Thursday, November 28, 2013

MD of Pincher Creek council notes, November 2013

  • Appointments to Boards and Committees approved
  • Seed Cleaning Co-op receives funding
  • Tis the season for snow plow planning
  • Twin Butte rezoning request to go to Public Hearing
  • Regional Water borrowing bylaw defeated
  • Electronic recording of council meetings approved
  • North Burmis Road to get delineator posts
  • Oldman Watershed Council receives funding
  • Livingstone School message centre receives funding
  • Hairpin turn to get signage
  • Road concerns raised
  • Tax penalty waiver denied
  • 'Unsightly" Lundbreck property concerns neighbour
  • Pincher Station "surveillance suite" approved
  • Camp Impeesa gravel request approved
  • New decking for Bobby Burns ponds approved
  • Division 3 Divisional Meeting to be held December 19 postponed
Council for the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 held regular public meetings on November 5 and again on November 26, 2013. Present at both meetings were Reeve Brian Hammond and Councillors Garry Marchuk, Terry Yagos, Grant McNab and Fred Schoening. Also present at both meetings were Chief Administrative Officer Wendy Kay, Director of Operations Leo Reedyk, Director of Development and Community Services Roland Milligan, Director of Finance and Administration Matt Bonertz, and Executive Assistant Tara Cryderman.

Appointments to Boards and Committees approved

The following individuals have been officially appointed to the following boards:

Agricultural Service Board 

  • Susan Vogelaar 
  • Tony Bruder 
  • John Lawson 
  • Dallis McGlynn 

Municipal Planning Commission 

  • Dennis Olson 
  • Bev Garbutt 

Subdivision and Development Appeal Board 

  • Leonard McGlynn 
  • Martha Paridaen 
  • Alan Vaughan 
  • Lois Johnston 

Agricultural Service Appeal Committee 

  • Dennis Olson 
  • Jacques Thouin 
  • Alan Vaughan 

Chinook Arch Library Board 

  • Councillor Fred Schoening 
  • Sandra Baker
In addition to the above, at the November 26 meeting of council Garry Marchuk was appointed to represent council on the board of the Oldman Watershed Council, which typically meets once a year.

Seed Cleaning Co-op receives funding

Pincher Creek Seed Cleaning Co-op Chairman Leonard McGlynn appeared a delegation at the October 8 council meeting, speaking to the previous council before the recent election.  At that time he asked council to consider having a council member sit on the co-op's board and also asked for a financial contribution.   "$50,000 is what a lot of other municipalities are giving," said McGlynn during his presentation to council. "The board would appreciate a grant each year conforming to other MDs and counties in Alberta. A figure of $10,000 was suggested by the board."  At the November 5 meeting councillor Terry Yagos moved that $6431.43 be provided to the Pincher Seed Cleaning Co-op, with the money to be taken Special Projects and Plans Funding. Reeve Brian Hammond expressed that he was in favour of the funding but would like to see MD council representation on the Seed Cleaning Co-op board or some sort of more formal agreement if council was going to provide them with funding.  Councillor Yagos' motion passed unanimously.

Click here for more information about Leonard McGlynn's delegation to council on October 8.

Watch for an upcoming article about the Seed Cleaning Co-op and its plan to install a new colour sorter.

Tis the season for snow plow planning

Director of Operations Leo Reedyk answered questions from council about the 2013/14 Snow Plow Map and plans.  Reeve Hammond expressed concern that the airport was rated priority 3 (less important). saying that he has received a lot of feedback from constituents telling him the airport needed to be rated as a higher priority.  Hammond said in an emergency setting it could be critical to have the airport fully functional.  "Are we in a position to respond if we need to?" he asked.  Councillor Yagos suggested it might be prudent to ask Emergency Services to help fund a higher priority and frequency of plowing at the airport, with the Town of Pincher Creek potentially sharing the expense.  Reedyk suggested council talk to airport users including Alberta Health about what would be appropriate.  "It used to be the case that the airport was plowed on a regular basis," he said.  "In a big snow it might be two weeks before it's cleared."

On Reedyk's recommendation council approved the snow plow map for the 2013/2014 snow plowing season, effective November 5, 2013.  Policy 303, specifically with regards to the Airport, was referred to Joint Council and to Emergency Services for their consideration.

Reedyk was queried again by Reeve Hammond about plowing at the airport at the November 26 meeting of council.  "I talked to Public Works on it and got the impression that depending on the depth of the snow, that was the biggest variable,  four to six hours (would be required to clear the airport runways).

Twin Butte rezoning request

At the November 5 meeting council was requested to consider rezoning a piece of property that was at one time the Twin Butte post office, from  Hamlet Highway Commercial to Hamlet Residential 2.  Roland Milligan explained to council that the highway at that location was moved, orphaning an unusable spit of land. Council directed administration to prepare the required amending bylaw, to be brought before them again at the next available Council meeting (November 26).  At that November 26 meeting a draft bylaw (1242-13)  to rezone the property passed first reading unanimously.  A public hearing will be held on December 17 at 1:00 pm regarding this matter.

Regional Water borrowing bylaw defeated

A motion by councillor Yagos to give Regional Water Borrowing Bylaw No. 1240-13 second reading was unanimously defeated on November 5.

Electronic recording of council meetings approved
On November 5 councillor Yagos moved that Resolution No. 11/444 from September 27, 2011, regarding Electronic Recording of meetings, be rescinded, making it now permissible to record council meetings.

North Burmis Road to get delineator posts

Council agreed to have delineator posts installed along North Burmis Road where necessary to ensure
public safety, at the discretion of Public Works.

Oldman Watershed Council receives funding
A request from the Oldman Watershed Council for funding was approved, with the MD to contribute $0.30 per resident for a total of $992.00, to the organization, with the money coming from the Grants to Groups and Organizations account.

Livingstone School message centre receives funding
Council approved councillor Garry Marchuk's motion that $1000.00 be contributed towards Livingstone School's new message centre signage, with the money to come from the Grants to Groups and Organizations account.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual membership renewed 
Council agreed to pay $562.01 for 2014 annual membership fees to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Hairpin turn to get signage

On November 5 Councillor Grant McNab moved that signage be installed at the intersection of Township Road 5-1 and Range Road 30-2A to ensure public safety. McNab said the corner there had a hairpin turn and a ratepayer asked him to bring the signage issue to council to slow traffic down there. The motion was unanimously approved.

Road concerns raised

Crook and Tremblay roads

Councillor Fred Schoening raised Division 2 road concerns at the November 5 meeting of council.  He spoke about the approach from Herron Avenue onto Highway 785 where he said the hauling of manure was having an impact on the gravel road quality, and also spoke of grading concerns on the Crook and Tremblay roads.  "We need to have better  crowning of our roads," said Schoening.

An MD employee looked into the situation and filed the following report (excerpted):
"I went and checked the road it was somewhat rough and there was some manure along the road. I asked the grader operator to blade the road once it had dried enough. There was a muddy spot just in from (the) driveway and (he) was hauling manure into 2 fields on that road. I talked to the resident on the road and told her the grader operator would grade it once it had hardened up a bit. After a number of conversations we agreed that large agricultural producers that are hauling multiple loads need to be signing RUA (Road Use Agreement) and be held accountable for the roads they travel. No different than commercial enterprises."
"Thats a tough piece of road," said Leo Reedyk when council was addressing the Tremblay Road situation at the November 26 meeting of council. "I think drainage is the most significant issue in that the road does wind around a couple of pothole swamps at the south end.  I think we'd probably be surprised at the amount of traffic it gets." Reedyk added that it gets quite soft after spring rains. He suggested getting a traffic count to ascertain usage statistics.

Mud Boggers

"This location right here, just where you turn off the Kerr Road, there's a very low spot here and a very soft spot here," said councillor Schoening, referring to a map projected of the road.  "One of the problems that occurs there is that there is a slough that borders on the road, the road goes down and makes a dip, very little elevation on that road.  Consequently, it's a great spot for mud boggers, and they love to go in there and chew it up."

 "Also, you turn off the Kerr road ... you're turning off a very nicely developed road, a road  in very good condition, and you cut downhill. So in the winter specially, you could find yourself if you turn off there, not realizing how unimproved that road is, with a 4-wheel drive you're probably alright.  With a two-wheel drive you could get yourself into a problem where you can't get back out onto the Kerr road."

"That's one of the issues that I think should be thought about before we decide to put it off."

Councillor Schoening suggested installing a couple of culverts at the location in question to discourage mud bogging there. 

He also said another area further along the road was also very prone to dangerous washouts.  He suggested signage at a turn where a citizen raised concerns that people were prone to running off the road accidentally.

A letter about the issue from area resident Edna Mackenzie was directed to former councillor Rodney Cyr on March 22, 2011 and was received by administration again on October 9, 2013.  It reads as follows:
Re: Maintenance of Tremblay Road south of Alberta Ranch Road
Oft times during the summer months we use Tremblay road and travel south past Kerr Road as do many others. Most years the south end(south of Bob Lowe's Residence) up to Kerr Road received maintenance with a grading at least once. Last summer and fall, we don't think it was maintained as there were deep ruts and a wash out which were dangerous especially for the unfamiliar driver. There is a big problem: At the south end near Kerr Road the road is often covered with water because it is lower than the nearby lake/swamp. That section really needs one or two culverts and up-grading. The wash out is south of Bob Lowe's place on the hill. Water crossed the road making a dangerous ditch across the road. This area should also have a culvert. Can we see these improvements within the year? With all the snow of this winter, the south end will be a swamp and impassable for much of the year unless culverts are installed. This will be very much appreciated.  Thank You.  ~ Edna Mackenzie

Another letter from Mackenzie received October 4 this year addresses many of the same concerns as above, and goes on to say:
The acreage is actually in 2 parcels. The north parcel we refer to as The Nob. I wrote a letter to the MD dated June 10, 2008 requesting help with this parcel. It was created as a result of redirection of the road and construction thereof. We have no access to The Nob for the bank is too steep. Since then we have had several incidents of vehicles failing to navigate the comer and have crashed through our fence line causing damage. The latest was directly on The Nob. Filing police reports has not resulted relief or the recovery of damages. ~ Edna Mackenzie

Bird watching area suggested

Edna Mackenzie's October 4, 2013 letter goes on to make the following statements and suggestions:

Actually, Bryan Mackenzie rebuilt and paid for the road allowance fence fronting the government lake-Lynch Lake (we refer to it as Bastian Lake)past The Nob and on to the point of the Bastian( now Main) land to the north. Actually, he is not responsible for the fence fronting the lake. We have a proposal which the MD Council may consider as a reasonable alternative: 
We want to open The Nob as a View point for the viewing of birds, wild life and picnics. I want to cut and spray some of the wolf willow. A self decomposing toilet may be placed and a park bench or two, provide a picnic table. But we need access , an approach with a culvert. We propose that the cost be shared. We believe that with the road approach and extra signage for a view point, accidents and damage may be significantly reduced or even eliminated. 
The viewpoint would be on a trial basis. It may not work because of public abuse and vandalism as experienced by other MD owners and taxpayers who wanted to share their property. So, The Nob would be offered for 10 years. We would be responsible for maintenance and clean-up over that period. I also propose that we call this view point Fred Ruks Point in memory of my father who died 60 years ago from accidental electrocution on his farm, November 27, 1953. ~ Edna Mackenzie

Fidler construction raising dust

Reeve Brian Hammond spoke of concerns about the gravel roads in Division 4 that are being affected by the Fidler Substation construction project.  He said that gravel hauling to that project was raising a large amount of dust that was affecting residents living in the area.  "It's creating a huge problem," he said at the November 5 meeting of council.

Area resident David Glass wrote a letter to council expressing his concerns about this issue, excerpted in part below:

Now that construction is underway on several large scale projects including a new electrical substation, powerlines. and a new wind farm, the traffic on Secondary Road 785 in Summerview District has increased drastically. This means heavy industrial cement truck traffic, gravel trucks, and trucks carrying wind turbine parts will be joining regular commuting traffic to Pincher Creek on a road designed to be paved but instead is covered in an over abundance of extremely dusty gravel. We have already experienced one work crew situated 2 or 3 km east of the Heritage Acres turn off on 785 set up and working alongside the road, being completely obstructed by dust while being passed by a truck. Oncoming traffic (my wife driving our farm truck pulling a horse trailer) could not see the signs or the work crew at the side of the road due to the dust, luckily she drives the road conditions which are almost always a 60 km per hour road or slower. On dry days, when a truck passes, you are blind to oncoming traffic for at least 3 seconds if not more. This is an extreme hazard that has become far more dangerous now that the heavy truck construction traffic has begun. ~ David. J. Glass
Glass' letter concludes with:
As ratepayers we expect permanent dust control to be applied immediately and effectively from Heritage Acres through to Summerview Wind Farm along Secondary Road 785 and expect that Secondary Road 785 be identified as an extremely high priority road for paving.  ~David J. Glass 
Council is planning a springtime tour of the roadways in the MD that are of concern to ratepayers.

Tax penalty waiver denied

An MD property owner was to appear before council as a delegation on November 26 to ask that a 5% overdue tax penalty be waived, as she was on vacation overseas at the time when it became overdue, which she said in her email to council made it difficult to make her payment before the penalty was assessed.  The citizen was not in attendance at the November 26th meeting to make her case to council, and later in the meeting the waiver was denied.

'Unsightly" Lundbreck property concerns neighbour

Lundbreck resident Richard Springer appeared before council as a delegation on November 26. According to Springer, the undeveloped lot next to his was unsightly, with multiple vehicles in various conditions of repair being stored on trailers. According to Springer at least three of the vehicles could be described as "car parts, they are like what you would find at an auto wrecker".

Roland Milligan's report to council on the issue indicated it was first brought to the attention of the MD in 2010. "At that time the MD wrote a letter to the owners of the parcel in question explaining that the amount of items being stored was not consistent with a residential use and that this was more akin to Outdoor Storage as defined in the LUB."

Milligan's report states that the property is a rental, and after a discussion at that time (2010) the property owners discussed the situation with their renters, resulting in a subsequent clean up that did not remove most items but put them into an orderly state.

Milligan's report goes on to state "In response to another complaint, a site inspection was also performed this past year to ascertain if the vehicles located on the lot were unregistered. At the time of the last inspection with the Community Policing Officer, all vehicles on the lot were registered, as were the trailers. As such, the vehicles do not constitute a violation of the Unsightly Premises Bylaw (Bylaw No. 1071-02). As stated above, the items are generally stored in an orderly manner with the grass being maintained on a regular basis."

It was suggested Milligan return to the site with the bylaw officer to determine whether or not the vehicles in question were actually registered to the tenant and not to other people, as using the site as a storage lot for others would be potentially in violation of the bylaw.

Councillor Terry Yagos made a motion to refer the unsightly premises bylaw to policy discussions for review.  That motion was unanimously approved.
A refresher on delegations:  Generally speaking, scheduled delegations are given ten minutes to speak to council, after which council has an opportunity to ask them questions.  Concerns raised by a delegation (which can be one or more persons) are usually not answered or dealt with until a later meeting of council, unless they are of an emergent nature. 
Pincher Station surveillance suite approved

A public hearing was conducted by council prior to their regular meeting on November 5 to receive input on Bylaw 1239-13 which proposed to amend Land Use Bylaw 1140-08. The purpose of the amendment is to allow for a "surveillance suite" trailer on the site of an autowrecking yard at Pincher Station. No one spoke at the public hearing and there were no written submissions. Councillor Schoening asked if the proposed surveillance suite would become a permanent residence, and was told it would not be. The bylaw passed second and third readings unanimously at the November 26 meeting of council.

Camp Impeesa gravel request approved
Scouts Canada ranger for Camp Impeesa sent a letter to council requesting a donation of gravel which reads in part:
Due to the flooding in the Bragg Creek area, our sister camp, Camp Gardner, has been shut down while being renovated. Because of this all the Beaver and Cub groups that usually go there all summer have to come here next year and possibly the year after. In order to make this camp safer for younger children, we need to install groomed gravel pathways throughout the camp. We are looking for a donation of 6 to 8 loads of gravel and trucking to transport the gravel to camp to keep these kids safe. Whatever you could donate would be gratefully appreciated.
The request was approved, with the condition that Camp Impeesa arrange and pay for the hauling.

New decking approved for Bobby Burns pond

Council agreed to pay for new decking at the Bobby Burns fish pond, to the sum of  $7,434.51, and at the suggestion of councillor Marchuk will be asking the Town of Pincher Creek if it is willing to pay half the expense, as is common with many shared facilities and resources.  The work and expense of the decking project has already been assumed by the Royal Canadian Legion, which looks after the Bobby Burns park, so this will be a retroactive payment.

Division 3 Divisional Meeting to be held December 19

Division 3 councillor Garry Marchuk will be hosting a Divisional Meeting Thursday, December 19 at 7:00 pm at the Beaver Mines Gazebo.  All Division 3 citizens are welcome to attend and express their concerns.   Update: this meeting has been postponed.

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