Red Deer County News

Posted on: February 14, 2018

Ag Services Internal Service Review Shows Leadership Among Peers

Ag Services Year In Review.jpg

As part of the 2018 Red Deer County strategic plan, various departments are undergoing service level reviews. The purpose of the reviews is to gain insight into the quantity and quality of services performed by a County department as compared to similar departments in other Counties around Alberta. It also calculated the cost of providing various services in relation to other Ag departments.

Council designated Corporate Services to perform the reviews because they touch on key areas such as finance, staffing, and communications across all of the County’s other departments. Recently, the Agriculture Services department underwent the internal service level review. The goals included:
- Identifying the key programs and services performed by Ag Services along with the costs of these programs.
- Comparing Red Deer County Ag Services department with neighbouring municipalities that are similar in land base, land use, population and overall resources. After some research, the group chose Lacombe County, Mountain View County, Leduc County, and Rocky View County as fair comparisons due to the factors listed above.

Programs performed by Ag Services and compared with other Counties included: Soil Conservation/Environmental programs, Roadside Weed Control, Weed Inspection, Roadside Brush Control, Education & Awareness, Pest Control, and Roadside Seeding.

A scoring system was developed to evaluate Red Deer County’s level of service when compared to the other Municipalities selected. After relevant criteria was selected, a rating of either Low, Moderate, or Leading was assigned to each program. The chart below details how Red Deer County compared to their neighbouring Counties.

According to Agriculture Services Manager Cody McIntosh, “The Service Level Review process allows Council to see what programs and services other municipalities are providing, and evaluates our service level against our neighbours. By comparing services and program delivery to your neighbours, we can evaluate if we are at a similar standard of service, a leading level of service or substandard level of service. By knowing how we compare, Council and administration can make strategic adjustments to budget/staffing/resources to achieve the desired service level.”

The service level review process was deemed very successful. Red Deer County has determined to undertake reviews of several other departments. Stay tuned for more information on this program as results become available.

ProgramCriteria For RatingRating
Soil Conservation
- # of projects
- ALUS program established
- Green Acreage program established
- Safe water well program established
- Riparian Health Assessment conducted
- Tree planting equipment available
Roadside Weed Control
- KM of road travelled
- Overall % of all roads travelled
- KM of roadside controlled
- Cost per km of roadside controlled
Weed Inspection
- # of inspections performed
- # of weed notices issued
- Cost per inspection
- Inter-municipal inspection agreements in place
Roadside Brushing
- KM of roadside brushed
- KM of roadside treated
- # of spraying hours
- Cost/km of roadside treated
Education & Awareness
- Youth programs established
- Workshops, field days & open houses performed
- Value of sponsorships given out
- Annual Ag tour hosted
- Email producer updates established
Pest Control
- # of fields surveyed
- Pest surveys performed
- Monitored traps
- Investigate coyote predation
Roadside Seeding
 - # of jobs performed
- % of jobs completed
- Total area completed
- Seeding time in hours




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