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County board calls for reinstatement of online ag services, info

Bowden hosts Central Region Alberta ASB conference
Ag service board
Mountain View County's agricultural service board members take part in the recent meeting in council chambers. Dan Singleton/MVP Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – A resolution set out by Mountain View County’s agricultural service board (ASB) is scheduled to come for a vote at the Central Region Alberta ASB conference in Bowden this week.

The resolution was reviewed by board members at last week’s regularly scheduled meeting in council chambers.

One of several resolutions scheduled to come before the conference on Nov. 27, the local resolution calls on the province to “ensure all information and services previously provided through the Ropin’ the Web site be reinstated with easy accessibility on their website.”

As part of a larger government of Alberta web consolidation project, Agriculture and Forestry web presence, including Ropin’ the Web, moved to and by March 31, online government directories and some relevant agricultural information was no longer available, members heard.

The Ropin’ the Web site provided relevant and reliable information from knowledgeable specialists and experts and a general store for agricultural and forestry related supplies and services, members heard.

It also contained risk management decision-making tools, opportunities, services, and programs in the primary and value-added agricultural sectors, members heard.

The general store component of the Ropin’ the Web site “provided a platform that allowed rural businesses, custom operators, farmers, rural residents and the general public to easily access agricultural related projects and services,” the resolution’s background document states.

“This provided opportunities to assist producers in growing their businesses by increasing marketing opportunities. The general store offered buy and sell listings for Alberta hay and pasture, wood biomass, custom services listings, livestock, manure and compost directory and food processing equipment.”

In a letter to Mountain View County ASB chairman Brian Rodger, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Devin Dreeshen said that he is “committed to making the hay and livestock listings (previously on the general store section of Ropin’ the Web) available again. I have directed the department to explore options for how to improve the accessibility of the information and expect this service to resume in the coming months.”

If the resolution passes on Nov. 27 it will come before the upcoming provincial ASB conference. If it passes there it will be used to lobby the provincial government for action.

Budget deliberations

Meanwhile, the ASB has reviewed the proposed 2020 operating budget and passed a motion to have it forwarded to county council for consideration.

The budget calls for total revenues of $309,859, down from last year’s total of $319,859. Revenue from grants would total $228,359, the same as this year.

Recurring expenses in the budget include right-of-way management, which includes such things as roadside spraying, to total $475,000, down from last year’s total of $483,000.

Invasive plant management expenses will be $106,000, down from $113,000 last year.

Town weed inspections expenses total $19,000, the same as this year.

Pest control expenses total $30,000, also the same as in 2019.

General expenses, for such things as ASB summer tour, chemical container site, general administration and committee costs, total $290,000, up from $276,000 in 2019.

Total recurring expenses are projected to be $1,148,700, down from last year’s total of $1,158,280.

Total funding requirements are projected to be $838,841, the same as in 2019.






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