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Thursday , 15 April 2021

M.D. of Bonnyville Council Highlights December 16, 2020

MUNICIPAL DISTRICT BONNYVILLE NO. 87

COMMITTEE HIGHLIGHTS December 16, 2020 

Keeping you informed of the services, business and development that affect YOU!

Council Passes 2021 Budget 

The Municipal District of Bonnyville Council approved the 2021 Budget and Business Plan at its final meeting of 2020. The plan includes the balanced 2021 Budget of $150,223,069.

The budget does not include provincial educational and lodge requisitions, which will come in the spring.

Despite a challenging year in the midst of a global pandemic, and an anticipated revenue gap of about $1 million due to changes in the provincial assessment review model, it is Council’s intention to hold the Mill Rate steady for the 2021 tax year. The 2021 Budget shows Council continuing with recreation and infrastructure priorities  including:

  • Installing a new chairlift at Kinosoo Ridge – $2.7 million
  • Improving infrastructure (including bridge repairs, drainage projects and  construction) and maintenance – $20.02 million
  • Renovating the Kopala building to become the new home for the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (Station 5 Bonnyville, 911, EMS, Administration)
  • Developing and constructing trails throughout the M.D.
  • Continuing the expansion of the Cold Lake M.D. Campground
  • Managing Bonnyville Airport operations and updates
  • Holding Residential mill rates constant with prior years’ mill rates

“The 2021 Budget is a forward-looking document for the M.D.,” says Reeve Greg Sawchuk. “It recognizes the current economic climate while providing long-term  planning for recreation and infrastructure. The goal is to meet the priority needs of all our  ratepayers and continue to be a leader in economic diversity to provide more  opportunities in our region.”

In 2020, Council worked with the Infrastructure Services department to create a Roads Priority List and map. That, coupled with recent updates to the Roads Classification map, will help guide the future of road projects all of the way to 2025.

The 2021 Budget will see $7.4 million dedicated to paving and reconstruction of gravel roads, $1.55 million for subdivision roads, just over $4 million for bridge repairs and replacement and over $7 million for other projects, including drainage and flood mitigation.

Council will continue to fund the Seniors’ Transportation Grant at $30,000 and has created a fund of $675,000 to help community halls, community societies, seniors’ societies, and agricultural societies with capital and operating costs.

Keeping our regional relationships strong, the M.D. will continue to provide funding support for the Bonnyville and Cold Lake Museums, Beaver River Regional Waste Management Commission, Family and Community Social Services (FCSS) in Bonnyville and Cold Lake, Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, the Bonnyville & District Chamber of Commerce, the Cold Lake Chamber of Commerce and the libraries in the two major urban communities.

The digital version of the 2021 Budget and Business Plan will be available on the M.D.’s website by the end of the year, with printed copies available in early 2021.

Ag and Waste Services Updates

The beaver bounty program has wrapped up for the year, with landowners submitting 554 beavers for payment.

The M.D.’s pest control officer trapped an additional 209, for a total of 763 problem pests caught. Over 59 km of right-of-way brushing has been completed in 2020.

The Muriel Creek Restoration Project, which will see the removal of blockages affecting the flow of the waterway, has been delayed slightly.

Originally scheduled to begin in November, warm weather and Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulations have postponed the work until January.

The Veterinary Services Inc. (VSI) program will be capped at $1,000 per user, per year in an effort to reduce the program’s budget.

The expanded electronics recycling pilot project has seen an increase of electronics being dropped off at M.D. landfills and transfer stations. Due to theft, the full cages are now being moved to the Infrastructure Services yard to cut back on theft and destruction at the landfills/transfer stations.

The new garbage truck has arrived after a 10-month delay due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Public Safety Updates

Public Safety Officers have been given special authority to enforce Provincial Health Orders. Reeve Greg Sawchuk was concerned about enforcing fines.

Environment and Protective Services General Manager, Matt Janz, assured the Reeve that the officers would concentrate on taking an educational approach, should they be tasked with following up on complaints.

As of December 16, M.D. Public Safety Officers had not been dispatched to any complaints. School Resource Officers have adapted their programs to be delivered online, and have been doing presentations on vaping, sexting, social media, smoking, and even a little mindful yoga.

Officers conducted 628 General Crime Prevention Patrols and 47 Vacant Home Checks during the month of November.

Planning and Development Update 

Council decided to hold off on buying a quantitative polymerase change reaction (qPCR) tester until protocols from Alberta Environment are identified. This will allow for high and low baselines to be set, to better judge the overall health of lakes in the M.D.

Council agreed to register a blanket easement against NW 8-60-5W4M and lease a portion of Township Road 602 to allow  for access to a privately owned gravel pit, yet to be developed.

For more information, contact Diane Jenkinson, Marketing and Communications  Manager at 780-826-3171. Our website is a useful way to get the information you need.  Visit: www.md.bonnyville.ab.ca Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @MDBville.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.