Community Services consists of Agricultural Services, Community Peace Officer Enforcement, Parks and Recreation, Economic Development and Corporate Communications, with a staff of 9 (not including seasonal staff).
In 2017, Brazeau County committed $574,326 to community organizations and initiatives!
Included in this funding was $50,000 for the Shark Park playground located over at St. Anthony’s Elementary School. Violet Grove also received $71,122 in funding from Brazeau County, this was used to leverage additional $64,657 in a Community Facility Enhancement Program grant (CFEP).
Electrical upgrades were completed by adding 30 amp power to 40 sites and upgrading 3 existing sites from 15 amp to 30 amp power at Willey West campground, located next to the North Saskatchewan River. These upgrades will continue to enhance the resident and visitor experience to this Brazeau County amenity.
On the Agricultural Services side of the department, weed inspections continued to grow from 1,600 inspections in 2014 to 2,000 in 2015 and 2,600 in 2016 and a slight increase in 2017 to 2,630.
Council approved in 2017 an increase to the herbicide rebate program from 20% to 30%. In the last three years, the rebate that has been budgeted for had not been used to its full amount of $12,000. But in 2016, with a huge flush of weeds, we have seen a great effort made by residents to control weeds on their land with herbicide. Council increased funding from $12,000 to $24,000 for this program. Residents received a total of $19,178 in herbicide rebates 2017.
The office of Economic Development kicked off 2017 with a Seed to Sales Hemp workshop series that was very well received. Nearly 160 participants gained knowledge, education and contacts to make an informed decision to grow industrial hemp, a critical component in the local supply chain we are achieving to develop in the region.
The Women in Business (WIB) Network formed a new partnership with the Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) organization and delivered 4 workshops throughout the year to local entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs.
2017 saw our oil and gas sector rise in activity with a 50% increase in new well drilling activity and seven new businesses incorporate. The climate for investment is far more favorable and site selector inquiries were up over 2016.
The Corporate Communications division was busy with Council communications, public relations assignments, social media and website management.