2022 Fees and Rates Bylaw
Council has passed all three readings of Bylaw 1290, the 2022 Fees and Rates Bylaw.
The bylaw features two rates changes compared to the 2021 version of the bylaw. The first is the addition of a daily rate business license for non-resident food trucks. Town CAO James Suffredine said that over the past year the town had received several inquiries from non-resident food trucks looking to come to Magrath for a single day, but the town only had the annual non-resident business license available. The new daily license fee would reduce financial barriers for these businesses, and town hopes to see more food truck business stopping by because of it.
The second change is to the town’s water consumption rate, which is billed by cubic meter. The rate will be increased by $0.08 to $1.63 per cubic meter after a $0.04 rate increase by the Magrath and District Regional Water Services Commission and a matching increase by the Town. The $0.08 change to the consumption rates for an average Magrath household that uses 20 cubic meters of water a month would be $1.60, according to Suffredine.
2022 Interim Operating Budget
Council passed an interim operating budget based on the 2021 budget numbers to allow it to continue doing operating into 2022.
According to the Municipal Government Act, municipalities are required to pass interim budgets for 2022 by the end of this year. The final operating and capital budgets will be passed in the spring when the town’s revenues, property assessments, and Provincial transfers are better known.
Urban Bee Keeping Bylaw
Council performed first reading of Bylaw 1287, or the Urban Bee Keeping Bylaw.
The bylaw would allow for the town to regulate the placement and number of hives any property in town may have. Suffredine said that bee keeping is a regulated activity by the province and all beekeepers must have a provincial license, and that the town has found that some residents are already keeping bees as a hobby. Council hopes to engage with residents and discuss the practice in the new year.
Prohibit Deer Feeding Bylaw
Council has passed first reading of Bylaw 1288, or the Prohibit Deer Feeding Bylaw.
“The population of deer in Magrath is a growing concern to the town’s council and many residents,” said Suffredine. “The Provincial Wildlife Act does not forbid feeding deer, so a bylaw is being considered by the town to prohibit this activity. Feeding deer can potentially create a habituated population as prolonged feeding can change stomach bacteria and make the normal digestion of native foods difficult. Feeding areas can also spread disease by multiple animals visiting a central place.”
Council hopes to engage with residents and discuss the issue in the new year.