Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Feb 20th Update - Have a Business in the Foothills? Both Video Updates Below are for You!

Note: If your are receiving this in your email and the video below does not show up, click the headline above it to be taken to the website to view it. 

Have a Business in Foothills? You Will Want to Watch the Video Below

Do you have a business in Foothills County and looking for a free or low cost advertising opportunity? 

If yes, I have good news (watch the video below or CLICK HERE to find out)!

Does Your Business Tailor to Crime Prevention?

If, yes, you will want to watch the video below (If it doesn't show up, CLICK HERE). 

Okotoks Trade Show 2019 - Crime Awareness and Prevention

As I discussed in the video above, Foothills County Council discussed securing tables at the 2019 Okotoks Trade Show specifically for local businesses that tailor to crime awareness and prevention.

Dates for the event are April 12 and 13th at the Okotoks Recreation Centre.

The number of tables are extremely limited and you need to let staff know ASAP if you are interested.  If you have a business that meets that criteria, than be sure to contact, Johanna Kortenschyl-Allan at the Foothills County Office (403-603-6244).

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Feb 13th Update - Plow Trucks & Burning Barrels/Fire Pits

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Foothills County Plow Trucks

With the looks of a snow storm coming over the next few days, we received some unfortunate new today as Foothills Public Works is down three plow trucks.  Staff is doing what they can to get at least one of them back up and running in the next few days but it looks as though one may be out until spring and the other will hopefully be ready sooner.

What does this mean for residents?  Obviously it may mean that the roads may not be cleared as quickly as public works and residents may like.  Staff is doing everything they can to make up for the lost equipment, but I ask for residents to have some patience over the next while until they are able to get the trucks back up and running.

As a reminder, the County has roughly 2,400 km of road that it plows and the target is to have all of them plowed within 72 hrs of the COMPLETION of a major snow event.  During that time, some routes may be cleared more than once, but the target is to have all of them done within that time frame.

Burning Barrels & Fire Pits (@1:54)

There was a request at Council today by a resident to ban ALL burning barrels and fire pits within Foothills County due to risks of fires spreading.  Council decided to keep them as we are aware that they are important to many other residents.

I would just like to remind residents that, if you have either a burning barrel or fire pit, YOU MUST STAY ON THE PREMESIS while they are burning.  DO NOT LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED!  

I know that we have received some more snow, so the risk is not as high as a few months ago, however, we want to be sure that we are Fire Smart and take the necessary precautions to always be fire safe!

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Feb 6th Update - Illegal Trailers and Other Non-Compliant Signage, HCRCW AGM and FireSmart

Note: If your are receiving this in your email and the video below does not show up, click the headline above it to be taken to the website to view it. 

Illegal Trailer Signs & Other Non-Complaint Signage

Foothills Council had another discussion today about non-compliant signage within the County adjacent to highways and County Roads.  County Staff is reviewing the current bylaws and will be coming back to Council with an updated bylaw.  Once the bylaw is ready to present to Council, there will be a public hearing scheduled to allow for further public engagement into it.  Watch here and in the Western Wheel to be kept up to date on when the public hearing will take place.

High Country Rural Crime Watch (HCRCW) AGM (@ 1:25)

The HCRCW will be hosting their AGM on March 4th at 7pm at the Priddis Community Hall.  In addition to the AGM, they will also be having a regular meeting and will have members from the Foothills Fire Department in attendance to discuss further on the FireSmart program.

FireSmart Meeting (@ 1:56)

We have still not heard back from FireSmart Canada with a confirmed date for our meeting yet but we are still shooting for something at the Square Butte Hall at the beginning of March.  Be sure to subscribe by entering your email in the box in the top right hand corner of any page on this site to be kept up to speed when we have a finalized date.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Jan 30th Update - Property Tax Discount ends Jan 31st, Enhanced Policing, Secondary Suites and Southwest Calgary Ring Road Project traffic interruption

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Property Tax Discount Ends Jan 31st!

If you would like to save 6% on your yearly property tax bill, make sure you pay in full by Jan 31st!  Foothills County is the only municipality to my knowledge that offers this sort of discount so be sure to take advantage of it!

Can't Afford to Pay in Full and Still Want a Discount?

Even if you cannot pay in full, you can still get a 5% discount if you enroll in the TIPP program (Tax Installment Payment Program).  This is where you pay monthly towards your taxes.  For more information of the TIPP program and download the application form, CLICK HERE.

Foothills Enhanced Policing Program 

A reminder that Foothills Council extended the Enhanced Policing Program so be sure to obey all rules of the road and bylaws as there is an increased police presence out there.  For more information on the program, CLICK HERE.

Secondary Suites Receive First Reading

Foothills Council discussed Secondary Suites once again today and gave first reading to the bylaw.  There are still some tweaks to come prior to 2nd and 3rd so be sure to watch for further information if this affects you.

Traffic Interruption Highway 22X and Macleod Trail

For details on the above traffic issue, CLICK HERE for my previous post.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Jan 16th Update - Enhanced Policing Pilot Project, FireSmart Canada, Secondary Suites discussion continues

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MD of Foothills No. 31 Now Foothills County

As January 1st, the MD of Foothills is now know as Foothills County.  What this means for you?  Nothing too much other than the name is more inline with the new rural addressing.  Many of you are aware that the municipality has been in dire need for updated signage for years, the new signs will represent the new name.

As has been mentioned before, there is minimal cost associated with the name change, this was very important to Council.  With that in mind, expect to still see the old MD of Foothills logo on stationary and fleet vehicles for a while until they are replaced.

The Enhanced Policing Pilot Project - Extended (@ 0:57)

I am happy to say the Foothills Council voted in favour of continuing the Enhanced Policing Pilot Project.  Feedback from meetings with the three area detachments showed favourable results so Council decided to continue for another three months.  After that time, the program will be re-evaluated again.

For those of you that are not familiar with the project, CLICK HERE for further information from when I originally discussed it back in September.

FireSmart Canada (@ 3:03)

During the meeting I hosted along with Division 4 Councillor, Suzanne Oel back in November, we had the Foothills Fire Department start discussing the FireSmart program.  This program helps you to protect your home in the event of a fire.  Details on the program can be found at

There was a great deal of interest in finding out more about the program from area residents.  That night, I discussed the interest with the Foothills Fire Department on hosting an event and we went to work on it immediately.  We are waiting to hear back from FireSmart to confirm dates but I hope we will be able to have something towards the end of February or beginning of March.

Watch here for details on a FireSmart Event coming the end of Feb or beginning of March.

Secondary Suites Discussion (@ 3:56)

Last week, Council had some further discussion on the possibility of Secondary Suites within the County.  No decisions have been made at this point, however, Council will be discussing it again in a few weeks.

For further information on Secondary Suites, you can see my post from September HERE and receive the link for more information on the County website.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

SUPPORT REQUESTED - House Fire West of Millarville

Hello Everyone,

I am requesting your support for a family in need.

I received word yesterday from the Foothills Fire Department that there was a house fire west of Millarville yesterday and I received the following message with regards to support for the family. If you can help in any way with any of the below, please take clothing donations to the school and contact Robyn directly for anything else. Thanks so much for supporting this family in need!
Unfortunately there was a house fire west of Millarville yesterday and the parents, along with their 3 children have lost most of their home and belongings. They are all ok but lost some pets in the fire. In the immediate future they are looking for:
1) Local home to rent for about a year.
2) Toys/clothes for the kids.
-Girl's clothes size 4, shoe size 9
-Boy's clothes size 6, shoe size 13
-Boy's clothes size 7, shoe size 1
If you have any items to contribute, Millarville Community School is available as a collection center along with the home of Robyn Hanna, (phone/email below).
Thanks everyone and please stay posted for a meal train.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Dec 5th Update - MD Budget Discussion, Millarville Waterline Good/Bad News and Sheep River Health Trust Avenue of Trees/Pictures with SANTA

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MD Council Budget Discussion

Today, MD Council had their second round of budget discussions.  There is still a lot of work to do.  Discussions will continue in the New Year and a final decision will not be made likely until March after the Provincial Budget is released.  At that point, Council will have an idea of just what the Provincial School Requisition will be so the Mill Rate can be set.

Generally, approximately 40% of the property taxes the MD take in is to go directly to the Province to help cover this school requisition.  It is used by the province to fund the education system.

Millarville Waterline Good/Bad News

The good news is, construction of the Millarville waterline is complete!  I believe the system has even been flushed.  The bad news is two fold.  First, the contractor informed the MD that in order to service the extension to the school, there is a pump upgrade required.  Unfortunately, this pump is not an off-the-shelf item and needs to be custom fabricated.  The company that does these is back logged and stated it could be 4-6 months until it is completed.  I am hoping that is a worst case scenario and it will be sooner.

The second bit of bad news is that Alberta Environment has thrown some other curve balls that will hold up putting water through the line.  MD staff is working through this and has been meeting with Environment almost weekly in order to find alternate solutions.  What this means is it pushes back the date the line can be used.  I am hopeful that this will be resolved before the new pump is installed so that it does not further delay the line.

I assure you that everything that can be done is being done and I will continue to keep you informed.

Sheep River Health Trust - Avenue of Trees

As I have mentioned before, the Sheep River Health Trust is currently doing their Avenue of Trees event.  There are 40 trees on display at the Okotoks Recreation Centre that are currently being auctioned off and they are beautiful!

If you are looking for a tree, this is a great place to get one!  

I am happy to say that the MD's tree has been, once again, chosen as one of the 10 Live Auction trees that will be auctioned off on December 15th at 12:45pm at the Rec Centre.  

PLEASE VOTE AND SHARE! Here is an image of the MD's entry into the Sheep River Health Trust's Avenue of Trees. The MD is in the running for the "Fan Favorite" but they need your help!

Please CLICK HERE and then "LIKE" the tree to vote for it (if you do like it that is) and comment letting them know what you think (if you just like my post, it will not count towards the voting).

If you LOVE this tree and would like to own it, you can bid either in person on December 15th at the Okotoks Rec Centre at 12:45 or online HERE.

A very special thank-you to the MD of Foothills No. 31 staff members (Kristine Bencharski, Toni Groeneveld-Sheep River HealthTrust MD of Foothills TreeBouvier and Kelsey Kilborn) that did such an absolutely BEAUTIFUL job on putting this tree together. I know how much effort must have gone into it and I'm sure it will find a well deserving home!

Pictures with Santa!

While you are attending the Sheep River Health Trust's Avenue of Trees, be sure to have your picture taken with Santa as he will be making a special visit to the Okotoks Rec Centre also!  Dates and times can be found HERE!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Nov 28th Update - Rural Municipalities of Alberta Fall Convention Highlights from Premier Notley, Environment Minister Phillips, Finance Minister Ceci and Amanda Lindhout

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Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) Fall Convention Highlights

Last week Council was up in Edmonton for the RMA Fall Convention.  It is a time when we get together with all 69 rural municipalities across the province to discuss issues and potential solutions.

Premier Notley (@:27)

Discussed how the price differential is costing Albertans $80 million/day.  Announced $1 Billion that is going into petrochemical upgrading.

Shannon Phillips - Minister of Environment and Parks (@1:42)

Announced $200 million from the Carbon Tax over the next 20 years is to be allocated to support locally generated renewable energy projects.

Joe Ceci - Minister of Finance on the 2019 Budget (@2:27)

Shared that the estimated deficit of the 2019 Budget is proposed to be only $8.6 billion and stressed how they still planned on having a balanced budget by 2023.  It is better than the $10.8 billion deficit but sure has a long ways to go to get to balanced.

RMA Member Resolutions (@3:00)

The resolutions session is where the member municipalities are able to put resolutions forward to have the RMA work with and lobby the provincial government on certain items.  There were 24 resolutions this year.  I won't go through all of them but will provide a few highlights below.  I discuss them further in the video above. 

If you would like to see them all and the details of each, you can get them by clicking HERE:
  • 3-18F and 4-18F Federal and Provincial Funding of Municipal Broadband Projects (@3:40)
  • 8-18F Restricting the Consumption of Cannabis based on Regulations for Liquor Consumption (@5:00) 
  • 11-18F Rural Municipalities of Alberta Represents Municipalities on Water Act Approvals (@5:24)
  • 24-18F Review of Education Funding Formula (@5:48)

Amanda Lindhout - Keynote Speaker - Journalist Kidnapped in Somalia and held captive for over 460 days WATCH THIS! (@6:24)

Amanda shared her incredibly inspiring story and message for all of us and provided some extremely pertinent and powerful perspective that is important for all of us to hear! 

Be sure to watch this portion of the video above! 

For more information on her story, visit

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Nov 14 Update - Sheep River Health Trust events, Rothney Astrophysical Observatory Dark Sky Night, Millarville Water Line update, Square Butte Meeting Update & MRAS

Note: If your are receiving this in your email and the video below does not show up, click the headline above it to be taken to the website to view it.

Sheep River Health Trust (SRHT)

A lot of things are coming up with the SRHT!  For those of you not familiar with the organization, they raise funds for a number of different health initiatives in the Foothills. They do a lot of great things and are a fantastic organization to support.  Here are a few opportunities you have coming up!
  1. Pictures with Santa - Start on Saturday, Nov 17 and run on specific days from then until Dec 15th.  To book your time, go to
  2. Points of Light - December is the time of year when we remember those who have made a difference in our lives. Remember or recognize someone special today through Points of Light trees at Oilfields General Hospital and the Okotoks Health & Wellness Center.  To purchase a Point of Light please call our office at 403-995-5400.  (Information from SRHT website).
  3. Avenue of Trees - Do you need a new Christmas Tree this year but don't have the time or effort to creating your own?  No problem!  The Avenue of Trees is for you!  Businesses within the community come together to build trees that are auctioned off to the highest bidder to raise funds for the SRHT.  Trees on display at the Okotoks Rec Centre.  Visit, to bid or vote for your favorite tree!

Rothney Astrophysical Observatory - Dark Night, Star Light Open House November 17th 8-11pm (@2:10)

Celebrate dark skies with the RAO and their partners in Conserving the Wilderness of the Dark Sky. Maureen Luchsinger and Laura Griffin will be sharing how the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area is a stellar nocturnal preserve. Roland Deschesne will be sharing his research on the effects of light pollution on songbird populations.

The RAO will be sharing how they are not afraid of the dark and how you can be a part of our dark sky country initiatives.

We are joined by our partners - ...the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Calgary Centre (RASC) - Page. They will have their telescopes setup for observing along with the University of Calgary's research telescopes.

This is an indoor and outdoor event so please dress for the weather.  The entrance fee is $30 per car.
All proceeds go towards RAO educational programming.

Please see their website for details on this event.

Millarville Water Line update (@3:30)

The contractor is currently completing the rural connections to the line.  Most of the work within the hamlet has been completed.  The MD is still waiting on Alberta Environment for details on the water license transfer.  Once that is in place, the line will be able to be commissioned.

Square Butte Meeting Update (@3:58)

We had a great turnout for the Nov 8th event held at the Square Butte Hall.  Thanks for all of you that made it out.  We had the following present:
  • S. Sgt. Dwayne Helgeson - Turner Valley RCMP
  • Block Talk Community App Founder Michael Murray
  • Sean MacNeil - Wildfire Operations Officer & Kevin Dwyer, Incident Commander for the Champion Lakes Wildfire
  • Cody Zebedee - Foothills Fire Department
  • Clayton Terletski - Director of the MD's Foothills Emergency Management
  • And myself, Division 3 Councillor and Suzanne Oel, Division 4 Councillor and President of the High Country Rural Crime Watch
Watch my website at and my Facebook page at for future updates on other events we look to host with regards to the FireSmart program.  

Millarville Racing and Ag Society - Christmas Market (@5:56)

This past weekend was the MRAS' annual Christmas Market.  Thanks to all of those that attended and all the vendors that participated!

I hope you had a chance to check it out and see the new arena!  What a beautiful facility that we are so blessed to have.  However, it is not done yet!  The MRAS are still in need of funds to fully complete the project.  If you can, be sure to donate. 

The MD of Foothills is still accepting donations to go towards the project on behalf of the MRAS.  If you are interested in donating, CLICK HERE for the form or call the MRAS directly at 403-931-3411.