While spring is just around the corner, Council continues to lobby the Province to lend a hand to our agricultural producers still suffering from last fall’s agricultural disaster. We will be taking a resolution calling for an enhanced disaster recovery program for producers to the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) convention on March 20-22. This is still a pressing issue, and as producers suffer, so too do our communities. Hopefully, the AAMDC will adopt our resolution, and add more voices so that the provincial government hears us. Here are just a couple of links that bring this issue to the forefront.
CBC radio interview: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2697182974
While at the AAMDC convention, we've spoken to government ministers on a number of issues, including support for hemp production, trail development, and economic development.
Council has amended the Schedule of Fees Bylaw for 2017 so that development permit applications or variance requests, subdivision applications, or documentation or agreements signed and registered in 2017 are free of fees or fines. We want to help residents bring their properties into compliance, and spur growth in the County.
Brazeau County is taking a lead role in encouraging producers to capitalize on the emerging hemp industry, and educating about the opportunities. Our area is uniquely suited to produce this amazing crop, and big players in the industry are taking notice of the things happening in our area. For your interest, you can find a story about a Dutch company taking interest in the local biocomposites plant at http://rdnewsnow.com/article/528056/biocomposites-group-attracts-attention-international-company. The manufacturing interest is there; now we need producers to grow a local value chain, which in turn creates job and strengthens investment for our County and area.
In this issue, you can read about the Grade 6 students at Aurora Elementary School, who held an Aurora County Council meeting recently in our Council Chamber. By sitting in our seats, they can see how municipal government decisions effect people every day. Congratulations to everyone who made this learning opportunity possible.
You can also read about Sara Wheale, who in addition to sitting on the Agricultural Services Board, has been appointed to the Prime Minister’s Youth Council. She’s doing some important work of representing both the younger agricultural producers and oil and gas industry workers at the ASB, and offering those same perspectives (and those of rural Alberta) on the Youth Council. I’m proud Brazeau County is home to such an energetic and important advocate for our area, our industries, and our youth.
Lastly, stay informed on the 2017 municipal election, and the plans to update our Municipal Development Plan.
As we approach the spring and summer months, I encourage everyone to take advantage of all of our recreational opportunities. And keep an eye out for the May/June issue of the Brazeau County News, which also contains our Annual Report for the year 2016. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out the video of our solar panel project at: http://bit.ly/2mD14e4. We will be having a ribbon-cutting event in late May.
Have a great Spring!
Reeve, Brazeau County