Happy New Year Brazeau County!
I hope that everyone had a great Christmas with family and friends. We’re in a new year, with a new Council team, and working together we hope to accomplish some great things for the County.
Since the election in October, Council has been working hard on your behalf. Last month, we passed an aggressive but balanced interim budget with zero municipal tax increases and a continuation of the planning and development fee amnesty to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
The 2018 interim annual budget was drafted based on zero increase to the municipal tax rate. The tax rates will be developed in spring once the County has received the final assessment and School and Seniors requisitions. We feel it’s aggressive because we are investing $34.9 million into infrastructure projects. Almost $24 million is going into roads. The infrastructure improvements are spread out geographically to enhance the entire County.
Brazeau County was well represented at the past fall Convention of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) in November. You can read about Councillor Kara Westerlund’s election as Vice-president and our advocacy efforts in this issue. Going forward, our Council will continue to lobby AAMDC for our residents, as it relates to things such as geothermal energy or heat production and the proposed TransAlta pumped hydro project at the Brazeau Dam.
Our Council team is working with the Drayton Valley Town Council and other municipalities to achieve success for all involved. One success we have seen already is an agreement among County and Town Councillors that we do not want to see amalgamation or dissolution. Further to this, the County is participating with the Town in a study to develop a business case for a hemp decortication plant in our area. We will also be looking to see what the Province can offer our County, whether it’s incentives and programs for alternative energy, or provincial highway improvements, such as widening the shoulders on Highway 621.
On behalf of Brazeau County Council and Administration, I wish you health, happiness and prosperity in 2018.
Sincerely, Bart Guyon
Reeve, Brazeau County