C.N.P. council briefs

·2 min read

During its July 5 regular meeting, Crowsnest Pass council accepted the new senior property tax rebate and passed a bylaw establishing the new urban fire jurisdiction boundaries.

Senior rebate

Administration first presented proposed changes to the senior property tax rebate to council back in April.

The original rebate was calculated by comparing present mill rates and property assessments with those four years ago to establish the money returned as a rebate. Council approved setting the rebate at a flat rate of $325.

Administration expects the set rate will lead to more money in seniors’ pockets. The budgeted amount for 2022 rebates is $24,000, based on 100 applicants; that same number of applicants for the 2023 rebate will yield $32,500.

The deadline to apply for the 2023 rebate is Dec. 15.

Fire jurisdiction

The current agreement between Crowsnest Pass and the Alberta government over the boundaries of fire responsibilities for each government was established in 1979. For the last two years, administration has been working with the province to adjust the boundaries to accommodate for municipal growth.

The Alberta government gave permission for Crowsnest Pass to pass a bylaw to establish the area boundaries that would be defined as the municipality’s service area and recognized in the Forest and Prairie Protection Act.

Council passed first reading of the bylaw June 21 and second and third readings during the July 5 meeting.

The bylaw is now before the minister of agriculture, forestry and rural economic development. Once it receives written consent, the urban service area will come into effect.

The main difference the adjusted boundary achieves is the municipality has control over issuing fire permits to a larger percentage of its residents who live within the urban limits.

Fire permits for residents outside the boundary will still be within the purview of the provincial government, which will also still cover forest fires.

The mutual aid agreement between Crowsnest Pass and the province still stands, and the municipality will still cover structural fires for people living outside the boundary.

Next meeting

The next regular council meeting will be held Tuesday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m. in council chambers.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze

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