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Archery, guns part of hunter education’s annual field day
The annual field day, a component of the hunter education course was held recently at the Brooks Pistol Club under the watchful eyes of instructors Rick and Donna Martin, who have taught the course for 29 years, and a handful of volunteers. The field day is the practical component to the eight week hunter education course. Thirty-one students were involved in the field day along with 22 volunteers from the Brooks and District Fish and Game Association and the Brooks Pistol Club. At the weekend event 1,400 rounds of .22 calibre rifle shells, 1,500 rounds of pistol shells and 600 rounds of shotgun shells were shot. “There was lots of good, safe shooting,” said Donna Martin. Left, fish and game volunteer Jordan Johnson instructs archery to a student and right, volunteer archery instructor Wade Oliver instructs Tilly Gamble on archery safety. The program finished on Tuesday with the final exam.
  Full Story >
City keeps tax rates at minimum

City council last Monday passed the 2016 property tax bylaw that will see just a one per cent increase in residential/farmland taxes and 1.78 per cent for non-residential property.
The municipal portion of the total tax levy is $12,547,124.49, the education requisition is $3,951,025 and the Newell Foundation levy is $293,849.84 for a total of $16,791,999.33.
The city’s 2015 taxable assessment was $1,431,479,530, an increase of 1.2 per cent according to finance manager Shelley Thomas.  Full Story >
County council passes 2016 tax rates bylaw
The County of Newell will raise $27,712,414 through the municipal portion of their tax rates for 2016, an increase of $825,586 from 2015. County council passed the 2016 tax bylaw at their meeting Thursday.
Residential taxpayers will see the same mill rate as 2015 at 3.3892 mills compared to farmland rates which will increase from 3.3892 to 3.5813 mills. Non-residential rates will rise from 6.7715 to 7.4026.
Although residential mill rates remain the same, a $29 million increase in the assessment will result in small a tax increase. In fact the assessment also increased some $2.5 million for farmland although the non-residential assessment dropped just over $207 million.   Full Story >
Div. 8 rec board gets smaller increase than requested
County council last Thursday agreed to increase the Division 8 recreation mill rate but not to the amount requested.
County councillor and Division 8 recreation board member Brian de Jong introduced a motion to increase the rate to .3 mills from .139 mills.
“I will be voting against it but I do think it needs to be addressed and these people need a clear answer,” he said.
The vote was tied and so the motion was lost.  Full Story >
Province commits over $6 million for Brooks hospital
The provincial government infrastructure management program’s (IMP) five-year $759.5 million capital health includes $6.64 million in upgrades at the Brooks Health Centre.
Jason Morton, a spokesman for Alberta Health confirmed the projects.
They include $2.1 million for the renal dialysis project that is being led by the Brooks and District Health Foundation and $2.6 million to consolidate services at the hospital.  Full Story >
Region finally gets rain relief
The county lifted its fire ban on April 25 thanks to some rain over the weekend.
The ban had been placed on April 5 because it had been so dry. The Eastern Irrigation District also decide to fill the canals two and a half weeks earlier than ever due to the dry conditions.
Over the weekend the region received rain and snow, which was a welcome relief.
The City of Brooks’ rain gauge collected .433 inches or 14.224 mm of precipitation between April 23 and April 25. More rain changing to snow was expected on Monday and Tuesday which should be followed by clear days at least until Friday.  Full Story >
Tender released to upgrade Kinbrook Island
Eight years ago the provincial government completed the Kinbrook Island Revitalization Plan and it seems it is closer to getting underway.
The revitalization plan was never released publicly; it is a document that looks at upgrading many features at the park including installing a marina and rip rapping parts of the shoreline.
Last week the tender process closed for an engineering consultant to oversee the construction of breakwater structures, shoreline protection and marina facilities.  Full Story >
Two new faces on E.I.D. board
There are changes at the Eastern Irrigation District’s board table after Friday’s election in three divisions.
Newcomers Rod Johnson in Division 4 and George Murray in Division 7 were elected as was incumbent Jim Culligan in Division 2. It will be Culligan’s third term.
The unofficial results for Division 2 saw incumbent Jim Culligan get 82 votes and challenger Kelsey Campbell 51 votes.
In Division 4, challenger Rod Johnson earned 69 votes, challenger Blake Mulvey collected 28 votes and incumbent Bruce McKellar received 11 votes.  Full Story >
City keeps tax rates at minimum 

Div. 8 rec board gets smaller increase than requested 

Province commits over $6 million for Brooks hospital 

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