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Last updateThu, 07 Dec 2023 4pm

Wheatland County draft resolution for new provincial funding model for municipal dissolution

Wheatland 2021

Wheatland County council directed its administration to draft a resolution for the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) spring convention, which will be held in March 2024, regarding a proposed new funding model and a new process for rural municipalities facing dissolution during its regular Tuesday, November 21 council meeting.
The new funding model could potentially help encompassing counties, which would absorb a dissolved municipality, to offset infrastructure and other costs required by the municipality to continue providing services to residents following dissolution of a village or town municipality.
“The bottom line, my critical priority, is that we’re asking for more adequate funding to follow that dissolution,” Reeve Amber Link shared during the meeting. “For me, this is the ultimate download… the receiving municipality has zero say in whether they receive the municipality or not.”
Division 6 Councillor Glenn Koester noted the province did previously have a funding model in place. He referred to the hamlets of Gleichen and Cluny which had previously been dissolved and taken up by Wheatland County, and which both had had reserve funding. Councillor Koester also noted the Village of Hussar had undergone the process of engaging in an viability review of the municipality, which ultimately resulted in the village receiving a letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs stating the village had satisfied “the requirements and directives” outlined in a Ministerial Order and would not be subject to dissolution at this time.
It was acknowledged by both Councillor Koester and Reeve Link that in the instance of a municipal dissolution there is a large burden placed upon the receiving municipality, particularly in terms of taking on outstanding or emergent Capital projects. Reeve Link noted these projects may not be fully covered by any pending Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) funding allocated to the dissolved municipality. A new funding model could also negate the receiving municipality from having to implement a local improvement tax on residents to offset or support Capital projects.

Man found in breach of court order, borrowing vehicle without authorization


A former resident of the Grace House in Drumheller was sentenced to 90 days for borrowing a company vehicle without authorization and 30 days, to be served concurrently, for breaching a court order in Alberta Court of Justice in Drumheller on Friday, November 17.
Travis Seitz, 32, appeared in person for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to the charges.
The court heard how on May 14 of this year, Drumheller RCMP received a report Mr. Seitz was in breach of a release order of a 24 hour house arrest at the Grace House, located at 175 3 Street West in Drumheller.
Grace House management informed RCMP Mr. Seitz had left the residence the previous night and had taken a company vehicle without permission. At the time RCMP had arrived at the residence neither the vehicle, nor Mr. Seitz had returned.
Crown and defense entered a joint submission for a 90 day sentence on the charge of borrowing a motor vehicle without authorization, and a 30 day concurrent sentence for breach of the court order.
It was noted aggravating factors included a prior criminal record with related charges for failure to comply and property offenses. Crown also noted, while not necessarily considered a mitigating factor, the vehicle was ultimately returned to the Grace House in good condition; a guilty plea early in the process was considered a mitigating factor.
Defense noted Mr. Seitz has struggled with mental health and addiction and was very grateful for the opportunity offered to him at the Grace House and, during his time there had become well liked by staff.
Mr. Seitz has been in custody on this and other matters since July 12 of this year and, at the enhanced pre-trial custody, was given time served; the victim fine surcharge was also waived.

ATB searching for new banking provider in Morrin

ATB FinancialTM Logo

Alberta Treasury branch is looking for an operator to run a branch in Morrin.
This comes after ATB informed Starland County that it would not be renewing its contract with the municipality.
For years, ATB has offered its services in the community, and it was housed in the Starland County Municipal building.
“When we do the agency, a contract is put in place with a business that wants to run the agency, and it gets renewed every year, and what that looks like,” said Drumheller ATB branch manager Lychelle Horner. “Currently, we are looking for a new agent.”
Starland CAO Christopher Robblee wrote a letter to residents informing them of the change.
“Several months ago, administration was informed of ATB’s decision to discontinue their banking services within our community. Despite our earnest discussions and attempts to negotiate, Starland County has received formal notifications of service non-renewal,” states his letter.
Horner confirms that ATB is looking for another operator.
“Starland had taken the contract to run the agency out of their building, so based on the contract renewal, it was decided we were looking for a different agency, we are not renewing it with Starland right now,” she said.
While ATB is searching for a new agency, Starland is also looking to make sure banking service continues in the community.
“Our team is actively seeking alternative providers and will continue to do so with diligence and determination,’ states Robblee.
He also notes the current ATB contract concludes on March 13, 2024.
ATB Financial Drumheller has posted the opportunity on its social media.


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