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Didsbury's animal licence bylaw changes going to committee

If approved, all cat and dog licence fees would increase

DIDSBURY — Town council has given second reading to the proposed 2021-10 Animal Control Rates Bylaw that, if approved, would increase local cat and dog licence fees.

The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting following first reading on Nov. 9.

The Town of Didsbury’s current annual revenue from animal licence fees is approximately $15,000. Administration has recommended increasing the rates, which have not changed since 2014.

Under the proposed bylaw, a dog or cat licence for an intact male/female would increase from $35 to $40 per year, while a dog or cat licence for an altered male/female would increase from $15 to $20. 

As well, late payment fees would increase from $15 to $20 and impound fees would increase from $35 to $40 per day.

In a briefing note for council, administration said a review of other municipalities in the district found that licensing fees vary significantly.

After giving the bylaw second reading, council directed that it go to the strategic planning committee for further consideration.

Mayor Rhonda Hunter says sending it to committee will help identify possible options going forward.

“We want to look at some better models to encourage people to license their animals,” said Hunter. “Maybe there are some incentives that the committee could come up with. Some communities don’t even charge and some have it free for two months of the year.

“Are there better models? Let’s take a really good look at it, and that’s why we sent it to committee.”

The committee will bring back a report to council, at which time council may consider final reading of the bylaw, she said.

Chamber president appointed to CAEP

In other news from the Nov. 23 council meeting, councillors appointed Didsbury and District Chamber of Commerce president Helen Hafke to the Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP).

The Didsbury Economic Development Advisory Committee (DEDAC) recommended Hafke for the appointment.

“Due to the most recent elections, new appointments have been made to Didsbury’s committees,” Ethan Gorner, chief administrative officer, told council.

“Appointments to committees include the renewal of appointments to regional organizations, including the business representation to CAEP."

Hafke has been a member in good standing with DEDAC since its inception, he said.

“Due to the close involvement of the chamber with our business community and the involvement with DEDAC on economic issues of Didsbury and the region, Hafke would make an excellent candidate for CAEP.”

Council also endorsed Hafke's nomination to the board of directors of CAEP.

Made up of representatives from area municipalities, CAEP promotes economic development and expansion in the region.

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