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Council Meeting Highlights - Regular Meeting February 20, 2019

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Michael McCormack - MNP
Michael McCormack, Investigative and Forensic Services, MNP, attended the meeting and provided Council with an overview on the Ethics Alert Hotline services offered by MNP.

Public Hearing – Bylaw 19-1069 – Plan Cancellation Bylaw
A Public Hearing was held to hear arguments for and against Bylaw 19-1069 – Plan Cancellation Bylaw.  The Bylaw proposes to cancel a portion of Plan 3076 KS. The existing plan was registered as a public works plan in 1956 for reservoir, waterline, and ditch purposes. The Village of Holden has indicated the plan is no longer in use for the intended purpose and would like to transfer the land back to the adjacent landowners.  Council considered a written objection to the plan cancellation.  After the Public Hearing closed, Council passed a motion to defer further readings of the Bylaw pending further information from the Village of Holden on drainage concerns.

Public Hearing – Bylaw 19-1067 – Road Closure Bylaw
A Public Hearing was held to hear arguments for and against Bylaw 19-1067Road Closure Bylaw.  The Bylaw proposes to close a portion of an undeveloped road allowance named Buffer Street in the SW 13-51-20-W4.  There were no members of the public present for the Public Hearing or any written objections received regarding the road closure.  The Bylaw will be forwarded to the Minister of Transportation for approval before Council passes second and third readings.

Garth Christofferson – Train Whistles
Garth Christofferson and Betty Lutz, Beaver County landowners, attended the meeting and expressed their concerns regarding the train whistles that seem to blown unnecessarily, infringing upon the enjoyment of their property. 

Council passed a motion to make an application to Transport Canada for whistle cessation at the controlled crossings on Township Road 492 and Range Road 161.

Beaver Management and Landflood Policy
Council reviewed the proposed Beaver Management Policy.  Further review of the policy was deferred to the March 6, 2019, Committee of the Whole Meeting.

2018 Assessment Base for 2019 Tax Year
Beaver County’s assessment base for the 2019 tax year is near finalization.  Unfortunately, due to Provincial Government assessment policy changes and continued downward economic pressure on the energy sector, the County’s assessment base has significantly decreased again.

Last year, the assessment base was $1,232,818,740.  This year, it is estimated to be $1,220,269,020, a decrease of $12,549,720.

The loss in assessment is due primarily to the following:

  1. Gas wells continue to be shut in, resulting in lower assessment for both the surface equipment and the associated pipelines.
  2. A Provincial Government policy change that decreases the land value at well sites.
  3. A Provincial Government policy change that decreases the value of privately-owned rail lines.

Fortunately, there are some assessment increases to offset the decreases, such as the following:

  1. An inflationary factor has been added to pipeline assessments.
  1. New construction of residences.
  2. New transmission lines and telecommunication facilities.

There will be no change in farmland assessment and very little change in the market value of residential property.

The impact of the loss in assessment base on the 2019 budget is significant.  At the interim budget approval, the assessment base was projected to be higher, but even at that level, a 1.6% mill rate increase was required to balance the budget. With the lower assessment base, budget cuts of over $300,000 are necessary to keep the mill rate increase to 1.6%.  

Ducks Unlimited Canada Road Closure – Road Plan 2858CL
Beaver County received a request from Ducks Unlimited Canada to close Road Plan 2858CL within the S½ 3-46-11-W4.  The Road Plan is located to the east of Secondary Highway 870 and north of Township Road 460. The purpose of the road closure is to consolidate the unused road into adjacent lands. Once approved, the landowner intends to register a conservation easement onto the S½ of 3 and sell the parcels back into the community.

Council passed a motion to close Road Plan 2858CL in S½ 3-46-11-W4, subject to approval from Alberta Transportation. 

Campground Operators
Council awarded the contract to 827410 Alberta Ltd. for operator/host of both Camp Lake and Black Nugget Lake campgrounds for the 2019 – 2021 camping seasons. 

Campground Increase in Rates
Beaver County has maintained low rates over the last several years at Black Nugget Lake and Camp Lake Campgrounds.  A rate increase will offset some much-needed maintenance, construction and improvement costs to maintain/upgrade both campgrounds

Council passed a motion to increase the camping fees by 20 percent.

2007 – 2018 Recreation Funding
Council reviewed information regarding funding provided by the County to the Towns and Villages (and associated Agricultural Societies) over the last 12 years.

Council accepted the report as information and directed Administration to forward it to the Towns and Villages for their information.

Beaver Hills Biosphere Bylaws
Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve Association (BHBRA) has developed draft bylaws for a society.

Council passed a motion to enter into an agreement for the creation of the Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve Association as described in the draft Bylaws dated February 14, 2019 and become a member of Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve Association.

Council appointed Cr. Smook as its voting member and Cr. Kallal as the alternate voting member.

Tofield Health Foundation – Skills Weekend

The Community Attraction and Retention Committee comprised of representatives from the Town of Tofield, Village of Ryley, Beaver County West, AHS, Tofield and Area Health Services Foundation, RhPap (Rural Health Professional Action Plan) and public at large are hosting a Skills Weekend from April 13 – 14, 2019. The Skills Weekend will bring 40 students from the University of Alberta, enrolled in their medical and nursing programs, to learn various health-related skills taught at the Tofield Health Center. This is also an effort to showcase our rural communities to these students in the hopes of attracting them in the future to come, live, work and play here.  The Committee requested that Council consider contributing funding towards associated costs of the weekend. 

Council deferred a decision on the matter pending information on the amount of funding required for the event.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference is scheduled for May 30 to June 2 in Quebec.  The event provides rural and urban elected officials with networking opportunities and includes workshops, study tours and keynote speeches from Canada’s Federal political leaders.

Council passed a motion authorizing Reeve Kallal and Deputy Reeve Hrabec to attend the FCM 2019 Conference in Quebec City.

Future Dates
Council rescheduled the June 6, 2019, Committee of the Whole meeting to June 12, 2019, commencing at 8:30 am.

Council passed a motion that Beaver County award the tender for the lease of land in the Equity Industrial Park to Weston Magneson for the amount of $12,107 plus GST. 

Council passed a motion that Beaver County offer Plan 762 0125, Block 1, Lot 5MR in E 1/2 26-50-20-W4 (Willow Lake Estates) for lease by tender. 

Inter-Governmental Relations
Council passed a motion that Beaver County Council honour the 2018 budgeted amount to the Village of Ryley for the 2018 Ryley Recreation Shared Services operating deficit in the amount of $22,991. 


The next Committee of the Whole meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, 2019, commencing at 8:30 am.

The next Regular Council Meeting has been scheduled for Friday, March 22, 2019, commencing at 8:30 am.

For more information, contact Beaver County toll free at 1-866-663-1333 or 780-663-3730.