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Agricultural service board grant funding increased

Under the previous provincial budget, funding for agricultural service boards was decreased provincewide by $3.19 million

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – The county’s agricultural service board (ASB) will receive increased funding under a recent amendment to the provincial grant program, members heard at a recent regular scheduled meeting.

The amendment to the ASB's 2020-24 grant program sees the board receive increased funding for legislative activities funding to $166,247 while resource management activities funding remains unchanged at $60,000.

Under the previous provincial budget, funding was decreased provincewide by $3.19 million, with the county’s board receiving $123,907 in legislative activity funding and $60,000 in resource management activities funding. The county had previously received $168,359 in legislative activity funding and $60,000 in resources management activities funding.

“The minister pushed and had that budget changed again for the final two years of the five-year agreement,” said Chad Verpy, manager of agricultural services. “So there’s been an increase back to closer to that original $168,359; it is now $166,247.

“The funding was changed back and I think that’s great for all of the ASBs.”

Chairman Brian Rodger called the updated funding welcome.

The ASB is made up of county councillors and appointed members of the district’s agriculture community. The board advises the province and county on agriculture related issues and concerns.

Regulated weed rebate program funding set

In other news from last month's ASB meeting, members have provided direction on the county’s regulated weed control rebate program, including for a yearly budget of $15,000.

The program provides rebate funding for the control of regulated weeds under the Weed Control Act in ranges and pastures.

“For many years, the county has offered a spray incentive of 20 per cent off the cost of approved herbicides to combat prohibited noxious and noxious species under the act,” said Verpy.

“Recently, this incentive has expanded to also include proven bio-controls. This incentive program is applicable to private landowners, private lessees of public lands, and lessees of county-owned property.” 

In 2020, the program’s budget was reduced to $10,000 from $17,000 due to a lack of updates into the program over a number of years. In 2021, the budget was increased to $15,000.

Since 2022, however, there has been a marked increase in submissions for the rebate program and the ASB approved administration to allocate unused funds to other budget items towards the rebate program, he said.

In 2022, the program allocated $14,041 to 25 participants; in 2021, $13,407 went to 32 participants.

Councillor and ASB member Dwayne Fulton said he is “definitely in support of the program because of the cost of these chemicals is very, very high. I’m in support of it (program) and the budget.”

Details of the regulated weed control rebate program are available on the county’s website.

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