2019 Reeve's Report
As I reflect on 2019, and I want to start off by saying, on behalf of myself and Council, Thank You to all the Constituents for all your public participation and feedback. Together, we have seen the challenges of a downturned economy and effects of employment rates being down, stretched funding, and now this, Covid-19 pandemic. Please, stay safe and continue to keep others safe by following our Chief Medical Officer’s orders, as we get through this pandemic.
On a more positive note, we have also seen good news in 2019. We received the announcement for a new school in Smoky Lake after years of the County lobbying the Provincial Government for it. We saw impressive activity at Métis Crossing with the completion of their beautiful Cultural Gathering Centre (an absolute gem in our Victoria District). The County embraced the synergy between the Métis Crossing project and the Victoria District Economic Development Plan and began crafting a strategy to boost the local economy with tourism opportunities. The County completed two emergency access landings on the North Saskatchewan River and we are working with the regulators to start another one. Also, in 2019 Council and Administration worked diligently on several Polices, new and old, and created new Bylaws to: serve you better, improve transparency and meet budgetary efficiencies.
Trying to balance the budget with more expenses than revenues, is not an easy task. As Provincial downloading continues, it impacts our municipal budgets negatively. We are forced to come up with more and more funds each year for things such as the recently downloaded funding requirement for municipalities to pay into the Police Costing Model. It is challenging to ensure there is enough money to continue municipal services and maintain infrastructure. We do our best with our local road programs of regular maintenance, gravelling, culvert replacements and construction to keep our roads safe for you. And when ratepayers bring a concern forward to Council’s attention it is taken very seriously; we do what we can to address it with the resources that we have. Public Participation is the key to success, we need, and want your input to make our County the best that it can be. Council encourages open communication and we continually make efforts to improve upon it.
I am pleased to let you know that in 2019 we began preparing to launch an improved County Website! Please take some time to check it out. You will find my Reeve’s Report there along with all the Council minutes and information on what is happening in our County.
I am very proud of being a Smoky Lake County Councillor and the Reeve. I will continue to do the best job I can to showcase our County and represent you. We are all here to serve you.
Reeve, Smoky Lake County