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May 25, 2024 May 25, 2024

Questions surrounding leased land dominate M.D. of Taber AGM

Posted on April 25, 2024 by Vauxhall Advance
Advance Photo By Trevor Busch. MUNICIPAL MATTERS: M.D. of Taber Reeve Tamara Miyanaga welcomes the crowd during the recent M.D. of Taber AGM held on April 11 at the M.D.’s maintenance facility on Highway 3. Big topics included lease land reform and the formulation of a Transportation Master Plan.

By Trevor Busch
Vauxhall Advance

Significant changes to the cost involved in leasing cultivated and grazing lands owned by the Municipal District of Taber was a subject of contention among some residents during the municipality’s recent Annual General Meeting earlier this month.

A sizable crowd was in attendance for the AGM that was held on April 11 inside the M.D.’s maintenance facility on Highway 3. 

Other topics of discussion included a redraft of the Land Use Bylaw (Bryce Surina, Director of Community Services), Capital Infrastructure Projects (Corey Greene, Manager of Public Works & Infrastructure), the Transportation Master Plan (Corey Greene, Manager of Public Works & Infrastructure), a Taber/Vauxhall RCMP Detachment Update (Stg. Stewart Gemmill of The Taber-Vauxhall RCMP Detachment), followed by a live question and answer session with attendees.

Increases to lease rates through the Lease Lands Management Plan (Brian Peers, Manager of Municipal Lands & Leases) drew the ire of a number of M.D. residents who were vocal in their opposition to significant rate hikes.

“This provides us a time to reset, get all our ducks in a row so to speak, and have good policy in place at that time,” said Peers. “We’re anticipating going through the process this summer, of consulting with the folks, the leaseholders and council, and then having some good discussions over the next ‘x’ number of months, to be hopefully done in 2025.”

Peers detailed there are 81,535 acres of lands the M.D. holds title to which are made up predominantly of grazing lands with a smaller percentage of cultivated land. With all ag leases set to expire in 2026-2027, council will be implementing new policy to guide the future land management approach.

“These leases do provide important revenue to the M.D. as well totalling about $2 million annually, unfettered funds that can be used at the discretion of council for operations of the M.D. of Taber,” said Peers.

Peers broke down the numbers even further, pointing out that of that 81,535 total acres held by 89 leaseholders, 58,340 acres are Tax Recovery Grazing Lease (34 leaseholders), 17,004 acres are M.D. Grazing Lease (33 leaseholders), and 6,191 acres are M.D. Cultivated Lease (22 leaseholders).

Upcoming stakeholder engagement workshops on the Lease Lands Management Plan will be held on June 11 (Hays Community Hall, 7 p.m.), June 12 (Vauxhall Community Hall, 7 p.m.) and June 13 (M.D. of Taber Main Operations and Maintenance Facility, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.).

A recording of the meeting can be found at

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