MD of Fairview council send Kenney letter to request regionalization of COVID-19 restrictions
The Municipal District (MD) of Fairview held their regular council meeting on Feb. 23. During the meeting, council members received various staff reports and a STARS representative attended as a delegation. Director of Agriculture and Parks reported to council that their department has been working on finalizing the ASB budget which will be presented to the Agriculture Service Board meeting that was held on Feb.25 for the Board’s review. The Agriculture Service Board had planned to discuss the ASB Pest and Invasive Species policies and reviewing the 2020 Alberta Agriculture Field Visit Report at their next meeting. The Director of Agriculture and Parks also reported to council that the Heavy-Duty Mechanic has been repairing the brushing tractor. The Director of Public Works reported to council that the Utility Department has dealt with a series of issues which included repairs to the main header and the furnace at the water plant located in Whitelaw. There had also been frozen waterlines at the airport. Due to the drifting that had occurred the previous weekend, graders have been busy getting roads reopened. The Director of Public Works also confirmed that staff have been working on various training. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sandra Fox reported to council that she had attended a virtual seminar that had been hosted by the municipality’s legal counsel. The CAO added that the seminar had been especially useful and informative. The CAO had attended sessions that related to Municipal Management and Protection of Water Courses, Land-use Planning and Development, Tax Incentives and Third-Party Utility Service Company Franchise Agreements. A STARS representative provided a delegation to the MD of Fairview council members during the meeting. She had provided information regarding the services provided in the Fairview area. It was also provided to council an update on the progress of the capital replacement of STARS helicopters. Following the presentation, Council passed a motion to include a standing contribution of $20,000 annually STARS for their continued operation. During this meeting, the MD of Fairview council passed a motion to address a letter to Premier Jason Kenney requesting that a consideration be made regarding the regionalization of COVID-19 restrictions. Council had also reviewed the results of a survey from the Rural Municipalities of Alberta regarding the unpaid oil and gas property taxes in Alberta. The total unpaid taxes from oil and gas companies in Alberta amounted to $245.7 million. The loss of tax revenue to rural municipalities mean that these areas will face reduction of services, staff layoffs, and may have to increase taxes for other types of properties. Council also passed a motion to renew the Associate Membership to the Northwest Species at Risk Committee. A motion was also passed reappoint Fred Sawchuk as the municipality’s Agricultural Fieldman. A bylaw was passed by Council to establish the position of Bylaw Enforcement Officer. Council ending up agreeing to postpone the discussion of the reduction in provincial funding for Victim Services groups to the March 9 meeting. Council also reallocated the purpose of a quantity of Public Works Reserve Funds. $200,000 was reallocated for the 2021 Loader purchase and $300,000 for the Whitelaw Pit Road project to be used for future equipment purchases.