producing resource.
Rant: It was recently brought to our attention that a county snow plow/sanding truck was maintaining the roadway in Meadow Ponds Estates (in the Everdell area, south of Rocky). This is a privately owned development and no one is currently living there. When the caller had questioned county staff she was told that “we have to keep it open in case someone wants to look at the lots”. Should that not be the responsibility of the developer??? On second thought, if the county equipment is available to developers on their property, how about it being made available to maintain driveways for seniors or handicapped residents throughout the county???
Regular Monthly Meetings:
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
(At 7:00PM, Leslieville Elks Hall)
Note: We’re on line: Clearwatercountytaxpayers.ca