Three per cent tax increase overall for Starland County

ECA Review/Terri Huxley
Written by Terri Huxley

Starland County has officially set their 2021 tax rates with a three per cent increase overall after their regular meeting held Wed. May 25.

The total residential tax rate is set at 8.3087, a 0.2 per cent increase from 2020.

Non-residential which consists of commercial and linear properties is set at 24.0153 which is a 1.3 per cent decrease from last year’s rate at 24.3229.

Farmland increased 1.6 per cent from 16.4511 in 2020 to this year’s rate of 16.7129.

Lastly, the machinery and equipment rate was raised the highest at 2.8 per cent to 20.1666.

Provincial requisition portions were raised higher this year, most notably in the school rate.

“With the odd exception there shouldn’t be huge impacts on residential,” said financial manager Judy Fazekas.

The Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) and Opted-out school boards for residential and farmland properties sit at 2.4858 while non-residential is at 3.8487.

The Drumheller and District Seniors Foundation sits at 0.6178 and the Designated Industrial Property (DIP) Levy sits at 0.0766.

Raptor Ridge water agreement

Glen Riep, municipal services manager, shared in his report with council that he has been in consistent chats with the Raptor Ridge RV Resort development near Drumheller.

Although the project is situated within Drumheller town limits, the existing water utility line that runs through the property is under Starland jurisdiction.

Riep submitted a letter of concern and recommendations regarding the subdivision application and how this development will affect their existing water line utility which were further included in the subdivision approval presented by Palliser.

A draft commercial water supply agreement between Raptor Ridge and Starland County was shown at council and after discussion, council agreed to set the Commercial Water Agreement Rate Structure to a volume rate of 0.75 gallons per minute for a total fee of $205,200; and the monthly commercial water rate at 20 per cent above residential rates, with a minimum monthly rate of $228 per month.

Strategic Plan

Tim Duhamel of Bloom Centre for Municipal Planning was hired as the consulting firm to gather information and create a three-year strategic plan for the county.

At the regular meeting, he presented a short slideshow of the highlights, finding council and the community passionate about a few topics that are integral to their personal plan.

A strategic plan is a living document that adjusts over time to reflect the community in which direction they wish to go in and actionable items to go along to make these goals happen.

Council and administration identified their core values for the county as integrity, responsibility, cooperation, community and respect.

One highlight given by Reeve Steve Wannstrom was to focus on changing the 25-year old welcome signs at certain highway entry points around the county to reflect pride, show their branding and further drive home that Starland is no longer a Municipal District (MD).

After the presentation, council passed a motion accepting the three-year strategic plan.

Anniversary of fire comes and goes

May 25 marked the three-year anniversary of the county building fire that set the whole process in motion to build a new facility in the northeastern edge of Morrin.

CAO Bremer shared in her report, “Somedays it feels like it was just yesterday; and then I think of everything that we have had to deal with since that time and it seems like an eternity ago.

“We are still trying to find documents that were lost, and so many have had to be reinvented from what we could find. 

“It will be nice if there comes a day when we can put it all behind us.”

Ag Fieldman announced

Ryan Hallett is officially named the new agricultural fieldman for Starland County following Al Hampton’s lasting career, who is now entering retirement.

Council passed all necessary updates to bylaws and policies that instill Hallett to run this position including designated officer, carrying out the duties imposed in the Agricultural Service Board Act, Weed Control Act, Agricultural Pests Act, Soil Conservation Act, and other duties as assigned by the Agricultural Service Board.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.