Flagstaff County requests extension of Fire Services Agreements

Forestburg village council received a letter on Sept. 23 from Flagstaff County formally requesting an extension of the current agreements “in order to allow time for the Flagstaff Regional Services Society (FRESS) to be formed.”

In July of 2021, Forestburg previously agreed to extend the agreements until October 2021.

The County has asked for an extension to the agreements until Dec. 31, 2021.

Council agreed to approve the extension of the Regional Fire Chief’s Agreement and Fire Services Agreement as per Flagstaff County’s request for a period of three months until Dec. 31, 2021 and that the agreement be terminated immediately and without the requirement of written notice at the time that the Flagstaff Regional Emergency Services Society absorbs the associated contracted services.

Utility rates adjusted

As part of the annual budgeting process, administration reviewed the costs related to water, sewer, garbage and fire services and brought forward Bylaw 8:2021 Utility Rates Bylaw in an effort to ensure that utility expenses are fully cost-recovered within utility rates.

Administration recommended a three per cent increase to the water and sewer basic charges and the usage rates but keep the garbage fee at $31.10/month and the fire services remain at $12.05/month which council found favourable.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Dwight Dibben added that customers will see an approximate increase of $1.05 per month to customers.

Administration also took a look at the gas utility operations and rates for the municipality-owned natural gas system.

They recommended a three per cent increase in the monthly infrastructure fee and the monthly consumption fee, equating to an increase of $1.20 per month for customers.

Administration also recommended the Gas Capital Reserve fee remain at .20/Gj.

Council passed a motion to accept administration’s recommendation.

Policy and Procedures Review

Administration has been continuing its scheduled reviews of existing policies and procedures concerning Village of Forestburg operations.

The recommended changes to the Remuneration Policy and Annual Payments to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Council will increase the annual budget by an amount of $2,070 per year.

The annual costs of recommended changes to expense rates and the inclusion of Preparatory Time as an eligible expense cannot be precisely calculated in advance as the number of meetings, conventions, seminars and training sessions for 2022 have not yet been discussed or determined.

A forecast following the Organizational Meeting in October will be calculated for council’s deliberations as a part of the 2022 Budget Review Process.

Council accepted administration recommendations aside from one small portion in that they wished to keep the Question and Answer period which allows residents the opportunity to engage in conversation with council if they attend council meetings.

Parkland Library budget

Administration received Parkland Regional Library’s 2022 budget. No changes were made so council passed a motion to accept the budget, accepting a per capita requisition of $8.55 in 2022 totalling $7,481.25.

Electric Franchise Fee 

Forestburg council had the choice to up the 2022 ATCO Electric annual franchise fee for the community from 11 per cent to 11.33 per cent to account for inflation.

After discussion, council agreed to keep the franchise fee at 11 per cent, acknowledging that they increased the fee last year.

All revenues received from Franchise Fees are directed to General Revenue and will assist in offsetting the potential tax rate increases necessary when Council contemplates the draft 2022.

Administration anticipates $114,310 in revenue.

Scholarships supported

Administration was notified that the annual Forestburg School Awards Program for the Grade 12 class was held after the graduation ceremonies on Sept. 18, 2021 and the Grade 10 and 11 awards ceremony will be held in October or early November.

The Forestburg & District Community Enhancement Fund includes funds that are utilized for the school scholarship program.

Council approved the distribution of the annual scholarship funds in the amount of $1,850 to the Forestburg School and that a member of council attend to present the awards.

The scholarships are: Sean Bevington Scholarship, Everett Oberg Scholarship, David Jahns Scholarship, Amy Laing Scholarship, Alaire Oberg Scholarship, Community Scholarship and Tyler Martz Memorial Award.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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ECA Review

The East Central Alberta Review (ECA Review), formerly known as the Coronation Review, is a newspaper that services 28,000+ homes each week.