News | DrumhellerMail - Page #24
Last updateFri, 19 Apr 2024 5pm

Kneehill County proposes to present energy resolution to Rural Municipalties of Alberta

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Ken King, Reeve of Kneehill County, is set to draw up a resolution pertaining to the progress of renewable energy and the availability of electricity. This will be submitted for the Rural Municipalities of Alberta 2024 Fall Convention.
The Renewable Electricity Act’s ministerial duties is to ensure and develop ways so that a minimum of 30% of the annual electric energy used in Alberta will be generated from renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar farms.
The resolution will look to the Province of Alberta to put in place a minimum approach of what renewable energy developers would be required to provide, ensuring that grid stability problems will be avoided when renewable energy manufacturing is lower.
The Mail reached out to Reeve King about the resolution. “It is our belief that the consumer through the AESO should not be on the hook for sourcing power when the power generation supply is low,” says King, “We recognize the good work, and the value of the work the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) performs, however, we feel that the power generation companies in Alberta have a responsibility to provide a stable, reliable, consistent level of power for the AESO to access.”
The resolution will address what the power generation companies’ responsibility is when providing a minimum power level at any time required by the AESO. It will also ask the Government of Alberta to implement legislation of baseline power so that reliability and sustainability, along with environmental and climate goals, can be met with Kneehill County’s electric supply into the future.

AHS transforming health care

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The Canalta Jurassic Hotel hosted an in-person engagement session for area health care workers and Albertans last Wednesday, February 7, 2024, to provide feedback about the issues within Alberta’s Health Services (AHS) system. This is one of 50 in-person engagement sessions being held across Alberta that started in January and will continue until April, 2024.

The main goal of these discussions is to find ways to improve patient care and put better support in place for health care workers to overall build a stronger health care system within the province.

Alberta’s Health Minister Adriana LaGrange spoke to the more than 60 attendees about some of the concerns in AHS. “I know, since I’ve become the Minister of Health, that things aren’t working the way they should be working,” she says, “There is nothing more important than health care. At the end of the day it’s about lives, the lives that are impacted by the health care that is being received. We all have stories about health care where it’s worked really, really well. I had eye cancer in 2012, and you know what? It worked extremely well. I also have stories where it didn’t work so well. We need to look at how we can make things better. People's lives hang in the balance, and that’s what I think about each and every day. There are 4.7 million Albertans that are looking to us to make sure that they have the best health care possible. That’s the only goal I have, as the Minister of Health, is to make sure we have the best health care possible.”

From long wait times in hospitals to the lack of health care workers, especially with the shortage of doctors, patients in Alberta are facing multiple challenges when it comes to their health care. Whether its people dealing with mental health crises or people on long wait lists for surgical procedures, it is said that something needs to change and resources need to be made more available for those who are in dire need of a better system.

The feedback and opinions of those who attend these discussions will help in designing a more functional health care system for Albertans.

Busy year in Rockyford

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In July 2023, The Village of Rockyford’s Council closed the multi-purpose community hub, Prairie Ridge Park, in the interest of the public's safety. There was water leaking from the roof resulting in parts of it becoming saturated causing sagging and cracks in the walls.
“Council is now determining this year, whether we will go through repairs, or what the community wants to see us do with the building,” says Rockyford Mayor Darcy Burke.
The community has come forward with many options about what can be done with the building.
Over the next few weeks Council will discuss looking into the costs for repairs, or whether a total demolition is called for. “There are many options on the table but Council has not concluded on anything definite yet,” explains Mayor Burke.
Some of the major challenges for The Village of Rockyford over 2023, and continuing into 2024, are the increases in costs over a lot of their operational areas. Policing requisition, for example, will continually see an upward trend in municipal tax hikes.
“Municipal services costs compared to what our ratepayers provide, well, they will have to pay out of their pockets for the costs of services,” says Mayor Burke, “These are challenges we always want to be respectful of, with the public money we have to deal with.”
Council is in the process of reviewing the 2024 Budget. They know they cannot operate in 2024 without an increase in taxes and an accompanying increase in costs of services. Council is being very diligent in being respectful of the public money. There is an ongoing balance of what they can trim down on, or slightly increase in revenues, outside of taxation and costs of services.
It’s time for Rockyford to replace its rescue truck that responds to motor vehicle accidents and medical calls.
“This apparatus is nearing the end of its life soon. It takes two years to order a new truck. We’ve engaged with Rocky Mountain Phoenix out of Red Deer. This will cost just over $750,000. The Village of Rockyford will be sharing the cost with Rockyford Rural Fire Association and with Wheatland County,” says Mayor Burke, who is also the Deputy Chief. The truck will be ordered this year and delivery is expected to come in 2026.
The main infrastructure project for Rockyford in 2023 was the second block of Mainstreet, having put in turn-of-the-century sidewalks and lighting. “It was completed last year and looks excellent. It’s a great addition to our Mainstreet.”
In the summer, Rockyford hosted another successful Bull-a-Rama and Rodeo, with some of the best numbers they have seen attendance-wise.


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