By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The following are selected briefs from the Town of Vauxhall Council meeting that took place on Sept. 11.
Agreement with Town of Raymond for Financial Services
Clark Holt, Chief Financial Officer for the Town of Raymond, met with Council regarding providing financial services to the Town of Vauxhall for a period of one year per a contract they entered into together. Holt said he spends half his time providing financial services for the Town of Raymond and half his time providing financial services to other communities with the assistance of Kim Coppieters. Holt said he addresses financial details such as budgeting, big picture financial statement prep, tax rate bylaws while Coppieters handles detail including most of the day-to-day such as payable and bookkeeping reconciliations. During his visit with Council, Holt outlined the Town of Vauxhall’s operating budget and also explained that the province has a new formula this year to calculate MSI operating for communities. Holt also stated that the Town of Vauxhall is in good shape revenue-wise and is expected to break even operationally.
The RCMP delegate present at the meeting reported that in July 2023, the M.D. of Taber received 198 calls for service, Barnwell received 8, and Vauxhall received 8, totaling 214 calls for service. There was also one impaired suspension within the M.D. of Taber, 21 Criminal Code violations, and 81 non-criminal violations with 64 of them being 9-1-1 hangups in the M.D. of Taber and 10 in Barnwell while 7 were in Vauxhall, totalling 81 9-1-1 hangups. In addition to that, there were 20 criminal record checks and general public fingerprint checks within the detachment area.
In terms of patrols within the M.D. of Taber, the delegate reported that there were 26 in Barnwell, 41 in Vauxhall, 13 in Enchant, 27 in Grassy Lake, 13 in Hays, 5 in the M.D. Park Campground, 2 at the Forks Campground, 9 at the Enchant Campground, 1 at Chin Campground, and zero at both Hays and Grassy Lake Campgrounds, making a total of 137 patrols.
In total, the delegation said, 21 violation tickets were written in the M.D. of Taber by Taber RCMP and 22 tickets were written by ITU, making a total of 43 violation tickets.
In addition to the statistics, the Detachment Commander also reported that the detachment laid charges in 11 criminal investigations and responded to 6 complains of family violence, laying charges where there was evidence that an offence had been committed. Available supports, the Detachment Commander said, was also provided to the victims.
On top of that, the Detachment Commander also provided information on the provincial crime gauge comparing January to the end of July 2022 to the same span of months in 2023. Persons crimes saw a 6 per cent increase. Property crimes saw a 50 per cent decrease and other Criminal Code violations are up by 20 per cent. Break and enters, the commander said, saw 14 fewer instances with a 67 per cent decrease. There’s been no change in theft of motor vehicles and theft under $5,000.
The Detachment Commander also reported that a member of the detachment lead the parades for both Vauxhall and Barnwell and interacted with those who attended the events.
Pembina estimates in a standard formula that annual payments to the landowner (it is being leased from Viterra) and city taxes would total $4.5 million, enough to pick up 3 or 4 per cent of the city’s total annual tax income.
Similarly, a controversial solar project in Cypress County, the Aura Peace Butte, would pay lease payments to the owners of six-quarter sections near Black and White Trail and annual tax amounts totalling an estimated $4.6 million to Cypress County.
The county’s entire annual tax revenue is about $23 million.
The County of Forty Mile collected a total of $16.3 million in property tax in 2023, but a single new project, the six-section Aria Solar Facility, could pay up to $6.3 million per year to county coffers and landowners leasing the sites.
Southeast Alberta projects pause
(A list of renewable energy projects, with applicant, location and combined lease and tax revenue, as estimated by the Pembina Institute).
– Aria Solar, County of 40 Mile, $6.3 million;
– Aura Peace Butte Solar, Cypress County, $4.6 million;
– Bluearth Bindloss Solar, Sp. Areas, $2 million;
– Capital Power Whitla Solar expansion, County 40 Mile, $1.23 million;
– DP Energy Saamis Solar, Medicine Hat city, $4.5 million;
– EDF Bull Trail wind Phase 1, Cypress County, $3.6 million;
– Enerfin Winnifred Wind (modification), Cypress/40 Mile $720,000;
– Engie Buffalo Trial (Phase 1), Cypress County, $2.4 million;
– Greengate Luna (two phases), County of Newell, $18.6 million;
– Alderson Solar, Cypress County, $1.4 million;
– Proteus Hays Solar, MD Taber, $4.3 million;
– Pteragen Peace Butte Wind, Cypress County, $1.4 million;
– RES Forty Mile Wind, Forty Mile, $1.6 million;
– Solar Krafte Vauxhall, MD Taber, $840,000;
– Solar Kraft Ranier, Newell, $6.3 million;
– Atco Forty Mile Wind (modification), Forty Mile, $340,000;
– Transalta Red Rock Wind, Cypress, $1.2 million.