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2023 Budget Highlights

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2023 is set to be an exciting year for Saddle Hills County. Council continues to prioritize important infrastructure, such as our roads and access to potable water, and public safety, as well as improving our recreation facilities for residents and visitors.

We are incredibly grateful for the hard work of our volunteer fire departments, especially during this most recent wildfire season, and, as such, Council strives to continue to provide them with the state-of-art equipment necessary to do their jobs effectively and keep our residents safe. Fire Engine replacements are scheduled for Bonanza, Blueberry, and Woking fire departments, and alarm and video surveillance will be installed in all five halls to ensure the protection of this important equipment. 2023 will also see the building of the new Blueberry Fire Hall.

Seven graders will be replaced this year, allowing our hard working operators to continue to provide the highest level of service to our residents. Two in-house road rebuilds on Range Road 95, from Township Road 794 to Township Road 800, located off Highway 49 on the old Silver Valley Road, and Range Road 135, on Township Road 765 for 3 miles South, located in Gundy, are also scheduled to be completed. Asphalt paving overlays on Range Road 84, North of Fourth Creek, and Range Road 115 (the Pilsworth Road), are soon to be complete, in partnership with Alberta Transportation. In line with this, we also aim to gravel approximately 400 km of County road during 2023. The County is slated to receive a new waste truck in the near future, to allow us to continue to provide efficent garbage collection to our residents.

Administration has continued to work hard on the Central Peace Regional Water Project, and it is amazing how much work is involved to bring our vision to life. This year, along with our partners in the G5 municipalities of Birch Hills County, the MD of Spirit River, the Town of Spirit River, and the Village of Rycroft, we will proceed with the engineering and design of the Central Peace Regional Water Treatment Plant. Phase 2 of the Central Peace Water Supply Project, will enable the provision of a safe and reliable source of water to residents in the Central Peace region. Phase 1 of the $40 million project, funded with the help of the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta, began in 2022. This included the design of a new water supply intake and lift station from the Peace River, by the Dunvegan Bridge, as well as approximately 36km of new, raw water pipeline to the Spirit River and Rycroft reservoirs. We hope that someday this multi-phase project will bring water from Watino to the B.C. border, and potentially even our Southern neighbours.

In 2022, Saddle Hills County hooked up 150 residences and businesses to the rural water network, and 100 are currently receiving water to their properties, 93 in Bonanza and 7 in Ksituan. This project will continue in 2023, and beyond, with more lines added as determined by Council’s Rural Water Action Plan. Properties in Bay Tree, Bonanza, Ksituan, Savanna, and East Woking are scheduled to be added to the network in 2023.

Spring Lake Campground, one of the County’s popular recreational destinations, will be receiving power in 2023, and continued improvements to the park are underway, such as additional vault toilets in B-loop, and further development of the walking paths. Administration is also working on the restoration of river access at Cotillion Park and continue to explore land potential development for the Rim Rocks, allowing us to provide even more first class recreation opportunities to our valued residents and visitors.

We hope to be able to achieve this, and much more, in 2023, with the help of our dedicated County staff and volunteers, and the continued support of our amazing community.

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