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Lethbridge County meeting briefs from May 18

Posted on May 31, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

The following are selected briefs from the May 18 regular meeting of Lethbridge County Council.

Policy 186 – Committee Members at Large Remuneration 

County Council had previously discussed remuneration for the Ag Services Committee Members at Large during the April 20 council meeting. Council directed administration to review a remuneration policy for the Committee Members at Large which follows the council remuneration policy format. Council discussed the parameters of what should be provided to committee members and it was determined administration would develop a policy which is specific to Committee Members at Large for clarity and transparency purposes, and a separate document from the council remuneration policy.

During the May 18 meeting, Lethbridge County’s director of finance, Jennifer Place reasoned, “we thought it would be best to develop a policy specific to committee members at large, for two reasons, one being less complicated when you are providing that info to committee members at large that policy is specific to them and second, if and when council wanted to reopen their own council remuneration policy it would remain specific to councillors,” with unique reimbursement forms specific to the policy.

After some discussion, Policy 186 was approved by council.

Advertising Bylaw passes second and third readings

A bylaw has been drafted to establish methods for advertising public notices in Lethbridge County. The proposed bylaw reflects current practice in the County’s advertising and public notifications but there is not currently a bylaw or policy in place to formalize these activities.

As per the Municipal Government Act (MGA), a municipality must use a local newspaper (for two consecutive weeks) or mail notices directly to affected landowners for certain matters (“proposed bylaws, resolutions, meetings, public hearings, and other things” – Section 606(1), unless Council passes a bylaw that allows for these to be advertised by alternative methods (ie. “electronic means”). Currently, Lethbridge County follows the MGA by advertising these matters in the Sunny South News and/or through mailing affected landowners (mainly for planning items).

Janzen told council, “we don’t anticipate changing how we advertise currently. The Sunny South News is still a vital part of how we communicate with residents in addition to sending out adjacent landowner notices from the planning and development perspective is very important so that we are targeting those people who are impacted specifically on a project.”

Bylaw 23-013 was read for a second and third time.

County adopts 2023 Tax Mill Rate bylaw

The assessment roll has been prepared for the 2023 Tax Year as per the municipal budget which was approved on Dec. 15, 2022 with the tax support requirement of $16,675,460 to be collected in order to support the County’s 2023 operations. Additional tax support for the Lethbridge Regional Waste Services Commission requisition and haul route capital funds are also included for a total of $17,796,435.

As required by the Municipal Government Act, a bylaw must be passed each year to allow for the issuance of tax notices and collection of taxes.

Director of finance Jennifer Place presented the Tax Mill Rate Bylaw 23-017 with amendments to Lethbridge County Council on May 18 for consideration of third reading. The 2023 Tax Mill Rate Bylaw was previously amended during the May 4, 2023 council meeting.

Amendments to the bylaw following the May 4 meeting included a 6.72 per cent increase in the 2023 Farmland tax rate over 2022, and a slight reduction in the residential tax rate by 4.3 per cent due to the increase in assessment. The report also notes the 2023 Non-Residential and Machinery and Equipment (M&E) tax rate has also decreased from 2022 by 4.08 per cent due to assessment, resulting in a $177,793 increase in taxes over 2022.

The information contained in the report is based on a 2:1 tax rate ratio between non-residential and residential classes, and notes that the municipal tax rate for non-residential and M&E classes must be equal.

Deputy Reeve John Kuerbis sponsored a motion to read 2023 Tax Mill Rate Bylaw 23-017 for a third time and was carried by Council.

The County’s property tax due date is July 31, 2023.

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