Press Release – April 2024 PDF Version

Council highlights – April 23, 2024

Council approved the 2024 Operating budget and 2025-2028 Operating plan with the following amendments: Addition of $50,000 investment revenue. Council has approved a 5% tax increase for 2024. It should be noted that the County’s assessment has decreased by $5,798,850, meaning there is less property value to share in the overall cost of operations. As well, Alberta’s annual inflation rate reflected a 3.55 % increase for a common basket of goods based on Statistics Canada, however the cost of materials and supplies used by the County exceeds 3.55%.
The 2024 Capital Budget and 2025-2028 Capital Plan was also approved for a total cost of $8,827,028 using $5,288,664 in grant funding, reserves $3,167,091, sale proceeds $126,273 and a transfer from the Operating budget of $245,000. Further details are available on our website www.birchhillscounty.com.

Fees, Rates & Charges 2024

Council also approved a revised Fees, Rates and Charges bylaw, which is available on our website. Key changes include:

  • Ag minor permit $50 (required if you keep chickens and/or livestock within the Hamlets)
  • A new Land Use Bylaw discretionary permit fee $100 + permit fees (provides for MPC review and notification to adjacent landowners.)
  • Development Permit fee when development began and no application has been approved $500 + $20/$50,000 construction.
  • A perpetual care fee of $500 for new plots sold within County controlled cemeteries.
  • Changes to Utility Rates – please go to our website and review Bylaw #2024-05.
  • Changes to land & right of way leases – now flat rate of $40/acre.

Broadband Internet 

Council met with IWantWireless who shared that they were approved for $8 million in Federal funding, of which approximately $3 million will be spent within Birch Hills County to upgrade their internet system and provide the required 50Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. 15 new towers will be constructed within BHC and equipment will be upgraded. Council previously provided funding to assist Iwantwireless to develop the original internet system. More information will be forthcoming.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Birch Hills County has a COMPLETE FIRE BAN! Please note the ban includes the recreational use of all-terrain vehicles.

Questions may be directed to Larry Davidson, CAO @ 780-694-3793 or by email cao@birchhillscounty.com