Friday, May 1, 2020


By Marianne Cole

FOCS Exciting news!!! 
 Friends of the Corridor Schools (a committee of dedicated young moms along with current and former teachers as well as community members) has had a very busy and exciting week. After receiving an urgent email from Wild Rose School Division last week saying they needed a Letter of Intent, by Tuesday, April 28, stipulating the desired enhancements to the proposed new schools at Leslieville and Condor along with the financial support we’d be able to provide. An online meeting of the group was quickly organized and everyone sprang into action. By the deadline we excitedly notified WRSD that we had raised $81, 355 which would then be matched by Clearwater County for a total of $162, 710!!! These extra dollars are going to provide for an enlarged gym and CTS lab at the high school at Leslieville along with kitchen facilities at the elementary school at Condor. 

We send huge thank you’s to all the people, organizations, and businesses that so generously stepped up to the plate. The group’s original fund raising activities/plans all came to an abrupt halt with Covid19 so it is absolutely amazing the results that were achieved by word of mouth and social media. 

There is still a need, however, for more financial aid and it is hoped the county and community members might continue to add their support. Information on this can be obtained from WRSD or by going on the FOCS website. 

Clearwater County Tax Rate Information 
 At their meeting on Tuesday, April 28, Clearwater County Council passed first reading of a motion that would see a 0% tax rate increase for 2020. In explanation of the tax rate bylaw it was noted that there are 4 requisition areas: 1. Provincial School Tax 2. Municipal Tax Levy 3. Senior’s Foundation and 4. Designated Industrial Property Assessment (set by the province).

The province has lowered the school requisition down to the 2019 rates. The municipal assessment for 2019-2020 has remained fairly steady so non-residential properties will see a decrease in their school requisition while residential ratepayers will remain the same or have a slight increase. Maintaining a 0% municipal tax rate would satisfy the budgeted tax revenue for this year. The Senior’s Foundation requisition saw a budgeted increase of $19, 382 so that results in a 3.2% increase in tax levy for that category.

Second and third reading of this bylaw will take place on May 12. Earlier, Council had passed a motion to delay penalty dates for unpaid taxes to November 6 (from September 16) with an 8% penalty applied then and an additional 4% on December 16 if still unpaid.

Broadband Projects 
 Discussion also took place on April 28th on the current status of improved broadband/internet service projects in the county. It was noted that Alberta Economic Development has deemed improved rural broadband service a high priority. While no definitive provincial support was mentioned, there are various federal grants that may be applied for when projects are “shovel ready”. This means that the engineering has been done and tenders are ready. Currently RFP’s for a fibre backbone to Ferrier have closed and staff will be evaluating them on April 30th. Another project in the works will provide improved service to the Condor Public Services Building and the hamlet of Condor.

Along with the expressed need for better service, Council also noted the need for public engagement on this matter. In the end, Council passed motions that direct Administration to develop a public engagement strategy along with proposed projects, including RFP’s on the Condor project. 

Leslieville Public Services Building 
 In the April 28th agenda package it was noted in the Public Works report that “The RFP for the building was advertised April 20th, 2020. Closing date for proposals is May 12th, 2020. Construction is to commence July 31st, 2020 and be completed by December 31st, 2020.” 

The proposed size and scope of the building remain a concern with comments continually being expressed about the definite lack of need for the Leslieville facility to be as large as the one at Condor. Most frequently the comments focus on the need for 6,000 sq. ft. of staff/training space when an equally large area is already available at Condor. Currently the two groups train/meet together at Condor. It is also often expressed that there is no need for 5 storage bays and this was substantiated by administration at Council’s March 24th meeting. 

Finally, it has been suggested that the 12 acres initially allotted to a training area at Leslieville could better be used for commercial development. A rather forward thinking “millennial” even suggested a mobile home park on that land would be a great use of space and a positive addition to Leslieville. 

In consideration of the fact that the RFPs close on May 12 and Council will then make their final decisions it is crucial that you let your councillors know your opinion: What are the basic needs for the facility at Leslieville: *** 5 bays vs 3 bays??? *** 6,000 sq. ft. of staff space vs something much smaller??? *** Training area in 2 places vs training in the already available space at Condor???

As mentioned above, please let your voice be heard by Council. You may also email your comments to or give me a call at (403)729-2493 and I will pass them on. Fiscal responsibility is even more crucial at this time.

Smiles for spring: 
What flowers grow on your face? (Tulips) 
What did the tree say to spring? (What a re-leaf!!) 

Coming Events: Due to Covid19 future CCTA meetings are cancelled.