Ponoka County Reeve Paul McLauchlin advised during council’s regular meeting on April 26 that he’d met with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) on behalf of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA).
He strongly recommended the AER hold companies accountable for unpaid taxes.
The RMA was also challenging their urban counterparts for the use of the name “Alberta Municipalities” as it implied all municipalities, rather than just the urban municipalities.
The following are brief items of interest from the April 26 meeting.
Policing services payments
The payment for policing services under the new policing model was $407,000, a substantial increase from the $320,000 originally estimated.
Council voted to approve a payment for $1,514,058.89.
The Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society is working on a succession plan for event planning purposes. They were to start levelling a portion of the Berg property early in May.
Rimbey FCSS update
Rimbey Family and Community Support Services has completed the accreditation process.
Regional fire department
The regional fire department had attended a fire next to Coun. Nancy Hartford’s property that got away from a burning barrel. She commended them for managing the fire so that it did not go into the nearby muskeg.
Rimoka was reviewing their life lease units. A number of units were empty as people were hesitant to purchase them due to COVID lock-down protocols.
Ponoka Seed Cleaning Plant
The Ponoka Seed Cleaning Plant is still considering its options for relocation.
Small business tax rate
Council voted to approve a new tax rate bylaw. The new mill rate for small businesses is now 8.12.
Alberta Municipal Affairs requires that the small business tax rate be at least 75 per cent of the residential and farmland tax rates.
Third and final reading of the new bylaw was unanimously passed.
Chief administrative officer Charlie Cutforth presented a draft letter to the Minister of Environment requesting the county be given the authority to remove approaches to AlphaBow wellsites due to their refusal to pay their outstanding taxes.
Coun. Mark Matejka suggested that the minister be made aware that surface lease payments to landowners were not being made. Council voted to send the letter.
Fire responders resolution
The county will be requesting a management review of the use of volunteer fire fighters as as medical first responders.
It was noted that Clearwater County has indicated it would second a resolution for the fall convention.
Rimbey fire truck sale
The county had a pending offer of $25,000 on the Rimbey fire truck, however, a fire department in Saskatchewan was also interested in the unit.