Jerry Wittstock returned as Reeve at Organizational Meeting

Wittstock Rodeo

Kneehill County began their Oct. 22 meeting with the annual organizational meeting first. It was about 1-1/4 hour in length with Jerry Wittstock as Reeve and Faye McGhee voted in as Deputy Reeve. As that portion of the meeting ended, they took a small break and began the regular meeting with the 10:00 a.m. public hearing for the Red Deer County and Kneehill County Intermunicipal Development Plan. There were two members present from Red Deer County who waived their opportunity to speak. There were no letters or speakers in favour or against, and later in the meeting Council approved second and third readings.

At the 11:00 a.m. slot, another Public Hearing was held for the O’Brien family application to redesignate from Agriculture District to Direct Control District 5 for a portion of SE 18-30-24 W4. Council had moved first reading of the proposed Bylaw 1803 on Sept. 24, 2019. The redesignation to a Direct Control is a current requirement for Cannabis Recreational Production. Krush Cannabis Inc is proposing to open a recreational micro cannabis cultivation facility using two existing buildings located on the property. There were four letters (including a 7-page petition) in favour of the redesignation and Cannabis Production business, and two letters in opposition. Those in opposition cited the stigma of such a business being unfavourable to local landowners in reducing home/land sales, especially as it is not a ‘usually accepted’ form of agricultural. Traffic and unwanted attention could bring in more crime. The letters in favour were confident that strict regulations would be adhered to, could bring jobs to the community, and the location was appropriate. Later in the meeting Council gave second and third readings to pass the bylaw.

Community Grants to Non Profit Organizations

Council approved its Round Two of Community Grants to Non-Profits, giving funding to Trochu Valley Historical Society $1,000 (laptop, printer), Huxley Legion Branch #002 $1,843.80 (install new flag poles), Torrington & District Agricultural Society $1,500 (update website), and Three hills Health Care Centre Auxiliary $923 (lift chair for long-term care patients).

Transportation

Council approved amendments to Policy #13-28, the Sowplowing of County Road Allowances and Snowplowing/Grading of Private Driveways as presented. The changes made to the policy are more “to provide clarity of the Municipality’s priorities, triggers and goals regarding snow removal”, noted Brad Buchert, Sr. Manager Transportation and Facilities. “The list of priorities is in chart form for easier reading.” It was noted that Community Halls, wanting snow removal should fill out the requesting application. Brad asked for patience, reminding all that it still takes three days or more to get around initially, doing 40 miles per day.

Bridge Funding

Council gave approval for a budget amendment in allocating additional funding for Bridge Project file B1950 - Bridge replacements for BF2432 and BF2433 in the amount of $208,000. Administration was directed to transfer $208,000 from the Bridge Reserve to project B1950. The structures being replaced are a two-span (BF2433 built in 1951) and a three-span (BF2432 built in 1951). Both are located on a very busy arterial road TWP Rd 33-4. “The estimated cost to replace the two structures would be around $2,200,000,” advised Brad Buchert, “however the respondent is recommending a sheet pile design, greatly reducing the costs per structure.” Brad explained that the sheet pile design is like what is used for shoring up the Oak Island project (tv series) to keep the water out. The number of required girders is less and the usual riprap along the headwall will be eliminated. The bridge can also be completed within a shorter timeframe, thereby reducing the impact on traffic and residents. “The sheet pile design eliminates the need for a timber back wall as it extends for the full depth of load bearing rather than the typical 600 mm below stream bed installation. Completing these bridges will provide each with a 75 plus year lifespan.” Stated Clr. King, “We acknowledge and appreciate your effort to save County dollars.” Council also approved a motion directing administration to transfer $208,000 from the Bridge Reserve to project B1950. Brad expects a start date of February 2020.

Hamlet Solid Waste Collection Contract

Council approved the five-year agreement with the Town of Trochu for providing Solid Waste Collection within the five specified Hamlets of Kneehill County. Trochu has been under contract for the past four years to provide the weekly service, with the fee in 2019 $65,654. “There have been minimal negative instances with the performance and service being delivered by the Town of Trochu,” noted John McKiernan, Mgr. of Environmental Services, “and is a showcase for collaboration between the two municipalities.” The new agreement would commence January 1, 2020. Budget considerations are 2020 $66,967 and about a 2% increase in each of the following years: 2021 $68,306, 2022 $69,672, 2023 $71,065 and 2024 $72,486.

Planning

Council moved first reading of Bylaw 1805 for the Rocky View County and Kneehill County Intermunicipal Development Plan. The Public Hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 26, 2019 and 11:00 a.m.

Council moved first reading of Bylaw 1804 for the Village of Carbon and Kneehill County Intermunicipal Development Plan. The Public Hearing for the IDP is to be held on Nov. 26, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

Subdivision Extension KNE180122

Councill moved to grant a one-year extension, to a subdivision relating to the east half of 12-29-22 W4, until September 27, 2020. Barb Hazelton, Mgr of Planning & Development noted that the delay was due to a septic system that did not meet the private sewage disposal system code. The extension would allow time to finalize the conditions set out in the approval.

Tax Sale Reserve Bids Set

Council gave approval to the reserve bids for five parcels that are available for public auction: 2.24 of an acre at NE 14-31-26 ($8000), one acre portion NE 20-32-23 W4 ($30,000), vacant parcel in Hamlet of Sunnyslope ($8,000), 11.61 acres at SW 5.35.24, NW of Trochu ($250,000), and a non-serviced property at 109, 2nd Street South in Torrington ($13,000).

FCSS Forum

Council authorized attendance of Councilor King to the 2019 Annual Volunteer Forum, to be held Nov. 6, 2019, as invited by Family & Community Support Services. Clr. King is the Chairman of the FCSS Committee and the County’s representative on the FCSS Board.

Police Costing Model

An added item to the agenda was in regard to a resolution by Rocky View County regarding the concerns for policing costs. The resolution would be brought forward to the Rural Municipalities of Alberta and Kneehill County would act as Seconder of said motion, should it be required. The expected costs to Kneehill County taxpayers could be between $238,000 and over $1.1 million. The motion was carried unanimously.

Committee Reports

Reeve Wittstock gave Council a verbal report on Aqua 7 Regional Water Commission, stating that it was operating well with a small surplus. Budget changes will also allow for the establishment of a reserve. This report, along with Canadian Badlands, Community Futures Wildrose and the Sept. 17 Committee of the Whole were approved to receive as information.

COW Meeting of Sept. 17, 2019

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Sept. 17, it was recommended that the County continue with Ten Grader Division and utilize in-house graders in place of two currently contracted beats. The dirt trail policy needs to be reviewed.

Chief Dan Marcellus provided Council with an overview of the current state of fire services in the County, including bylaws and policies.

Meeting Dates Set for 2020

Oct 27, 2020 is scheduled for the next organizational meeting, following election. The only meeting in December will be Dec 8, 2020. Summer meetings are July 21, 2020 and August 18, 2020. All other meetings are the second and fourth Tuesday. The COW meetings are the third Tuesdays, except for March 17, July 21, and August 18, and December 1, 2020.