Thursday, April 16, 2015

Crowsnest Pass council opposes transmission line

Crowsnest Pass council opposes transmission line

Great article on the Crowsnest Council's position on the Altalink line.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Taxes in the Crowsnest Pass 2015

Well we are almost at the end of the budget process, we did first reading of the mill rate bylaw last night.

The common questions I get asked:

How much are taxes going up?  2%

This will generate an additional $140,000 in tax revenue, which will be off set by a $146,000 drop in the School foundation rate. So unless your assessment went way up, the average resident should see virtually no increase in their over all taxes.

Is the mill rate going down? yes 3.2% our assessment base was up this year with 1% new development and a little over 3% in increased property values so the mill rate had to decease or taxes would have gone up an additional 3%.

What's happening to our utility bills? They are going up $4.98 per month.

What about Franchise Fees? No change.

Is the municipality hiring new staff? We will be hiring one position this fall to replace a person who is anticipated to retire next year. (CUPE position).

Are we putting money into reserves? Yes 2% of our operating budget.

The problem today we still have a deficit of $117,000

Municipal Options?

Increase revenue by that amount.
Decrease spending
Run with a deficit which with provincial approval we could have up to three years to fix.


When we sat down with Administration on Monday April 13 to resolve the deficit we came up with the following cuts. The first item the municipality was informed late Friday that almost $20,000 the province as always paid us In Lieu of taxes on the seniors buildings (Westwinds and Tecumesh Manor) were cut in the most recent provincial budget so our deficit actually increased at the start of the meeting.

·      Decrease in Senior’s housing revenue of ($18,904)
·      Reduce administration contingency budget by $50,000
·      Remove budget for by-elections of $4,500
·      Reduce Deputy Fire Chief contracted services by $20,000
·      Increase enforcement services fines revenue by $10,000
·      Budget to receive $50,000 back from the 2014 Hillcrest 100th anniversary
·      Reduce costs to produce municipal newsletter by $10,000
·      Reduce fire/rescue budget by $5,000

Monday, April 6, 2015

Grassy Mountain Coal Project-Public Input

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Public Notice - Revised
Grassy Mountain Coal Project — Public Comments Invited
April 1, 2015 — As part of the strengthened and modernized Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) put in place to support the government's Responsible Resource Development Initiative, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) must decide whether a federal environmental assessment is required for the proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project, located in Alberta. To assist it in making its determination, the Agency is seeking comments from the public on the project and its potential effects on the environment.
Benga Mining Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Riversdale Resources Limited, is proposing to construct and operate an open-pit metallurgical coal mine near the Crowsnest Pass, approximately seven kilometres north of the community of Blairmore, in south-west Alberta. As proposed, the production capacity of the project would be a maximum of four million tonnes of clean coal per year, over a mine-life of about 25 years.
Written comments must be submitted by April 20, 2015 to:
Grassy Mountain Coal Project
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Canada Place
9700 Jasper Avenue, Suite 1145
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4C3
Telephone: 780-495-2037
Fax: 780-495-2876
For further details regarding the environmental assessment of the Grassy Mountain Coal Project, please visit Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s website at…

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Alta Link-Crowsnest Pass

If you are not aware by now Alta Link has one of their options, is looking at a Crowsnest Pass route to run their Castle Rock Ridge to Chapel Rock Transmission line.

Municipal council came out strongly opposed to this route for many issues including, environmental, aesthetics, etc. If you go out to the east side of Pincher Creek and take a look at the horrible sight of transmission lines it should be enough to tell you why we don't want them here.

I know our neighbors don't want to see this new transmission line neither. But at least they gain all the millions of tax dollars from the wind mills annually. Alta Link informed us that the transmission line would generate $80,000 a year in taxes for us.

We are being told that in the next couple of months Alta link will be coming back with their options narrowed down to two.

If you are concerned about this issue contact Altalink at or 1-877-269-5903.

Friday, March 27, 2015

MSI Grant Funding for Crowsnest Pass 2015

It appears the $521,174 MSI funding we received in March was just an advance on the 2015 funding. If you add the total back in to this years total we will receive $2,198,759 about $39,000 less than 2014.


MSI Capital Component $1,197,745
BMTG Component $333,900
Sub Total $1,531,645

Operating funding $145,940

Total MSI Funding $1,677,585


MSI Capital Component $1,771,588
BMTG Component $333,900
Sub Total $2,105,488

Operating Funding $131,924

Total MSI Funding $2,237,412

Monday, March 23, 2015

Government of Alberta Survey results

Survey says: Albertans understand budget challenge

March 23, 2015 Media inquiries
Results from government’s online budget survey are now available and show Albertans want a balanced approach to Budget 2015. 
The online Budget 2015 survey received 40,513 responses, which demonstrate a wide range of opinions with several clear themes.
  • Nine out of 10 respondents feel low oil prices will greatly or somewhat affect the Alberta government’s ability to budget. (Question 1)
  • Nine out of 10 respondents feel government needs to take action either immediately or within this year. (Question 3)
  • When asked what is the right balance to respond to the drop in revenue, Albertans were split almost evenly three ways between reducing spending, increasing revenue and running a deficit budget. (Question 6)
“Albertans have been paying attention and they understand government needs to make tough decisions to deal with our fiscal situation. I want to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey. Budget 2015 will reflect the balanced and thoughtful approach Albertans have signaled they want. Government understands it can’t move too hard in any direction without risking further economic damage.”
Robin Campbell, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance
When asked how the province can stabilize revenue, the top three choices from Albertans were raising tobacco taxes, increasing corporate taxes and introducing a graduated personal tax rate. (Question 9)
"Right now, businesses are struggling to keep people working.  We have seen thousands of jobs lost already this year and people are worried about their jobs. Increasing the corporate tax actually hurts the overall economy and puts jobs at risk - we will not do that. Budget 2015 will be fair and balanced as we protect working families and the most vulnerable."
Robin Campbell, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance
Responses were about evenly split between north and south, with seven out of 10 responses coming from the greater Calgary and Edmonton regions. The majority of respondents have lived in Alberta between 11 and 41 years.
The Budget 2015 survey ran from February 5-28 and paper copies were mailed to Albertans on request. Results areavailable online and through the Open Data Portal.
In addition to the survey, various members of government, including Premier Jim Prentice, participated in a 26-stop speaking tour across Alberta that ran from early January to early March. Roughly 2,000 people attended the various events. In early December and January, Minister Campbell met with chief economists from various financial institutions and also hosted several meetings with stakeholders across Alberta.
Alberta’s budget will be released on March 26, and for the first time will be presented in a fully consolidated fiscal format supported by the Auditor General. Also for the first time, Budget 2015 will have a five-year detailed fiscal and capital plans within the context of a 10-year vision that will help Albertans see the fiscal outlook for the province.