By Anna Smith
December 5 marked the last meeting of Cypress County Council for 2023, with much on the mind of the council as they move into a brand new year.
Second and third reading were passed for the Municipal Development Plan. A public hearing was previously held on September 16. Discussion concerning the appropriate standard of public road infrastructure to be used in operations followed the public hearing, and previously, it had been moved to postpone decision.
Further discussion was brought up at the recent meeting, with Councillor Shake Hok expressing disappointment in seeing all of the Hamlets “lumped all together” in requiring a 3.2 kilometre setback from all multi-parcel country residential subdivisions, in regards to confined feeding operations.
Ultimately, the plan passed second and third reading, with the setback being amended to 1.6 kilometres.
The date was set for March 29, 2024, for parcels of land that are shown in tax arrears that remain unpaid to go on public auction. It was noted in the agenda that due to the process of this auction, each parcel of land is effectively three or more years in arrears.
CAO Tarolyn Aaserud commented that “the one thing I didn’t sign up for is taking this property away. Me and my team, we do everything that we possibly can, however, under the Act, we municipalities, we run by with a clutch of taxation; that’s how our roads are gravelled, that’s how our bridges are built. That’s how our arenas are funded. And so it’s an unfortunate part of this, but this is something that we have to do.”
It was assured that the number of properties noted wasn’t unusual, and that Administration will be doing everything in their power to be getting the listed properties off of the list, with the previous year successfully removing every instance prior to auction save for one, which belonged to a corporation that was no longer operating.
Council signed a letter of support for the City of Medicine Hat, who are seeking funding to develop an airport master plan through the province’s Northern and Regional Economic Development Program. The document will provide a framework for how the airport will grow and improve, likely over the next 20-30 years.
At this time, no financial commitment was requested, nor is any such commitment required by the grant.
The next meeting of Cypress County Council will be on January 16, the only meeting for the month of January.