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Rocky View County touts accomplishments in 2021 annual report

Positive growth, investment, and development in RVC, as reflected in the 2021 annual report, displays a positive outlook for the County.
Rocky View County approved several land redesignations at its Oct. 13 meeting.
Rocky View County “remains a model of financial sustainability” according to 2021 annual report.

Rocky View County (RVC) has released its 2021 annual report, highlighting last year’s successes and challenges.

RVC Mayor Don Kochan wrote in the report that RVC “remains a model of financial sustainability” with one of the lowest tax rates in the province. 

Among some of the County’s accomplishments, Kochan pointed out that council adopted the Balzac East Area Structure Plan to provide the potential for an additional 465 acres of land available for business in the area, as well as the successful twinning of CrossIron Drive to improve road access, the construction of the new Langdon Emergency Services Building, and the completion of four new state-of-the-art baseball diamonds at the now-named Iron Horse Fields.

“This past year, Rocky View County conducted a safe municipal election. As a newly elected mayor, I am grateful to be elected to such a strong, vibrant, and promising municipality,” he wrote.

The report touched on several subjects under its accomplishments for 2021, including agriculture, assessments, capital, customer care, enforcement services, financial, legislative, planning, and recreation.

According to the report, RVC continues to have the fifth highest equalized assessment in Alberta. 2021 saw positive growth in new residential and non-residential development in RVC, which when combined with market increases, saw RVC’s assessment base increase by approximately $1.39 billion compared to the previous year.

The report touted the completion of several capital projects in 2021, including the $9.3 million Langdon Emergency Services Building, the Iron Horse Fields Baseball Fields in Langdon, and the $2.25 million twinning of CrossIron Drive.

“Despite the continued financial impact of the pandemic on the economy, the County’s 2021 budget resulted in a zero per cent tax freeze for business and residential properties in the County,” the report read, adding that RVC continued to maintain some of the lowest property tax rates in the region.

Approximately 55 per cent of RVC’s revenue comes from property taxes, while another eight per cent comes from user fees on a wide range of services. Other revenue comes from the provincial government, levies, and development agreements.

“While growth is a positive for the County, it is important to understand that it also comes with costs,” the report stated. “When the County grows, so does the demand for infrastructure and services. The fees collected from new development allow the County to fund the new infrastructure and services necessary to accommodate growth.”

RVC’s largest expense at approximately 36 per cent goes to employee salaries, wages, and  benefits, followed closely by 28 per cent being spent on contracted services. RVC spent just under $1,250,000 in 2021 on the interest for its long-term debt.

As of Dec. 31, 2019, RVC had used 31 per cent of its borrowing capacity and 25 per cent of its debt service limit as set out by the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

The majority of the RVC’s debt obligations are for water and wastewater infrastructure, according to the report.

The report stated that population growth and its demographic changes are important considerations for how the County delivers and plans future services for its residents.

With a steady increase in population over the last 10 years, RVC’s population now sits at just over 43,000 residents, according to the Alberta Municipal Affairs Population List.

The population has also become more diverse, with the number of visible minorities calling RVC home increasing from approximately seven per cent in 2006 to approximately 11 per cent in 2016, according to the most recent Statistics Canada census data.

The largest age cohort of RVC’s population are those between the ages of 40 and 65. 

To view the entire detailed report, go to rockyview.ca and find the link to the annual report.