The municipal sign at Crowsnest Lake that council discussed replacing on April 4. Municipal photo
Nicholas L. M. Allen
Apr 12, 2023
“We have to acknowledge our development department. We’ve added some members into that department, and to have that kind of growth in one department is astronomical. They’ve handled it like champs, our development department really has done an amazing job.”
The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass held a regular council meeting to discuss a variety of topics, including the encroachment policy, on April 4.
There were two public hearings held with no public input received. They were for Bylaw 1142, 2023 and Bylaw 1143, 2023. The first was a land use bylaw amendment to re-designate Lot 10, Block 25, Plan 820L from residential to retail commercial. The second was a land use bylaw amendment to re-designate Lots 35-40, Block 12, Plan 2347BS (12366 21 Avenue, Blairmore) from residential to multi-family.
Speaking on Bylaw 1143, 2023, Councillor Dean Ward said he supported this bylaw because “on the weekend people approach me asking if there was somewhere in town to rent and looking for places to rent.”
More discussion surrounded the encroachment policy and what constitutes a historical building. Until approximately 2015 the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass charged an annual fee similar to a lease for encroachment agreements. It is proposed to re-instate the annual fee for new encroachment agreements in 2023 and going forward. A fee range was proposed, from $200 per year for a minor encroachment and up to $1,500 for a major encroachment.
The council moved to have the administration’s changes accepted as information with a few more suggestions provided for the policy, including a decrease in the number of years the agreement lasts.
Also discussed was the library requesting a repair of the concrete steps, patio and a portion of the sidewalk. They also want to replace the basement carpet. These expenses are significant and were not included in the 2023 budget.
The amount of tax revenue required to balance the 2023 budget was presented and approved by council on December 1, 2022. Administration recommended that municipal tax rates for the various residential and non-residential properties be based upon the budgeted tax requirement, assessed property values and other directions provided by Council. The proposed bylaw, passed second and third reading, authorizing administration to levy the 2023 Municipal Taxes, Alberta School Foundation Fund, the Designated Industrial Property Requisitions and Senior Housing Requisition. The council approved the 2023 Operating and 2023- 2024 Capital Budget on December 1, 2022 with a municipal tax requirement of $10,157,307 (a two per cent mill rate increase).
“We have to acknowledge our development department. We’ve added some members into that department, and to have that kind of growth in one department is astronomical. They’ve handled it like champs, our development department really has done an amazing job,” said Councillor Lisa Sygutek.
Also discussed was the gymnastic facility the municipality helps fund, with a letter received by council from concerned parents.
“The gymnastics program in the Crowsnest Pass has really taken off since Brittany Vaughan and Tracey Linderman worked to raise the level of training and introduce a competitive club for our gymnasts. In order to maintain and grow this program, we as parents are reaching out to gain support to move the facility into a gymnastics-friendly space,” said a letter to council from the Crowsnest Pass Tumblers’ Society.
The group said the gymnasts have not received the appropriate training on the appropriate equipment and therefore are not able to compete at the level that is expected of them.
Council had discussion on additions to the new initiatives for 2023 that became available due to the newly available tax funds and the Municipal Planning Commission Administrative Report update was accepted as information.
New initiatives approved by council include updating the Community Trail Master Plan for $250,000, beautification initiatives for $35,000 and road repairs for $100,000.
Crowsnest Lakes Signage
The Crowsnest Lake Highway 3 billboard map sign was also on the agenda. Administration sought direction from council about replacing the sign or relocating it.
“I also think it’s a very tired sign, and with the advent of Google Maps, there’s no point in having a map. My idea of a sign is something that maybe contains QR codes that people can scan with their phones, and they can then look up different locations,” said Councillor Vicki Kubik.
More information is available at crowsnestpass.com.