Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Council

We had a good first meeting of council last night! Council re-elected Bruce Rowe as Mayor and myself as Deputy Mayor. Those offices will be held for one year. There is an annual organizational meeting each October.

We agreed to work on those issues still haunting the village, beginning with water!

Beiseker buys more water from the Kneehill Regional Water Services Commission that Irricana does! But we don't sell that much water! There are a few reasons for this discrepancy:

1. The meter registering the water coming into the Village is not accurate.
2. We are losing water through leakage.
3. We have unmetered water usage.
4. Some of the meters in the Village are not recording accurately.

We have had our intake meter recently checked out and it appears to be working properly. That rules out #1.
Public Works is checking all standing water for chlorine content. So far none has been detected. We will keep looking for any evidence of a water leak or leaks.
All water users in the Village appear to have water meters attached to their intake pipes but Public Works will continue to check to make sure all metered water is accounted for.
Water meters will be checked and eventually replaced over the next few years. Meters are expensive so this is an on-going process which will take several years to complete.

Once we identify the problem or problems we must take steps to correct them.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: I ask all Beiseker residents to watch for unusual pooling of water around the village. If you see a puddle of clean looking water which never seems to dry up, report it to the Village Office by calling 403 947 3774.

I suspect we'll find there are many reasons for our overly high water consumption. We must work to get this water issue under control!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thank You All

Thank you all for supporting me during this election. Know that I will do my best to represent you fairly, firmly and equally! You know what my priorities are; they're listed under this posting. I'll keep you all informed on my progress on these issues as we go through the next three years. You are most welcome to comment in this blog or email me if you have an issue more personal. I do answer my phone if you call, too!

Thank you again and visit my blog often.


Friday, October 15, 2010


After a twenty five year holiday, Beiseker's Stage East Dinner Theatre returned in 2005 and has been going strong ever since! We have moved to a once-every-two-years schedule and the 2010 edition will hit the stage at the Beiseker Community Centre on November 5 & 6 ! Tickets are $30.00 each which gives a great meal and unlimited laughs! Come join us. Proceeds from Stage East go to local organizations and charities. Tickets are available at businesses around the village or call Marion Walters for availability. See you there!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Mayor's election in Beiseker

The question of how the mayor is chosen has come up again.

The newly elected Councillors of the Village of Beiseker will conduct an organizational meeting soon after the election.  That meeting is scheduled for 7:30 pm in Council Chambers on October 25. At that meeting they will choose a mayor and a deputy mayor. The councillor chosen to be mayor may not be the one with the most votes in the recent election.

The councillor elected as mayor will be the one the other councillors think will be the best for the job. They will also assign councillors to different committees and boards on which the village needs representation.

Municipalities can decide to elect their mayor separately, usually when they get to large town size. They must apply for permission to do so through the Alberta Municipal Affairs Department.

Over the years I have served in all three positions on council: Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillor.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Municipal property taxes are based on two things: The total assessment and the mil rate.
Each year the value of every property within the municipality is calculated. This calculation is based on the sale of similar properties elsewhere in the municipality. This new way of calculating the value of your property is called Market Value Assessment (MVA). This process was introduced by the provincial government a few years ago. Every Alberta municipality has to use it, they have no choice!

After that process is completed, all those assessments are added up to get the municipality's Total or Overall Assessment.

After going over the proposed budget in great detail, the municipality decides how much money it needs to operate over the next year. It then looks at its Total Assessment to assign the Mil Rate.

The Mil Rate refers to the number of dollars and cents each property owner must pay per thousand dollars of their MVA.

Beiseker's Village Council has steadfastly refused to raise the mil rate. Each year our total assessment goes up as new homes and businesses are built and sold. By keeping the mil rate the same and relying on the increase of the total assessment, taxes are kept at a consistent level year to year.

Studies have shown that Beiseker's property taxes are below the provincial average for a municipality of our size.

Some individual property taxes will increase while others will decrease. Others will stay the same.  Overall on average we have managed to keep taxes down.  The mil rate is based on the overall total assessment, not on individual property assessments. 
Over the next three years I will continue to make sure the people of Beiseker get the "best BANG for their tax buck!".

I am also working on a proposal to allow municipalities to reduce the burden of the MVA on long term homeowners on a fixed income.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Issue #7: Recreation Opportunities for All

For its size Beiseker has some of the best recreatioal opportunities around, yet there are still those in the Village who tell me, "there's nothin' to do here!".

If you live in Beiseker you can: play hockey, play baseball, attend beavers/cubs & scouts (in Irricana), take martial arts, skateboard, rollerblade or BMX, use the Library, play school sports, take part in summer fun, swim in Acme, learn to skydive, get your pilots' licence, join the Station Museum or the Centennial Railway Museum, join the Golden Years Town & Country Club, take part in Stage East Dinner Theatre, use an ATV, Quad, or snowmobile, skate, take part in Continuing Ed or Adult Ed, join a needle-craft club, go bowling (in Airdrie), join a service club, join the Chamber of Commerce, join the Royal Canadian Legion (in Acme), join the motorcycle club, join a 4H Club, become a part of Pioneer Acres in Irricana, Golf (in Acme, Driving Range here), join a church group (here or in Acme or Irricana), go bicycling, go jogging, curling (in Acme or Irricana), join a car club, volunteer at Beiseker Recycling, and others!

If re-elected I will help identify the concerns of those who feel there is nothing to do here. It may require a new facility or an existing facility upgrade, or maybe just a place where those with a like interest can meet and plan!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Issue #6: Street Upgrading

Village Council has embarked on a program of street upgrades for many years. Funds are limited. Much of the funding for our street upgrades comes through a provincial Streets Improvement Program (2002 SIP) and there are other provincial grants which becme available sporadically. Usually the Village of Beiseker must add to these funds to be able to complete these projects. Sidewalks and paving are often done as a Local Improvement which means that a fee for a portion of the upgrade will be added to the property taxes for all the properties along the upgraded street. The whole process takes a very long time.

Residents can stop a planned street upgrade by presenting a petition to Village Council. This was the case on Seventh Street.

If re-elected, I will push to have council revisit the paving on Seventh Street now that the "cooling off" period has passed. Water flows better on paved streets! Once we get Seventh and Ninth paved we can work on the avenues. This will help rain and melt water exit town easier and faster.