By Cole Parkinson
The Municipal District of Taber have decided to renew a couple of memberships as they continue to progress forward through 2018.
Both of the memberships for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Canadian Badlands were brought forward to council during their regular meeting on Jan. 10.
“The FCM is a federal organization of municipalities. One of their notable achievements in the past decade was the negotiation of the gas tax rebate to municipalities in which the portion of the federal gasoline tax was returned to municipalities in recognition of their requirements to undertake transportation projects within their communities. This is an annual levy that I believe you can register for emails and notifications from FCM so it’s an advocacy group on a federal basis,” said Derrick Krizsan, CAO for the M.D. of Taber.
The base fee for renewal was set at $378, while a per capita due was set at $1,105.26 and an optional legal defense fund was priced at $171.41 for a total of $1,654.68.
Council questioned whether or not the membership included any type of insurance.
“They don’t offer insurance, federal government has made participation in FCM a requirement for any green funding that has come out in recent years. I believe FCM administers a number of those programs that are offered through the federal government,” said Krizsan. “Some of the green funding is difficult. We’ve tried a number of the applications and it’s difficult to achieve the threshold and the requirements that they require. Having said that we don’t know what any future grant fundings that could be available or notifications for grant fundings through this organization without participating.”
Despite the lack of insurance provided by the membership, council seemed receptive to upping their membership for the year.
“I believe that we have been a member since I’ve been on council and I think it’s worthwhile to spend the $1,600 to have access to those grant possibilities,” said Deputy Reeve Merrill Harris.
In terms of the Canadian Badlands membership, the organization focuses on tourism initiatives with municipalities across the province.
“Canadian Badlands is a tourist development organization, mainly in southeastern Alberta. The annual levy is 53.5 cents per capita and this year’s levy is $3,837.55,” said Krizsan. “So the initiatives that we received grant funding through was to undertake a tourist study that was conducted along with the Town of Taber, Village of Barnwell and Town of Vauxhall. Other initiatives include online and printed advertising and access to resources through Canadian Badlands for assistance for tourist initiatives.”
While council was in favour of extending the membership for the year, they were also hoping to get more information for the next time the membership came up.
“I think it would be worthwhile for this year and then we can go to the AGM and next year we would be able to make a little bit more informed decision on it,” said Reeve Brian Brewin.
Both memberships were passed unanimously.
Coun. John Turcato was absent from the meeting but participated in the proceedings via teleconference call.