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Friday, October 31, 2014

Notes from MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 October 2014 Council meetings


  • Rotary Club seeks support for theatre project
  • Interim financing approved
  • Funding for Turcott/CIBC building project approved
  • New Southwestern Alberta Conservation Partnership
  • Noble Flats road project
  • Development and Engineering Standards approved
  • Cowley on board with new Emergency Management partnership
  • 2014/15 snow plow map approved
  • Demo off-stream watering system approved
  • Notes from October 28 Director of Operations report
  • Public invited to provide input on noise bylaw
  • 2015 FCSS Funding Agreement passed
  • Gun Club road to get temporary snow fencing
  • MD to join Facilities Planning Steering committee


Chris Davis

Regular meetings of the Council of the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 were held onTuesday, October 14 and October 28, 2014. Present at both meetings were Reeve Brian Hammond and councillors Terry Yagos, Garry Marchuk, Grant McNab, and Fred Schoening. Also present at both meetings were Chief Administrative Officer Wendy Kay, Director of Development and Community Services Roland Milligan, Director of Finance and Administration Mat Bonertz, Director of Operations Leo Reedyk, and Executive Assistant Tara Cryderman.

Pincher Creek Rotary Club seeks support for theatre project

On September 23 Pincher Creek Rotary Club President Scott Korbett appeared before council as a delegation to seek support for the club's Performing Arts Theatre project.

At the October 14 meeting of council the Rotary Club letter about this subject was received as information.

Interim financing approved

A September 16, 2014 report by Director of Finance and Administration Mat Bonertz regarding interim financing requirements was received by council. Bylaw No. 1255-14, designed to meet current operating expenditures and obligations, was passed by council on October 14. It authorizes Bonertz to sell the MD's Nesbit Burns bond portfolio " as cash is required over the next 8 months".

According to Bonertz' report "For some years now the M.D. has used overdraft protection to cover our cash requirements prior to tax revenue being received in May of each year. As bank overdraft rates have been consistently low during these years the cost to Municipality has been seen as acceptable." Bonertz explained that a portion of the MD's capital purchases are funded by reserves each year, using cash on hand instead of bond investments. "Each year we are running out of cash earlier and earlier. Last year we were in overdraft in December and for 2014 it looks like we will be out of cash in October. The interest rates at the bank continue to be low. As the indication is we could rely on overdraft protection for a period of 8 months this year and as our Nesbit Burns bond investments market value dropped by 2.23% last year it would now seem appropriate to cash in these investments rather than using overdraft protection."

Bonertz projected the MD would be overdrawn by $3.7 million by the end of April 2015 unless measures were taken. "Unless the M.D. is prepared to go into overdraft for 2/3 of the year it would seem appropriate to start disposing of the bond portfolio as cash is required. As Nesbit Burns had a negative rate of return in 2013 they would seem to be the likely bonds to dispose of."

Funding for Turcott/CIBC building project approved

At the October 14 meeting of council an August 20, 2014 letter from the Pincher Creek and District Historical Society asking for help with funding for their project to move the historical Turcott/CIBC building to the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village grounds was received by council, and funding up to $7,500 toward the project was approved, with the money to be taken from the Culture Grants to Organizations account.

New Southwestern Alberta Conservation Partnership considered

At the October 14 meeting council received a report from Director of Operations Leo Reedyk regarding the council's possible participation in the New Southwestern Alberta Conservation Partnership. Council agreed to direct administration to forward the draft proposal for that partnership to the Agricultural Service Board for review and comment.  The partnership has in the past included the Municipal Districts of Pincher Creek, Willow Creek, and Ranchland, and is focused on grazing and riparian management, sustainable cropping, and nutrient management.

Noble Flats road project

On October 14 council agreed that the Township Road 6-1 (Noble Flats) road project should be completed "as soon as possible, depending on weather and the completion of other ongoing road projects", to be funded from the Road Construction Reserve.

Development and Engineering Standards approved
On October 14 council approved a new Development and Engineering Standards document as recommended by Director of Operations Leo Reedyk.

Cowley on board with new Emergency Management partnership

At the October 14 meeting of council an application by the Village of Cowley to join with the MD of Pincher Creek in a new Emergency Management partnership was approved.  The MD is to take the lead role for the project.  The two entities will jointly apply for an Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) Grant, a consultant is to be hired "to undertake revamping the Emergency Plan, train personnel, and oversee initial tabletop exercise to test the plan".

2014/15 snow plow map approved

On October 28 council approved the snow plow map, as recommended by Director of Operations Leo Reedyk, for the 2014/2015 snow plowing season. The snow plow map annually prioritizes winter maintenance of roadways and service level. School bus routes (as established by the Livingstone Range School Division) are priority 1, and other plowed roads are priority 2. The Pincher Creek Airport, owned by the MD, is identified as a priority 3 "except that a surface condition report will be completed as early in the day as possible on week days". During some severe storm events some locations may not be plowed "for days" as priority 1 areas are kept passable. Snowplowing of priority 1 and 2 roads "should not occur with less than six inches of snow".  
"The Public Works Superintendent may exercise his/her discretion dependant on snow conditions and weather forecasts in maintaining MD roads and airport surfaces. Ratepayer and/or private contractor equipment may be requested by the Public Works Superintendent to assist in the delivery of this program; otherwise no snow plowing by individuals on MD roads or airport surfaces is allowed ." - from MD snow plowing policy document
According to Reedyk, this year's snow plow route hasn't changed greatly, but is approximately 6 km shorter.

Private driveways and airport leased areas may be plowed, subject to certain conditions, by the MD, subject to a minimum charge. Application forms are available at the MD office.  This kind of service is listed as priority 4 and is intended for those with disability, and for seniors.  According to Reedyk three people have signed up for this upcoming winter, with ten a year being an approximate average.

Maintenance of roads within forestry lands as identified is listed as priority 5.
"Undeveloped road allowances and portions of developed roads receiving low traffic volumes or providing alternate means of access and roads developed to minimum standard might not be plowed."
Demo off-stream watering system approved

Council approved an Agricultural Service Board initiative to purchase, up to a maximum cost of $10,000, a solar off-stream livestock watering system to use as a demonstration unit to be loaned to area ranchers for a week at a time so they can verify the viability of the system.  The Agricultural and Environmental Service Department has secured funding from the province for environmental projects, to be applied to this project.  Benefits cited for this kind of watering include ease of access, particularly in the winter, and lessened damage to creek and stream edges, riparian areas, areas below the dams, and the watersheds in general.  MD funding for the project will come from the Environmental Projects account.

"It was anticipated as a demonstration that could be placed at locations where adjacent ranchers could view it to see if it might be applicable to their circumstance as well," explained Leo Reedyk. "The intent was to try and demonstrate it at as many locations as possible on an annual basis." 
"Cows, people and water will always take the easiest route" - Councillor Fred Schoening
Notes from October 28 Director of Operations report

Public Works activity includes:

  • Mowing is finished;
  • Snow fence installation is well under way;
  • Pulled 1.5 miles of Airport Road to date, weather dependent if we can get more done;
  • West Kerr Tremblay intersection culvert installed;
  • Majority of 2013 flood projects have been signed off;
  • Hydrant flushing complete in Lundbreck;
  • Finning did an orientation on new grader;
  • Heath Creek Slide complete;
  • Cleaned out beaver dam on Sorge road;
  • Trying to pull all gravel back on to the roads before snow flies
Other items:
  • Cottonwood Bridge pre-construction meeting scheduled for October 31.
  • In response to a query from Councillor Schoening - "Bruder Bridge" tender likely to be returned to council for approval by third week of November.

Public invited to provide input on noise bylaw

Bylaw 1256-14 came before council for approval on October 28. Director of Development and Community Services Roland Milligan explained that the current noise bylaw ( Bylaw No. 1172-09) only covers the hamlet of Lundbreck. "Now we have a bylaw that can work in all hamlets and all like areas within the municipality."  The bylaw passed first and second reading, and is to come back to council for third reading after the public is given the chance to submit written comments and/or to attend and give input at a public meeting on Monday, November 24 at 7:00 pm. The proposed bylaw contains a provision for fines of $500 for a first offence and $1000 for a second offence. Councillor Terry Yagos questioned whether those amounts were to severe and was told by Milligan that in practice people would be warned by the bylaw officer before being subject to fines.

2015 FCSS Funding Agreement passed

On October 28 council agreed to enter into a new contract with the Province for Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) funding, as recommended by Director of Finance and Administration Mat Bonertz. Bonertz clarified that the MD's agreement regarding FCSS is separate from the Town of Pincher Creek's agreement. The contract has to be renewed annually. For 2015 the MD will fund the same amount as last year, $22, 252 (20% of the total).  The Province will fund $89,009 for a total allocation of $111,261 in 2015. The Province's contribution will be paid in four equal installments in January, April, July, and October of  2015.

Gun Club road to get temporary snow fencing

In a letter to council Hugh Bonertz of the Oldman River Gun Club asked for the MD to construct a permanent snow fence west of their grounds, which are located adjacent to the south side of the Crowsnest/Pincher Creek Landfill, south and east of Lundbreck. "I have spoken to the landowner, Keith Everts, regarding the fence and he is in favor of this project on his property," the letter states.

"As you may well know the snow problem at the Gun Club property has been an enormous problem for the past few years," the letter continues. "It completely buries our facility in snow each year and requires many many hours and equipment in the spring to make the grounds usable again. We (the Gun Club) work on a very limited budget and find this expense each year very burdensome. Preferably the location of the fence would be along the west boundary of the Gun Club property. It would also help enormously to keep the road open along the Gun Club property."

According to Director of Operations Leo Reedyk, if approved about 1/8th of a mile of snow fence would be required.  Councillors Yagos and Schoening questioned the need for a permanent fence, which was echoed by Councillor Marchuk's suggestion that the MD install a temporary snow fence "and see if it works".  Councillor Yagos, who has been a member of the Landfill committee for years, added that Landfill staff have had to pull people out from the road many times in the past.  His motion to follow councillor Marchuk's suggestion to install a temporary snow fence "to keep the road open" passed unanimously.

MD to join Facilities Planning Steering committee

A letter from Town of Pincher Creek Director of Community Services Diane Burt Stuckey regarding a planning study steering committee for the multi-purpose facility on Main Street Pincher Creek was received as information by the MD council.  The Town has determined the Committee should be composed of up to six voting members, including two Town councillors, two MD councillors, and one member from the Pincher Creek and District Recreation Advisory Committee.

Councillor Fred Schoening was appointed to be the MD's representative on that committee.

Diane Burt Stuckey's letter reads as follows:

In 2012 the Town of Pincher Creek initiated a planning study to consider the repurposing and future expansion of the Multi-Purpose Facility. The study included investigations and visioning regarding the construction of a new arena, replacement of the curling rink and future

expansions to the library and swimming pool. Krystal Engineering was engaged as the consultant to undertake this work along with RKH Architects. In March 2013, a planning session for the study was held with Councillors from the Town and MD of Pincher Creek, Rotary Club representatives, administration and consultants in attendance.

In April 2013, the Town Council approved the formation of a Multi-purpose Facility Steering Committee for the planning study and the MD of Pincher Creek was invited to appoint two members to the Committee at this time. The MD Council discussed this matter at their April 23,

2013 Council meeting and a letter was provided to the Town to advising that it would be prudent to again discuss the matter after the fall local government elections.

The Planning Study Steering Committee continued to meet in 2013 to review the consultant's plans and to prepare a summary of recommendations to Council prior to the fall elections. A copy of the recommendations is attached for your information.

The consultant's Final Report with budget and drawings, were presented to newly elected Town Council in March 2014. Subsequent to the presentation, Council directed the formation of a Facilities Planning Steering Committee to study and provide advice to the Town of Pincher

Creek regarding future development, renovation or expansion of facilities including sport, recreational, community and other Town owned facilities. It was recommended in the Terms of Reference that the Committee could be composed of up to 6 voting members including representation from the Town of Pincher Creek, MD of Pincher Creek and the Recreation Advisory Committee. Although similar to the first planning committee, the scope of study for the new committee was expanded to all facilities listed on Appendix A. Due to the Southern Alberta Summer Games, this committee was not able to meet until this fall.

Current appointments to this Committee include Councillor Barber, Councillor Elliott and Faith Zachar. Attending administration include Adam Grose, Recreation Manager and Diane Burt Stuckey, Director of Community Services. The Committee has met twice this fall to review the previous facility planning reports and to commence work on a "vision board" for community facilities.

After a Committee review of the Terms of Reference, they requested that a letter be sent to the MD of Pincher Creek to invite participation on this Committee as it is felt that your input and perspective would be valuable to the process. The purpose of this letter is to invite one to two councillors from the MD of Pincher Creek to be appointed to the Town of Pincher Creek Facilities Planning Steering Committee. A Committee Terms of Reference is attached as information. Please consider this request at your earliest convenience.

If you would like any updates or copies of reports regarding the Multi-Purpose Facility Study completed in 2014, we would be pleased to provide this information.

Yours truly,
Diane Burt Stuckey
Director of Community Services, Town of Pincher Creek

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