September 26th, 2018

Cypress County Ward 7 Seven Persons North/Desert Blume election questionnaire

By Tim Kalinowski on October 11, 2017.

1. What is the right balance, in your opinion, between preservation of agricultural lands and subdivision development in Cypress County?

2. Cypress County has a number of undeveloped road allowances, graveled grid roads and highways which all require regular maintenance at an enormous cost to taxpayers. What would be your highest priority if elected in terms of county road spending? Why?

3. Hamlets have special infrastructure needs other areas of the county do not have, whether that be water and sewer, street paving or community facility maintenance. Do you feel hamlets are currently well-served by Cypress County? What initiatives would you support to enhance hamlets to make them more attractive to future potential residents?

4. Cypress County’s residential, agricultural and commercial taxes are the lowest or near lowest in Alberta. In this era of fiscal crunch, Cypress County may need to raise taxes in one or more of these areas over the next four years. Which area or areas of taxation would you support an increase in, if necessary, when elected?

5. Rural Internet access remains a major problem in the county. In your opinion, is access to the Internet a right or a privilege? Would you support a major county investment in the creation of a local, county-managed Internet service if telecommunications companies continue to show no interest?

Richard Oster

1. “The preservation of agricultural lands is the major priority for Cypress County. The majority of subdivision requests come from the area west and south of Medicine Hat because of the availability of water. Some of the requests come from existing farmers that want to retire, yet stay on their place of residence. Then there are farmers that buy quarters of land that are sold with the residence on it, but they have no need for it. There are farmers, especially younger ones, that are looking to sell a small corner from their recent land purchase to help offset the price. Then there are the people that just want to enjoy living in the country, but are not interested in farming or ranching. We have the right balance now because council and staff use the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan as our guide to preserve the land, but also accommodate the ratepayers.”

2. “Dust control is done now by using only oil, which is very expensive. We have neighboring county’s that use other methods. We need to use their experience to help us develop a combination of dust control methods that will provide the most value to the ratepayers.”

3. “I believe that the hamlets are being well served. Council and staff are constantly monitoring the hamlets for immediate and future needs. I would support a plan that involves county staff and equipment going into each hamlet to help ratepayers remove unwanted items from their yards. Start out with two days, once a year, per hamlet, and monitor the results. Future residents are not impressed with unsightly yards.”

4. “I believe that Cypress County is functioning very well on the tax dollars that are brought in and that future tax increases should only be enough to cover the cost of inflation.”

5. “Access to the internet is now a right. Cypress County is looking at all the options they can find to support a high quality service for our ratepayers, and yes, the county will have to contribute financially.”

Garry Procter

1.”There is no question of balance between agricultural and subdivision land. Productive agricultural land must be protected for agricultural purposes. This is of the utmost importance. Subdivisions should be restricted to areas and land not suitable for economical, agricultural use, and should be left to the private sector for development.”

2. “All bus routes must receive highest priority, and the remainder on an as needed basis.”

3. “I feel that our hamlets are in fair to good repair, but little attention is being given to the desire for future growth. With projected, future infrastructure needs being projected we can ensure these hamlets remain vibrant and continue to grow.”

4. “We are in an economic time where there should be no consideration to tax increases of any kind. Period.”

5. “I would support Cypress County in a joint venture with one or more of the local service providers to enhance internet services, but would not entertain the motion that would allow Cypress County to get directly involved with telecommunications of any kind.”

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