May 13, 2014- A lot of positive things are happening that will bode well for the community in the years ahead. We would like to update the taxpayers on our progress in the areas of concern we previously identified.
Our CAO is rebuilding our Administrative team, a new Director of Finance & Corporate Services is now on board and we will have a new Director of Planning, Engineering & Operations in place May 20, 2014.
During the last few months, the municipal budget and mill rate were set for 2014 thanks to the hard work of Administration and the commitment of Council, the monies collected by the municipality did not increase.
Due to the way Municipalities are governed by the Provincial Assessment process, the Municipality realized 4.1% reduction in total assessment and a shifting of assessment from the older properties to the newer properties. Some properties may have had an assessment increase but a number of properties would have a reduction as well.
For example, if you had an assessment of $300,000 last year, you would have had to pay $1828.00 in taxes. Taking that same property in 2014, assuming the value dropped the average of 4.1%, your property would be assessed at $287,700, which at today mill rate would equates to $1828.00 in taxes.
Unfortunately, if your decrease in assessment was less than 4.1% or you had an assessment increase from last year your taxes may have gone up, on the other hand if your decrease in assessment was more than 4% then you would see a tax reduction. We would advise residents that if they have a question about their property assessment to contact the municipal office at 403-562-8833 and set up an appointment with our Assessor Glen Snelgrove.
We are working with the creditors of Crowsnest Mountain Resort to resolve the outstanding issues with the Wolfstone Development.
The Crowsnest Centre site has been cleaned up according to the agreement reached between the contractor and the previous administration. Administration is working on a solution to dispose of or recycle the piles of broken concrete and bricks on the site.
Mayor, Council and/or Administration have had meetings with both Chinook Pipelines and the Smoke Eaters. All sides have indicated a willingness to resolve their outstanding issues without tremendous amounts of dollars being wasted on the legal process.
Council and Administration have made rebuilding the relationship with our employees a priority. There are still issues, but thanks to a lot of hard work between our administration, CUPE leaders and membership, we feel we are making progress.
Flood repairs are well underway with the initial contractor work being done on Lyons Creek, Byron Creek and Drum Creek.
Development appears to be on the rebound and so far this year we have approved permits for 30% more than we did in the same timeframe last year. Soon we will be seeking public input to help us improve the Municipal Development Plan and the Land Use Bylaw.
We are reviewing the terms of reference of all our committees. We will be looking strategically at ways to better market our community. Once our entire Administrative team is in place and the outstanding workload is caught up, we will begin the strategic planning and the budget process for next year with a goal of how we can maximize the services we provide to our taxpayers with as little impact as possible on your pocket books.
To conclude, we have a Council that is working well together, and we are building a strong, experienced administrative team. Development is on the upswing, taxes are being kept in line and contentious issues are being dealt with.
Thank you for your support and patience.
Mayor and Council