Delburne given clean financial bill of health

Written by Brenda Schimke

The financial statements for the year ending Dec. 31, 2021 were reviewed and approved during the regular council meeting on April 26.

Auditor Justin Tanner of Gitzel & Co. was on hand to review the statements.

At year end there was a $141,846 surplus. There were no significant findings or recommendations.
The village is using less than 40 per cent of its debt limit, and interest on its outstanding long-term debt is low and at a fixed rate.

“Overall, a pretty sound year”, concluded Tanner.

Total taxes assessed by the village in 2021 were $976,000, but only $742,000 remains with the village. The remainder is collected for the provincial government for schools, seniors’ housing and policing.

“The first 24 per cent of collected taxes leaves the community immediately”, said Tanner. “They (the provincial government) just dip into your bank account when they want the money.”

Revenues were unexpectedly higher in 2021 as new land sales were $180,000 over budget.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Fagan noted that of the unpaid taxes on the Dec. 31 financial statements, $78,000 has now been collected.

Taxation bylaw
A bylaw to authorize the rates of taxation to be levied in 2022 was unanimously approved.

“There are zero increases from the village,” said CAO Fagan, “all increases were provincial assessment increases.”

The policing assessment has increased 113 per cent (from .1912 to .4079); the residential school tax assessment five per cent and the non-residential school tax assessment 2.4 per cent.

Fawn Meadows Land Use amendment
The Fawn Meadows Land Use Bylaw amendment and the three opinions expressed at the Public Hearing were discussed.
“I don’t think it would be in the community’s best interest, at this time (to make a decision), without hearing from all the property owners in Fawn Meadows”, said Coun. Reckseidler.

“A letter to the residents will show we want to hear from them”, said Coun. Folks. “I think it’s wrong to impose restrictions on behaviours that we weren’t proposing 20 years ago”.

A suggestion by Coun. Bourne that Red Deer County may provide the village better insight into what direction to take was unanimously agreed to by council. By motion, the CAO was directed to contact the county and report back.

New Business
The spring allocation from the Delburne Community Support Grant was unanimously approved by council totalling $29,316.
Recipients included the Boys & Girls Club, Drop-In Centre, Elks, Futures Committee – Ghost Ryders, Delburne Gospel Church, Minor Ball, Minor Hockey, Municipal Library and the Show & Shine. Further applications will be accepted in the fall.

Unanimous approval was given to offer the Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Rebate programs for the third consecutive year. Interest continues to grow.

From the community survey, there was an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote to continue with the roving yard waste trailer this year.
An additional $1.50 will be added to the recycle fee for costs associated with this service.

Residents are reminded it is for branches, garden refuse and grass clippings only. It is not for dog and food waste or other compostables.

Delegation to Justice Minister
The Police Advisory Committee, composed of Sgt. Jamie Day of the RCMP Three Hills detachment, Carolyn Kung, Program Manager Victim Services Three Hills, Karen Fagan CAO, Delburne, Coun. Faye McGhee, Kneehill County and Deputy Mayor Bill Cunningham, Town of Trochu, will be meeting with the Minister of Justice, Tyler Shandro, on May 25 at his legislative office.

The points to be addressed are filling the enhanced position and a discussion on keeping the RCMP in Alberta.

Community events, requests
A request by a parent group for a 2022 grad parade on Fri. May 27 was tabled in order to seek further information.

Amy Ritchie, representing Market in the Park, requested council to cover $1,000 in funding for porta potties on July 1.

A change of leadership and a misplaced Community Support Grant resulted in a missed deadline for funding and has put the Market in the Park in a difficult financial position.

A motion was unanimously passed to provide the funding as the market normally receives a Community Support grant for this purpose.

The cost of the pipe band for the Canada Day parade has increased significantly from $350 to $1,000. Council agreed to share the costs with the Legion.

The provincial government has a new Cultural Events Program offering $10,000 to communities that stage a 3-day event focusing on Truth and Reconciliation.

Coun. Reckseidler said the Library Committee wanted to apply for this grant and asked for council’s support. Council members were very keen and supportive of this initiative.

A motion was unanimously passed to allow the Show & Shine committee to use the portable stage for their band at an outside venue. Rental rate and deposit apply.

A motion to approve the request by Debbie Smith to use the vacant lot on the north side of 21 Avenue from June 30 to July 3 for family members to park RVs, was approved.

Smith is responsible to ensure the property is clean

ed up after the event.

Brenda Schimke
ECA Review

About the author

Brenda Schimke

Schimke is a Graduate with Distinction from the University of Alberta with a BCom degree. She has lived and worked in Alberta, BC and Ontario.