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Town of Nobleford releases 2024 Community Report

Posted on April 4, 2024 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

The Town of Nobleford has released its annual Community Report online.

The report highlights progress on ongoing and concluded initiatives and outlines the Town’s key priorities for the future.

The following are listed as the top five priorities in the 2023 Community Report as per the Town’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan: 1) critical infrastructure, 2) affordability, 3) communication1 and public participation, 4) enhancing the appearance of the town, and 5) attract investment. 

The Raw Water Reservoir Rehabilitation & Expansion Project was one of the largest capital projects in the Town’s history, with a total cost of nearly $3.8 million. The project was completed on time, slightly under budget, and was funded 70% through grant funding. Not only does the rehabilitation of the north and south raw water reservoirs provide the Town with quality critical infrastructure for our water treatment and distribution system, but the expanded capacity provides further assurances in times of water insecurity and ensures demand can be sustained as the community grows.

The Town also initiated plans on a new town office in 2023. According to the community report, work on the capital project is expected to continue in the first half of 2024. In 2023, the Town explored several options for a new municipal office which would provide accessibility solutions and accommodate the Town’s growing and evolving needs. The Town purchased the Rose Butte apartments, a government-owned building previously managed by Green Acres Foundations, a non-profit housing management body in Alberta. Renovations began shortly after the sale went through in September, 2023, and will include council chambers, extended office space, and FCSS room, rentable meeting space, and reception area. 

Among the top capital projects for the Town of Nobleford in 2023, was the raw water reservoir rehabilitation and expansion project. In 2021, the public works department identified leaks at two of the three raw water reservoirs in town. 

The report notes that Nobleford sources its raw water from the LNID canal south of Town and stores in it three reservoirs, before it is treated and distributed for consumption. 

“Without these reservoirs, the Town’s water source would be compromised,” notes the Community report. Funding for the project, provided in part by the Alberta Municipal Water/ Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) through a $2.34 million dollar grant, making it among one of the largest grants ever received by the Town. This funding, in combination with other grant dollars, allowed the Town to secure funding for 70 per cent of the total project cost. The Town also expanded the capacity of the south reservoir by nearly 25 per cent in an effort to mitigate raw water pressures in the future. 

Furthermore, partial funding provided by Lethbridge County allowed the Town to purchase a new bulk water fill station system which allows for debit, credit, and pre-loaded key fob payment. This system is expected to be operational this month. According to data collected by the Town, approximately 4,200 cubic metres of water was consumed through the bulk filling station last year alone. 

The need for reliable mobile connectivity remains an ongoing concern for many rural communities, and a vital tool in business and operations. In 2023, the Town installed a complex cellular booster at the community complex to improve cell phone connectivity within the building. The report also notes the Town has been in discussions with Telus and Rogers to have a cell tower installed within Town in an effort to improve service for residents. To date the municipality has entered entered into an agreement with Telus for Telus to lease a section of land within the public works shop yard for a future cell tower.

The report highlights Nobleford is among the most competitively taxed municipalities in southern Alberta. The Town was able to maintain one of the lowest residential mill rates in Alberta in 2023, at under 4 per cent. Comparatively, the Town of Picture Butte’s residential tax rate was around 7 per cent in 2023, with both Coaldale and Coalhurst’s residential rate coming in at just under 8 per cent. 

In addition, the Town remains committed to attracting investment.  In addition to offering select incentives for developers and investors, the Town also maintained a comparatively low non-residential mill rate, at around 5 per cent in 2023. Coaldale and Coalhurst’s non-residential mill rates sat at just over 9 per cent, with Picture Butte’s non-residential rate slightly less than 9 per cent. 

According to the report, the Town of Nobleford issued 86 business licenses in 2023, and approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Reciprocal Business licensing which allows business license holders in Nobleford, Raymond, Picture Butte, Barons, Magrath, Stirling, and Coalhurst to conduct business under these municipalities under one license in an effort to “promote local business initiatives.”

The report also highlighted progress made on the Regionalized Emergency Management (REM) program. Along with the nearby municipalities of Coaldale, Lethbridge County, Coalhurst, Picture Butte and Barons, Nobleford committed to joining a REM program in 2022. According to the report, progress was made in 2023 to build a program which addresses the needs of all municipal partners. This year, “the Town expects to see stronger plans be put in place with the collaborative help of the municipalities involved to ensure Nobleford has extensive planning in place incase we are ever faced with such emergency situations.” 

“In 2024, residents will continue to see houses being constructed on the properties and are encouraged to provide their new neighbours with a warm welcome,” reads the community report. 

Also among the Town’s capital projects in 2023 was the 5 Avenue Subdivision in early 2023. This project was financed through reserve accounts and did not place an additional tax burden on residents. The subdivision project created an additional 11 residential lots, made available for pre-sale in August. By the end of 2023, over half of the lots were sold.

“In 2024, residents will continue to see houses being constructed on the properties and are encouraged to provide their new neighbours with a warm welcome,” reads the community report. 

The report can be viewed on the Town’s website at nobleford.ca/.

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