Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Q&A: Taxes and Services (and Community Schools)

I've received some questions over the last few days - most of them involved property taxes and what we get for our money in the Village.  Here's the questions and my answers.

Q:  How come the mill rate went down, but my taxes went up? 
A:  Beiseker's mill rate did actually drop by a small amount, however our overall assessment rose.  That means that some of the properties in the village actually went up in value from last year.

If your property was one of those, your taxes increased.  Most increases were small (less than $10/month), but a few of us took a bigger hit.  Tax payers can contest their assessment but they cannot contest their taxes.  Contact the Village Office (403-947-3774) for more information.

Q:  What do we get for our tax dollars, anyway?  
A: A small municipality must provide the same basic services as a large one.  Beiseker must provide its citizens with most of what Calgary provides. Your tax dollars pay for streets, roads, sidewalks, street lighting, road maintenance, water and sewer services, a fire hall, garbage pick-up and disposal, parks and recreation, public buildings, and parks along with a host of other things to keep this village running smoothly.

Q: We don't even have a fire department, do we?
A: On the contrary, our volunteer fire department is, in my opinion, one of the best in Canada!  That opinion is shared by others who know more about fire departments than I do! Our fire hall is open and manned twenty four hours a day, seven days a week for more than 340 days a year! I am very proud of our Beiseker Fire Department!

Q: You said Beiseker Community School was the only community school in Rocky View. What about Springbank Community High School?
A: To my knowledge, Beiseker and Springbank both were declared community schools.  That means they could go ahead with the process of becoming a community school.  But Beiseker was the only one to complete that process, so it became the only Rocky View School to be designated a Community School by the province.

Q: Is the village going to do anything about repairing or repaving the rest of the streets and sidewalks  in Beacon Heights?
A:  After we replaced the pavement on Chinook Crescent, the other streets in the subdivision showed their ages too.  We have a fair bit of grant money, but we have many improvement projects ready to go, too.

Council will have to crunch the numbers and see how much they can do with the funds we have and our priority list.  Those who are very concerned about the street of sidewalk in front of their home should.  If you're one of them, please, write a letter to council detailing your concerns.  It can be addressed to council via the Village of Beiseker (Box 349) or delivered directly to the Village Office.


  1. The fire department in Beiseker (Station 130) IS one of the best in Canada, we are one of the only stations left in Alberta that is not paid, or paid on call. With almost 30 firefighters, officers and chief on staff not one of them gets a paycheck for the countless hours we put in. The firefighters come from all over Calgary, Airdrie, Beiseker and surrounding area and do shifts at the station, anywhere from 10 - 24 or even 48 hour shifts in the hall. This is 100% at our own cost and doesn't impact taxpayers. Majority of the guys we have on staff are all internationally certified firefighters, through CRESTG, the county of Rockyview or even going to Texas and completing the certification there, as well as certified EMR's (Emergency Medical Responders, one level below EMT). We also have a contract with the County of Rockyview (which we are very proud of) to allow us to assist in fire suppression, motor vehicle collisions and other emergencies outside the village and in the county, providing customer service to the village of Beiseker residence traveling to and from work on the highways, and assisting Station 108 in Irricana providing service for residence in the county and town of Irricana. The Village council and firefighters in Beiseker have worked very hard to achieve this and we couldn't be happier being here to help anyone at anytime. For over a year now we have never not had anyone in town to respond to a call and now it is rare for us to not have at least 4 responders on a truck at any time of day, any day of the year. With an average response time of 3min 48seconds to over 65 calls this year, we are competing with the city of Calgary response times and customer service! Proud to be 130.

  2. Thanks Anon! Of course I totally agree! But there are still a few Beisekerians out there who think we don't have a fire department. What can you do?

  3. First off, as a comment to your post today (Above), over 85% of the province of Alberta is protected by Volunteer fire stations, no Beiseker, Irricana, Acme, Linden, Carbon, ect do not have full time fire stations. If he has a solution to that problem there are 30 guys down at the hall that would love to get paid for what they do, and would love to hear your ideas.

    Emergency service and the towns safety is obviously our number one priority, but a huge part of the fire service is reaching the community through none emergency initiatives. Fire prevention, public information sessions at the school, sports day and community center, free blood pressure reading, station tours as well as training are just some of the ways that Besieker fire reaches out to the public not only to make our presents on the town known, but to also educate the town and its residence on fire safety and what to do in an emergency. We are hosting a garage sale June 27th that everyone is more the welcome to come to, and every day of the week we have guys at the station willing to answer any questions residence may have about the fire department. The Besieker fire association has just made flyers for the department highlighting what we do who we are, soon they should be available at some select places around town and at the station! Any other ideas on how we can make our selfs more known in the town please let me know. Even if that includes having our airraid siren on more offen!!

  4. Hi Anon; I don't know if I can really comment on what you've said since we appear to be on the very same page and in total agreement! So, What you said!!