A Modest Property Tax Rate Increase Expected For Lacombe County Residents Next Year.
This after Lacombe County Council passed it’s interim Operating and Capital Budgets for 2017 on December 2nd.
The budget of $45,317,260 is sustained by a 1% property tax rate increase for all property types, with the increase representing an additional $9.70 in taxes on a $400,000 residential property.
In a release, County Commissioner Terry Hager says, “The 2017 budget recognizes the economic challenges our residents are facing and balances these impacts with the long-term financial position of Lacombe County,” Hager also added, “The protection of infrastructure remains a primary focus in the budget and allows Lacombe County to continue to take advantage of the competitive pricing environment for new infrastructure projects where possible.”
The 2017 budget which provides revenues and expenditures of over $16 million, saw a cutback of $1.464 million from last year’s budget.
Some key points of the capital budget include a 50% share in a new engine for the Blackfalds fire department funded by the Alberta Community Partnership and a transfer from the Protective Services Reserve. Also, construction and rehabilitation of 24 kilometers of local roads and the engineering and replacement of bridges, in addition to the replacement of four tractors for mowing and plowing operations.
In the release, County Reeve Paula Law, says, “Council understands the financial challenges that many of our ratepayers are dealing with,” adding, “While it’s important to maintain service levels and to consider the County’s future sustainability, our goal was to develop a conservative, hold-the-line approach, which is represented well in the 2017 budgets.
Final budgets and tax rates are not confirmed until the following spring when the property tax levy for education purposes are set by the Province and property assessment values have been confirmed.
House GOP approves broad bill to ‘unleash’ American energy
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., is flanked by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, and Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., as he talks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, March 24, 2023. House Republicans are set to approve a sprawling energy package that counters virtually all of President Joe Biden’s agenda to address climate change. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
By Matthew Daly in Washington
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans on Thursday approved a sprawling energy package that seeks to undo virtually all of President Joe Biden’s agenda to address climate change.
The legislation would sharply increase domestic production of oil, natural gas and coal, and ease permitting restrictions that delay pipelines, refineries and other projects. It would boost production of critical minerals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt that are used in electric vehicles, computers, cellphones and other products.
By a 225-204 vote, the House sent the measure to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called it “dead on arrival.” Four Democrats joined with all but one Republican to support the bill.
Biden has threatened to veto the bill, saying it would replace “pro-consumer policies” adopted in the landmark climate law approved last year “with a thinly veiled license to pollute.” The bill would roll back Democratic investments in clean energy and ”pad oil and gas company profits,” the White House said.
Republicans call the bill the “Lower Energy Costs Act” and gave it the symbolic label H.R. 1 — the top legislative priority of the new GOP majority, which took control of the House in January.
The measure combines dozens of separate proposals and represents more than two years of work by Republicans who have chafed at Biden’s environmental agenda. They say Biden’s efforts have thwarted U.S. energy production and increased costs at the gas pump and grocery store.
“Families are struggling because of President Biden’s war on American energy,” said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., one of the bill’s main authors.
The GOP bill will “unleash” abundant U.S. natural resources “so we can produce energy in America,” Scalise said. “We don’t have to be addicted to foreign countries that don’t like us.”
Democrats called the bill a giveaway to big oil companies.
“Republicans refuse to hold polluters accountable for the damage they cause to our air, our water, our communities and our climate,” said New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“While Democrats delivered historic wins for the American people by passing historic climate legislation, Republicans are actively working to undermine that progress and do the bidding of their polluter friends,″ Pallone said.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the bill “restores American energy leadership by repealing unnecessary taxes and overregulation on American energy producers,” and “makes it easier to build things in America” by placing a two-year time limit on environmental reviews that now take an average of seven years.
“Every time we need a pipeline, a road or a dam, it gets held up five to seven years and adds millions of dollars in costs for the project to comply with Washington’s permitting process,” McCarthy said in speech on the House floor. “It’s too long, it’s unaffordable, it’s not based on science and it’s holding us back.”
He pointed to a project to modify and improve Lake Isabella Dam in his central California district that has lasted 18 years and still is not completed.
“Permitting reform isn’t for everyone,” McCarthy added. “If you like paying more at the pump, you don’t want to make it faster for American workers to build more pipelines. If you’re China, you’d rather America sit back and let others lead. And if you’re a bureaucrat, maybe you really do enjoy reading the 600-page environmental impact studies.”
Most Americans want lower prices and more U.S. energy production, McCarthy said — results he said the bill will deliver.
Democrats called that misleading and said the GOP plan was a thinly disguised effort to reward oil companies and other energy producers that have contributed millions of dollars to GOP campaigns.
Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, derided the bill as the “Polluters Over People Act” and “a nearly 200-page love letter to polluting industries.”
Instead of reining in “Big Oil” companies that have reported record profits while “hoarding thousands of unused leases” on public lands and waters, the GOP bill lowers royalty rates paid by energy producers and reinstates noncompetitive leasing of public lands, Grijalva said.
The bill also gives mining companies “a veritable free-for-all on our public lands” and “makes mockery of tribal consultation” required under federal law, he said.
Under the GOP plan, mining companies will “destroy sacred and special places” throughout the West, “ruin the landscape and leave behind a toxic mess that pollutes our water and hurts our health — all without paying a cent to the American people,” Grijalva said.
Schumer called the measure “a giveaway to Big Oil pretending to be an energy package.”
The House energy package “would gut important environmental safeguards on fossil fuel projects,” locking America “into expensive, erratic and dirty energy sources while setting us back more than a decade on our transition to clean energy,” Schumer said.
Schumer said he supports streamlining the nation’s cumbersome permitting process for energy projects, especially those that will deliver “clean energy” such as wind, solar and geothermal power. “But the Republican plan falls woefully short on this front as well,” he said, calling on Republicans to back reforms that would help ease the transition to renewable energy and accelerate construction of transmission lines to bolster the nation’s aging power grid.
The Republican bill would repeal a new $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and other parts of the climate and health care law passed by Democrats last year. The fund, also known as a “green bank,” is set to provide low-cost financing for projects intended to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
The House bill also would eliminate a new tax on methane pollution that would charge companies for methane leaks from oil and gas wells.
Four Democrats voted in favor of the bill: Reps. Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzales of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington state. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., opposed the bill.
Springer’s 5 hits help Jays outlast Cards 10-9 in opener
Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Romano, right, and catcher Alejandro Kirk celebrate a 10-9 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in an opening day baseball game Thursday, March 30, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
By Steve Overbey in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS (AP) — George Springer had five hits and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in three runs as the Toronto Blue Jays beat St. Louis 10-9 on Thursday despite the Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill tying a major league record by homering on opening day George for the fourth straight season.
Making his Cardinals debut, catcher Willson Contreras left after the eighth inning because of an injured knee and was sent for a scan.
Springer was 5 for 6 with five singles in the fourth five-hit game of his big league career to go along with a six-game game for Houston at Oakland in May 2018. Springer set a Toronto record for hits in an opener and combined with Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman to become the first pair of players with five hits each on opening day since at least 1901.
“It’s awesome, obviously you want to start off good,” Springer said. “It’s only one game. But, I’ll take all the hits I can get.”
Bo Bichette had four hits and Matt Chapman three for the Blue Jays, who outhit the Cardinals 19-15 and set a team record for hits in an opener.
“It was a grind. It was a roller-coaster,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “But up and down the at-bats were great.”
Toronto won its fourth straight opener by overcoming a 9-8 deficit in the ninth against Ryan Helsley (0-1). Springer tied the score with an RBI single and Guerrero followed with a sacrifice fly.
Cleanup hitter Daulton Varsho added a hit and two RBI. The top four hitters in the Blue Jays order were a combined 12-for-21 with seven RBI and seven runs scored.
“Our offense went out there and had an amazing day,” Varsho said. “We continued to battle no matter what. That’s the kind of team that we are.”
O’Neill’s two-run homer in the third off Alek Manoah cut the Cardinals’ deficit to 4-3. O’Neill matched the mark for consecutive openers with home runs shared by the New York Yankees’ Yogi Berra (1955-58), Montreal’s Gary Carter (1977-80) and the New York Mets’ Todd Hundley (1994-97).
Contreras was hit on the left knee by a 102.7 mph fastball from Jordan Hicks on the first pitch to Guerrero in the eighth inning, which bounced away for a wild pitch. Guerrero followed with a two-run single for an 8-7 lead.
“He’s hurting pretty good,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “It squared him up in the knee.”
Contreras was scheduled to get an MRI later in the evening.
“Hope it’s just day to day,” Marmol said.
Nolan Arenado hit a two-run double in the bottom half off Yimi García (1-0) and had three RBIs.
Jordan Romano struck out two in a perfect ninth for the save, fanning World Baseball Classic fan favorite Lars Nootbar on a slider to end the game.
St. Louis 41-year-old right-hander Adam Wainwright sang the national anthem to the surprise of the standing room only crowd of 47,649. The 41-year-old is an accomplished musician who plays guitar.
“Adam did a real nice job,” Marmol said.
Despite the pitch clock, the game lasted 3 hours, 38 minutes
Brendan Donovan hit a solo homer that tied the score 5-5 in the fourth off Manoah, who gave up five runs and 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas allowed five runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
St. Louis OF Jordan Walker at 20 years, 312 days became the youngest player to make his debut for the Cardinals since Rick Ankiel at 20 years, 35 days on Aug. 23, 1999. Walker went 1 for 5 with an RBI groundout.
Cardinals: Wainwright remains on the 10-day IL with a groin injury sustained while working out with the U.S. during the World Baseball Classic. He is eligible to be activated on April 9.
St. Louis RHP Jack Flaherty (2-1, 4.25 ERA last season) will face RHP Kevin Gausman (12-10, 3.35) in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday. Flaherty was the opening day starter in 2021 and 2022. Gausman is 1-4 with a 4.05 ERA in nine appearances against St. Louis.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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