Notes from Council, April 27, 2023

Dear Residents & Ratepayers,

Apart from regular council meetings, I attended a virtual meeting of our Audit Committee on March 13th. Along with councillors Lyckman and Nelson, our committee is fortunate to have a very engaging Director of Finance, Mark DeBoer. He is always eager to put an item to us for review and discussion, and at this meeting we reviewed the draft financial statements prior to them circulating to all of Council. Mark has also been instrumental in rolling out online reporting tools for ratepayers on the County website. Utilizing the interactive capability of Microsoft Power BI (at a nominal cost), Mark has created a Financial Report Dashboard, a 2022 Financial Statements Dashboard, as well as a Performance Measures Dashboard for anyone who is interested. These dashboards can be found from the home page by following “Your County,” “Departments,” “Corporate Services,” then “Financial Statements and Reporting.”

Serving has host, Deputy Reeve Shane Cockwill will initiate the first “Coffee with Council” on June 8th in Brant. This new initiative seeks to improve public engagement with ratepayers. Going forward and depending on how it is received, Coffee with Council will potentially make its way to other divisions. At least two members of Council will be present, along with some Administration.

Over the Easter weekend, the Northwest district of Vulcan County was impacted by some overland flooding. Pictures of the flooding are available in the agenda package for April 19th as part of the Operations Report. Fortunately, the County’s work crews were able to close roads as needed and address any repairs once flood waters subsided. Given the amount of snow accumulation in the northwest, we were fortunate that this was not more severe.

Our MLA, Joseph Schow, has been in the area recently presenting the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal. The Northwest District Fire Chief, Bill Graff, received his on April 18th and our Regional Fire Chief, Doug Headrick, received his on April 26th. The medal is intended to recognize significant community service, and Chiefs Graff and Headrick are certainly worthy of this recognition.

The County Council passed a resolution at its April 19th meeting to recognize May 8th through 12th as Economic Development Week. The County will showcase local business during this week by organizing an Economic Development Week Giveaway. Follow Vulcan County on social media for more information.

Council also discussed funding formulas for the Vulcan District Waste Commission in closed session at its April 19th meeting. However, due to my ongoing employment with the Village of Arrowwood (which is concluding), I am required under the Municipal Government Act to declare a pecuniary interest and recuse myself from discussion and decision that would clearly entail monetary impact on Arrowwood. That said, should any ratepayers of Division 6 have an opinion on this matter, please contact one or more of the other councillors to share your concerns.

As mentioned last month, an independent inquiry has been working its way across the country, the purpose of which is to hear and report on the impacts of how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled. The non-partisan National Citizens Inquiry (NCI) is currently in Red Deer, however, the expert and witness testimony from all hearing locations can be watched at: . I think you will be impressed by the quality of the testimony and the nature of the hearings. The NCI can also be followed on Twitter.


Christopher Northcott

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