Council Contemplation

Merrill Harris

June 2024

As we enter a time of growth, hard work and reflection, the coming months promise to be busy for families, farmers, and the MD of Taber.

Thank you to everyone who attended our AGM. Your feedback is invaluable. In June, there are several opportunities for you to share your opinions and engage in discussions about our municipality. Please check the newsletter for specific dates and times. Don’t miss "Coffee with Council" on June 5 at 7 PM at the Hays Committee Centre. Everyone is welcome!

Our 2,400 km of municipal roads are an ongoing project. Grading, gravelling, and road maintenance are in full swing. Please do your part by travelling at safe speeds, being mindful of grading and construction crews, purchasing dust suppression, or submitting a service tracker request on our website or mobile app if a road needs attention.

The municipality owns and manages 82,000 acres under three leases: tax recovery grazing, MDT grazing leases, and cultivation leases. These lands are a crucial part of our municipal budget and impact each resident. Whether you are a leaseholder, resident, or business operator, your input on land management is essential. Please attend the in-person town halls and complete the survey available on our website. 

The Land Use Bylaw, which regulates the conservation and development of land, habitat, and buildings, is under review. Proposed changes include development permits for farm buildings, allowing second dwellings, and granting permitted use approval by the development officer. Details will be available at the open houses. Please attend to share your comments and questions.

In-depth deliberation on Capital Projects and Operations established the budget.  Recognizing assessment increases, Council set the mill rates with a 4% decrease on residential, a 3% decrease on non-residential and an increase of 8% on farmland. Besides municipal taxes your bill includes the Alberta School Foundation (education) and Taber & District Housing requisition, and our portion of the police costing model. The municipality faces a challenge with unpaid property taxes, primarily from oil companies, totalling $1.6 million as of 2023. This continues to be a frustrating aspect of budget planning.

Corey Greene is the new Director of Municipal Operations. His prior role included our municipal infrastructure and special projects. Council appreciates his vision to enhance the municipality, as well as his relationship with residents. Taylor McKnight joins us as the Assistant Ag Fieldman. Please reach out to her for agriculture concerns. 

Thank you is not enough to recognize the dedication and expertise made by the men and women of the MD of Taber Regional Firefighters. Starting July 1, with the support of Barnwell and Vauxhall Councils, firefighters will be paid on call. Our volunteer firefighters provide effective and efficient day-to-day emergency and medical first response. The remuneration recognizes their invaluable contribution while sacrificing time away from work and their family. If you would like information on becoming a volunteer fighter, please call the office or visit the website.

If you know of a yard that exemplifies beauty, environmental responsibility, and community enhancement, consider nominating it for recognition by Communities in Bloom. Nominations are welcome from each electoral division in two categories: properties 39 acres or larger and those 38 acres or smaller, including farms, acreages, and hamlets. Nomination forms are available in this newsletter.

Mental health is crucial. If you or your neighbours are struggling, there is help available, including agriculture-specific resources. For support, call FCSS at 587-370-3728 or Alberta Farm Mental Health (AGKNOW) at www.domore.ag. In emergencies, call 9-1-1.

While we have had timely rains, the threat of drought remains. A water management strategy is in place, and we ask everyone to be water-wise and reduce consumption. Specific measures will be implemented if conditions worsen. Look for water-saving tips in this newsletter and on our website.

This summer is a special time for our community as we celebrate the MD of Taber’s 70th Anniversary. Join us for a barbecue and children's activities on June 20th at the MD of Taber Park and June 27th at Enchant Park, both starting at 4:30 PM. It's a great opportunity to honour those who have made our municipality a wonderful place to live and to contemplate its future.

We hope you will attend the public engagement sessions and the 70th anniversary celebrations. Most of all, we encourage you to enjoy our parks, historical sites like the Retlaw Church, and the various activities offered throughout our municipality. Sign up for the weekly SCAR newsletter or check our website for updates and events.


Let's Do Playgrounds
Let's Do Playgrounds