April 12th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 15
Municipal Council updates
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
Tax Bylaw

First Reading of Bylaw 984, 2017 – Tax Bylaw was passed in a recorded vote of four Councillors in favour, three opposed. The bylaw increases residential taxes for 2017 by 1.5% and increases non-residential taxes 2%. Factoring in the ASFM and Senior’s tax, the residential tax rate for 2017 is increasing by 3% to 9.4562%, while the non-residential tax rate is increasing by 4.86% to 15.5670%.

During discussions Council passed a motion made by Councillor Dave Filipuzzi to remove $4,545 from the meals, lodging and training category and put it into the Economic Development Committee (EDC) budget.

At a Council meeting on March 28 when the 2017 operating budget was passed, $4,545 was cut from the EDC in order to balance the budget. Councillor Filipuzzi had voiced his disappointment at seeing the EDC funding cut.

“We just went through a strategic plan where we talked about the importance of promoting this community. Seeing a reduction like that is out of alignment with what we spent two days talking about and that, to me, is a bit disappointing to see happen,” he had said.

Off-Highway Vehicle Bylaw

Council passed First Reading of 983, 2017 – Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Control Bylaw. Due to the contentious nature of the topic, the municipality will hold a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 in Council chambers, at which time second reading of the bylaw will also take place.

A draft of the bylaw can be viewed online and paper copies can be picked up at the Municipal Office at 8502 – 19 Avenue, Coleman during office hours.

The municipality has already held two open houses to allow for the public to voice opinions and concerns on July 13 and 14 2016.
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Fireworks Bylaw

Council passed first reading of Bylaw 978, 2017 – Fireworks.

The proposed bylaw eliminates fees associated with obtaining a fireworks permit to encourage people to obtain permits, says Fire Chief/Manager of Protective Services Jesse Fox.

He adds that the bylaw language has also been simplified and made straightforward.

“We clearly defined what the user’s responsibilities are as far as getting a permit goes, and also what the vendor’s requirements are so that they are clear on what they need to do,” says Fox.

During the discussion at the Council meeting, Councillor Filipuzzi expressed his concerns over allowing fireworks in Crowsnest Pass, noting that the use of fireworks would contradict the noise bylaw, and that the community already has a higher risk of flammability. He pointed out that fireworks are illegal in Calgary and Lethbridge, and only pyrotechnical shows are permitted in Black Diamond and High River.

“I don’t want us to become a supplier to other communities,” he said. “I don’t want us to become a distribution hub where we’re selling them and they’re taking them to other communities and discharging them and causing our neighbors and other communities problems.”

Councillor Kovach expressed a wish to give the proposed bylaw a chance before considering banning fireworks altogether.

Mayor Blair Painter pointed out that in the surrounding area, Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford and Pincher Creek are communities that allow fireworks.

The dates for second and third reading of the fireworks bylaw are to be announced.
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Strategic Plan 2017-2022

Administration presented Council with the draft strategic plan for 2017 to2022. Council and Administration spent two full days deliberating the future strategic direction of the municipality of Crowsnest Pass and formulating the draft strategic plan.

Considering that the municipal election is some six months away, Council ultimately passed a motion that they revisit the 2017 to 2022 strategic plan with the intent of integrating the previous plan at an extended Governance and Priorities meeting. Administration will also compile and present the achieved objectives from the previous strategic plan and along with Council will compile go-forward action items for the new plan.

As dictated by Councillor Ward, the strategic plan will also “make it clear that the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is focused on working with all potential partners to establish the Crowsnest Pass as a major gateway to the [Castle] park.”

Council also voted to cease using the services of the facilitator that was brought in for the first two days of discussing and developing the 2017-2022 strategic plan, which has so far cost the municipality $2,500.

The next discussion around the strategic plan is scheduled at an extended Governance & Priorities meeting on April 11.

National Day of Mourning

Council passed a motion to honour the National Day of Mourning on April 28, 2013 by lowering flags to half-mast. The National Day of Mourning is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, or suffered injury or illness while at work.

Rail Safety Week

Council passed a motion to declare Rail Safety Week from April 24 to April 30, as requested in a correspondence by Canadian Pacific Railway.
April 12th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 15
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