Stay up to date
Receive the Town's newsletter through email!
Bruderheim Meteorite FAQs
On March 4th, 1960 at 1:06 a.m., a bright fireball tore through Earth's atmosphere above Central Alberta. The space rock travelled at 42 kilometres per second, its flash witnessed by hundreds of people as far away as the Rocky Mountain region of British Columbia. The giant rock detonated, creating a sound shock wave audible over 5,000 square kilometres. The sonic boom rattled windows, shook the foundations of homes, and startled families from their sleep. Shards of the stone rained down just north of Bruderheim, some forming pits as deep as 30 centimetres, many rebounding off the frozen ground and landing on the snow.
Based on eye-witness reports, it is believed that the meteorite was first observed by Alexis Simon, a resident of the Paul’s Band Indian Reserve at Duffield, Alberta. He noted the north-easterly direction of the rock, its swift speed, and that it looked like it was giving off ‘flashes of fire’. He also described a rushing sound that resembled a high wind and lasted about 5 seconds after the fireball passed.
Once news broke that a meteorite had fallen, people came from all around to search by air and land for the dark stones on the snow. The first meteorite fragment was found by a local farmer, Nick Broda, in his barnyard.
Other local farmers found the fragments in their barnyards and fields, the largest weighing 66 pounds. One farmer was astounded to find meteorite fragments only a few feet from his front porch.
Other locals, including Stan Walker and Ty Balacko, were instrumental in mapping the fall area and for recovering fragments. In the days that followed, the two men recovered a total of 155 pounds of meteorite.
Andreas Bawel and Walter and Nick Holowaty of Bruderheim collected about 22 pounds of fragments on their farms. Walter Holowaty made the first collections off the ice on the North Saskatchewan River, digging down through the snow to the ice surface wherever he observed an impact hole.
Hundreds of grit- and pebble-sized fragments were collected off of river ice. Undoubtedly many thousands of small fragments were not seen against the black dirt of fields and plowed under as farmers prepared to seed their crops.
Nearly 700 meteorite fragments were found with a total weight of over 660 pounds—making it the largest recovered fall in Canadian history. Most pieces found were eventually acquired by the University of Alberta, some of which were later traded and distributed to museums and research facilities around the world.
A partial listing of places that have specimens of the Bruderheim Meteorite, as a result of exchanges with the University of Alberta Meteorite Collection, include:
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
- American Museum of Natural History, New York
- Peabody Museum, Yale University
- Redpath Museum, McGill University
- National Meteorite Collection, Ottawa
- The Vatican Meteorite Collection
- Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University
- Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec
The Bruderheim Meteorite is the largest recovered meteorite fall in Canadian history. It occurred at the onset of the ‘space age’—only three years prior, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first artificial Earth satellite that triggered the ‘space race’ between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Sputnik launch led directly to the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and spawned pioneering efforts to launch other artificial satellites, unmanned probes of the Moon, Venus, and Mars, and human spaceflight in low Earth orbit and to the Moon. As preparations began to accomplish these feats, the Bruderheim Meteorite provided scientists with valuable insight.
“The collection of Bruderheim meteorites and trades in the decades that followed are responsible for most of the growth of the University of Alberta Meteorite Collection into the largest University-based meteorite collection in Canada. And the collection still contains over 145 kg of Bruderheim meteorites!" (Dr. Chris Herd, University of Alberta)
Specimens of the Bruderheim Meteorite have yielded much information on the nature of radiation in space, the origin and nature of the solar system, and the universe. Data accumulated in the scientific literature suggests that the Bruderheim Meteorite may be one of the world’s most extensively studied chondritic meteorites.
Fast Facts about the Bruderheim Meteorite
- It fell at 1:06 a.m. on March 4th, 1960
- Nearly 700 meteorite fragments were found with a total weight of over 660 pounds, making it the largest recovered meteorite fall in Canadian history
- It is a ‘stony’ meteorite of the ‘chondrite’ variety, formed at the birth of our solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago
- It is composed primarily of the minerals Olivine and Hypersthene with a mix of iron and nickel
- Fragments struck the ground almost vertically at terminal velocity, approximately 320 kilometers per hour at impact
- The largest fragment found weighed 66 pounds
There are three types of meteorites: stony, iron, and stony-iron meteorites. The Bruderheim Meteorite is a stony meteorite of the chondrite variety.
Chondrite meteorites are very ancient. They formed during the birth of our solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago. They are made up of chondrules, which are round granular bits of minerals that were once molten and free floating in space. These droplets combined into a primitive asteroid that orbited the sun. At one point, the asteroid would have broken up, possibly due to a collision in space, and a smaller piece was set on a collision course with Earth.
Chondrites represent one of the oldest solid materials within our solar system and are believed to be the building blocks of the planetary system.
Most pieces of the Bruderheim Meteorite exhibit what is known as a ‘fusion crust’ —a dark and glassy coating caused by the meteor heating up as it passed through Earth’s atmosphere.
A meteorite begins as a meteoroid. A meteoroid is a rock or particle of debris in our solar system that ranges in size from dust to around 10 metres in diameter (larger objects are usually referred to as asteroids).
A meteoroid that passes through Earth’s atmosphere creates a streak of light that we know as a ‘shooting star’—this is actually called a meteor.
A meteor that survives burning up in Earth’s atmosphere and lands on Earth’s surface is known as a meteorite.
Bruderheim Bylaw FAQs
The "by" in Bylaw is an old Norse word that means "Town." A bylaw is simply a Town, or local, law.
Canadian municipalities don't have constitutional status of their own, so they can only pass laws authorized by other levels of government. Statutes like the Municipal Government Act and the Traffic Safety Act delegate authority for local bylaws. The "whereas" clause you see at the beginning of bylaws usually explains where the authority for the bylaw is coming from.
Some bylaws are mandatory. For example, every municipality in Alberta must pass a Land Use Bylaw. Some bylaws are required only if a municipality wants to carry out a certain type of activity. A Town doesn't have to require business licensing, for example, but if they do, they need a bylaw. Bylaws can also customize provincial statutes to allow for local enforcement or reduced fines in areas like traffic safety.
You may have heard of a bylaw receiving or passing 'readings'. All proposed bylaws must undergo three separate readings, or stages of consideration, before they can become law. This means that Town Council has three different opportunities to consider the pros and cons, and to vote, on a particular bylaw. This ensures that each bylaw is carefully considered before it is passed.
The first reading is similar to a test, to see if Council wishes to consider the issue at all. The second reading gives Council a chance to debate the issue and make amendments to the bylaw. The third reading is the final opportunity for debate and changes.
During each reading, Council members vote on whether or not to move the proposed bylaw to the next reading. If, by number of votes, the bylaw fails any of the readings, it dies. Alternatively, if a bylaw reaches the third reading and by majority of votes is carried, the bylaw is considered passed and adopted.
In some cases, such as for proposed Land Use Bylaws, municipalities are required to hold a public hearing after the first reading has passed and before the second reading is considered. After the public hearing, Council will call for a second reading and debate the bylaw, propose changes, and ultimately vote on whether or not it should pass.
Sometimes Council may consider holding a public hearing or gain public input in other ways, even when it is not required by legislation. This typically happens after the second reading, after Council has had a chance to debate the issue and determine if they need more input before continuing.
The local newspaper advertises public hearings for a minimum of two weeks before the hearing. The Lamont Leader and the Fort Record often contain news about surveys and calls for public input. Bylaws under consideration and Council agendas are available at the Town Office. Contact Town Council for more information about providing your input, or contact the Director of Development and Legislative Services at the Town Office at 780-796-3731.
Bylaws are the fundamental governing documents for the Town. They clearly state the rules and regulations for a number of issues and activities related to the municipality. Policies and procedures, on the other hand, dictate the day-to-day decisions and operations for Town staff and committee and board members. Policies answer the questions WHY? and WHAT? For example, why does the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board exist? Procedures answer the question HOW? by providing the steps for implementation to turn policies into action.
Policies and procedures can be considered 'living' or 'fluid' documents, as they can change quite often in response to new issues, circumstances, needs, or concepts. Bylaws are much more 'static', as they rarely change and require Council's approval to do so. All policies and procedures, as well as the committees and actions that result from them, must be consistent with the bylaws.
Council Meeting FAQs
Council members meet in the Fire Hall, located at 5112 Queen Street, to conduct formal meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 7:00 pm. The Mayor (or Deputy Mayor if the Mayor is absent), acts as chairperson for the meeting, and leads the group through items on the agenda. Council listens to presentations about important issues, then discusses and makes decisions about those issues. It may seem like meetings move at a very fast pace, but rest assured that Council has had time to review all information available to them regarding the issues they're voting on.
Citizens are invited to attend meetings and to provide input during the question period after Administrative and Council business is complete. Citizens may also stay and talk to members of the Council about other issues after the formal meeting.
All Council meetings are open to the public with the exception of the In-Camera, or Closed, sessions. Council uses this time to discuss matters that are confidential for any number of reasons. For example, any matters that:
- Are confidential under provision of federal laws or provincial rule,
- Constitute an invasion of individual privacy,
- Describe the tactics and techniques used for protecting public safety and public property, if their disclosure could impair such protection.
The public is invited to attend the Open session, which starts at 7:00pm on scheduled meeting nights, unless otherwise stated.
You may contact a member of Town Council by phone or email with any concern or idea that you may have. If you would like to have your item considered during a Council meeting, you may:
- Provide a written statement,
- Verbally address Council, or
- Make a presentation.
For more information on how to do this, or to contact a Council member, contact the Director of Development and Legislative Services at the Town Office (780-796-3731). Anyone wishing to bring an item to Council's attention is asked to complete a Council Agenda Item Form from the Forms Page for consideration. Forms may be submitted to the Director of Development and Legislative Services at least one week before the scheduled Council meeting.
While most topics can be openly discussed at public meetings with Council, there are a few that cannot. These include:
- Matters that require confidentiality under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (e.g., personnel matters),
- Education matters that have not first been referred to and discussed by the appropriate school division, and
- Decisions of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board or the Assessment Review Board.
If you are wondering whether your topic can be discussed, please check with the Director of Development and Legislative Services.
To ensure accuracy, Town Council must approve the previous meeting's minutes at each Council meeting. For example, at the first meeting in May, Council review's April's last meeting minutes and approves them if accurate. Once approved, the minutes must then go through a signing process. This is why meeting minutes are posted weeks after a Council meeting, and not the following day.
Fence, Deck and Shed FAQs
No. Fencing or landscaping are considered as separate 'line items' during the assessment process. These are all things that are considered built into the market place....in other words, most properties have these things and assessments generally account for the fact that most properties have them.
A permit is required if the floor of the deck is more than 2 ft. above grade.
Small decks are not assessed for tax purposes. However, decks that are fully covered (i.e., a veranda with roof lines built into the main house, or with soffits and fascia that match the house, etc) WILL be assessed.
It depends on the size of your shed. No permit is required for an accessory building less than 10 m2. (107 ft.2). Anything larger than that will require a permit.
A shed must be smaller than what a garage would be. It can’t be large enough to house a vehicle. Any structure erected on the property is counted in the total lot use. There is a maximum of 40% of the lot size that can be used for buildings of any type.
Larger sheds (150 square feet and up) may be assessed for tax purposes.
Side and rear yard setbacks of 1 metre must be observed. No sheds are permitted in the front yard.
The Municipal Property Tax Rebate Program is a tax rebate program that Bruderheim created to encourage developers and families to invest in the Town. The policy will provide an opportunity to build new commercial businesses, industrial facilities and houses and receive a three-year municipal property tax rebate. Land, school and Seniors Foundation taxes will still be collected.
It is the Town Administration's mandate to provide quality of life to the residents of Bruderheim. People often ask what this means and "what do we get for our taxes"? It is good for residents to understand that not a day goes by without receiving value for your tax dollars. A comprehensive list is found below, but here are a few examples:
Every day you:
- Have access to roads that have had repairs
- Are protected from fire
- Have police to protect your property
- Can utilize the walking trail system
- Enjoy the cut grass and weed control
- Can access family programs and attend community events
- Have snow cleared when required
- Have Bylaws enforced
- Can go skating on the outdoor rink
- Can watch your kids play on a soccer field, baseball diamond, or in the hockey arena
- Can access seniors programs
These are just a few examples of your tax dollars at work for you every day in Bruderheim!
The Budget process develops the cost of all services provided to the residents of Bruderheim. Your Town Council reviews all services and directs administration as to the levels of service that are adequate to ensure that residents are well served.
The costs of the services residents want and enjoy determine the taxes required!
The total tax dollars required are then divided by the total property values in Bruderheim to determine the 'tax rate'. This rate is applied to all assessed values to determine taxes payable. The main increase in taxes is typically due to inflation on the services provided. Alberta municipalities have seen double digit inflation over the last 5 years, making it challenging to provide services at a low cost.
Assessed Value x Tax Rate = Taxes Payable
Market value is the amount that a property might be expected to realize if sold on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer. The Alberta Government requires all Alberta municipalities to update property values annually to reflect the market value. This assessment notice gives you the market value assessment of your property.
Assessment (market value) of your home determines taxes payable. Your taxes payable is dependent on how your home compares to the 'average' home in Bruderheim (e.g., $300,000). If your house value is higher than the average, you pay more tax. If the value is less than the average, you pay less tax.
One misconception about taxes is the belief that when a home's market value goes down, taxes will go down. They do not for 2 reasons:
- The revenue required to provide the mandated services does not decrease.
- The "average" home price has decreased also, making the change relative for all residents.
The 'comparison to average' calculation method ensures that taxes stay consistent and reasonable each year and maintains fairness among taxpayers.
There are two dates used by the assessor throughout the assessment process:
- Valuation date - the 1st of July of the previous year (for example, for taxation in 2021, the valuation date is July 1st, 2020).
- Condition date - the 31st of December of the previous year (for example, for taxation in 2021, the physical characteristics of the property are recorded as of December 31st, 2020).
Your property taxes will decrease only if your property's value dropped more than the average decrease municipal-wide and the drop is low enough to offset any Council budget increase and/or a change in the provincial education tax.
How your property assessment changed from the previous year compared to the average assessment change of all residential properties in the municipality in the share you'll pay of the municipality's property tax requirement determines the change.
Before filing a complaint about your tax assessment, it is recommended that you contact an assessor to discuss your assessment. The assessor can provide you with information on how your assessment was prepared and help you to determine whether your assessment is correct and equitable in relation to similar properties.
The public now has online access to assessment reports - follow the information on the Tax Assessments page to access the summary report for a specific property.
Only a portion of your tax bill goes to the municipality (approximately 74%). There are three tax rates on your tax bill:
- Municipal Operating (74%) - Used to generate the revenue required to pay for the many valued services provided to residents.
- Education Requisition (23%) - Used to generate the revenue required by the Province to run schools in the region.
- Lamont Seniors (3%) - Used to generate the revenue required to support the Lamont Seniors Foundation to subsidize seniors lodging.
Residents are taxed by three different levels of government - Federal, Provincial and Municipal. While Federal and Provincial governments have many sources of taxation, such as Income Tax, GST, Oil Royalties, and Liquor and Tobacco Taxes, municipalities have only property taxes to generate revenue. Only 5% of all government-generated taxes go to municipalities, yet municipalities provide the most direct services to residents everyday! Road maintenance, snow clearing, grass cutting, and fire services are a few of the key services provided.
Approximate Taxes Paid Per Household:
Municipalities get the least amount of the tax revenue pie, yet they provide the services that are used by people every day!
Under the Municipal Government Act, municipalities are required to levy a penalty for late tax payments. Ours is 18%, which is typical for municipalities. Many of the services provided by Bruderheim are legislated by the Province, meaning that we have no choice but to provide the services. If tax revenues are not received in a timely fashion, our municipality's ability to pay for essential services, such as fire response and snow clearing, is at risk.
Over 90% of Bruderheim residents have historically paid their taxes on time. Unfortunately, those residents' tax dollars go towards subsidizing the 10% of the taxes that are unpaid. Thus, a high penalty is levied to ensure prompt payment and lower the burden on residents who have paid on time. This also ensures that the municipality will have the financial resources - on time - to provide the services required and enjoyed by residents.
The Town actively works towards collecting unpaid taxes. Unfortunately, a municipality must levy high penalties or risk the investment in services by the vast majority of residents, and ultimately, the Town's financial sustainability.
Provincial legislation specifies that the funds for schools are to be collected by municipalities. The province and separate school boards requisition revenue they require from the Town and the total levy is distributed among taxpayers through their property tax bills based on School Support Declaration. People who do not own property contribute indirectly through their rental or lease payments.
Requests for tax certificates are required in writing via fax to 780-796-3037 for a fee. A photocopy of the cheque for the fees must be included with the request in order for Administration to process your request. A copy of the requested tax certificate will be faxed back to you within 3 business days, and the original will be mailed on the day it is completed.
Tax certificates will provide the roll number, owners, legal description, civic address, levy, current balance, arrears, and utility account balance. It is highly recommended to request a tax certificate when purchasing a property.
TIPP is a tax installment payment plan by which taxpayers in the Town of Bruderheim may pay their property tax in monthly installments instead of a single payment.
Many people find it difficult to make a single large payment that comes due once a year. Monthly instalments break your property tax into smaller amounts which may make it easier to budget.
You can join TIPP if:
- your tax account is paid in full
- you have chequing privileges at a financial institution (bank, trust company, treasury branch or credit union)
- you do not currently pay your taxes through a mortgage company (P.I.T.)
- your application is received at least two weeks before the start of the next calendar year (December 15)
Your current tax levy will be divided by 12 to establish your monthly payments for January 1 to May 1.
I/We acknowledge there may be a difference between the amount paid by instalments and the actual tax levy and that adjustment may be necessary. The monthly instalment amount for the period of January 1st until the date of the Tax Notice being mailed is calculated by dividing the previous year’s tax levy by the remaining months in the calendar year. The monthly instalment amount after the Tax Notice has been mailed will be calculated by the actual current year’s tax levy, subtracting the prior monthly instalments that have been received to date (if any), and dividing by the remaining months in the calendar year. Your monthly payment will be adjusted June 1 to compensate for changes in taxes resulting from the annual tax levy. Your annual tax bill, usually issued in May, will show the total amount of instalments to date and the calculation of the instalment payments for the remaining payments in that year.
Payments begin January 1 of the new year and continue each consecutive month.
Payments may only be made by automatic withdrawal from an account with chequing privileges at a financial institution. All debits are processed for the first banking day of each month. You must give written permission before the withdrawals will begin. The Town of Bruderheim does not charge for this service; however bank service charges may apply.
Complete and sign the application form found on our Forms Page and send it along with a sample cheque marked “VOID”.
By mail to:
Town of Bruderheim
Bruderheim AB T0B 0S0
By fax to: 780-796-3037
By email to: email@example.com
Town Finances FAQs
The Town budget is set annually by Council. Town Administration presents the interim operating budget to Council in the fall, which includes all programs and services provided to the residents of Bruderheim. The municipal budget consists of an operating budget and a capital budget and includes recommended funding sources. The final operating budget is passed by Town Council in May of each year.
- The operating budget provides for ongoing services that residents enjoy every day, such as snow clearing, grass cutting, and road maintenance
- The capital budget provides for the replacement of essential infrastructure and equipment necessary for the support of municipal services
Municipalities are audited annually by an independent auditor. The audited financial statements for the previous year are presented to Council in the spring, typically in April. During the year, the Finance team provides Council with quarterly financial updates.
All municipalities are required to record and report capital assets in their financial statements. This helps the Town provide better asset management.
Please visit this page for information about paying your utility bill.
For utility billing inquiries, hook ups or disconnects, please contact the Bruderheim Town Office: 780-796-3731; 5017 Queen Street.
Please visit our Forms Page to find and fill out these forms to apply:
Effective January 1, 2021, Bruderheim moved to a consumption-based water rate system. Rates will now be based on consumption, similar to other consumption-based utilities, such as gas and electricity. The less water you use, the lower your bill will be. Meters will also be read monthly for more accurate bills. These changes will create a more fair and equitable utility rate structure that promotes water conservation.
Prepaid Bulk Water Accounts can be set up at the Bruderheim Town Office, and the fill station is located at the Public Works office. After completing the appropriate form, an access code will be provided to you, and the account will require a 4 digit pin number. The access code and pin number will be your responsibility, so please keep this information in a safe place.
Fill Station Location:
5324 - 52 Avenue
- Bruderheim gets its water from the Vegreville Water Corridor.
- The Town does not have a treatment facility, but rather has a 2,273 cubic meter capacity reservoir with distribution pumps. The 44 hydrants within the Town are serviced twice per year. Chlorine levels within the water are tested each working day, and four samples per month test for bacteria content.
- Wastewater is treated with a lagoon system, which utilizes natural processes
- Lagoons are maintained by Public Works under regulations set out by the Alberta Environment Wastewater Code of Practice
- Lagoon effluent is tested and released once per year each spring
Other Local Utility Companies
Telus (phone) 310-2255
Shaw (phone, internet, cable) 780-490-3555
Epcor (electricity) 310-4300
Park Power (electricity) 780-640-2128
Direct Energy (natural gas) 1-866-374-6299
Fortis (street lights) 310-WIRE
Olympus Energy (electricity, gas, internet) 1-855-220-5969
GFL Environmental is contracted by Bruderheim to pick up waste and recycling items within Town limits.
Pick Up Schedule:
- Residential waste and recycle pick up: every Thursday
- Commercial waste pick up: every Friday
- Please note: Your waste and recycling totes need to be on the curb by 7:00am to ensure pick up
The Town of Bruderheim offers a curbside 'Blue Bag' program as part of its dedication to the environment.
The following items are recyclable for weekly pickup:
- Mixed paper / paperboard
- Bottles and cans
- Tetra paks
- Rigid plastic containers #1 and #2 (including milk jugs)
- Tin cans
Please no styrofoam, plastic bags, straws or plastic utensils, or hazardous waste.
Yes, homeowners are responsible for their waste and recycling totes. Each tote has a specific number linked to your address, so the Town Office may be able to assist you in your search. Damaged or missing totes can be replaced at a cost to the homeowner. Contact us at:
In Person: 5017 Queen Street
Yes, missing wheels and broken axels should be reported to the Town Office, and they will be replaced on location at no cost.
Yes, waste and recycling totes are picked up by a mechanical arm, and require a minimum of 3 feet of clear space on both sides.
No, you need to contact Atco Gas at 1-800-511-3447 (24 hr).
When your sewer is backing up, a plumber is the best person to determine where and why a blockage is occurring, and to fix the problem. If it is a recurring problem, we suggest you contact us at 780-796-3731 to arrange for a video inspection of the service line to your home.