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County's 2022 project budget totals $14.8 million

Mountain View County's project budget would need to be approved by council motion before proceeding

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The newly-elected Mountain View County council is expected in coming weeks to review and consider the 2022 project budget prepared by administration and released earlier this month, says Jeff Holmes, the county's chief administrative officer (CAO).

The 2022 project budget outlines projects totalling $14.8 million for various departments, the majority of the funding going to operational services, but also to CAO services, corporate services, legislative and community and agricultural services, and planning and development projects.

The 2022 project budget would need to be approved by council motion before proceeding.

Operational service projects would account for $12.8 million of the $14.8 million total, and would include gravelling, asphalt long patching, re-chipping, gravel pit engineering and road repairs across the municipality.

Projects under the CAO Services include $15,000 for Bearberry Protection Area fire preparedness.

“This project will include development of a strategic-level wildfire preparedness guide and development of a tactical-level structure plan for the multi-lot subdivisions, rural properties, youth camps, and RV parks-campgrounds in the Bearberry area,” said Holmes. “The overall objective of the project is to provide emergency responders with strategic and tactical information to improve at risk protection success during interface wildfires in the area.”

Another CAO project is $55,000 for an infrastructure and industry monitor position.

“Administration proposes to increase the scope of this work to include all natural resource extraction including aggregate, logging, peat and others as described in the land use bylaw,” he said. “The expectation is for this person to be the liaison between the county, the natural resource extraction companies and landowners. This position will deal with the enforcement of master road use agreements, development permit road use agreements and other conditions of development permit compliance.”

Corporate service projects would include $260,600 for business services hardware and software upgrade. 

“The intent of this project is to keep our organizational software and hardware current,” he said. “There will be fluctuations in the yearly purchases based on life cycles of the products purchased and the changing demands of the organization and outside shareholders. This project includes all hardware and software from the business services long-range plan.”

Another $20,000 project would be for a summer student.

“This project will include hiring a student to complete two important projects,” he said, noting one project will be a residential addressing audit.

“Using information from our assessment database, residences without a matching address will be assigned an address. The work will rely largely on aerial photography, with the potential for some GPS data collection.”

Another $32,000 project would be for gate access control.

“We will not be replacing any gates,” he said. “We will be increasing security at all four (county) shops by integrating the existing powered gates we have into the door access control system. This project will result in overall gate access being managed from the administrative office.”

Another $65,000 project would be for an air photo refresh of properties in the county. The photos are used by several departments.

“The assessment department is a heavy user of air photos, supporting the annual assessment processes,” he said. “While the value is high for assessment, it is felt that having new photos every three years is justified given the cost. Planning and development uses air photos to support decision-making on applications, presenting background information to council and public.”

One legislative, community and agricultural services department $25,000 project would involve upgrades to council meeting streaming and agenda software.

“Although Zoom has provided the county with a valuable tool to use during the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not have the added functionality that other programs offer, such as agenda creation, efficient remote attendance for participants, or indexing of items for future review.”

Another $53,000 project would involve the Campbell CE park development.

“MVC council has provided direction to move forward with creating a day use area at the Campbell pit,” he said. “A concept plan and further community engagement, discussions with the leaseholder, and approval of  Legacy Land Trust (would be involved). An application for redesignation will be submitted based on the concept plan.”

Another $33,000 project involves upgrades to airport and business park signage.

“Administration will pursue various signage options, including the ability for businesses within selected parks to advertise for an additional cost, thereby reducing the amount of third party signage placed on nearby lands,” he said.

The planning and development services is proposing a $5,000 project for an area structure plan review for the South McDougal Flats area in 2022.

Funding for the proposed projects would come from a variety of sources, including $3.2 million from general revenue, $2.8 million from grants, and $8.4 million from reserves.

The complete 2022 project budget is available on the county’s website.

Dan Singleton

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