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Last updateWed, 06 Dec 2023 10am

Kneehill continues budget talks

Kneehill County Council

Kneehill County is tapping into a reserve it put away for a rainy day to balance its budget.
Kneehill County Council continued its budget deliberations at its Tuesday, November 28 meeting. Going into the meeting, council was looking at an over $2.6 million operational shortfall.
When debating the budget, they were able to whittle that number down by phasing its increase in capital equipment contributions over two years, which reduced its shortfall by approximately $500,000. It also delayed the transition of reallocating its investment revenues from operating budgets to its reserve.
Reeve Kenneth King noted that with a residential tax rate change of 4 per cent, farm of 17.5 per cent and non-residential of 3.75 percent, a slight reduction in the residential-non residential ratio, “At this time it is leaving us with a $516,000- and change shortfall.”
In discussing how to address that shortfall, council considered using its Revenue Stabilization reserve.
“…Which is money we have collected in the past to allow for bumps in revenue in the future,” said King.
Deputy Reeve Jerry Whittstock explained, “The reason that Revenue Stabilization Fund was set up for exactly these purposes. We knew there were going to be these deficits coming into the budget. The budget was going to be something we had to deal with.”
Councillor Laura Lee Machell-Cunningham was not supportive of the suggestion.
“I have to go against the grain, but I am not in favour of using our Revenue Stabilization fund. I would be more in favour of cutting back on some of our new initiatives because we simply can't afford that,” she said.
Reeve King noted that if the council decided not to implement some of its new, initiatives such as more weed control and increased mowing the savings would be less than $300,000 and would not cover the shortfall.
Deputy Reeve Wittstoick made the motion to use the fund to balance the budget. Council voted in favour, with councillors Cunningham and Carrie Fobes voting in opposition.
The budget will be brought back on December 12 for approval.

Hussar Light up the Night shines brightly for Crisis Recovery Fund

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On Saturday, December 2, the Village of Hussar shined for all to see at Light up the Night.
Hussar’s Light Up the Night was started by a senior citizen’s idea, who has lived in Hussar for many years, and one community member made it come true in December of 2015.
The idea was to light up the Hussar campground for all our past loved ones in heaven, and each year it gets bigger and brighter.
This year’s 9th annual Light Up the Night has 11 sites and 25 trees decorated for many businesses and families with past loved ones.
The evening started with a Christmas Caroling Concert with Anna Marie Frank featuring Akesh and Leela Aheer, and at 6 p.m. the Hussar fire department drove Santa down to the campground to light up the night. The Hussar 4H club handed out hot chocolate for everyone walking the light displays.
The Light Up the Night committee has donated all proceeds to the Hussar Crisis Recovery Fund for the last three years. The Hussar Crisis Recovery Fund is a group that was started many years ago to help out any community members going through an unexpected crisis, whatever it might be.
Over the years this group has relied on donations to be able to support the community members going through rough times. This fund has helped so many families over the years deal with crisis, giving them one less thing to worry about at the worst times in their lives. It’s a very worthwhile fund and they are always accepting donations to keep it running.
How it works is anyone can submit an application to the group on behalf of a community member. The application form is available on the town of Hussar website and they are 100% strictly confidential. The recipient is mailed a cheque with a letter explaining why they have received it. The money is theirs to spend on whatever they need to at that time.
Hussar Crisis Recovery Fund group is so grateful to the Light up the Night for donating the proceeds to them and we want to thank everyone who participates to make it possible to do that. Members for the Hussar Crisis Recovery fund are, Karen Peake, Kristin Fandry, Wendy Kaiser and Ren Jensen.
Light up the night and the Hussar Crisis Recovery fund is very grateful to everyone who participates in our wonderful event.
Next year will be our 10th annual Hussars Light Up the Night with all proceeds going to the Hussar Crisis Recovery fund.
Organizers always welcome businesses and families of all communities to take part in Hussar's Light up the Night. The Light Up The Night Committee includes Lela Hiebert, Ashley Kirkpatrick, Teneil Schempp, Tonya Grant, and Nikki Burns.

Discharge for assault charge


A man was given a conditional discharge for a charge of assault.
Mark Winther appeared in the Alberta Court of Justice in Drumheller on Friday, November 24. He was charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invite to sexual touching.
Winther maintained a not guilty plea to sexual assault, but pleaded guilty to the lesser and included charge of assault.
The court heard how in August of 2022, Winther was at an event at the Lions Campground in Trochu. At one point during the event, the accused and the victim went to an area of the campground alone and put his hands on the 15-year-old victim without consent.
The parent of the victim alerted the police.
Winther has no criminal record and wrote an apology to the victim and the family following the crime.
He has also undergone extensive counselling.
The crown and defense agreed to and presented a joint submission for a discharge with 12 months of probation. He is to abide by conditions including a no-contact order.
The remaining charges were withdrawn.


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