Paintearth survey has lower engagement, valuable insight

Written by Terri Huxley

A recent survey set out to find what is most important to taxpayers within the County of Paintearth was introduced to council at their meeting on Tues. Oct. 20.

The survey narrowed in on perspective and what priorities were.

Normally, the office receives approximately between 150 and 300 people but this time there were only 73 submissions.

Council accepted the survey as information to allow the information to be shared publicly.

It was noted by Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michael Simpson that people really do understand the crunch municipalities are facing financially, such as, downloaded police costs and more.

The largest demographic to respond were those between the ages of 61 and 70.

When asked how they would rank services in order of funding priority, road and bridge maintenance was ranked number one with protective services, such as,  bylaw enforcement, firefighting and RCMP support in second. 

Economic development came in third, agricultural services ranked fourth, recreation services in fifth, and water services last.

Dep. Reeve Doreen Blumhagen asked administration about their approach to getting more engagement, noting that they had ‘started to gain some really good momentum before COVID hit’.

CAO Simpson said that, although not optimal, online surveys will be the way to go for the time being due to the pandemic.

Community Services Director Todd Pawsey added that they would promote like crazy and also use their collected emailing list for those who attend previous engagement sessions at the halls.

These people would receive an email with a link to new less-intense surveys as they are sent out.

Wind project update

Dan Tocher, stakeholder relations manager for Paintearth Wind Project, sent a letter with an update to stakeholders.

Council accepted the letter as information.

It contained an update from the Nov. 13 letter sent in 2019.

On Jan. 22, the Alberta Utilities Commission gave approval but due to the disruption of COVID-19, the company has modified its original schedule which was the main change since the last letter.

They are continuing to pursue power purchase and off-take opportunities which they have extended to the fourth quarter of 201 to the second quarter of 2022 to complete.

At the same time, they will submit development permits to the county.

Construction start date is expected to happen in the second quarter of 2022 and it will come into operations in the second quarter of 2023.

Private session

Council went into closed session with Tony and Clara Nibourg regarding some firefighting charges.

After approximately 15 minutes, council came out of closed session and passed a motion to reduce the amount for various reasons.

Health policies amended

Five different policies regarding health and safety in different facets of the county were passed by council.

“I think it’s sure comprehensive and covers everything I can think of,” said Coun. Tyrrill Hewitt.


Terri Huxley
ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.