Friday, July 1, 2016

MD of Pincher Creek to grade Waterton Springs Campground access road

Josh Davis - On Tuesday June 28, Council for the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 decided to grade another private road, this time the half kilometer long access road to the Waterton Springs Campground. Though the Waterton Springs Campground was hoping to be recognized as a "unique situation", Councillor Fred Schoening noted that a precedent was already set by the MD's May 2016 decision to grade roads but not provide gravel for the Castle Mountain Community Association. "The gravel situation should stay the way it is, but the unique situation may represent grading possibilities," said Schoening. "We have the ability to look at every situation on a case by case basis," he later stated.

In a letter from Waterton Springs Campground, dated June 15, 2016, Nature Conservancy Manager of Stewardship Bryanne Aylward requested than the MD of Pincher Creek grade and provide gravel to the Waterton Springs Campground's access road. "It should be noted that our access road is less the one half of a kilometer in length," said Aylward in his letter. "The access road is in extremely poor condition from a lack of both gravel and grader maintenance. We understand the policy of the one hour free grader operator time that is provided to a private landowner. However, we believe that this policy should not-be applied in our situation. The access road is for use by the public who come to this area and spend tourist dollars in this area. This access road does not provide private access to our staff as they do not live on site. We recognize the problem with setting precedence, and would suggest that our situation is quite unique."

"We would ask that Council give consideration to grading our road 4 times each year just prior to the four long weekends that the campground operates each year." Similar letters were sent to the MD by Larry van Orman, and the The Nature Conservancy of Canada, requesting gravel and grading for the access road.

Councillor Schoening moved that approval be given for grading only of the access road to the Waterton Springs Campground and Nature Conservancy, up to four times a year, provided they give the MD at least one weeks’ notice. Any gravel necessary for the road must be supplied by the Waterton Springs Campground and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. This policy is to be reviewed by council on a yearly basis.

Councillor Quentin Stevick noted that while the letter requests grading on four separate occasions per year, two have already passed this year. "They're not asking for a lot extra this year, if we way no the the gravel. However, we need to make sure we have enough lead time to take the job." Stevick said one weeks time should be reasonable.

However, not all were in support of the decision."In the absence of a policy, we are forced to pick winners and losers," said Reeve Brian Hammond. "We should have a consistent, fair, and equitable policy across our jurisdiction." Hammond noted that while the public uses the road, it is located entirely on private property. "Its totally private. We don't do anything on private property." The Reeve later raised concerns about how equitable the practice is, and what it may do to the work schedule should exceptions like this continue to emerge.

Councillor Terry Yagos cited a conflict of interest, and left the room for the decision. Councillor Gary Marchuk was absent from the June 28 meeting of MD Council. Reeve Hammoned requested a recorded vote on the issue. Only Hammond was opposed, resulting in the motion being carried.

Related story:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Comments are moderated before being published. Please be civil.

Infinite Scroll