Municipality of North Norfolk Reeve Ed Heppner says their last council meeting was quite interesting. He notes it was an important one, settling their 2024 budget.  

"There's a lot of things with the budget; your operational expenses and determining that, and then also your capital purchases that we want to do for the year. We laid a lot of that out. And I'm looking forward to this year to accomplish a number of things with the budget. There are a number of building projects or permits approved here in the municipality, like shops, garages and work being done at the Museum; the grandstands and so on. We've approved a fairly extensive list of projects for each Ward to be worked on this year, from culverts to drainage, to road building, beautification, and some sewage upgrades and paving."

Heppner says they're also working at the moment on some plans for the flood water around MacGregor and Austin when those spring floods and heavy rains come.

"We're working, of course, with the Highways Department and Conservation and Climate regarding that. It's so that we have an alternative route for some of the water to go where we can split; send 50 per cent one way and the other way. So, why not build a diversion, so to speak?"

He adds they're also continuing to work on the quality of the gravel for the municipality's roads, noting it's important to have the right gravel mix, requiring tests when it's crushed.

"Otherwise, you pour gravel on the roads, and it'll just fly into the ditch, and it's gone. You need a proper binder in there. We already have some results from this quality of gravel on the roads, and that has improved. But this year has been a challenge with the moisture and so on."

RF Now is connecting people with fibre optic internet service. Heppner explains the company continues to install the lines for the rural region. 

"We've approved a number of new locations where they're going throughout the municipality. We have another year or so for them to be able to get out to all the rural residents. If anyone does have a question, feel free to call the office or we can put them in touch with RF Now."

Heppner notes it's great to see all the people in the municipality participate in many different committees and organizations in the community, making this a great place to live. Without the community participation, he says it would not be the same. 

n norfolkMunicipality of North Norfolk office

He explains these people participate in areas ranging from Transportation to Protective Services for Landfill Recreation, libraries, the archive Museum, and Handi Transit.

"There are many facets of the municipality that make this a great municipality to live. Basically, we have also been working on evaluating our governance process. We look at how to improve and make longer-term plans better in all the different areas from Transportation to Protective services and to Recreation and Environmental Health.  For the process of accomplishing these things and to get more done, we need good processes and we are in the process of evaluating those. That gets some interesting discussions going as to how things should be done."

Heppner says there can be assumptions sometimes, and maybe they shouldn't work on assumptions, but rather on plans.

"I look forward to this year. I see this year is a year of planning and evaluating, and then hope to set some new processes, perhaps, if you want to put it. If the old processes work and the processes are good, just keep them. But if we can improve, let's move in that direction."