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Last updateFri, 01 Dec 2023 2pm

Kneehill County begins budget process

Kneehill County Council

Kneehill County has begun its budgetary process and is anticipating to have its 2024 Operating and Capital budgets fully adopted by December.
Council members were presented with the start of the 2024 budget approval process by Corporate Services director Kinza Barney and Financial Planning coordinator Marika Von Mirbach during the Tuesday, October 17 Committee of the Whole meeting.
“Preparing for the 2024 budget discussions and deliberations with council has been a significant workload by a number of individuals across this organization,” shared Ms. Barney during the presentation, noting this has not just been limited to the Finance department.
The 2024 budget will be presented to council in a series of meetings, beginning with the Setting the Stage and New Projects presentation at the October 17 meeting and the initial Reserve Strategy discussion at the October 24 council meeting. This will be followed by the Core Operating Budget on November 14, a question and information requisition session on November 28, and an anticipated budget adoption date on December 12.
Ms. Barney noted the county was recently notified from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) it had once again been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the third year in a row.
In order to be considered for and receive this award, Kneehill County was required to meet several nationally recognized guidelines, such as meeting “criteria as a policy document…financial plan…operations guide, and as a communications device” according to the GFOA website. Ms. Barney noted the county has scored higher on some of these criteria than it has in previous years.

Youth offender sentenced for accessing child pornography


A man who was a young offender at the time of his arrest has been sentenced to undergo assessment after entering guilty pleas of accessing child pornography in Alberta Court of Justice in Drumheller on Friday, November 10.
The offender, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, had been under investigation by the Alberta Integrated Child Exploitation (ICE) unit in October 2022 for accessing child pornography.
The court heard how the offender, who is a member of a south-central Alberta Hutterite colony, had voluntarily participated in an interview with RCMP upon his arrest. During this interview he confessed he had been accessing child pornography from the age of 15 and felt compelled to look at the material.
He also expressed he wanted to speak with someone regarding his problem and did not wish for the Hutterite colony to know about this issue.
It was noted the pornography had not been purchased and had been accessed from a website via a cell phone on average about once a week. Two images were found in the cache of the device, which showed they had been accessed but had not been saved and were no longer available.
The offender was ordered to undergo assessment under Section 34 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act and to return to court on March 8, 2024.
Crown prosecution stayed an adult matter related to the investigation which took place after the youth had turned 18.

Meeting slated for East Coulee Trestle Bridge future


A meeting is being held to gauge the interest in forming an association to save the East Coulee Trestle Bridge.
The bridge is very unique, and only one of two left in Canada. The wooden bridge has been identified by the National Trust for Canada as an endangered site.
Last week, a meeting was held in East Coulee with community members and experts from Wood Research and Development.
Supporters of the bridge have planned a meeting on Wednesday, November 22 at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) to discuss the next step forward.
“At the last meeting, we asked people who would be interested in setting up the new society. In this meeting, we‘ll be taking names, and the one after that, we’ll be forming a society," said local resident John Barry Graham. “We’ll also be talking to the community to explain the next steps. We want to get an assessment of the bridge done to determine the extent of the damage over the years and hopefully put numbers on the cost of restoration. It might not be much more than the cost to demolish the bridge.”
Restoration of the bridge could serve as a part of the valley’s pathway system, an attraction and a community connector.
The meeting will be held at the BCF on Wednesday, November 22 at 6:30 p.m.


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