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Lack of workers an ongoing challenge in Didsbury

Town of Didsbury wants to be added as a community for the Rural Renewal Stream (RRS) program

DIDSBURY - A lack of workers remains a challenge for businesses in Didsbury, according to a report presented to town council by the economic development committee.

Covering July to the end of September, the report examined business retention, social media use, marketing, events and meetings, and projects in town during the reporting period.

The report was presented as part of the chief administrative officer (CAO) report accepted by council Nov. 14.

“A lack of workforce remains the biggest challenge for businesses,” the report states. “We are engaged in ongoing conversations with the province to be added as a community for the Rural Renewal Stream (RRS) program, and our application is in process.

“We are exploring various avenues, including being added to Trochu’s RRS. We provided businesses with resources and connection to the Ukrainian Centre and other immigration centres in Calgary.”

There was a total of 393 business licences, including seasonal and temporary, issued in the quarter, with total licence revenues of $41,291, compared with $37,690 in the same period last year.

Projects and action items of note in the quarter are an economic development strategy presentation to council, provincial Rural Renewal Stream application, panel presentation by Mountain View Regional Film Office at the recent Alberta Municipalities conference, and business licence streamlining and transition.

The CAO report also included the Town of Didsbury municipal indicators report, which identified and examined performance measures based on financial, governance and community indicators.

The report said there was no concern with audit outcome. “The municipal auditor was able to complete an audit report that does not identify a specific concern about the ability of the municipality to meet its financial obligations.”

The municipality’s residential tax revenue accounts for 85.6 per cent of its total tax revenue. Municipalities must not have a percentage higher than 95 per cent.

The municipality collects 94.27 per cent of municipal taxes levied. Municipalities must collect at least 90 per cent.

The municipality’s ratio of current assets to current liabilities stands at 2.45, with the required amount being one or greater.

The municipality has a positive surplus of $9,036,706.

The municipality’s total borrowings represent 22.70 per cent of its revenue; the requirement is less than 120 per cent.

The municipality’s total cost of borrowing repayments is 5.53 per cent; the requirement is not more than 20 per cent.

Council accepted the CAO report as information. Coun. John Baswick did not attend the Nov. 14 meeting.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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