Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice
|Pincher Creek's Municipal Airport |
might get a lot busier soon
C. Davis photo
MD Council gave their approval in principle to the plan, with Reeve Rod Zielinski opposed, which would enable oil company charter airlines to transport workers to and from Pincher Creek Municipal Airport, which is operated by the MD. The purpose of the project is to increase employment opportunities for area residents, and also to improve travel for those already employed in the northern oil patch.
On January 12 of this year Mayor Ernie Olsen, Town CAO Laurie Wilgosh, and Economic Development Officer Wendy Kalkan travelled to Calgary and met with representatives from Conoco Phillips, CNRL, Syncrude, Connacher Oil and Gas, MEG Energy, Cenovus, and Shell Canada. Then-MLA Evan Berger chaired the meeting, which proposed a job fair to be hosted in Pincher Creek, aimed at residents of southern Alberta, southeastern British Columbia, and other areas of Canada.
The project was originally tentatively planned to run from April 30 to October 15 of this year, to be advertised locally and nation-wide.
According to the document presented to MD Council by the Town, Lethbridge College would also be invited to attend the job fair to provide training opportunities. The Town's proposal includes $8000 in advertising costs and $113,000 in costs associated with holding the job fair. According to the Town's proposal, Alberta Human Services would pay $10000.00 of those expenses. The Town and the MD would each pay $3600.00 of those expenses. MD Council agreed on June 10 to match the Town on expenses up to that $3600.00 figure. Booth fees charged to participating companies would cover the $2100.00 in remaining expenses.
MD Director of Operations Leo Reedyk told MD Council that the flight service would have to be charter only to meet the regulations currently imposed on the airport.
Issues raised by MD Council arising from the proposal included vehicle plugins and snow removal in the winter, security, and staffing.
(note: correction made to author's original math)