Levy on sand and gravel 

Written by Daniel Gonzalez

Starland County will introduce a levy on sand and gravel pits through a new bylaw presented at the July 20 regular meeting.

The proposed bylaw titled the Community Aggregate Payment Levy would apply to all sand and gravel businesses that operate in Starland County.

The revenues from the levy rate of $0.40 per tonne of sand and gravel will pay for infrastructure and other costs in the municipality. The new policy will outline procedures to be followed and ensure bylaw enforcement.

According to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Shirley Bremer, the county will provide forms to monitor the levy.

Businesses must complete the forms within 30 days at the end of March, June, September and December.

Penalties for late payments will be imposed, with failure to report shipments costing $2,500 with an additional $5,000 penalty within 12 months.

Council and staff will report known sites to public works administration to notify owners and operators of the requirements and provide them with report forms.

CAO Bremer noted that although administration and peace officers will enforce the bylaw, it will also rely on the honour system.

Council moved to read and approve the bylaw.

Streamlining fee
A new bylaw will streamline the fee process for municipal services in Starland County.
The Municipal Services Fee bylaw will repeal two bylaws from 2000 and 2005, which will list all rates and fees for the various services, permits and licences offered by Starland County.

CAO Bremer outlines that this will be more efficient for ratepayers as they can find a majority of costs for the different services in one location.

Prices and services listed under the new bylaw include administration and finance, Ag Service Board, cemeteries, operations, parks and recreation, planning and development, protective services and utilities.

All fees in each category have been reviewed, updated, added or removed due to lack of applicability or relevance.

Due to the price of services offered in Starland County changing, council will review the bylaw annually to ensure consistency or adjust prices accordingly.

Council unanimously moved to approve the implementation of the new bylaw that will take effect Jan. 1, 2023..

Kish property
An update on the clean-up for the Kish property located on 2975AH, Rumsey, Alta. was presented to council.

The property, described as a “hoarder’s house,” contained several computers, four loads of tires, four loads of metals and 6 barrels of cooking oil as items listed on the cleanup.

With cleanup on the property and yard complete, it has been boarded up and fenced off for the time being.

A sea-can on the property contained equipment and machinery. Council intends to bring the sea-can back to Starland County.

Although it is a tax sale property with an interested buyer, there was a discussion about demolishing the property.

Council decided it would not be cost-effective as it would require a $20,000 assessment to check for asbestos in the house with another estimated $10,000 to move it.

The property will continue to be maintained and sealed off. No decision was made on what will happen to the sea-can or its contents.

Council moved to accept the report as information.

Daniel Gonzalez
ECA Review

About the author

Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez is a multimedia reporter from Calgary, Alberta. He has experience reporting news from the streets of Calgary and even serving on the Institute of Investigative Journalism. He also has experience working in the nonprofit sector with the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.

Daniel has graduated from Mount Royal University with a degree in Journalism in 2021. He hopes to learn more about Alberta and continues to hone his skills in the media industry.