Last year’s assessment values were down in Kneehill County, coming in at 93 per cent of the previous year’s totals council learned at the Mar. 8 regular meeting.
The Accurate Assessment team of Troy Birtles, Sean Barrett and Chris Meadows presented council with a report of assessments as of July 1, 2015, which dropped to $2,464,348,780 from $2,647,682,210 in 2014. That represents a loss of revenue to the county of $183,333,430, over half of that due to linear assessments.
Of all the municipalities Accurate assesses, Kneehill was hit especially hard stated Birtles, although they could not determine why other than a closer proximity to Calgary.
Not only are less wells being drilled in the county – just under 30 in 2015 compared to over 90 in 2013 – but more non-producing wells are being ‘shut in’ resulting in lower assessments.
The team was not optimistic about seeing an upswing in activity over the next year.
Saving historic building
Kneehill Historical Society hopes to save a historic site from the wrecking ball and, at the same time, breathe new life into the century old building.
The building that accommodated the first village school from 1914 to 1920, then subsequently went on to act as a municipal office, police detachment, library, fire hall and then kindergarten, has to be moved or demolished according to a letter submitted to Kneehill council from the Society.
The Society plans to restore the building to its original appearance and renovate the interior to provide a visitor information centre, classroom for students and a workshop for artifact restoration work. The building will sit on a full foundation just east of the main museum.
In order to accomplish this goal, the Society requested a letter of support from Kneehill County for the Society’s application for a Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) grant for $125,000. They also asked the county to consider donating $20,000 towards the project. The cost for the project totals $361,764 broken into two phases, according to estimates provided to council by the Society.
Council moved to provide a letter of support and agreed to the $20,000 donation if the Society received the CFEP grant.