Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you and your families are doing well and staying healthy.
Council has been working remotely since the beginning of December. All public hearings were cancelled in December and into the beginning of January. We restarted public hearings and to catch up will have five Council sessions in February. All Council meetings are streamed online, and if there is any application you want to speak to, the complete process can be found here:
Email submissions can be submitted through the public hearing right up until the point when the chair ends email submissions.
One item is the Springbank area structure plans. Should this item move to second reading, it will then go to the CMRB for approval. With the CMRB format, RVC (along with other municipalities) will have lost their right to plan for its own future. In fact, growth areas will be predetermined, mainly by Calgary and the other urbans at the table. In addition, new area structure plans will be impossible to put into place. On the surface, that may seem like a good idea, especially if you don’t want to see any development (of any kind), but ultimately what this will means is that tax burdens will gradually shift to residential properties if RVC is unable to maintain the Council goal of a 65%/35% split. Rocky View is in pretty good shape right now, and we have been quite successful in weathering out the past year, but if the current draft plan of the CMRB is passed, there is no doubt in my mind that we will see residential tax increases.
Speaking of residential tax increases, Council did approve our 2021 budget with a modest 0.5% increase. That said, we will continue to look for savings in 2021 so that we can bring this to 0%. In addition, we were able to get some long-standing capital projects approved including a proper turn around at the south end of Range Road 33, flood mitigation work in Bearspaw, and some paving in Division 9, in addition to a few other projects. This was a good budget and good work done by Administration keeping our costs in line.
Last week, the Recreation Governance Committee approved the long awaiting Master Recreation Plan, which sets the priority of recreation in the County into policy. Springbank was in the top five priority areas for new community and recreation services. The biggest advantage this policy and priorities gives the County now is the ability to assess “soft” levies to developers to help fund these. Without these priorities and costing, it was difficult to determine how much of a soft levy the County should collect. Now we know. Now we can determine the levy structure and begin to have a developer contribution towards recreation in a meaningful way.
Please call me if you have any questions, or send me a quick email.
Deputy Reeve Division 2 Councillor