CRASC delivers useful, reliable, and cost-effective results to our members

History of CRASC

The inaugural meeting of the Capital Region Assessment Services Commission was held on Monday October 20, 1994 in the City of Fort Saskatchewan.

The Commission was not a legal entity at this time. The Province was contemplating a revision to the Regional Municipal Services Act in the spring of 1995. The projected legislative amendments included provision for the establishment of regional assessment commissions. In the interim, the City of Fort Saskatchewan agreed to act on behalf of the Commission with respect to legal contract matters. The City as a legal entity used its status to sign the Commission’s legal contract.

Prior to the formation of the Commission, member municipalities relied upon the Assessment Services Branch of Alberta Municipal Affairs. In the mid-1990s, the Province eliminated a variety of core services it provided, including assessment services. In response, a number of municipalities in the Capital Region recognized that by working cooperatively, service would continue and costs would be kept to a minimum.

It was on April 24, 1996 that Order in Council No. 174/96 was passed giving legal status to the Capital Region Assessment Services Commission. The Commission had 34 municipal members made up of 19 Summer Villages, 5 Villages, 8 Towns, 1 City and 1 County.

The contractual commitments and responsibilities were transferred from Fort Saskatchewan to the Commission shortly after the Order in Council was passed. In tandem with it, the Minister of the day – Hon. Tom Thurber, passed Ministerial Order No. 130/96 establishing the first Board of Directors of the Commission. They were: Frank Atkinson, Summer Village of Larkspur; Neil Colvin, City of Fort Saskatchewan; Bob McDonald, Town of Devon; Peter Thomsen, Village of Sangudo; Dave Tupper, County of Barrhead.

The Commission had a very rocky start brought on by a shortage of funds and a rapid turnover of assessors. The Province provided all municipalities with a grant to assist them with the transition from Government assessors to some form of private assessment service. The majority of members turned those funds over to the Commission to help it get started. The Commission returned those funds to the members by way of subsidizing costs for digital photography, apex drawings etc. These loans were paid off in 2006. Fort Saskatchewan also made a loan to the Commission, which was paid off prior to 1999.

This Commission was somehow placed in the same barrel – in the minds of some – with the Alberta Municipal Safety Codes Service Commission, which was having a more difficult time than was the Assessment Commission and as a result, many members withdrew their membership. Since 1998, the Town of Tofield is the only member to leave the Commission.

The administration of the Commission was transferred from Fort Saskatchewan to the Town of Devon. The Manager of the Commission for the Town of Devon passed away and left the commission in a precarious position. The Commission had a competition in 1998 for new management and Activation Analysis Group Inc. was the successful applicant. CRASC’s contract with Activation Analysis was terminated in April 2013. Archie Grover and Richard Barham were asked to continue providing their services, firstly as interim administrators and then, from June 2013, as full contract administrators of the Commission.