Province seeking input on SSRP
The Municipal District of Taber has been actively involved in many advocacy efforts over the years. We take our citizens battles to local, provincial and federal levels in support of grassroots policy issues and in opposition to bills and policies that will impact all of us. In recent years much of our focus has been on the Land Use Framework and the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan.
I invite you to visit the following link and follow the ‘Public Consultation’ links to learn more: www.landuse.alberta.ca
The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan will affect you, how you develop your property in the future and how decisions made provincially will impact the ability of the people you elect locally to make decisions.
Recently the province introduced Bill 28 – “The Modernizing Regional Governance Act”. The act in its proposed form would have enabled the Minister of Municipal Affairs to unilaterally establish ‘Growth Management Boards’ and administer ‘Growth Management Plans’ based upon criteria the province would establish and which municipalities would be required to comply. We were pleased with the comments recently by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the rapid reversal by the province on this legislation. We trust that they will abide by their commitment to undertake consultation rather than legislation.
On a lighter note I have had the opportunity to meet with the new mayor of Taber. I believe that the Town and the M.D. can continue along the path of cooperation on many joint initiatives with one of the most important being economic development.
Likewise I have met with the Mayor of Vauxhall and their Council and am looking forward to renewing a close relationship with those community leaders.
I look forward to working with the Village of Barnwell who has always been a positive and willing partner in the coming years.
As a group of independent municipalities we can work together on those issues that we find common ground on and agree to disagree on those we do not. The Municipal District of Taber provides close to $1,000,000 annually (approximately 8% of our annual budget) to Intermunicipal initiatives and projects. In addition to the multitude of Intermunicipal projects in the past 3 years the Municipal District of Taber led the following Intermunicipal projects:
1. Highway 3 Regional Water Services Commission (managing partner with County of 40 Mile and Bow Island as partners)
2. Vauxhall and District Regional Water Services Commission (managing partner with the Town of Vauxhall as a partner)
3. Regional Drainage Committee – managing municipality with 4 provincial government departments, 14 municipalities and 2 irrigation districts as partners.
4. Joint Economic Development Committee – partners with Vauxhall Businessman’s Society, Taber and District Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Taber.
5. Intermunicipal Protective Services Committee – led by the M.D. of Taber the M.D., Town of Taber, Town of Vauxhall and Village of Barnwell an Intermunicipal emergency services plan was developed and implemented.
6. Purchase and improvement of the airport near Vauxhall.
We have and will continue to devote considerable committee and staff time to initiating and developing Intermunicipal partnerships that benefit the residents of the Municipal District of Taber. However we will enter such agreements and undertake such initiatives only after due negotiation which assures that the residents of the municipal district are being fairly treated.
I look forward to working with the Council in the coming 4 years. We have heard that roads and transportation are the primary concern with residents and much good work has been done in 2013 on this. As you will read in this issue the M.D. of Taber has completed 106 miles (170 kilometers) of road work this year that including cement stabilization, contracted road rehabilitation (narrowing side slope improvement and recrowning), and in-house road construction. Dozens and dozens of culverts have been replaced or installed.
The Council is undertaking considerations for the 2014 Municipal Budget. The focus of the budget will once again to determine how best to undertake improvements to our 2600 kilometer transportation network. Through this process we will remain dedicated to maintaining as low a mill rate as possible while providing the best services possible.
Our future is bright, the diversity of agriculture in our community and the demand for the very commodities that are produced here signal that we will be challenged to do our best to preserve our most valuable resource – the very land that is used to produce the agricultural products that are in such demand.
I look forward to working with you and the Council you have selected to represent you in the coming years.
I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Brian Brewin, Reeve