With presentation of the 2022 operating and capital budgets, Forestburg village council has chosen to keep taxes where they are at with a zero per cent increase after approving both budgets at their Thurs. March 17 regular meeting.
Administration felt that despite the inflationary pressures municipalities including Forestburg continue to face (over five over cent in a few months), the village can manage with roughly the same budget as last year although it will be more strict.
Council pondered the ability to increase taxes one per cent this year as to not shock residents with a higher amount next year but in this specific case felt that it was pertinent to give residents a break as everything else is going up in price including gasoline, groceries and utilities.
Administration reminded council that assessments may increase though despite rates not changing which residents should be aware of.
Council applauded administration on their hard work getting these budgets ready.
As part of the transition to regional fire services all municipalities served by the Flagstaff Regional Emergency Services Society (FRESS) have been provided with a template for a new Fire Services Bylaw that reflects this change in service provision.
The new bylaw update key areas of the new regional services model including fire protection, the establishment of the regional manager/fire chief and their duties and powers, permitting, fire bans and updated prohibited activities and actions; fees, recovery of costs, offenses and penalties and more.
The proposed bylaw makes the regional manager/fire chief a designated offer as well as a bylaw enforcement officer under Sections 210 and 555 of the Municipal Government Act thereby enabling enforcement of bylaw provisions.
The new bylaw continues to recognize the authority and the ability of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to act on matters covered by this bylaw within the municipality.
This Fire Services Bylaw has been given to all municipalities in Flagstaff County as they seek approval.
As council has authorized the signing of the FRESS Master Agreement and Bylaws, administration recommended council’s passage of the proposed Fire Bylaw which they granted with three readings of the bylaw.