Friday, December 28, 2012

News Year's Gala Set To Go!

If you're still looking for a great celebration of the coming of 2013, check out the Beiseker Community Centre!

That's right, the B.U.M.S. (aka the Beiseker Urban Motorcycle Society or Squad) are holding their second annual New Year's Eve Gala featuring the band Blakkstone Hexx!  This band has recently received rave reviews in the Airdrie media!

The fun starts early and tickets are available at the door.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fire Department does it again!

Last night was a very cold Christmas Eve.  The Beiseker Fire Department was undeterred!  They decorated their old firetruck and ferried Santa Claus around our village.  Santa was in his red fur suit but he still looked a bit cold sitting up there on the firetruck.  Firefighters in full turnout gear went door to door handing out Christmas Wishes and candy canes!

I'm not sure how many other communities still ferry Santa around, but the Beiseker Fire Department are tops in my books!  To give up their Christmas Eve with their families to do this every year is a very special gift to our village!  Thank you and a very Merry Christmas to you all.

Here's a special request to the rest of you;  The next time you see a Beiseker Fire Department member, thank them for that very special gift and give them your best wishes.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Water Main Break

A week ago last Sunday, we had a major water main break on Main Street.

The leak was huge! We were losing huge amounts of water.  After trying unsuccessfully to isolate the leak by thawing frozen valves, Public Works had to turn off the water for that whole area.  The water for most of the village was off for about 3 hours.  The break was repaired and everything is back to normal.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

A special thanks the Village Office staff and to Public Works who spent much of their Sunday fixing the problem.

SEB and STP, a Problem in Every Community

SEB = Someone Else's Business and,
STP = Same Ten People

Some of you have voiced concern over the lack of volunteers turning out to help with different functions or services in our village.  A couple of you even suggested that laziness was to blame here.  I disagree.

It's also been said that clubs, service groups, societies and helping groups in Beiseker are very closed and unwilling to accept others into their "clique".  I disagree with that, too!

I truly believe that people will volunteer to help out if they are asked.  They sometimes don't know who to approach or where to go to volunteer.

Before making judgements, maybe we should just ask them for their help.  I think we would all be pleasantly surprised.  Try it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Tough Year For Beiseker.

2012 has been a tough year for Beiseker.  We've lost many people who were game changers in the life of our community.  This past week, we've had to add two more to that list.

Harold Knight lived west of town and was active in three communities; Irricana, Beiseker and Crossfield.  He took part in the formation of Beiseker's very first Recreation Master Plan back in the 1970's. 

Rollie Brunell was Beiseker's Fire Chief for many years in the 1990's.  He was well respected around our community.  I fondly recall riding with Rollie in the fire truck each Christmas Eve as we drove Santa around to see the kids.  His wife Ruth was our Village C.A.O.   Rollie and Ruth had recently taken residence in Prince Edward Island.

I was saddened to learn of these passings and my condolences go to the friends and families of both of these outstanding people.

EMS Volunteers in Beiseker

We've got a problem here in Beiseker and I need answers!

The Beiseker Fire Department is in the process of creating a team of trained volunteers to provide EMS services to residents.  These volunteers would not be full firefighters and would not respond to call outs in full firefighting Turnout Gear.  They would respond to medical emergencies to provide first aid and other basic life support skills for which they have been given training.  They would wait there with the patient until the ambulance arrives.

I have been informed that many of those wishing to volunteer for this team are health care professionals and would not require extensive training.

But we've been told by some that the creation of our medical response team leaves the village dangerously vulnerable as far as liability issues are concerned (see this article in the Rocky View Weekly).  Those volunteers responding to a medical emergency may be highly trained but should not do anything more than comfort the patient while they wait for the ambulance.

On the other hand, Alberta Health Services has a set of policies governing these kinds of response teams and what they can and cannot do.

The way I understand it we are well within our rights to create such a team.   We're going to have to investigate this until we are satisfied that all of our concerns have been addressed.

We're going ahead with the creation of the team.  But it will not be activated until Council is positive we are not placing our volunteers in any legal danger.

If you're a resident of the Village of Beiseker and wish to be a part of this team, come to the meeting tonight (that's Wednesday, December 5) at the Beiseker Fire Hall at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hot Water over Community Centre

My comments over the state of the Community Centre have got me in hot water!

During the preparations for Stage East 2012, I noticed a number of small issues, each one by itself was no big deal but all together I think they affected the use of the Centre.  I thought (and still think) that these issues need to be corrected. 

At no time have I assigned blame to these problems.  That would be quite inappropriate.  There are many indivuals and groups using our Community Centre; wear and tear is to be expected.   Since the hall was built, The Beiseker Lions Club has always been a major player in looking after the Centre.  All of Beiseker is very grateful for their dedication, but I think they deserve some help!

I truly believe we all must work together to overcome these issues so we can have a Community Centre the whole village can be proud of!

One suggestion by a citizen was a penny drive to raise funds to help the Community Centre.  The building always runs at a deficit and any help would likely be appreciated!  Since they're phasing out the penny anyway, why not gather them up and put that money to good use?  I'm working on the details, let me know what you think.

Monday, December 3, 2012

We Lit Up The Night!

Last night (Sunday, December 2), Beiseker celebrated its "Light Up The Night" event.

It wasn 't that cold according to the thermometer, but I had to go home and get my warmer coat and boots!  Squirt the Skunk was there and Santa cruised in on Beiseker's old fire truck.  Overall I'd say around 70 or more hardy folks came to enjoy hot chocolate, hot chili and good company!

Thanks to the Beiseker Fire Department for tending the bonfire and safely delivering Santa and to the Beiseker Station Museum Society for tending the hot chocolate and chili all evening!  Well done all of you.  A special "Thanks" goes to Gail Peckham and her helpers who organised the event.

What a great start to the Christmas Season!

p.s. Another special "Thanks" to the 4H'ers who went out and collected food for our Christmas Food Hampers.  Good job-Well done!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Christmas Wreaths On Main Street

Next time you're downtown, check out the new Christmas wreaths on the Main Street lamp posts between First and Second Avenues.  They certainly look good on those new lamp posts. 

They were bought by the Village with contributions also coming from the businesses on Main Street. 

Don't forget to come to Light-Up-The-Night coming in a couple of weeks.  It will get you into the Christmas spirit, too!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A cold Remembrance Day

I hope you all were able to attend a Remembrance Day Ceremony yesterday morning.  I was unable to attend yesterday's local ceremony at Acme. 

I was honoured to be able to speak about a Calgary war hero to the folks gathered at the Aero Space Museum in the northeast of the city.  Ian Bazalgette is a hero of mine.  The young Canadian was killed in August of 1944 while trying to land a damaged Lancaster bomber to save two injured crew members.  He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour.

Thank you to our Deputy Mayor Al Henuset for representing the Village at the Acme Ceremonies.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the large numbers of Calgarians who came out to take part in the Remembrance Day Ceremonies around the city.  Even the outdoor ceremonies were well attended despite the cold weather. 

But I was most distressed to hear that some school boards in Canada have decided to permit students to avoid taking part in Remembrance Day Ceremonies held in their school!  Their reasoning is that the ceremonies glorify war and some parents object to that.

I disagree.  The dignified ceremonies I have witnessed over the years do not glorify war but recognise the huge sacrifices many young Canadians have made to ensure we have the freedoms we enjoy today.  Those Canadians who fought in those conflicts lived and died in a nightmare so that we might live our dreams!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Contacting Me

I've heard that some of you are having trouble contacting me, so here's some ideas;
  1. You can write a comment on my blog posts in the box "Post a Comment", which is just below the post themselves.  Write your comment, then select an option from the "Comment as" in the drop down menu.  The options for "Name/URL," and "Anonymous" require no registration or anything.
  2. You can go to my Facebook page and post to my wall, or send me a private message.
  3. You can email me at aerokard@hotmail.com
  4. You can phone me.  If it's a Village matter, it may be easier to contact me through the Village of Beiseker (403-947-3774)
I hope that helps you.  I'd really like to hear from you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Quiet Halloween

We had one of the quietest Halloweens ever here on my street.  Less than 50 kids came to our door last night.  It may have been the weather and the fact that it was a school night which kept the little ghosts and zombies away.

It was also quiet in the village as far as vandalism is concerned.  I have yet to hear of any severe acts of vandalism around Beiseker.

Updates;
  • Work on the Bassano Station appears to have ground to a halt again.  I'm not sure what's happening there.  Stay tuned.
  • Garbage woes have pretty much dissappeared.  I forgot to mention last week that hazardous waste is still not to go in those green garbage bags heading for Drumheller, but you knew that already. 
  • Remembrance Day is coming November 11.  If you attending the ceremonies in Acme, get there early.  Seating is always at a premium.
  • I've heard that Beiseker Councillor Fred Walters will be presented with the Queen Elizabeth 60th Anniversary medal for his work in our community.  More on this later.
  • Christmas is coming and Beiseker's Food Bank will be needing supplies.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Good Bye Gerry

Yesterday, Beiseker said good bye to one of its special people.  Gerry Wilkinson had passed away a few days before.

Gerry was our postmaster for many years, but he was much more than that to Beiseker!  Gerry (or Wilky as he was know to many) was a Community Catalyst!  He was the one who started this project or raised funds for that project here in Beiseker!

When Stage East came along in the early 1980s, Gerry was there.  He played three roles to perfection.  He mastered the role of the kooky judge in a skit called "The Trial Of Mrs.Westfall," and another role of a hillbilly pappy in one called "Passing Wind"!  But his most memorable role was that of one unborn twin conversing with its sibling about their pending birth.  The skit is called "Prenatal Twins,"  and it's a Gerry Wilkinson classic!  If you get a chance to watch it, don't miss the opportunity!

Gerry was a member of the Lions Club here in Beiseker and organised aspects of the Beiseker Country Fair for many, many years.  This past summer he and his wife Vera were chosen as Honorary Parade Marshals for this year's Country Fair Parade!  I think Gerry was very proud of that. 

It was good to see hundreds of Beiseker folks there to celebrate Gerry's life.  I hope Gerry's family was comforted to a small degree by seeing and hearing all those folks remember him for what he was; a true Beisekerite and a Community Catalyst!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Trash Talk

I've heard from a few of you wanting more information on Beiseker's garbage, composting, and recycling program, so here's the scoop.

Garbage All of our garbage is is placed in a large container called a Transtor, then trucked to Drumheller by the Drumheller and District Solid Waste Management Association.  We are a member of that association.  Once it reaches the Drumheller site, it is buried in a highly regulated and fully monitored landfill site.

Each residence is allowed three green garbage bags full of garbage per week,  These are picked up each Friday morning and dumped into the two Transtors at our waste management site behind the Public Works building.  A large specially built semi shows up after Garbage Day and hauls it all to Drumheller.

What people throw out in those three green garbage bags is their own business.  As long as it weighs less than 50 pounds (23 Kg.), it's good to go.

We do encourage composting and recycling, but we cannot force folks to do that.

By the way, if you want a fourth or fifth green garbage bag picked up, you must buy a garbage tag for each of them at the Village Office.

Recycling Many years ago, I created Beiseker Recycling.  We collected just cardboard, newspaper, and metal.

Since that time, Councillor Fred Walters has advanced our recycling program to include many other products.  Most of these are trucked into Calgary and sold to recyclers.

Beiseker has a very successful blue box program.  Blue boxes full of recyclables are picked up every Friday morning from every residence in the village. We recycle:
  • Cardboard
  • Newspapers
  • bond paper
  • metal food cans (washed)
  • plastic
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • glass (washed)
  • tires*
  • car batteries*
  • electronics*
  • used oil*
  • mattresses and sofas**
  • appliances**
The fine print:
* You will have to arrange to have it hauled down there.
** You will have to arrange to have it hauled down there and there may be a fee to dispose of it.

Composting This is all those grass clippings, leaves, garden trash, and kitchen scraps (not meat). You have four choices here:
  1. You can compost in your yard using one of a number of different methods.  Most have no odor and produces great fertilizer for your gardens.
  2. You can haul your composting material down to the community composting pile at our waste management site.  You simply throw onto the top of the pile.  If you need composted material, go aroud to the bottom of the pile and collect yourself some next spring.
  3. You could create a garden waste pile at the back of your yard.  Public Works will pick it up twice a year.
  4. You could throw it into one of those three green garbage bags and have it sent to Drumheller.  Definitely the least favourable choice and one we discourage. 
So, there it is; the scoop on our waste management.

If you have further questions about Beiseker's waste management programs, the folks at the Village Office can probably answer them.  Give them a call (403) 947-3774

Monday, October 22, 2012

Stage East 2012 Now History

Wow, what a fantastic weekend!  Stage East played to a huge crowd on Friday night (the biggest ever Friday night crowd) and to a sold out crowd on Saturday!  From where I stood, everyone had a great time and many laughs and giggles!

I feel most privileged to work with this zany group of actors, stage hands and set builders each fall.  We lost a few actors this year, but we gained some, too.  Everyone worked so hard to make this weekend a huge success!

Our volunteer group would first like to thank our many, many sponsors and donors.  Without their support Stage East would not exist.

Another key to making Stage East possible is the Village of Beiseker, who provide the Beiseker Community Centre to us when they can.  And, of course, we thank those in the audience who come out to support us every year.

An extra special "Thank-You" goes to singer Alex Allary from Strathmore who stepped up to perform after one of our singers pulled out two days before our performances!

Well done everyone!  Watch for Stage East 2013 coming to the Beiseker Community Centre near you!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The New Firehall

Today I had the pleasure of attending the Beiseker Fire Department's Fire Prevention Week free Breakfast.  It was held in their new firehall! 

The building is almost complete.  There are a few little things which still have to be corrected, but overall the building is done!  It's a great facility for the village with more meeting room area and bigger parking bays for the village's fire apparatus. 

Today the trucks were parked outside to make room for tables and chairs.  Pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausages made for a great breakfast.  The firefighters were giving tours of their new digs and I think everyone was impressed.  When they're all set up in there, we'll have an official opening, possibly near the end of next month. 

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter for the Village of Beiseker, visit the new hall during the Fire Department's regular practices -- they're on Tuesday evenings, at 7:00 p.m.!

Update on the Bassano Station

Progress is being made, albeit very slowly, on the Bassano Station since its spectacular arrival here in the village

Those in charge of placing the building on its new foundation have found that the new foundation was built to the wrong specifications.  It is not the same size as the building.  Changes are being made to change and reinforce the foundation now. 

Once those are made and the engineer and building inspector have declared them safe, the building will be moved onto it.  They're hoping that can happen yet before the snow flies.

Even though the Village of Beiseker and the Beiseker Station Museum have nothing to do with the Bassano Station Project, its location within the village has us involved by default.  I have met with the building inspector and the current contractor.  I have sent out letters to those involved in the project offering what assistance we can provide, however Council is not willing to provide any funding to the project at this time!

All of us hope that this project can come to a successful conclusion in the very near future.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Triple Booked & the C.O.P.S meeting

You've heard of folks being double booked? Well tonight, I'm triple booked!  I hate when that happens!

I have to attend an Aero Space Museum meeting tonight at the Calgary International Airport, but I  should also be at our Stage East rehearsal at the Beiseker Community Centre.  I would also like to attend the Citizens On Patrol (C.O.P.S) meeting at the Village Office at 7:00 p.m. tonight.

Obviously I won't be able to attend them all.

If you are concerned about vandalism in the village, I do urge you to attend the C.O.P.S meeting at the Village Office tonight.  These programs have been very effective in other communities with similar problems.  Get the full scoop tonight.

If I don't make it to that meeting, thank you for going and thank you for making Beiseker an even better community!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rumours, Rumours!

I caught wind of a rumour that Stage East is not going ahead this year! 

Big time rumour!  Stage East is definitely going ahead with its performances on Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20 at the Beiseker Community Centre! 

Tickets are going fast, but there are some still available at the Mountain View Credit Union in Beiseker and at Simply Food For Thought also in Beiseker!

We guarantee a great roast beef supper and many, many laughs and giggles!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fire Hall Ready!

After months of waiting, our new fire hall is very, very close to being done! 

There a couple of things we're waiting on but they're no big deal.  I suspect our volunteer fire department will start the move-in process at any moment.  Council and I will be touring it in the next few days. 

I'll give a more detailed report (with photos!) after that happens.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Town Hall Meeting a Success

I have declared last evening's Town Hall Meeting a complete success!

I estimate about 30 or more interested folks came out to see Beiseker's Village Council in action, and to voice their opinions on many topics.  A number of issues were raised and opinions given.  It gave all councillors a chance to hear residents voice their concerns in person.  Thank you all for coming out last night.

Council will now deal with those concerns voiced over their next few regular meetings.  We will also decide whether to hold these town hall meetings annually or semi-annually.

Well done, everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wayward Furniture?

I noticed that an old couch or sofa had run away from home and found its way onto the Public Reserve strip near the footbridge.  It languished there until I had Public Works remove it. 

Here's a reminder to all of you with runaway furniture;  Public Works will remove your old furniture and mattresses on Garbage Day.  All you have to do is pay the disposal fee which varies from $5.00 to $25.00, depending on what it is.  Simply phone the Village Office (403-947-3774) at least 48 hours before Garbage Day and make the arrangements. 

We can't guarantee it will be picked up the very next Garbage Day, but it will be picked up!  And it won't become an eyesore in the lane or on the Public Reserve.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Curfew?

Many years ago, Beiseker had a problem with youngsters roaming the streets after midnight and getting into mischief.  Many acts of vandalism and graffitti happened in the wee hours of the morning. As a result, the council at the time enacted a curfew bylaw for those under sixteen years of age.  It was just one way of getting the kids back home and asleep at night. 

That bylaw is still on the books!  Judging by the complaints I'm hearing, maybe we need to dust it off and inform the authorities we want it enforced again!

Basically it says that all those sixteen years and under must be off the streets by 11:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.  Exceptions would be those accompanied by an adult, coming home from a late hockey game at the arena or a babysitting job, etc. 

A curfew is never a solution, but it can be part of the solution.  I hear back from the young people that, "there's nothing to do in Beiseker," hence they turn to vandalism to oocupy their time.  I'm working on a list of activities available to us here in and around the village to  address that.
And let me know what you think about re-instituting our curfew bylaw.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Stage East is Coming!

That's right! Stage East Dinner Theatre is back. 

For those few of you who have never heard of Stage East, we are a local theatre group who perform every year at the Beiseker Community Centre.  This year's performances are to be held on October 19 & 20

It's roast beef this year!  Tickets are $35.00 each and will be on sale at the Mountain View Credit Union and Simply Food For Thought, in Beiseker.  If you and seven friends want to come on Friday night only, you can buy a table of eight for $250.00

If you need tickets and can't make it into town, email me and I will hook you up with our ticket folks.  We're in rehearsal now and this year's performance looks great!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Good Bye Peter, You Are Already Missed

Former Premier Peter Lougheed passed away earlier this afternoon

Premier Lougheed was recently named the most successful Canadian premier over the past four decades!  Our Heritage Savings Trust Fund, contributions to Federal constitutional reforms, and strong municipal governments in Alberta are all a part of his legacy.  And his battles over resource revenues with Pierre Trudeau were legendary, too! 

He is being referred to as Mr. Alberta, a title he most certainly would be proud of.

Peter Lougheed was the one person who inspired me most to enter politics -- and I met him not long after I was first elected to village council back in 1979.  He was one of the first who explained to me that municipal politics is "where it's at"!  He asked me where else in politics do you make decisions affecting friends and neighbours who you may meet on the street a few minutes after making those decisions?  Others have since mentioned that but I've always remembered that conversation throughout these years.

Thank you, Peter Lougheed.

My sincere condolences go to Peter Lougheed's family and many, many friends.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Town Hall Meeting

Beiseker Village Council has decided to conduct its next meeting as a Town Hall Meeting.  The meeting will be held on our regular meeting time and date; Monday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m.  But instead of meeting in our council chambers, we will meet at the Beiseker Community Centre.

There will be seating for as many residents as want to come.  We will follow an abbreviated council agenda then open the floor to anyone present.  This will be chance for any village resident to watch council work.

They then will also be able to ask council about any issue or concern which might affect the village.  We will not permit personal attacks on individuals either on council or in the village's employ.

While reading Facebook, I expect to hear questions about summer projects, the new fire hall, Grasslands, potholes, garbage pick-up, recycling, property taxes, the Bassano Station, the airport, the Fire Department, the Arena, and many other topics.

Please pass the word along about our first Town Hall Meeting in many years.  Council hopes to make this an annual or semi-annual event and I hope to see you all there!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fun at the Springbank Fall Fair

I had the pleasure of attending the Springbank Fall Fair held yesterday at Springbank's Park For All Seasons.  I was there as part of the Agriculture Education program.  I was showing the folks over there where their food comes from.  In this case we threshed grain by hand then milled it into flour using a hand-cranked mill.

I talked to many people and I think a few of them learned how important agriculture is to Alberta and to Canada.  Thank you Springbank for inviting me over.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Fire Hall, and the Stop Sign on Main Street

If you take a drive down Fifth Street in Beiseker, you'll notice that our new firehall is taking shape at the corner of 5th & 2nd.  Progress has been good and we should have our Fire Department into their new digs well before the snow flies!

We had a stop sign set up at the T-intersection of Main Street and First Avenue.  So far it's been knocked down twice since we installed it a couple of weeks ago.  Hopefully everybody has got used to it now and will take that corner a little wider to avoid the sign.

If you're the one who clobbered the sign this last time, please fess-up and let the Village Office know, at 403-947-3774.  If you saw the wayward vehicle hit the sign last week, please give a description (and a plate number if possible) to the office -- or phone Crime Stoppers (1-800-242-8477) if you want to remain anonymous.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Trash to Power projects questioned

Lately, there has been talk around these parts of establishing a huge complex which would burn garbage to produce electricity.  At first glance it does appear to be a great idea.  It'd save trying to recycle it, or bury it in a landfill site somewhere. 

But I really think there are some questions we need answers to before millions of dollars are invested.
  • What kind of emissions will be given off by this complex and how will it affect our "carbon footprint"?
  • Everything can't be burned.  What will happen to the rest?
  • Will the incineration of possible recyclables have the affect of stunting the growing recycling industry in Alberta?  Proponents of the project suggest that the recycling industry won't be affected.  I really wonder about that.  Right now we can recycle tires, plastic, bond paper, cardboard, compost, newspaper, used oil, all metals, and lead acid batteries.  We can't recycle large tree branches, disposable diapers, and wood furniture but is there enough of that kind of stuff to keep a huge plant like they're proposing properly fed?
I truly believe that these questions must be satisfactorily answered before we move ahead on this.  Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Senator Joyce Fairbairn will be missed

I was saddened to read that Senator Joyce Fairbairn, from Lethbridge, is suffering from a form of dementia and will not be able to actively complete her term in the Senate

Senator Fairbairn is a huge supporter of all things aviation here in Southern Alberta.  If it upped the profile of aviation here, Senator Joyce would be there promoting it to anyone who would listen. 

I recall her attending numerous air shows in the Lethbridge area, proudly decked out in her custom made RCAF flight suit!  She would spend hours in the hot sun on the announcers' stand watching the performers and even talking to the air show crowd about her passion for aviation.

Her infectious enthusiasm for aviation will be missed by all Southern Albertans.

Clear skies, Senator Fairbairn, clear skies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Water: the new Oil!

The Twentieth Century could probably be called the age of oil.  Our whole economy appeared to be based on and driven by oil; how we get it, who has it and what we do with it.

I think that's about to change for this century.

This summer with its hot temperature and its drought-like conditions in much of the world will make water the thing to get, to have, and to use in the coming years.  Nations will have to start a huge program to collect or manufacture fresh water and move it to where it's needed.  Desalination plants, reservoirs, water storage facilities, pumping systems, water pipelines, redirection projects, and canals will have to be built, and soon! And it won't be cheap!

But it will have to be done!  Because without water, there's nothing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tony Schmaltz Passes

I was very saddened to learn that Tony Schmaltz had passed away late last week. Tony was another one of those few men who could be called "Mr. Beiseker"!

Tony was born here and lived his whole life in our community;  He was a businessman here and a huge community supporter;  and, he was a member of the Beiseker Lions Club for more than fifty years!  He sat on Village Council for two terms.  These past few years, Tony could still be spotted in his little truck on an inspection tour of the village on his way to get the morning paper.  Beiseker has indeed lost one of its own!

My sincere condolences go out to Vera and the rest of the Schmaltz family on their loss.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Battle of Carmangay

Yesterday, residents of the village of Carmangay tried to make a stand to save their care facility, which is slated to be closed in the next few months.  A busload of folks from the small community, located about 130 kilometres south of Beiseker, went to the Premier's constituency office to plead their case.  Unfortunately Premier Redford was not at her office.  The media was there so I hope the message got out.

The Provincial officials say the facility in Carmangay - the Little Bow Continuing Care Centre - is too old to be renovated.  The long term dementia patients will be relocated and the staff laid off within the next few weeks.   Over 10% of Carmangay's workforce are employed by the facility.  They will soon be unemployed!  Ten percent is a huge portion of ratepayers to be lost!  It may well indeed be the final nail in the village's coffin!

In my opinion, this decision by the province is a huge step to the rear!  Facilities such as the one in Carmangay need to be encouraged to flourish.  More small communities should have such facilities.  At present, the elderly, the seriously ill, and the physically needy are being funnelled into larger and larger facilities in larger and larger centers!  Their loved ones are forced to drive hundreds of kilometres to visit their infirmed relatives.

Communities such as Beiseker, Irricana, and Carmangay must have extended care facilities, hospices, and lodges to house their citizens when those citizens need that support.  Shipping these folks off to the larger centers may make dollar sense but I think it is most inhumane!  Are we running a province for people or the bank?

I support Carmangay in their attempts to retain their care facility.  I wish them well in their efforts.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Welcome Amelia Courtman

Early this morning - very early this morning - my first grandchild arrived.  I had the huge pleasure of meeting her a couple of hours later.

Amelia and her mom are doing just fine.  My son Rhys, the proud dad is doing pretty good, too.

Welcome baby Amelia!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thank You!

Thank you all for your best wishes to my wife and I on our 42nd Wedding Anniversary yesterday.  Most came to my email but I have passed them on to my wife, Madeline who deserves huge recognition for putting up with me for 42 years!  Thanks again!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Good Bye Chimmey (and the Gold Star Restaurant)

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to a longtime restaurant owner here in Beiseker. Chimmey Wong and his family have sold the Gold Star Restaurant and he will retire to Calgary.  They had their farewell luncheon yesterday at Noon.

The Gold Star has been an institution here in the village for almost twenty years.  Many an evening when it was my turn to cook, Chimmey came to the rescue.  I thanked them for that.

The Wong kids grew up here and went to Beiseker Community School.  They have many friends in Beiseker.  The whole family was at the farewell luncheon yesterday to bid Chimmey and his wife all the best in their retirement.

The Gold Star has been sold and will continue on as a restaurant, but the new owners will certainly have a big role to follow here in Beiseker!

Best wishes to the Wong family.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Terrible Loss at the Hixt Farm

Condolences go to Larry and Ruth Hixt after a fire destroyed much of their private museum and historical village east of Beiseker.   The Hixts have spent a lifetime recreating the early years of Beiseker through buildings and artifacts built and collected from the area.  Visitors marvelled at the little historical village set up at the Hixt farm. Some even compared it favourably to Calgary's Heritage Park

I haven't been out to the Hixt's for a few years, but from all accounts Larry and Ruth have never stopped collecting and building!  The "Ranche" has become one of those iconic parts of this area.

Lightning appears to be the culprit in starting the fire. The Hixts could do little to fight the blaze while they waited for Rocky View County firefighters.

What's next?  I say it's too early to say.  Larry is asking for help in the clean-up and assessment - if you want to help, please call (403) 947-2143.  We'll see where it goes from there.  But I for one hope that Ruth and Larry's incredible project survives in some way to delight future visitors!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"The Friendly Village"?

I was forwarded an email from a tourist who'd passed through Beiseker a week or so ago.  His daughter had to use a washroom, so he stopped at a local restaurant.

His daughter went in to the restaurant and asked to use the washroom.  According to the writer, the person his daughter addressed was, "rude, ill-mannered, and boorish."

The person yelled at his daughter and told her that she should visit a gas station down the road - but offered no directions. The person in the restaurant was so agitated, the writer's daughter was quite taken aback and left the establishment immediately.

The writer vowed never to return to Beiseker, promising to tell all his acquaintances to do likewise.  He has also informed Travel Alberta that Beiseker is anything but "The Friendly Village"!

Is this the kind of image we wish to promote? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Congratulations!

Congratulations go out to Warren Wise who was elected as Beiseker's new councillor, yesterday. I and my fellow Councillors look forward to welcoming him to the Council Table tonight at his very first council meeting!

I will also congratulate the two unsuccessful candidates.  Your dedication and interest is a tribute to our village!  You have shown that involvement can make a difference!  I hope to see your names on future village public endeavours. Well done!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Up, Up, and Away!

Last Saturday a group of balloon enthusiasts called Project Phoenix launched a unmanned High Altitude Balloon from the Beiseker Airport.  The balloon climbed to over 108,000 feet, snapping photos all the way up!

There's a beautiful shot of the Beiseker Airport taken moments after its launch, and an incredible shot taken at 105,000 ft. showing the curved Earth and the blackness of outer space.  At over 108,000 ft. the balloon exploded and the payload dropped by parachute into a pea field south of here.  And it snapped photos all the way down, too!

The balloon and payload were recovered and the group is getting ready for a future launch!

Congratulations Project Phoenix on a project well done!  I hope to see you folks again at our unique little airport.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bugs!

After ten hectic days at the Calgary Stampede, I've recovered and I'm back driving and walking  around Beiseker. 

I've noticed that we're under attack!  Actually, our trees are under attack!  We appear to have caterpillar infestations on some trees around the village, including one of our new trees on Main Street.  These little critters are munching up the leaves, preparing to make a cocoon and turn into a moth or butterfly. 

A few caterpillars are a normal part of summer - but hundreds or thousands are not good.  Trees will usually regrow damaged leaves but they can only regenerate so fast.  And some of these little critters actually wait for the new growth to feast on!

If one of your trees has more than its fair share of these little munchers, I advise you to watch the situation very carefully.  An easy way to control them is to knock them out of the trees and to the ground with a water stream from a hose, then subdue them before they can climb back up.  You can step on them, but please wash the dead bodies of the public sidewalk! The more you can kill now, the fewer caterpillars you'll have later this summer and/or next year!

If you notice a Village tree with an caterpillar infestation, please call the Village Office at 403-947-3774 and give the location of the tree to them, and they will look after it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fly-way Robbery!

The other day my wife and I saw a friend off at the Calgary International Airport.  We parked in the parkade.  We had a coffee, said our "good byes" and returned to our car.  We had been there for a little over an hour.  The parking fees were almost $17.00!

The young lady taking my money said I should have just dropped our friend off and then skulked off in 30 min or less!  That way it would have been free.

That's crazy!  It is obvious that the Calgary Airport Authority does not want casual visitors or folks coming in to see people off or welcome them back.  I will reluctantly comply!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Great Candidates' Forum!

I was very pleased to be able to attend the candidates' forum this past Monday evening.  I decided before I left home that I would listen and not speak at the forum.  I stuck to that.  All of those who came needed to hear from the candidates; not me!  I was very impressed with all three candidates.  They stated their cases well and explained their positions clearly.

One point mentioned was that of the high mill rate in the Village.  The insinuation was that a lower mill rate was preferable.

As explained in a blog post I made about a month ago, the reason our mill rate went up was that the total value of all our properties is lower this year than last!  If  the total value of all our properties had risen or stayed the same, our mill rate would have actually dropped.

The mill rate is set by council using these steps:
  • After careful budgeting, council decides on the minimum amount of money needed to operate the Village for one full year.
  • Council then looks at the total assesment and basically divides that figure by the amount required based on so many dollars taxed per thousand dollars of assesment.
Another point was that of providing recreational and cultural facilities in the Village.  One should always be aware that every public arena, library, swimming pool, playground, splash park, skate board park, art gallery - or any other cultural or recreational facility - built in Calgary is meant to serve, be maintained, and be funded by thousands of people (taxpayers)!  

Overall I was very impressed with the responses from the candidates and I am looking forward to having one of them join us around the council table!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Really Big Show!

This Friday starts one of the biggest parties in Alberta for 2012; the Calgary Stampede!  As I've mentioned before, I have been involved in the Stampede for many years now.  My main interest is Aggie Days, held each spring.  Aggie Days is primarily a teaching event.  We try to teach urban Calgary elementary students where their food comes from in these parts.

I help out at the "big show" too.  I usually volunteer a few days at the Agrium Ag-tivity in the City area between the Agriculture Building and the Grandstand

The area can be best described as an agricultural "edu-tainment" area.  We strive to entertain visitors while showing them a little bit about where Albertans get their food.  Almost all Ag-Tivity people are volunteers from smaller communities around Calgary.  We have fun milking cows, shearing sheep, herding ducks, making rope, saddling horses, milling grain, and a host of other agriculture related activities.

If you're at Stampede Park, why not drop around and say "Hi".

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Low Turnout at Canada Day Celebrations

I was disappointed to hear of the relatively low turnout at Beiseker's Canada Day celebrations over at the arena this past Sunday.  Previous commitments prevented my attendance.  I guess others had the same problem.

I would like to thank the organizers of the event and ask them not to be disheartened.  Those who came had a good time!  We'll have to advertise it a little more next year. 

ps;  I look forward to looking out on each Canada Day morning and seeing that little Canadian flag at the side of my walkway.  It is so Canadian: not big and flashy but hugely appreciated!  Thank you to the flag people for that!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chinook Crescent is Lookin' Good!

A quick tour of the Village today showed me a couple of projects looking good!  The repairs and paving project on Chinook Crescent appears to be very, very close to being finished.  And it looks really good, too!   I see there are a few things still to be completed, but those folks along the Crescent can now finally use their street again!


I would like to thank you all for your patience during this project.  They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but Rome probably took less time than Chinook Crescent!  Council will have to re-design and re-write future contracts so these kind of delays don't happen again!

And on Main Street I noticed the newly painted real estate office is looking very spiffy these days.  That change of color really sets it off!  Well done!

(More photos of the freshly-paved Chinook Crescent and Main Street can be seen on my Flickr photostream)

Tough Day

Last Thursday was a very tough day for our little Village, as we laid to rest our own Raelene Schmaltz.

Thank you to all those who helped out that day.  The 4H'ers who set up the Community Centre for the luncheon, the CWL for all their work at the luncheon, all those folks who brought in sandwiches or squares, and to the many hundreds of folks who came to support the family at this most difficult time.  I know I've missed some individual or group, but know that your contribution made Thursday just a bit easier for Raelene's family and our village.  

A special thanks go to members of the media for maintaining a low profile on Thursday.  I and many others were especially grateful for that.

Thursday was a sad day I hope our little village won't ever have to repeat.  It's time to move on, but please remember to support Raelene's family and friends in the weeks and months to come.

And look after yourself!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Campaign is On -- and C.O.P.

I was very pleased to see one of the candidates in our upcoming by-election out door knocking in our neighbourhood today!  We discussed the election and some of the issues facing Beiseker.  I hope to see the other two candidates over the next few days.

There has been much concern voiced over the increase of senseless vandalism here in Beiseker in the past few months.  I note that the Village of Linden has started a C.O.P. (Citizens On Patrol) program in their community.  We had a similar program a few years ago the last time we experienced an increase in vandalism, but the program ceased when the problem went away.

The problem is back!  Should we re-create the C.O.P., here?  Do we have enough folks willing to drive around the community for a few hours each week? 

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We're having a by-election!

We have three candidates running in the upcoming by-election to fill the vacancy left by Bruce Rowe, who was elected our MLA this past April!

Our three candidates are; Warren Wise, Ken Nicholas and Melanie McCullough.  Be sure to welcome these folks as they encounter you on the campaign trail!

Election Day will be on Monday, July 23, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m in the Council Chambers at the Village of Beiseker Office.  There is also a candidates' forum hosted by the Beiseker Chamber of Commerce on Monday, July 9,  at 7:30 p.m. at the Beiseker Community Centre.  Click the links to RSVP to the event listings on Facebook!

Monday, June 25, 2012

In Shock

I was shocked to hear of the passing of our own Raelene Schmaltz last week.  Raelene was killed in a tragic traffic accident on Highway 9 south of Irricana.  All of Beiseker is greiving her loss.

My wife and I met Raelene while we were teaching in Beiseker Community School back in the early 1970s.  She attended my Social Studies classes throughout her school years.  I was  impressed by her quiet but forceful presence.   I always knew that there was some very serious thinking going on behind those flashing dark eyes and I waited for her comments with great anticipation!

As in any small town, nobody really leaves, they just go a little farther away.  We heard of her world travels and her graduating at the top of her class to become a nurse.  We were all proud of her accomplishments.  I also recall her working with 4-H kids over the years.  In the past while, I would often see Raelene in town.  She'd always give me a smile and a cheerful greeting.  I will miss that.

Our sincere condolences go to Eileen & Clarence and their family.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Goin' Fast on North Road!

Hi Leo!  Thanks for that comment on the speeders along Highway 72 (North Road) through Beiseker.

This is indeed a tough one.  Many drivers seem to forget they're driving through a residential area when they drive through town on the "72".  Because it's a provincial highway, Alberta Transportation is the one to decide what the posted speed limit will be.  We have brought our concerns about the speeds on North Road and Highway #9 to representatives of Alberta Transportation for many years at each Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) convention.

They have told us that they're in business to keep traffic moving, not slow it up!  It took many years of coaxing to get the speed lowered along Highway #9.  I'm presuming it will take at least that long to post lower speeds on the "72".  They have told us they will consider lowering the speed limit on the "72"  west of Beiseker from 100 km/h when they see houses being built in Grasslands.

I'm thinking there may be other ways to "speed up the slow down" process.  Here are my thoughts;
  1. If everyone who saw a vehicle driving along North Road at an excessive speed would phone the RCMP local detachment number (403-947-3496) with a complaint, the police would be aware of the problem and note that in their reports.
  2. If all concerned folks in Beiseker wrote a letter to Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver asking him to look into the problem, we might get some action!
  3. If those same folks wrote a letter to Village Council asking that the School Zone on North Road be changed to a Playground Zone (30 km/h, in force seven days a week, twelve months of the year), that would give us some punch when we ask Alberta Transportation once again for that to happen.
There my thoughts.  I agree with you Leo; I'd rather be proactive on this speed issue rather that react to an accident along there!  Let's keep working on this.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Good News from Aqua 7

Last night's Aqua 7 Regional Water Services Commission meeting was full of good news!
  • The price of Aqua 7 water to communities will drop on August 1, 2012 to $2.67 per cubic meter.  Each community will still have to charge something to pump the water around their municipality, but I'm hoping everyone will see a price-per-cubic meter drop on their water bills later this summer!
  • The Town of Drumheller has reversed their earlier decision (which I blogged about here)and have now agreed to adjust the boundaries of the Commission to cover the north-eastern part of Rocky View County.  This means Rocky View County now has a chance to sell some of the water they've beeen paying for!  Wow! This is fantastic news!  Thank you to Mayor Yemen and Drumheller town council!
  • The line repair we went through last month turned out to be far less serious and less expensive than predicted.  We did purchase a new valve but it wasn't needed so we'll keep it in storage.   
  • The refinancing of our debt over a longer period of time has reduced our yearly payments by about $300,000 a year!
It was so refreshing to attend an Aqua 7 meeting and hear all that good news! More details will come out later but I had to tell you that things are looking up for the Regional Water Service!

Have a good weekend!

Condolences to the Nenshi Family

While in Ottawa I read of the passing of  Kurban Nenshi, father of Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, in the Globe and Mail.  He died on Fathers' Day.

From his obituary, I read of a man dedicated to his family, his city and his nation. He was born on the other side of the world in Africa and made Canada his home after emigrating here in the 1970s.

It is obvious this nation is better off in having Kurban Nenshi as a citizen!

My condolences go out to Mayor Nenshi and his family.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Seniors Tea

I was back from Ottawa in time to attend the annual Seniors Tea hosted by the Beiseker Station Museum Society at the Golden Years Town and Country Club.  Our theme this year was the honouring of the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede!  All the society members were decked out in their western finery.  Coffee, Tea and cake was served. 

Entertainment was provided by our very own Verlin Rau.  Verlin is a very talented singer and song writer and one of Beiseker's best kept secrets!  I always enjoy his music whenever I get a chance to hear him.  He sung some of the standard old time favorites plus a bunch from his own works from his recently released CD!  I  think everyone really enjoyed themselves.

The Seniors' Tea is held every year in mid June. It is put on by the Beiseker Station Museum Society which operates our own Museum in the train station, which also houses the Village Office. For many years the Tea was held in the lower museum exhibit hall at the station, but the senior's center makes a far better venue.  It's a perfect chance to see people you haven't seen maybe all winter and catch up on all the local happenings and gossip!

If you've never attened, make a mental note to come next year.

Trip to Ottawa!

Over this past week my wife and I had a great few days visiting our nation's capital.  Last Friday, we met with our Member of Parliament, Kevin Sorenson.  He was able to get my wife and I passes to the House of Commons  Members' Gallery for Question Period.

Both of us found the goings-on quite facinating.  We sat above the Opposition side of the House which is on the Speaker's left directly above the Liberals with Bob Rae.  Most of the speeches/questions were made by the inexperienced NDP members practising their skills, but it was quite an eye opener watching the interaction amongst the Members "behind the cameras."   After watching the proceedings on TV many times over the years, I was impressed by the way the Speaker kept order!  No constant yelling across the floor as has happened in the past! Or maybe they were just really tired after that 40+ hour straight NDP budget voting fiasco the day before.

Later we met up with Kevin.  We sat down in the Members' Lounge for coffee.  Kevin and I talked about many things going on in and around his Crowfoot constituency, some of which affected Beiseker.  Kevin was able to give us a quick "behind the scenes" tour of  the Centre Block and the Library of Parliament before he had to dash.  He was acting as the Deputy Party Whip that day and couldn't stray far from the House.  Kevin's hospitality was second to none!

Friday evening we attended a Gordon Lightfoot concert at the National Arts Centre.

Over the weekend we did all the tourist things; museum visits, city tours, and strolling around the ByWard Market area.  I was pleased to see that either of our two official languages works just fine anywhere you go in Ottawa or across the river in Gatineau, Quebec

If you're looking for a Canadian destination for a trip this summer, I would heartedly suggest the Ottawa area!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Streets, Lagoons, the new Firehall, and Taxes!

We had an excellent council meeting last evening (Monday, June 11). 

First of all, I was able to give Public Works Foreman Bill Hnybida and his crew the praise they deserve for getting the Village all ship shape for last weekend's Country Fair.  I also thanked Gail Peckham for all of her hard work getting things organized here at the office Saturday morning.

We discussed your concerns with the street cleaning project.  Council and Bill agreed to investigate the situation and find solutions for next year's street cleaning project. 

We were also very concerned with the Chinook Crescent paving project, which seems to have stalled again. I have no idea why this project is taking so long.   We asked our own engineers to find out why these crew keep vanishing.  Maybe the paving crews are getting lost following their GPS to Beiseker!  We also asked our engineers to remind these wayward crews that the completion date is fast approaching!

Next came the sewage lagoon.  The lagoon needs upgrading to meet new environmental standards.  This will be started over the next while. 

The new firehall appears closer to reality now.  Critical decisions are to be made this week and the project is to proceed quickly after that.  We should have a new firehall within about two months after that.  Stay tuned on this one.

Last and certainly not least, we set  the tax rate for 2012.  As I mentioned before, our overall assessment dropped by more than $3 million, but the cost of running the village either remained the same or increased.  Our Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) worked over the budgets for every Village department and brought a proposed final 2012 budget to us last night, which we accepted. 

We then set our millrate with a 4.5% increase.  Add to that the 1% the School Boards want and the total increase will be 5.5%.  It is based on your assessment, so some of you will notice an increase while others who were assessed at a lower amount may notice a small decrease. 

Overall, I was very proud of our CAO and Village Council for keeping the village portion of the increase to less than 5%.  I hope you all will not notice any drastic changes in the delivery of services around the village over the next twelve months. 

Your tax notices will be coming out over the next few days.  Check them over and let me know if you have any concerns.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What a Great Day at the Beiseker Country Fair!

Despite the horrible weather forecasts, the turnout at Beiseker's 94th annual Country Fair was fantastic.  And those who ignored the forecasts, had a great day in the Village. 

It all started with a delicious breakfast attended by more than 450 hungry folks.  Breakfast was also attended by the Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses - Candice Lee, Dani Gariepy, and Jessica Manning - along with this year's Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, Amelia Crowshoe.  From Crossfield's Pete Knight Days, the 2011 Queen and Princess - Emily Marston and Miranda Ross - were also there, accompanied by the three 2012 Queen and Princess contestants. 

During their introduction Dani Gariepy related how years ago she rode in her Grandpa's (Ed McNair's) gravel truck in the Beiseker Parade throwing candy to the kids!  Then Amelia Crowshoe performed a native Jingle Dance for us.  What an exciting way to start a super day.

Next was the parade.  It was great to see former mayor Bruce Rowe back in Beiseker. He rode in this year's parade for the first time as MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, while Frank Schwengler drove me around the parade route in a gorgeous convertible.  I threw candy, I waved and I had fun!


After the Beiseker Country Fair Parade it was over to the arena for the Beiseker 4H Show.  I watched the proud youngsters show their calves in the very nicely prepared arena, then off to the Community Links Building for some goodies. 

As the teams competed for bragging rites at the ball diamonds, we chowed down on some delicious pie at the Golden Years Club.

Next it was over to Main Street to become a part of the 8th Annual Beiseker Main Street Show & Shine.  Local businesses, led by Chris Heighton, put on a great car show.  More than 40 vehicles were on display there - the number of cars was down this year, probably because of that crappy weather forecast.  Chris handed out door prizes and  I got to pick the "Mayor's Choice"!

I carefully looked at all the entries shining there in the afternoon sun.  I decided to pick a car that I would have loved to drive up and down Eighth Avenue in Calgary back in the late 1960s. There were a few cars there which qualified, but I picked a pretty little blue Pontiac Firebird!  I've got to tell you it was the hardest job of the day picking just one of those gorgeous cars!

During the afternoon I dropped in on some of the other things happening around the Village; everything from ATV & motorhome displays to "bouncy houses" for kids!  We finished off the day with beef on a bun at the Community Centre.  We left as the DJ was warming up and the kids were jumping around on the dance floor.  We were tired and we called it a day at that point. 

What a fantastic day in the Village of Beiseker!

If you're Lions' Club Member or a spouse of a Lion, take a huge bow for a job well done!  I know the Lions' Club here in Beiseker isn't that big but you'd never know that around the Village during the Country Fair!  Those folks worked so hard and so long to make the day a success.  The people I saw in the  Hall doing the breakfast were there working at the supper!  Many of those same folks ran the parade and helped elsewhere during the day, too!  Those guys and their wives made the Energizer Bunny look like a laggard!  

Well done; all of you!  I'm already looking forward to the 95th version of the Beiseker Country Fair next year!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Street Cleaning

Thank you to all of you who moved your vehicles off the streets so that the street cleaner could get around yesterday. 

Some of you have voiced concerns about the street cleaning yesterday.  Please be sure to forward those concerns, including time of day and location, to the village office (403-947-3774) and I'll follow up on it. 

All in all I think the village looks much better, ready for our Country Fair this coming Saturday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Beiseker Country Fair

Saturday, June 9, 2012; mark it on your Blackberry, iPad or whatever you use to keep track of your life!  That's when our 2012 edition of the Beiseker Country Fair will take off, rain or shine!  Come see the Parade in the morning (tell the kids not to forget a sack for the candy they catch) featuring the Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses and the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess!  This is the Stampede's 100th anniversary so we're very fortunate to have their Royalty visit us!  And there's a local connection to the Stampede Royalty this year, too. 

There'll be floats, antique and classic cars, and horses in the big parade.  There's a big car show right on Main Street, a beer garden, a 4H show, plus many other things going on, including lots of activities for the kids!   And why not stop over for pie and coffee at the Seniors' Center across from the Arena!

A more complete schedule of events is available through the Country Fair Event listing on the Village of Beiseker's Facebook page.  You can RSVP there, too! 

It looks like it's going to be a great day.  I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Taxes!

Yesterday morning (Saturday, June 2) the Council of the Village of Beiseker met to discuss the 2012 budget and start the process of setting a mill rate for this year.  

We had an excellent meeting.  Our Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) had drawn up a proposed budget.  It was up us to go through it line by line and recommend changes.  Our CAO will then take our changes back, work them into the budget figures and bring them back to council at our next regular council meeting.  At that time we will either accept the changes and declare a mill rate or send it back for more modifications.  By law we have to declare a mill rate by the end of June.

Something alarming is that our Overall Assessment has dropped more than three million dollars!  That means that if we all sold all of our Beiseker properties today, we would receive three million bucks less than we would have last year!

Some properties were assessed higher and others assessed lower, many remained close to their 2011 assessments.  It's all based on formulas created by a mysterious process called Market Value Assessment (MVA).  It basically declares that if a similar property in a similar place sold for a certain amount, that's what my property is worth! 

Yes, I know that there are flaws in that logic, but that's what the provincial government says we have to do.  Municipal politicians from all over Alberta have complained to Municipal Affairs about this MVA system for years to no avail.

Council must estimate as closely as possible, how much money our municipality will need to operate for one year.  We must then set a mill rate to raise that amount of money based on a one dollar tax for every $1000.00 of assessed value.  Another provincial rule says that a municipality cannot submit a deficit budget.

We pored over the figures for more than two hours and made some important decisions.  Our Overall Assessment has dropped but the cost of operating our municipality has increased!

I hope we gave our CAO enough guidance so that she might work out our budget and enable us to declare a mill rate at our next regular council meeting.  That's about all I can tell you right now because nothing has been officially decided beyond that. 

Our next meeting of council will be held on Monday, June 11, 2012.