Council Contemplation

Merrill Harris

March 2024

Why Public Engagement? Whether it is Coffee with Council, the Annual General Meeting - April 11, 7 pm at the MD of Taber’s Main Operations & Maintenance Facility, Open Houses, or a Council meeting, we need to hear your ideas and opinions. Your Councillor is a great conduit, but your direct involvement helps ensure new bylaws and plans meet the municipality's needs for the next decade. Besides the Transportation Master Plan, 2024 will have open houses for the Land Use Bylaw, which will see significant changes, and the Lands Policy to guide the management of our 62,000 acres.

The Transportation Master Plan is underway and will soon be reviewed by Council. Your insights during the open houses and surveys will influence the plan development. The management of the 2,400 km of roadways is Council's top priority. Continue to call the office or submit road concerns via Service Tracker found on the MD of Taber App or by visiting our website at mdtaber.ab.ca./p/service-tracker

MD of Taber is proud to announce our newly appointed Agricultural Fieldman, Jorden Holst. He was instrumental in organising the provincial Agriculture Service Board conference in Lethbridge. Members from across the province discussed impactful resolutions to help advance agricultural practices and took in insightful speakers. Lantic Sugar provided a unique insight into the impact of the sugar beet and sugar processing in southern Alberta. Due to increased awareness and concern, ASB will host a mental health workshop in late Fall. If you or someone you know needs emergency support, call 911 or if you need to talk with someone, access FCSS at 587-370-3728 or or visit domore.ag for peer support and online resources.

Drought conditions are everyone’s concern. We are currently developing a water management strategy in conjunction with the Government of Alberta and Irrigation Districts, as well as lobbying to improve water security through increased on and off-stream storage, with a priority on the Eyremore Dam. Council will champion a resolution at the Rural Municipalities Association on water apportionment, to assist with reservoir management. While we hope for meaningful snowfall, it is prudent to plan for potential water restrictions.

Phase 1 of the Southern Regional Storm Water Drainage project is nearing completion, with Phase 2 in preparation for tender. The Southern Regional Stormwater Drainage Committee has been instrumental, along with the municipal partners, the St Mary River Irrigation District, and the Governments of Canada and Alberta, to ensure resiliency to flooding and protection of critical infrastructure necessary for drinking water and food security.

Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) remain a point of pride and a vital resource for residents. They offer a range of programs and services from infants to seniors, including tax filing, counselling, newcomer support groups, and so much more. Details at fcss.ca.

Council encourages you to visit a library. Our residents can access the six libraries in our District including Hays, Enchant, Grassy Lake, Barnwell, Vauxhall, and Taber. The libraries have become community hubs, with access to the internet and amazing programs and resources. A library card also gives you access to Chinook Arch, allowing residents to access newspapers, genealogy, movies, academic courses, and so much more online. Visit the website chinookarch.ca or a library to learn more.

Family Farms not only grow food for the world, but they are community builders. In the MD of Taber, twenty-three outstanding farm families have been honoured by the Calgary Stampede and the Bank of Montreal. These families built the MD of Taber. The 2024 recipient is a six-generation farm family: Riverview Ranch/TNT Pollination, the David and Tammi Torrie family. The award will be presented at the Calgary Stampede for the Torrie Family’s outstanding agriculture practices and community contributions. Congratulations!

In keeping with accomplishments, in 2024, the Municipal District of Taber is celebrating seven incredible decades of growth, agricultural innovation, and economic development. Eighty-nine individuals have served as MD of Taber Councillors, led by the first Reeve Harry Driggs. Our Council, along with our predecessors, recognizes the 70 years of success because of our residents and business owners' hard work, resiliency, and vision to grow and continue to develop our municipality as their community and home. 70th-anniversary celebrations are being planned throughout the municipality.

Take a moment to sign up at scarnotify.ca, and remember to select email notifications as a preference. SCAR Notify is the municipality's real-time notification system for weekly updates, road closures, and critical alerts. The drought plan and 70th Anniversary celebrations will be communicated on the website and SCAR Notify weekly e-newsletter.

As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Municipal District of Taber, let us celebrate our shared journey and look forward to continued success in agriculture, business, and families, today and for generations.


Land Management Plan
Land Management Plan