C. Davis, Pincher Creek Voice
|Coalfield School, Beaver Mines (after Burger and Beans public meeting)|
T. Lucas photo
During the dinner a silent auction was held on a round bale of hay. The winning bid was $175.
Dead stock removal
|Tony Bruder explains the|
dead stock removal program
C. Davis photo
"I requested that the MD Council take over and do a dead stock removal program in the large carnivore area, based on complaints that SRD is getting for large carnivores," Bruder explained to the crowd. "The MD voted it down 4-1, based on budget issues. It's not just about the agricultural users that have the livestock, but the landowner beside him."
"I'm the one taking care of it for the Drywood - Yarrow Conservation area," Bruder explained, saying he estimates that the administration of that area takes one hour every two weeks. Bruder would like to see the MD take over the administration of the program.
|Rod Zielinski addresses the crowd|
C. Davis photo
"Council works in two ways, by resolution or by bylaw, and that is what council moves forward with. At times tonight I will be speaking fairly frankly. I will try to distinguish between my comments and council's direction," he said during his preamble.
Beavers Mine Fire Hall
"Some property has been bought, and that's it. there is no site plan, there is no foot print," Zielinski said of plans to build a new fire hall in Beaver Mines.
"I am expecting that once emergency services lets us know what kind of facility they are wishing for, then site plans will be done, then it comes back out to the community to say 'what do you think?', he continued.
The land purchased for the new fire hall is comprised of 4.4 acres near the intersection of Highways 507 and 774, at the entrance to the village of Beaver Mines.
"One of the issues that will come up when placing a facility there will be what to do with that intersection," Zielinski said. "Can it become a four way stop? There is no square footage for the building, yet. It takes into account hills and drainage, access to the highway. A safe, viable community is what we aim for."
Beaver Mines Fire Department Captain Allen Tapay said "Last year we had 64 calls."
"The roads aren't great," Zielinski said. "We hear about it, that is something we hear about on a constant basis." One of his constituents raised the issue of paving Highway 774 all the way to the Castle Mountain ski hill.
"They (Alberta Transportation) are willing to bankroll us in the amount of 1.27 million dollars," Zielinski said.
Several in attendance expressed concerns about the projected cost and procedure to resurface the Gladstone Valley Road.
Betty Smith lives out West of Pincher Creek, and uses the road that leads to the landfill. "We can count on 4 or 5 flat tires every year what can be done about that road?"
"I'm going to speak frank," said Zielinski. "There is nothing on the books about that issue.
Regarding definitions he said "What is an improved road, what is an unimproved road, and what level of service should that road get?" He said over four million dollars was spent every year on MD road. "That's big dollars."
"We are trying a chip-seal. Some of the roads that we dust control continually year after year might not be sustainable." He said dust control products cost $250 per 100 metres for the landowner. "The actual cost for the MD is close to $1000."
"Tower Road got dust control two, three times a year because of the traffic on it. We don't want to waste your money either."
An active Council
"I can tell you that this council has been active in getting the new ministers down here to see our issues, whether it is livestock, large carnivores..." Zielinski said. "We have already met with our new MLA. That's why we have the meetings most people should make. So we can get input, so we can go, 'this is what we've heard, where should we go from here?'. We do the best we can because at the end of the day, you guys are the shareholders."
Zielinski said the MD was going to receive "6.5 million dollars from the Province to create a regional water line between Cowley and Lundbreck. It upgrades the plant at Cowley, and the water will be shipped to Lundbreck to sustain that community. Having a water plant in Cowley and a water plant in Lundbreck does not make sense. He said the MD would spend $500,000 dollars of its own money on the project. He said the long term plan was to "Tie Cowley Lundbreck together, then get potable water source to Pincher Station, then move on to Beaver Mines."
"We are very fortunate in this MD to have a water source. A handshake deal with the Minister of Environment at the time got us allocation on the Oldman Dam that no one else in the province has. That original handshake deal was just that, a handshake. We were able to turn that into an allocation with licenses for irrigation with the partners of Crowsnest Pass and Ranchlands, we were able to turn that allocation to irrigation, with municipal and industrial purposes on top of that."
"We do not have enough water storage in Lundbreck today for fire. We have an issue today."
"Planning development is probably the toughest thing that I look at," Zielinski said. "We have documents in place to try and guide the the Municipal Planning Commission on their decisions.
Beaver Mines Fire Department looking for volunteers
Allen Tapay, Captain of the Beaver Mines Fire Department, told those in attendance that there was a need for more volunteers.
"We tend to sustain six, seven, eight people on our crew," he said. "Between medical problems and injuries, we're down a couple people right now. I'm asking if you know anyone in the close area, in good physical fitness that would love to join our fire department. We do a lot of good training. If anyone is a little younger it looks good on your resume if they have medical or fire training."
Tapay mentioned thanked fired department members Steve Oczkowski and Mark Cox for putting in a lot of extra time fundraising.
"We have a list, a long list, of why the (current) building should be closed down," Zielinski said, in response to criticism of MD plans to build a new MD administration building. "When you walk into the seat of your local government, and the first thing you see is file cabinets, you kinda wonder what is going on."
"Very few people were at the open house," he said.
"We've got a very nice place here. The MD of Pincher Creek has a lot of things going for it. There are challenges for sure, and new ways of doing things. We need meetings like this, we need people to step forward and voice opinions."
Near the conclusion of the meeting Zielinski announced his resignation from MD Council, which you can read more about by clicking here. He is expected to make his formal resignation at a special MD Council meeting on Tuesday, August 7. That public meeting begins at 1 pm.