Tuesday, September 6, 2016

MD of Pincher Creek council notes for July and August, 2016

Solar power policy discussed
Dust control issued
Pincher Creek Food Bank funding
Beaver Mines Water and Sewer Project moves forward
Different shifts for Agricultural Service employees?
Emergency Water Supply Agreement
Picnic tables for Beaver Mines
Spionkop Creek pipeline discontinuation, removal and abandonment
Temporary bridge closure
An Oxeye Daisy a Day Dear

Chris Davis

Solar power policy discussed

At the August 23 meeting of council for the MD of Pincher Creek council heard from Director of Development and Community Services Roland Milligan. Milligan included information about a bylaw passed by the MD of Taber recently and suggested he could use it as a guide in drafting a similar bylaw for council's consideration.

Councillor Fred Schoening wanted to make sure that the MD would be in the position to control larger uses of agricultural land for other purposes.  Milligan said the Taber bylaw directs that less arable/usable land be used whenever possible.

Council approved Milligan's first recommendation, "That Council review the municipal bylaws provided and direct administration to prepare a draft amending bylaw to allow for the inclusion of solar energy systems within the Land Use Bylaw to be returned to Council for consideration."

Additional Snake Trail Dust Control approved

At the July 12 regular meeting of council, Councillor Quentin Stevick moved that a report from the Public Works Superintendent dated July 6, 2016 regarding Snake Trail Dust Control be received and that Council grant approval for additional dust control, on the hill on the east of 10-8-1 W5M, and the curve and hill on the north of 22-8-1 W5M, at the cost of approximately $20,000, with funding coming from Operating Projects Funded by Operating (Account Number 2-32-0-261-2260), and further that this matter be discussed during 2017 budget deliberations. The motion was carried.

Shell dust control

At the July 12 regular meeting of council, Councillor Fred Schoening moved that, for Shell Canada initiated dust control in 2016 intended for the benefit of Shell Canada the cost for dust control is $600 per 100 m, and that for dust control for the benefit of MD ratepayers paid for by Shell Canada the cost will be $250 per 100 m, to be reviewed on a yearly basis.  Councillor Schoening requested a recorded vote.  All members of council voted in favour of the motion.

Pincher Creek Food Bank funding

At the July 12 regular meeting of council, Councillor Terry Yagos moved that budget information, a letter dated June 23, 2016, and the cash flow projection for the period ending March 31, 2017, by McMan Agency, which manages the Junction (Pincher Creek's food bank) be received and that the current funding of $1000 per month be continued until the end of 2016, to be reviewed during the upcoming 2017 budget discussions. The motion was carried.

Proposed Beaver Mines Water and Sewer Project moves forward

At the July 12 regular meeting of council, Councillor Garry Marchuk moved that a report from Chief Administrative Officer Wendy Kay dated July 6, 2016 regarding the Beaver Mines Proposed Water and Sewer Project be received,and that detailed designs be authorized to commence immediately. Councillor Quentin Stevick requested a recorded vote. The motion carried unanimously.

MD provides water truck for Heritage Acres annual show

At the July 12 meeting of council a motion by Councillor Quentin Stevick that the MD supply a water truck with driver for the annual Heritage Acres show was carried.

Different shifts for Agricultural Service employees?

At their July 12 meeting a motion by Councillor Fred Schoening that Council direct Administration to review the possibility of different shifts with relation to the hours worked by the Agricultural Service employees was carried.

Beaver Mines request for picnic tables

At their July 12 meeting council passed a motion by Councillor Garry Marchuk that Administration be directed to investigate different options regarding the purchasing of six picnic tables for the Hamlet of Beaver Mines, and two picnic tables for Foothills Park.

Emergency Water Supply Agreement

At their July 12 meeting council carried a motion by Councillor Fred Schoening that the Reeve and CAO be authorized to sign the Emergency Water Supply Agreement between the MD of Pincher Creek and Alberta Environment and Parks, in relation to the supply of pumps and pipes, as a temporary measure for the Cowley / Lundbreck Regional Water System.

Spionkop Creek pipeline discontinuation, removal and abandonment

Council received a letter from Shell Canada dated July 25, 2016 that read in part "We would like to provide you with information on our upcoming plans for the above noted pipeline. Shell is planning to apply to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for approval to discontinue, abandon and remove an approximate 50m section of a 2" sweet fuel gas pipeline. The portion of pipeline being removed crosses Spionkop Creek at SW-33-03-30W4M and has been exposed due to flooding. An approximate 1.5 km section of pipeline located north of Spionkop Creek will be discontinued (10-36-003-01W5M to SW-33-03-30W4M). A 1.1 km section of pipeline located south of Spionkop Creek will be abandoned (SW-33-03-30W4Mto 16-28-003-30W4M).

In another communication Shell Canada reported on the continuous ambient air quality monitoring station in the Screwdriver Creek Valley area.  The station "began collecting data in  March
2014.  The  station continuously measures sulphur dioxide (S02),  hydrogen sulphide (H2S),  wind speed, wind direction, and atmospheric temperature."  We have no one here at the Voice qualified to interpret such data, but it is included in the MD's August 23 meeting minutes

Temporary bridge closure

Effective September 6 to October 30, 2016 Highway 785 south of the Highway 3 junction to Township Road 6-4 will be closed for bridge culvert replacement and other work.

An Oxeye Daisy a Day Dear

MD Director of Operations Leo Reedyk relayed the concerns of a Division 1 landowner about the proliferation of weeds, specifically Scentless Camomile and Oxeye Daisy.  According to Reedyk the landowner "has a small acreage parcel that had some Scentless Camomile a number of years ago. The camomile was not treated, it spread.... and is now at his doorstep."  Hay from one location is being used to feed cattle at another location "and is now bringing the seed with it".

:Similarly, ox eyed daisy is moving towards his property through our ditches and game trails and although he continues to deal with the few he has, his neighbour does not."

Reedyk told council he believed the MD has responsibilities under the Weed Control Act, "that if we choose to not write a weed notice but coach individuals, if that weed gets away as a result, the MD is liable for not using the tools they could have to prevent the spread."

MD of Pincher Creek Agricultural Fieldman Shane Poulsen, in response to a request for more information that sprang from council's discussion of the above issues, wrote the following, addressed to Reedyk:

"We do assist with all Scentless Chamomile patches, and have been spending a significant amount of time on large patches of this weed, and will be spending a lot more time from Chipman Creek all the way down to where Pincher Creek meets the Oldman. Even though we haven't elevated this weed to Prohibited Noxious as previously planned, we are treating it as though it is, with the hopes of still getting it there in the future.

As for Oxeye Daisy, we keep our roads sprayed for it, with a few problem roads having it perennially, and we have drawn the line in the sand at the area west of Highway #6 and Highway #22 being kept as clean as possible, when it comes to private land not on a watercourse. As you can imagine, having one section of the municipality being treated differently than another is not ideal, but this is the best way to keep this weed at bay and still have resources to put to the other thirty or so weeds that require our attention. Oxeye Daisy is just one weed we have to do this for, with Yellow Buttercup, Canada Thistle and Perennial Sow Thistle also being in this category for our MD. Hoary Cress and Blueweed are also separated out into 'in-house infested areas', where we treat them as Noxious Weeds in the 'infested areas' and Prohibited Noxious outside of these areas (they are both Noxious Weeds). This helps us use resources to keep them from spreading, and still keep them in control in those areas where they have been present at high levels for up to 70 years (Hoary Cress)."

"Oxeye Daisy has reached the point where eradication would be very expensive and difficult, with the Forestry area having been out of control for 20+ years, almost 100% presence of the weed on our watercourses and almost everything on the west side of Highway #6 and #22 being significantly infested. The reason for this is that the province is terrible at taking care of their weeds! Again this year they have pulled all funding for the forestry area for invasive species control, with the Hawkweed's already reaching the point where control is impossible. We have the option of enforcement, as the Crowsnest Pass has done, but the damage is done, with another year of everything going to seed."

"I am just beginning the process of writing 'Eradication Plans' for all of the weeds that we presently take care of, and this will outline how we need to handle these on a species by species basis, with eradication the ultimate goal with all of them, even though that is an unrealistic goal for most of them without unlimited budget (or a change in technology IE: biocontrol, new chemicals, targeted grazing). The history of control measures being taken will be included in these plans. This won't be done until next year, hopefully in time for next season, but will bring into focus what costs will be in terms of crew and materials, in the context of an eight hour day. The reasons for this is that the MD will always have a limited budget and we are going to have to discuss how to integrate enforcement into the program while still keeping the cooperative aspect of our program, which has been very successful up to now. Wild Caraway and Hawkweed are changing things, as we already have too many species get away on us like Oxeye Daisy, and these two species are next if we keep the status quo." 

- Shane Poulsen, Agricultural Fieldman, MD of Pincher Creek Agricultural Services

Note: These MD council notes are in addition to recent and upcoming longer- length council stories.  Click here for more stories related to Pincher Creek's councils.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

Infinite Scroll