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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MD elects new Reeve, appoints committees, discusses weeds


MD Council Meetings, October 18 and 25, 2011

Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

New Reeve and Deputy Reeve appointed

At their October 18 Organizational Meeting  the Municipal District of Pincher Creek Council Councillor Rod Zielinski was acclaimed  as Reeve and Terry Yagos as (Deputy ) Reeve, replacing Rod Cyr and Bjorn Berg respectively in those positions.


From the minutes of the October 18 Organizational meeting:

Outgoing Reeve Rodney Cyr thanked the Council for their contribution for the past year, and the opportunity provided to him to serve as Reeve.

Councillor Bjorn Berg expressed his appreciation to Council for appointing him as Deputy Reeve for the past year. He was honoured to accept the responsibility and was proud to act for the Reeve for an extended time this year during Reeve Cyr’s injury. Highlights during the year for Councillor Berg were speaking to the Montana State Bar Association about the 'wind ordinances', the viewscape resolution, and introducing the Canada Day ceremony at the Kootenai Brown Museum.

Councillor Terry Yagos thanked the Council for the past year.

Councillor Helen Cyr thanked Rodney Cyr for his time as Reeve and thanked the rest of Council and staff for the past year.

Councillor Rod Zielinski thanked Rodney Cyr for his years as Reeve and that Council has a lot to look forward on as a group.

Appointments

The Agricultural Service Board was appointed, to be made up of Councillor Helen Cyr, Dallis McGlynn, Tony Bruder, John Lawson, and Susan Vogelaar, with Councillor Rodney Cyr as an alternate.
Councillor Bjorn Berg, with Councillor Rodney Cyr as the alternate, were appointed to the Oldman River Regional Services Commission.
Councillor Bjorn Berg and Reeve Rod Zielinski, with Councillor Rodney Cyr as alternate, were appointed to the Pincher Creek Emergency Services/Emergency Management for the coming year.
Councillor Rodney Cyr, with Councillor Bjorn Berg as alternate, were appointed to the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) board for the coming year.
Councillor Bjorn Berg, with Councillor Helen Cyr as alternate, were appointed to the Pincher Creek Library/Chinook Arch Regional Library Board for the coming year.
Councillor Bjorn Berg, with Councillor Terry Yagos as alternate, were appointed to the Alberta Southwest Regional Alliance for the coming year.
Councillor Terry Yagos, with Councillor Rodney Cyr as an alternate, were appointed to the Crowsnest Pincher Creek Landfill Association for the coming year.
Jacques Thouin, Dennis Olson, and Bob Jenkins were appointed to the Agricultural Service Appeal Committee for the coming year.
Councillor Rodney Cyr and Councillor Terry Yagos, with Councillor Bjorn Berg as alternate, were appointed to the Intermunicipal Development Committee for the coming year.
Councillor Helen Cyr, with Councillor Rodney Cyr as alternate, were appointed to the Castle Mountain Resort for the coming year.
Councillor Rodney Cyr, with Councillor Terry Yagos as alternate, were appointed to the Cemetery Committee for the coming year.
Councillor Rodney Cyr, with Councillor Terry Yagos as alternate, were appointed to the Recycling Management and Solid Waste Committee for the coming year.
The Community Policing Officer was appointed to the Community Advisory Committee (Pincher Creek RCMP) for the coming year.
Terry Yagos, with Councillor Helen Cyr as alternate, were appointed to the Lundbreck Citizens Council for the coming year.

*note, the above report of the Organizational meeting is from the Council minutes, as the Voice was not in attendance at that meeting.

October 24 Council meeting

At the regular Council meeting of October 24, Deputy Reeve Terry Yagos got to brandish the gavel as chairman, which he did with gusto, due to the absence of Reeve Zielinski. Rod Cyr was absent as well, making it a small meeting, with Yagos, Councillors Helen Cyr and Berg, CAO Wendy Kay, and Executive Assistant Jessica in attendance.

At one point during the meeting Deputy Reeve Yagos formally complimented former Reeve Rod Cyr for his year-long service in the position, and praised former Deputy Reeve Berg for stepping up to the plate during a period when Cyr was sick.

Weed complaint

Summerview resident Heidi Eijgel (of Windy Coulee Canadian Horses) presented council with a well-presented and extensive complaint about gravelling practices and the spread of noxious weeds. She said gravel from the Wocknitz pile was being spread on the roads in her area.

"I'm your road inspector out there," she said. "I see every weed that is out there." She said that spreading gravel on roads designed for pavement is resulting in the untreated gravel ending up in the ditches as a result of vehicular traffic.  She said there were two road hazards that concerned her, including reduced visibility due to blowing dust from the gravel and what she called "hazardous overdriving of the roads with unsafe speed limit.

She said she would like to see the speed limit reduced to 60 km/hr from 80 km/hr.

"Why is the MD allowing uncertified gravel to be spread?  Why am I finding blueweed spread around the road now when I never have before?" she asked.  In addition she wondered why the MD was mowing so late in the year, saying that it coincided with peak seed production of blueweed.  "Have there been budget cuts to the weed reduction program?  Prevention is a whole lot less expensive than removing weeds that have grown up on the farm."  She suggested the MD collaborate with Volker Stevin and Alberta Transportation to combat the problem.

"Strategic planning and collaboration is going to save not just thousands, but thousands and thousands of dollars," she said.  "I have a weed plan," she said, "Does the council?"
At one point her demonstration got quite visual as she rolled out a long thin tapestry that showed the length of a leafy-spurge root case, which was probably about ten feet long.  It was an effective demonstration.  "You can't beat it with livestock," Eijgel said.  "It's poisonous.  The cost to get rid of this stuff is a lifetime commitment."

"I'm your little word of caution right now," she said with a determined glint in her eyes.  "I'm not going to leave this.  I will be your blueweed report every week, every year, whatever it takes."

At this point Eijgel surrendered the floor to questions from Council, her allotted time for presenting over.

Councillor Berg asked her if she was referring specifically to Rangeroad 28-5 (in the Summerview District) when talking about the spread of gravel.  She said she was, but other roads in the area were also affected.  Berg said Volker Stevin maintains 28-5, and that they no longer use dust control.  He said the MD was limiting the amount of dust control they used as well, saying "It's running the MD about $900 per 100 metres."  Berg also said he was himself shocked to "see the darned stuff near Summerview.  Where did that come from?"  He asked Eijgel for more information.  "Explain to me if you can the life-cycle of blueweed."  She replied that is had a biannual cycle, like burdock.  "You spray it in the dormant year.  You dig below the crown of the root, that will kill it, or spray it before it goes to seed.  The key would be a roadside spraying program," she said.

Eijgel suggest a volunteer program be established to pull it up.  Councillor Helen Cyr said "We already have a program for pulling blueweed, maybe we need to extend it to the roadside."  Deputy Reeve Yagos said " What I've found is for the last couple of years blueweed has been doing really well."  "Blueweed is easy to deal with as long as people don't keep spreading the seeds," Eijgel replied.  "We've got to do something."

Director of Operations report

Director of Operations Leo Reedyk presented his report to council.  He said MD staff were "finishing up most gravel pits and roads."  In response to a query from council he said the Wocknitz gravel pit, mentioned earlier by Heidi Eijgel, was on Crown land.  "Who has jurisdiciton?" asked councillor Berg. "I will have to check," replied Reedyk, "Probably SRD (Sustainable Resources Development)."

"We inspect our gravel pits, spray our pits, and spray our piles," he said.

Councillor Helen Cyr mentioned the MD's road agreement with Spray Lakes Sawmills, and wondered "Do we have one with Shell?"  Reedyk indicated a letter had been sent to Shell.  In her report to council at the end of the public part of the meeting, Cyr, who sits on the Agriculture Services Board, said "We (the Ag Board) are hopeful there can be control over Spray Lakes  Sawmill, with equipment being sprayed before they come on to MD roads."  She also expressed her belief that SRD office and field staff were needed locally.

Reedyk's report also indicated an increased demand for skunk traps, the electric scale, and corral panels, items the MD rents out to residents.  He also mentioned the new Agriculture Fieldman, Greg Scott.

Road closures

Development Officer Roland Milligan addressed council in regards to the new subdivision that was approved on November 12, 2010.  He said the road allowance would be purchased by the landowner for the subdivision.   Bylaws 1210-11 and 1214-11, which refer to this issue, were passed unanimously.

Public meeting to be held regarding new fire hall for Beaver Mines

Milligan also recommended the MD acquire land adjacent to the Hamlet of Beaver Mines for the purpose of building a new fire hall.  A required public meeting about this issue will be held on Tuesday, December 13, 1 pm at the MD offices in Pincher Creek.  "We need a new building," said councillor Berg.

Animal Control Bylaw passed

Council, with a collective sigh of relief, passed bylaw 1198-10, the new Animal Control Bylaw.

Landfill Board to offer scholarships 

Deputy Reeve Yagos, who sits on the Landfill Board, said that board had decided to go ahead with scholarship plans, and will reward $1000 to a student going into environmental stewardship at each of the 4 schools in the area. He said a scrap-metal recycling bin policy was being developed.  He said there "seems to be a lot of enthusiasm" for a developing regional recycling and garbage pickup plan, and indicated the Landfill Board would be applying for Provincial funding for a regional study on the issue.

Landfill road to be paved?

Yagos also said it was looking likely the landfill road would be paved, and that the plan might include user-fees for using the road so that it could be maintained.

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