COUNCIL NOTES: Tax Bylaw, New RR52 Bridge

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tax Rate Bylaw Approved by Council

Mountain View County Council gave final approval to the 2017 Operating Budget and 2017 Tax Rate Bylaw at its April 12th regular meeting resulting in a 1 per cent increase in the tax rate across all assessment categories.

For the average residential property owner in the County the result will be an approximate increase in their taxes of $53 over 2016. The average will vary depending on the assessment of individual properties. Some properties will see an increase in assessed value and others may see a decrease, or no change.

If a property’s assessed value has increased over last year, that property will see a tax increase greater than the average property in the County; while properties with a decrease in assessed value will see an increase of less than $53.

According to Director of Corporate Services Rob Beaupertuis the County has an operating budget of just under $29 million, a capital budget of $23.8 million (approved in early January 2017), and $12.8 million in requisitions for external authorities including the Alberta School Foundation Fund, the Opted out School Boards and Mountain View Senior’s Housing.

After excluding the amounts in reserves and other sources of funding other than taxation (including grants etc.), the County will be collecting $41.58 million in total taxes, of which $12.8 million is collected on behalf of external authorities (as noted above).

The tax rates for school taxes are set by the province and not Mountain View County. Those rates see a 4.24 per cent increase over 2016 for residential and farmland properties and 8.17 per cent for non-residential properties.

Reeve Bruce Beattie said the County has been consistent for the past several years in keeping the municipal tax rate around an increase of 1 per cent in order to keep up with inflation and other market factors.

More information on the 2017 Budget, tax rates and tax notices will be available in the coming days in the County’s pullout section in the Mountain View Gazette and here on the County website.

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Bridge Project Approved for RR 52 near Water Valley

Mountain View County Council has approved the construction of a single lane bridge on Range Road 52 over the Little Red Deer River just north of the four-way stop in Water Valley.

The project will cost an estimated $3.65 million to complete and will be funded by a combination of Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant funding and the Road and Bridge Reserve. The County has applied for other grant funding to cover the cost of the project but had not received word on potential funding prior to Council approval.

Regardless of the funding source, the County will be proceeding with the project. The next step is for tendering the project to select a firm to construct the bridge. A clearer timeline of when the project will begin will be available following the tender process, according to the County’s Operational Services department.

Division 2 Councillor Patricia McKean called it an “exciting day” for the area. A solution to the secondary channel of the Little Red Deer River that has migrated across the roadway through several recent flood events has been pursued for several years by County staff and Council.

A temporary bridge across the secondary channel has been in place since 2011. However, during subsequent high water events, the temporary bridge has washed out meaning a permanent solution was required.

Options to armour the main channel to prevent breakout were deemed unsuitable and not cost effective because of no guarantees the breech would not occur again, and the potential for downstream impacts due to diverting high water back into the channel. The option of keeping the temporary bridge in place, closing and repairing after high water events was also rejected by Council due to the extended inconvenience to the travelling public and the Water Valley community.

In December, Council directed administration to discontinue work on a two-lane bridge option and investigate a single lane bridge option in order to bring costs more in line with what was available in terms of funding.

Councillors unanimously approved the project at its April 12th regular Council meeting.