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July 15, 2024 July 15, 2024

County of Forty Mile look to meet with municipal affairs minister

By Scott Schmidt
Alberta Newspaper Group
Forty Mile County council hopes to land a November meeting with Alberta’s minister of municipal affairs — even if it’s for 10 minutes.
Members will be in Edmonton Nov. 12-15 for a convention and they have a few concerns they’d like to address with Minister Kaycee Madu regarding budgetary issues at the provincial and county levels.
“(We have) these oil companies that are going broke and walking away and not paying taxes,” says Deputy Reeve Joan Hughson. “We just had another one (recently) — I don’t know if they even told us (they were leaving).”
Hughson says council will also be pushing for infrastructure funding, specifically for road and bridge work on Highway 61. Alberta’s government-ordered MacKinnon Report recommended cuts to municipal infrastructure funding through better prioritization of projects at the local level.
Hughson says council has also seen a proposal from the government that communities of fewer than 500 people would need to contribute funding toward rural policing, though there is only tepid concern at this stage, as nothing concrete has been put forward by the UCP.
“Our dollars are limited,” Hughson says. “As of now, we get RCMP service without having to pay, so we would have to come up with the money for that and that would be a concern.”
The UCP’s first and much talked about budget will be released Oct. 24, three days after the federal election.

— The county’s council meeting procedure bylaw was amended to remove the Latin term “in camera,” which means ‘private,’ and replace it with “closed session.” The term describes the part of council meetings where media and the public cannot attend.
— Garbage carts have been ordered and should be here in a few weeks, at which time the county will begin distributing them to residents.
— Council will hold its organizational meeting on Oct. 28, where members will decide committee appointments and assign other individual roles.
— Council will hold its annual operational and capital budget meetings on Nov. 4 and 5, not quite two weeks after the provincial budget falls.
— Council’s Nov. 13 meeting has been cancelled, as members will be in Edmonton. December will also have just one meeting, though a date has not yet been set.

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