Outstanding taxes: Remember all that discussion about the $1,044,000 that was outstanding in taxes back in early November. The stress that it was putting on the municipal cash flow. Forcing council to up the tax penalty from 21% to 52%, which would solve the problem by encouraging people to catch up fast.
Remember my comments on this issue check them out at:
Council was informed at the G+P meeting on Jan 24 that surprisingly only 17% of those back taxes have been paid. (Check the numbers from any other year I would expect the 17% is very typical). There is still $870,000 outstanding and even more surprisingly 67% of that total is owed by Non-residential taxpayers.
Good News story, Economic update: This is what is so great about the Internet it is a great tool to communicate. On Councilor Gallant’s blog, he posts some very interesting information regarding all the exciting “new” businesses that have opened in the Pass since the beginning of his term.
Check it out for yourself at: http://briangallant.ca/wordpress/2012/01/23/celebrate-businesses-old-and-new/
Road Closure last week: Felt badly for anybody that was stranded in the Pass, I expected a much larger problem with our largest hotel shut down for the winter (50 rooms not available). Amazingly two things happened many people heading this way knew about the road conditions so did not come. Which was evident by the fact that there were still hotel rooms available at 8pm that night and as you can read in the Promoter’s editorial, today people pulled together and looked after those that needed assistance.
I thought Sparwood would have been much worse with the hundreds of miners trapped over there, but they did what the Pass and most communities do in these types of situations they pulled together.
http://www.elkvalleyherald.ca/index3.htm despite having much larger numbers of people trapped than we did, only 21 people had to sleep on a cot at the recreation centre.
Thunder in the Valley: This is Councilor Saindon’s project he stated this week that the committee would be meeting in council chambers on the 30th, with the RCMP. He also reported that the committee as now had three meeting and is moving forward; anybody that is interested is welcome to attend the meeting. In conjunction with that, Mayor Decoux started reading a letter from the Blairmore Fireworks committee requesting a meeting with council at the Blairmore Fire Hall, Mayor Decoux stated that if they wished to meet with council they could come as a delegation in front of council.
Sad to read that unless some new volunteers step forward there will not be a show and shine this year, I know many people including myself that really enjoyed that.
Stupid story of the week: I was confronted this morning by an older fellow who was really anger because somebody had “alleged” that previous council had spent $1 million moving the tenants from the Crowsnest Centre to the MDM. I asked him three things; one do you or anybody else have any kind of evidence to substantiate that number. Two was the source of this information the same one that “alleged” that we would lose our Food Bank and Education Consortium. Three this council is now entering its second budget process, it will have its second opportunity to put the funding in place if the centre is truly such a high priority for this community.
Cost of consultants: Sounds like we the taxpayers are going to receive this information on Councilor Gallant’s blog today in a response to a question about the cost of consultants he replies with the following:
“I do not know offhand how much we spent on consultants. We need to hire professionals for specific projects from time to time and I suspect it’s no higher than any other year. I believe we paid approximately $5,000 to have the Task Force document written but I could be wrong since I do not have the information here. There was also a small gift given to the members of the task force of approximately $200 each, and they had travel expenses covered by the municipality. All of this information will be available in March when we receive our audited financial statements. If you want it earlier, please contact Finance at the municipal office.
Stream lining of the municipal office: I hear through the grapevine that the new Director of Public Works, Engineering and planning will be commencing his duties shortly.