Dear Residents & Ratepayers,
A budget meeting kicked-off a busy month of county business on April 5th. All of council sits on the Budget Committee and this provided a second opportunity to review the budget since we first did in November. We reviewed required modifications from the interim budget with Administration.
A Regular Meeting of Council was then held the following day on April 6th. At this meeting, we were able to meet with Schooten & Son’s Feedyard regarding their recent conditional approval from the NRCB to expand from 50,000 head to 75,000 head of cattle. All parties are concerned with road access off of HWY 547, however, this is a provincial highway and some coordination with the province is required, especially when Alberta Transportation is already planning a major improvement to this stretch of road.
At this meeting, Council also reviewed payment due dates and penalties on taxes. Council then authorised year end transfers to reserves for each department to a total of $2,071,274.00.
When it comes to controlling gopher populations, Council was informed that Health Canada has discontinued the use and sale of strychnine. As such, the County’s Agriculture Services Department has acquired a rental applicator that injects mustard-foam into the burrows of the Richardson Ground Squirrel. This foam is expected to provide better than 95% control on first application. There is the added benefit of it posing no risk through secondary poisoning to species that are not targeted. For a deposit of $100, the applicator can be rented at $50 per day, and for a maximum of two days.
One other item that was addressed at the April 6th meeting was a “Water For Life” grant application submitted by the Village of Milo to the province. This proposed project resulted from a feasibility study conducted by MPE Engineering on behalf of the Village of Milo, the Village of Arrowwood and Vulcan County. If approved, the province would fund 100% of the cost of a new water treatment plant for the Village of Milo and 90% of the cost for a regional water line that would send treated potable water into the Northwest District of Vulcan County. Given that good quality water is a tremendous asset for economic development, County Council expressed support for the project. If approved, more detailed arrangements will need to be made between all three partner municipalities.
The April 20th meeting of County Council saw the approval of a Community Police Officer Mutual Aid Agreement with the Town of Vulcan and the Town of Nanton. This agreement will provide back-up bylaw service between partner municipalities for special events or for short-term staffing coverage.
Council then reviewed the audited financial statements, approved of the final 2022 budget, and then levied the tax rate bylaws. General municipal tax rates will remain flat, with no increase for 2022. This is welcome news considering the inflationary cost increases that are rippling across the economy.