Notes from Council, March 31, 2024

Dear Residents & Ratepayers,

Our regular meeting on March 13th was only a half-day, however, a few important items were covered off. Council reviewed the year end transfers to reserves totalling just over $2 million dollars. The County has a projected unrestricted surplus of $900,534.00 and a restricted surplus (being allocated to offset a capital asset liability) of $51,987,627. Please keep in mind that Vulcan County’s projected equity in Tangible Capital Assets is $107,162,173.00.

The contract renewal with the County’s property assessment provider was also reviewed and approved. Benchmark Assessment provides assessment services to all municipalities in Vulcan County and has a comprehensive understanding of our region. The new contract runs from 2025 to 2030, with a starting cost of $182,000 the first year and increasing $4,000 for every year thereafter.

As some of you will be aware, the Village of Champion has rejoined the Vulcan District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and this necessitated updating the agreement with the managing partner, the Town of Vulcan. While all municipalities in our region are now part of the District, these new agreements allow for members to leave independently without effecting the Town’s agreements with other member-municipalities. Approving the new FCSS agreement was administrative housekeeping; no other major changes were proposed. Member-municipalities understand the importance of this service to our region with there being a lot of demand for FCSS and the Food Bank in recent years.

March 16th was Firefighter Appreciation in the Carmangay Community Hall. Local Fire Chief, Wyatt Dahl, and his department did an excellent job hosting firefighters from across the County. The evening offered a few speeches, a catered meal, awards for service, as well as entertainment; this year’s entertainment was dueling pianos. I would also like to thank Shania Culp and Doug Headrick for their efforts in organizing the event.

As the councillor for Division 6, a division that has three fire districts, the firefighter appreciation night is the one opportunity that I have every year to thank members (particularly from all three districts in my division) for their dedication. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend last year given a broken ankle, so it was good to be there for a second time while I have been on Council. We are fortunate to have such a well-trained and resourced fire protection service. Their coordination across the County means that major events can be responded to in a timely and effective manner.

Five members of Council attended the Rural Municipalities of Alberta Spring Convention. It provided an opportunity for us to meet with provincial ministers, as well as the RCMP. As it impacts Division 6, we were able to discuss the Lake McGregor Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area with the Minister of Environment, Rebecca Shulz. We were able to convey to her the need for a marina development to ensure safer access on and off the reservoir, as well as to promote economic development with the Village of Milo.

There is a Local History Night in Milo at 6:30 PM on April 5th at the Community Hall. Dr. Craig Coburn from the University of Lethbridge will speak about the Vulcan County Missing Graves Project. A presentation will also be offered on the Furrows of Time history book for the communities of Farrow, Mossleigh, Arrowwood and Shouldice. The Friends of the Milo Library Society will provide appetizers and a cash bar. Donations will be accepted (and receipted) for those wishing to do so to support local library service.


Christopher Northcott

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