The Special Areas Advisory Council took time away from the busy harvest season last week to touch base with each other and get updates on current projects.
Coming together in Oyen on Sept. 27, the 13-member locally-elected advisory council spent the day discussing emerging issues, policy and governance information and receiving a financial update prior to the upcoming budgetary cycle.
The Advisory Council meeting was kicked off with representatives from the Delia School Enhancement Society (DSES) presenting information on the Delia Community Hub project. Mill rates and trends in assessment were discussed by the Advisory Council, with information related to large industrial stakeholders specifically reviewed.
In the afternoon, the Advisory Council welcomed Roy Bedford from Alberta Municipal Affairs to learn more about provincial processes around viability reviews and intermunicipal collaboration.
Administration presented information about community pastures and how they are governed within the Special Areas, with the community pasture policy reviewed in detail by the group.
Administration also presented information regarding the Special Areas road program and potential changes to operations over the next few seasons.
The Advisory Council took the opportunity while in Oyen to visit the Oyen Railyard & Logistics Park site, checking out the work being completed on the anchored tenant’s permanent loading/unloading site.
A major economic development project for the region, this partnership project between the Town of Oyen and the Special Areas is beginning to see major permanent infrastructure being constructed at the site located north of Oyen.
Other major economic development projects in the region were discussed by the Advisory Council, with detailed reports from economic development partners anticipated at the fall Advisory Council meetings.
The Special Areas Advisory Council is planning their next meeting in Hanna from Wed. Dec. 5 to Fri. Dec. 7, with the Special Areas Board meeting bi-monthly throughout the Special Areas.