Morrin village council approves 2023 budget with one to two per cent tax increase

Written by Stu Salkeld

The Village of Morrin council approved their 2023 operating budget that includes a one to two per cent property tax increase. The resolution was passed at the May 17 regular meeting of council.

When presenting councillors with the draft 2023 budget Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Annette Plachner stated that property taxes may increase by one to two per cent. During discussion, it was noted councillors previously approved an increase to utility rates as well.

After approving the budget by unanimous resolution, councillors pondered the 2023 tax rate bylaw.

Plachner stated that the mill rates used to calculate property tax bills won’t be much changed from last year, and quoted a residential rate of 16.38 and commercial rate of around 17.

Councillors also noted a minimum property tax rate for properties that fall below a certain assessment.

Councillors unanimously approved all readings of the bylaw to bring it into effect.

Rescind bylaw
Councillors unanimously approved the rescinding of Rates & Fees Bylaw #390 and unanimously passed all readings of Rates & Fees Bylaw #391 to replace it.

The CAO explained #391 was identical to #390 except for its name. The bylaw includes all of the rates and fees charged by the village including utility rates.
It was noted during discussion there was a problem of some kind with #390’s name and it was necessary to change it.

Fire agreement
Councillors discussed the Starland Regional Fire Agreement and it seemed they were uninterested in signing onto a new version. The CAO stated that the village should just carry on with the old regional fire agreement with billing as usual.

During discussion councillors agreed Morrin would continue on with regional fire services the way it’s been conducted.

Coun. M’Liss Edwards stated it seemed nobody expected the Village of Morrin to speak up about the proposed new agreement.

Seniors development
Councillors reversed their previous support for additional loans for a Drumheller & District Seniors Foundation construction project, turning down the foundation’s request to borrow more money to either expand it or complete it.

Coun. Edwards stated a recent meeting focused on a pedway that was proposed to connect at least two venues that could cost $800,000, which Mayor Chris Hall described as “…a lot of money.”

Coun. Lorraine MacArthur stated she was concerned about the foundation asking to borrow an additional $5 million in addition to the $5 million it’s already borrowed, with MacArthur stating that it seemed to her some work was being asked of the foundation which was actually the responsibility of Alberta Health Services (AHS).

Councillors unanimously rescinded a previous resolution.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.