Council Contemplation

Merrill Harris

December 2023

Harvest has concluded, and the weather is allowing farmers to complete fall tasks, but the drought concern is ever-present. Thank you for implementing the best land management practices to ensure erosion control and weed suppression. The MD of Taber collaborates with Farming Smarter. If you are interested in reviewing innovative research, Agriculture Services is available to answer questions and provide support related to the Weed, Soil, and Pest Acts under their jurisdiction.

Entering the winter season prompts reflection and planning for the forthcoming growing season. However, it can also be a time of solitude and challenges. We encourage everyone to check in on neighbours or anyone facing difficulties. Farm Family Counseling Services, facilitated through FCSS, is available, offering ten confidential in-person or remote sessions. They are available to assist individuals and families in managing anxiety, stress, depression, and suicide. Reach out at 587-370-3728 or email counsellingservices@fcss.ca. For immediate mental health emergencies or crises, please call 9-1-1.

Five Councillors attended the Rural Municipalities Association Fall conference. Besides an opportunity to network and advance the municipality, they met Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schultz to request additional Horsefly Spillway Project funding due to inflationary shortfalls and coordinate a meeting with the Minister and our agriculture processors. Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation RJ Sigurdson's meeting focused on improving water security through increased on and off-stream storage, with a priority on Eyremore Dam and accessing adequate funding for infrastructure development to support irrigation expansion and the Agri-Food Corridor. Importantly, the MD of Taber's resolution to ensure every area of Alberta has available ambulances with qualified emergency personnel was successful. We are advocating alongside the Town of Vauxhall to ensure our residents receive timely life-saving responses from EMS.

Crucial reviews are underway, each with a public consultation phase. Keep an eye out for meeting dates and opportunities for online submissions on topics including the Land Use Bylaw, Land Management Plan: policy for grazing leases, tax recovery land, cultivation leases, and a Transportation Plan affecting the future of road networks.

Barnwell Firehall hosted a successful open house, with excellent engagement between firefighters and residents. Council is grateful for the dedication and expertise of our 90 volunteer firefighters, including the Station Chiefs, for providing a rapid response fire and rescue service. Thank you to firefighter families for their sacrifice and employers who support firefighters' call attendance.

The Enchant Subdivision is complete, with 35 lots available for purchase. Two Rural Highway Commercial lots are available adjacent to the Vauxhall Truck Stop, and we are underway with the Grassy Lake Subdivision, with lots anticipated in the fall of 2024. Lot details are available here.

Join us for Coffee with Council on February 7 at 7:00 pm at the Enchant Community Hall for an informal gathering open to all residents to voice comments or concerns. Additionally, every Council meeting offers opportunities for individuals to address Council in person or virtually. If it's a formal matter, you can request its addition to the agenda via our website or by contacting the office at 403-223-3541. Councillors are always open to emails or calls.

Council is midway through deliberations on the 2024 Capital and Operating budget. It's a challenging process, but we aim to create a budget that optimizes your tax dollars, ensuring quality transportation networks and services. Our focus also includes supporting committee initiatives such as housing, libraries, recreation, and economic development amidst economic pressures.

As the holiday season approaches, we encourage you to spend time with those important to you and find time to partake in activities that brighten the holidays for those in need. Your involvement will make a positive difference. On behalf of the Council, Administration, and Staff, Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2024 filled with good health and opportunities.

Grader Maintainer Operator
Grader Maintainer Operator