County of Paintearth

County of Paintearth highlights for Sept. 14

The County will have to write off over $10,000 in bad debt related to the Crowfoot Crossing Rest Area

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

County of Paintearth council has agreed to a Castor Golf Club request for the hauling of some material this fall.

Over the last decade, the Castor Golf Club has requested that the County haul a load or two of washed sand from a supplier near Torrington for use around the golf course.

“We don’t give them money,” said Coun. Maurice Wiart.

“They are an independent organization.”

According to County Director of Public Works Bryce Cooke, hauling two loads of sand from Torrington would tie a truck up for a day.

According to the letter requesting the donation, the Club is willing to work around Public Works’ schedule, possibly utilizing the equipment on a rainy day, when the truck would not be otherwise in use.

In a motion put forward by Coun. George Glazier, council approved the request, and has directed Cooke to coordinate with the Castor Golf Club to plan.

Grants in place of taxes

The County will have to write off over $10,000 in bad debt related to the Crowfoot Crossing Rest Area.

In July 2020, the County motioned to write off $10,928 in bad debt related to the Government of Alberta’s Grants in Place of Taxes program for the rest area, and then submitted the application to the Province to get the funds back.

The request was later denied, as the land had been surveyed and registered as a road plan in 2019 and was made ineligible for the Grant in Place of Taxes program.

“They will not pay (Grants in Place of Taxes) on the rest area,” said Lana Roth, director of corporate services for the County.

Council motioned to write off the bad debt, as well as pen a letter to Alberta Finance and Member of Legislative Assembly Nate Horner, disagreeing with the government’s change in position on the land.

Moving forward, the rest area will now be considered exempt to not accrue further bad debt.

Taxes

According to Roth, the County has collected 92 per cent of 2021’s taxes, ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline.

As of Oct. 1, outstanding tax rolls will receive a 10 per cent penalty on their accounts.

Aiding the tax collection for 2021 are the 10 to 15 new tax rolls participating in the County of Paintearth’s tax payment plan.

“That’s money coming in every month,” said Roth.

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

The National Day for Truth & Reconciliation is a new federal statutory holiday on Sept. 30 intended to raise awareness on Indigenous issues across Canada.

While federal employees will be receiving the day off as a stat-holiday, it has been left up to the provinces and municipalities how and if they will recognize it.

While council generally felt that two stat holidays were not needed in one month, due to the County’s history they felt that the day should be acknowledged.

“I would suggest we do a proclamation in recognition of the day,” said Reeve Stan Schulmeister.

Complicating issues is the fact that the statutory day was recently announced, giving the municipality little time to plan.

“We want to acknowledge it, but I don’t think we can do it justice in two weeks,” said Coun. Maurice Wiart.

“Next year, the new council can plan.”

A motion was put forward to have Reeve Schulmeister sign a proclamation to acknowledge the day, and have administration put together a display for the County office to be shown for one week.

“If we are going to do this, we should educate people,” said Coun. Diane Elliot.