It has been a few months since the fall general election and the new Village of Munson council is settling in and learning their roles.
The Village of Munson saw two new councillors in Leslie Landon and Mary Taylor. Incumbent Stephen Hayes was also elected and appointed Mayor of the village.
“They are getting their feet wet and learning the ropes and the whole new deal,” said CAO Lyle Cawiezel, noting there is some important training that each councillor has to undergo.
“That way they know what to expect.”
Caweizel says they are looking at taking care of some road work within the village.
“It’s a cycle, the ones that were 6-8 years ago we are looking at re-topping them,” said CAO Cawiezel. “We have a few smaller projects but nothing major.”
A recent trend particularly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is an influx of population into rural communities. Cawiezel said they have seen some new residents.
“It has been pretty good. There are not a whole lot of properties listed, but turnover has been pretty quick,” he said. “Right now we might have a vacant lot, but as far as actual properties, we don’t even have any listed for sale right now.”
He notes he has seen several out-of-province buyers.
He says Munson offers a safe, quiet affordable community close to the Town of Drumheller, and adds the village works hard to keep costs in line.
He says the village is constrained by space, with not many available lots, and to expand could be cumbersome.
“The biggest thing is we are limited by our lagoon. It is designed for 300 residents, but Alberta Environment wants you to be at 80 per cent capacity, which is about 280. Depending on your population on any given date, there is no room to expand to,” he explains. “You could accommodate five or six more lots, with an average of 4-5 people per house but then you are pushing up against your limits.”
He also notes the village would also have to expropriate land to add a significant area of growth, at great expense.
“We looked at the process a few years back and it is a costly process to acquire more land, in hopes of expanding. It does help your tax base in the long run, but it’s a significant cost,” he said.