Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 16, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, January 16, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 17 Warner tax plan watered down WARNER (Staff) The Warner County council Tues- day discussed hard hitting Cables to replace bridge rails CARDSTON (Staff) The Cardston Municipal District Council agreed to the use of guard rails on bridge approaches. Cables are to be used in place of the rails, which trap snow, according to Coun. Ken Woolford. The road to Waterton Dam has been plugged twice already this winter, according to Coun. Bryan Smith of Hillspring. The energy resources conservation board informed council oil wells may now be located 100 feet from boun- daries and road allowances. District Agriculturist D. L. Steed told council a brief from the entire council would receive better attention than individual briefs at the Jan. 30 land use forum at Lethbridge. Council advised the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties com- mittee studying rural assess- ment and taxation that it wants this committee to take a hard look at small holdings. Council agrees small holdings should not be exempted as farm land feedlot operations for example. The secretary said the president of the Alberta Association of Rural Ad- ministrators sits on this com- mittee. Council learned that Ross Uibel of Mountain View, owner of a sheepskin coat manufacturing plant, is appealing a decision by the Oldman River Regional Planning Commission that a private road serving several lots, all owned by Mr. Uibel and his father, must become a public access to complete sub- division proceedings. Mr. Legge noted there have been 227 applications for government guaranteed loans totalling more than for the provincial cow calf loan program. "That is only our said Mr. Legge. "You have got to think of 50 others throughout the province." The secretary noted there were no development permit applications for council's con- sideration. The provincial planning director informed council by letter ,that no development permits be issued by council where a proposed subdivision was going to be involved. "If a subdivision were turned down there could be a said the secretary. "We should keep this in mind for future use." Coun. Victor Pittman has_ tentative plans to attend the' Disaster Services Act annual meeting Jan. 23 and 24 at the Palliser Hotel at Calgary. taxation proposals but finally watered down a suggestion to a committee of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties. It said that "this council would like to see something done in the way of improving the assess- ment policy." "It doesn't mean said Coun. Victor Pittman after his fellow councillors shot down some of his hard line proposals. Said Deputy Reeve Jim Blackmer of Coutts: "It's a real tough nut to crack. I don't know how we are going to sit here and get too much impor- tance into it. It will be pretty hard to come up with something that would have as much going for it as against it." Council also reaffirmed that commercial feedlot operators are not paying their fair share of taxes. "Feedlots are a big item I said Coun. Don Christensen. Coun. Pittman's idea, aban- doned after a long probing dis- cussion, was that "lands that may come under sprinkler irrigation in the near future" be assessed at a higher rate. "The point I am getting at is that assessment should be set according to the actual value that the land acrues as the years go said Coun. Pitt- man. But Deputy Reeve Blackmer said there would be difficulties in assessing "the potential value" of land. "Say fora section of grazing land if you took a close look at it, you would find that some of it could be agricultural land. Under your method, it would be assessed as agriculture land even though it was not broken said Deputy Reeve Blackmer. But Coun. Elda Mueller said his idea is already in effect. "Our native pasture is assess- ed the same as the quarter that is farmed. I don't know what they do if they go out and assess a lot of range land." "The only true value of any land is what it will sell for said Coun. Pittman. "If I hold a piece of land on which has recently been found a potential for water, and I am not irrigating because I can't afford it. My neighbor is. His assessment has been raised. Mine hasn't because I intend to sell out next year. My land should be assessed higher (because of its poten- But Coun. Marvin Dahl said just the opposite actually happens. Farmers who intend to sell acquire the .water rights to increase the value of the land. "If he is going to sell out next year it would be to his ad- vantage to acquire the water agreed the deputy reeve. Council also decided that assessing the potential value of land would force small operators out of business. Their land would be taxed higher but they would not always be able to afford ex- pensive irrigating equipment to realize the potential of the land. CHARTER PROGRAM TO BRITAIN AND EUROPE NOW GOVERNMENT APPROVED BOOK YOUR Overseas Charters NOW WITH... Weekly de- partures to London from April 7th through Oct. 13th. Your choice of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 weeki. Brethren called 'second-class citizens' Brief calls for end to Hutterite expansion Line's end Its the end of the line. According to maps CP rail track running into Wardlow ends there. The Wardlow General Store, service station and post office is downtown Wardlow. Across the street is a bulk oil and gas station owned by the same man who owns the general store. The only other building standing is a house. Council orders photographs WARNER (Staff) The Warner County council Tues- day approved a suggestion by Coun. Don Christensen that a photographer be engaged to take group photographs of the present council and the one that sat prior to the Oct. 16, 1974, election. Council approved Coun. Vic- tor Pittman'.s motion that "for this year we do not hold an annual ratepayers' meeting." Council decided to hold a sale of properties three years in arrears in taxes. It will be held in late March. There was no tax sale last year. Council learned that Stewart Skeith of New Dayton is not eligible to sit on the southern area recreation board as he resides in the northern .area. Another representative will be sought. be informed the county will use about the same amount of crude oil this year as it purchased last year for its road program. Chris Hansen is the delegate to the United Farmers of Alberta Co operative annual meeting, council learned. Council decided not to appoint its own delegate as entitled, being a UFA member. Council decided to renew its membership in the Hudson Bay Route Association at a fee. The association endeavors to enlighten Parlia- ment on the value of the Port of Churchill for moving grain. Council decided not to order baler twine from the depart- ment of agriculture. "I don't think as a council we want to be involved in selling at a retail said Coun. Marvin Dahl of Raymond. Ray Jensen treating and sell- ing fence posts from a small plant at Raymond. He does not contravene any fire zoning bylaws because the county has Koch Oil Company Ltd. will Council had no objection to none. Council will discuss a possi- ble increase in councillor fees when it discusses employee wages generally, and when a full council is present. Council decided to purchase a truck for the use of its utilities officer, Wes Wolowid- nyk. He is now receiving 14 cents a mile for mileage on tthe job and this barely pays expenses, let alone replace his own truck, he said. The county agriculture ser- vice board budget of was approved. It is higher than last year. An appreciation night for former councillor Ed Pittman will be held Jan. 31 in the Elks Hall at Milk River. By D'ARCY RICHARD Herald District Editor WARNER A strongly anti Hutterite brief, prepared by the Warner County agricultural development committee Tuesday received almost unanimous support from county councillors. It is a joint brief from Warner and Lethbridge coun- ties and the Taber Municipal District agricultural develop- ment committees. Coun. Victor Pittman said the communal land holdings question should be left in the hands of political groups. The reeve and two councillors were absent. But John Moreland of1 the committee won general, point by point, support for the brief which will be presented to the Alberta land use forum hear- ing at Lethbridge at 9 a.m. Jan. 30 in the Exhibition pavilion. The brief urges that Hutterites voluntarily give an undertaking pledging no further expansion; failing this, that the government place an immediate freeze on all expansion of Hutterite holdings until after the land use forum report has been presented to the Alberta legislature, and that the ad- visory committee on com- munal property expansion be disbanded immediately. "Has your cpmmittee attempted any survey that would give a comparison between Hutterite and Cana- dian corporation increased asked Coun. Pitt- man. "It seems to me that this would be a relevant study." CORPORATE THREAT "I don't quite get the point you are getting said Mr. Moreland. said Coun. Pitt- man, "the communal people will take the attitude the increased holdings of Cana- dian corporations are every bit as'mueh of a threat (to the family farm) as the holdings of the communal He said some farm corpora- tion holdings are larger than communal properties. Mr. Moreland summed up his feelings on Hutterite land acquisition as follows: "The real problem, as I see it, the fellow who is farming beside the colony another piece of land comes up beside him. If he could get this quarter or half secion, that would make a real nice unit. He is taking part in com- munity activities. The Hutterites come along, maybe they buy those two sections. That cuts him out. Maybe he can' carry on forever. But maybe he can't. So eventually he is going to have to sell. Who is going to buy it? There is only one logical answer, that has to be to the guy who owns all the rest of it. Because if this guy can't make it on that section, the other (non Hutterite) guy can't come in and do it." Said Coun. "I think' this is the work of politics. It should be done through our political organizations. The county council, to give an opinion, it's not our work as ad- ministrators." But Mr. Moreland said, "I think, as county councillors, you are politicians. You are elected by the people of the County of Warner." "If this is right, don't forget who we said Coun. Pittman. "All of the people." Absent from the discussion were Reeve J. H. Otto, and councillors Murray Holt and W. Jay Snow. The rest of the council had no quarrel with the brief. They listened as one member of the agricultural develop- ment committee, formed to look over farm loan applications, said: 'SECOND CLASS' "I feel that they (Hutterites) are second class -citizens. I feel that in order to be a first class citizen, you must serve on county and school boards, you should be on the chamber of commerce. I think we should be interested in first class citizens in Alber- ta, rather than second class citizens." Another committee member said he wasn't dis- criminating against Hutterites, he just wanted them 40 miles from here because Warner has enough of them now. Said Mr. Moreland: "We are not asking the Hutterites to be assimilated. Nor that any land be taken away from them, simply that they don't expand any further in concentrated areas. All we are asking is the concentra- tion of Hutterites stop in the counties of Warner and Lethbridge." LIMIT LEGAL? Committee members also asked if the 40 mile limit, provided by the repealed com- munal property act, could be reinstated now ..that the Alberta Human Rights Act is in effect. "Now that we have the Human Rights Act, is the communal property act con- stitutional or asked one committee member. Coun. Don Christensen said "it could be put back." He wondered if a "way around this bill of rights" would be a freeze on land sales to Hutterites in the same sense that the government froze development permits on the eastern slopes of the Rockies. "I wonder if we aren't within our rights on this." MAP UNDERWAY He is preparing a map show- ing Hutterite holdings in the county, said to be one full division. Coun. Elda Mueller of Wrentham suggested "maybe we don't publicize the other side of this we have lost schools and are losing even more." "It is the Hutterites who are asking for special con- sideration, in their said Coun. Leif Trockstad. But while the committee and council questioned whether Hutterites have land rights as citizens, or whether, in the words of one committee member "They are the brief seeks to protect rights of other landowners. "We should proceed with caution toward any intrusion with land ownership rights." The brief questions the 10 foot reserve along creek beds. Access to lakes and lakeshores must be carefully controlled so farmers and ranchers will have irrigation and livestock watering rights. Other points made by the tentative brief: Some means must be found to encourage young people to remain in agriculture or return from the cities to the land. Farm Credit Corporation and the Alberta Agriculture Development Corporation loans may have to be adjusted due to pressures of inflation on the one hand and competition provided by Hutterites and foreign owned interests on the other hand. Educational opportunities in smaller communities must be expanded. This would help preserve agriculture as a way of life. RECREATION PLAN The brief encouraged recreation on agricultural land but a program should be instituted to education recreationists on landowners' rights. More use must be made of the railroads so that prime farm land won't be taken to widen highways and for the construction of new roads. The brief urges expansion of irrigation systems in preference to the use of fer- tilizers in dryland areas. It called for control on land acquisition by npn Canadians through taxation, rather than legislation, measures. ART WILLIAMS TRAVEL Centre Village Mall Phont 327-3201 costs no more to make ______your travel arrangements through us.