Kneehill County Council hears plan for Commercial Greenhouse

Kneehill Logo 2019

Kneehill County held a regular meeting of council on Tuesday October 13, 2020, which was called to order at 8:30 am by Reeve Jerry Wittstock.

The first item on Councils agenda was the request for Decision (RFD) on policy 13-2, Transportation Grader/Gravel Service, presented by Brad Buchert, Director of Transportation. This policy will facilitate the acquisition, guidelines and standards of the summer and winter maintenance of Kneehill County’s roads in a reasonable, safe, timely, cost-effective, manner.

In the summer, the maintenance priorities would be, local roads and gravel roads will be bladed a minimum of six rotations per season, hamlets and alley’s bladed a minimum of once per year, and dirt roads bladed a minimum of twice a year as time and the condition of the roads allow. Road repairs and private driveways are to be determined by the Road Program Supervisor and Grader Agreement.

In the winter, the maintenance priorities would be to open the paved/chipsealed roads within 24 hours of a snow event if the road has a minimum of 5cm/2inches of surface accumulation or icy road conditions due to weather. For local roads, gravel roads hamlets, country residential and subdivisions, opened with 24 to 120 hours of snow event that is a minimum of 10cm or more accumulated on the road. Reservoir and transfer sites are to be opened within 24-120 hours of snow event when deemed necessary.

The policy also stated that Kneehill County re-gravels a minimum of 640 Km a year, and depending on the condition of the road, every gravel roadway should be re-graveled every 2 to 7 years.

The transportation department also may apply dust abatement material on municipal/provincial haul route roads on an as needed basis.

The council approved this policy unanimously.

Second item, policy 13-6-2, Gravel Specifications, was an RFD, also presented by Buchert. He’s proposing to rescind the policy 13-6-2 and have one document, policy 13-3, with the gravel specifications and the outlining of the standards and guidelines regarding the gravel specifications.

Council approved this decision unanimously.

Buchert also proposed an RFD to rescind policy 13-28, snowplowing of county road allowance & snowplowing/grading of Private Driveways, and have one document, policy 13-2 Transportation Grader/Gravel Specifications, outlining the standards and guidelines regarding snowplowing of County road allowances and snowplowing, and grading of private driveways.

Council approved this decision unanimously.

Buchert’s fourth item was RFD policy 13-38, Brush & Tree Control Road Allowance, which would provide a current guideline regarding the Federal Migratory Bird Convention Act that must be considered when removing trees and bushes when a nest is present or during nesting periods.

Council approved the proposal unanimously.

Buchert’s last item, an RFD on development of Undeveloped Road Allowance, RGE RD 25-5. This would include, the construction of a drainage ditch, centerline culverts, vertically align roadway, and relocate existing powerline support wire.

The Council approved this decision unanimously.

Community Planner, Barb Hazelton, presented agenda item 6.1.1 to Council. Which was an RFD on the Master Rates Adjustments for additional fees for Land Use Bylaw 1808.

The Council carried this adjustment unanimously and approved that Council direct Administration to include these fees in the next update of the Master Rates Bylaw.

Deanna Keiver, Planning & Development Officer, presented agenda item 6.1.2, Bylaw 1827 – Redesignation from Agriculture District to Agriculture Business District- SW 27-30-25 W4 Plan 121 0619 Block 1 Lot 2. The RFD would be to have the portion of land to be rezoned enclosing two existing greenhouses and a small area for future development.

The Council approved the first reading of proposed Bylaw 1827, and scheduled the Public Hearing, held on Nov. 10, 2020 at 10:00am.

John McKiernan, Manager of Environmental Services, presented agenda item 6.2.1, the RFD on Community Engagement – Three Hills East Water. Previously a presentation to Council was held on Sept. 15, 2020, regarding the possible construction of a residential water system east of Three Hills. A recommendation made from Council that directs Administration to engage with the residents within the defined area and create a survey to be distributed in the first quarter of 2021.

The Council carried this RFD unanimously.

Bowen Clausen, Manager of Parks & Agriculture services, presented agenda item 6.3.1, policy 1-29 Agricultural Pests and Nuisance Species, which is the management and control of agricultural pests, vital to the success of the agricultural producers in Kneehill County.

The Council carried unanimously.

Clausen secondly presented agenda item 6.3.2, policy 1-29-1 Agricultural Pests – Grasshopper, in recommending deleting said policy because it is procedural in nature and does not require to be a policy.

Council approved the deletion of this policy unanimously.

Next, Clausen presented agenda item 6.3.3, policy 1-29-2 agricultural Pests – Coyote, with changing minor grammatical changes, and the removal of redundant statements that are already covered in another policy.

Council approved this policy change unanimously.

Agenda item 6.3.4, policy 1-29-3 Agriculture Pests – Clubroot, also presented by Clausen, was approved for minor grammatical changes as well as clarifying wording.

Bylaw 1826 – Emergency Management Bylaw, presented by Debra Grosfield, Protective Services Manager and Director of Emergency Management. Formed in 2009, the Kneehill Reginal Emergency Management Agency (KREMA) needed to be revised and adhere to the new legislation, and potentially new bylaws/agreement. Grosfield presented the benefits of moving KREMA to an official regional emergency management agency by Ministerial Order, allowing the following:

- the EMA (Emergency Management Act) and the LEMR (Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation) requirements would be able to be fulfilled by only one advisory committee and one emergency management agency - the regional bodies would be the groups responsible for fulfilling legislated responsibilities on behalf of all partner communities

- there is no requirement to maintain separate advisory committees and emergency management agencies, but some communities may still want to retain some of that function

- save administrative effort

- establish the relationships for collaboration during response, and create a greater depth and capacity for the central emergency management team - the bylaws for each partnering community are nearly identical

- there would be a requirement for a regional plan that also addresses partner communities

- a greater pool of municipal staff that can be DEMs and DDEMs, and other positions

- in the bylaw proposed, each municipality maintains control of emergencies in their jurisdiction. There is clarification on wording in number 10 and 11 Declaring a State of Local Emergency.

This Bylaw will have each municipality, Town of Three Hills, Town of Trochu, Village of Linden, Village of Carbon, and Village of Acme, will have their own emergency management plan and expenses as per their own budgets to meet legislative requirements.

The council carried all readings of bylaw 1826.

At 10:00 am, Council opened the Public Hearing for Bylaw 1825, presented by Barb Hazelton, Planning & Development Manager. This redesignation bylaw is to have David and Isabelle Price redesignate 121.56 acres of SW 30-29-25 W4 from Agriculture District to Agriculture Business District. The long-term plan for this land is to have 70 to 75 acres of commercial greenhouse producing locally grown products.

They proposed a world class technologically advanced glass greenhouse that will be producing strawberries and tomatoes, and no retail sale will be available from the greenhouse itself. The products are expected to be available locally through already existing food stores and potentially to be sold across Alberta, the Prairie provinces, and beyond.

The first phase would have construction staring in the fall of 2020 on approximately 20 acres, with the anticipated completion by the fall of 2021.

This facility will be recycling all the water used in production, including rainwater and snowmelt from the roof.

Approximately 50 jobs will be created in phase one, and overall creating 170-180 jobs.

“We want to continue to develop an agricultural and agri-food cluster,” said applicant Ray Price. “It is a good opportunity.”

Council ended the public hearing at 10:30 am and returned to regular council meeting.

Following the Public Hearing, Council approved second and third reading, of redesignating a portion of the SW-30-29-25-W4 from agriculture District to the Agriculture Business district, passing Bylaw 1825

Caroline Siverson, Tax/Assessment & Utilities, presented agenda item 7.1, Tax Forfeiture properties, which told the council that all properties have either paid, will be paying their taxes in full, or have entered into a Tax Agreement with the county, that were on the March 2019 tax Arrears Listing. Because of this, there will be no sale held.

The council approved this report information unanimously.

Siverson next presented an RFD on agenda item 7.2, electronic Transmission of Documents Bylaw 1824. This bylaw allows municipalities to forward their tax notices by electronic transmission. The County already has the current programs that make it possible to do these electronic tax notices and this request is for the necessary Bylaw to be put in place by Council.

The Council carried unanimously the second reading and third reading.

Mike Haugen, CAO, presented agenda item 8.1 RFD on Highway 21 Corridor Crime Watch Association Request. They are asking the Council to provide support of $1,000 for the Highway 21 Corridor Crime Watch Association. The organization is a non-profit formed in 2016 as result of the increased crime in rural areas. This program is Provincial wide and is supported by the RCMP. Some of the funds raised for the program have gone to purchasing Rule Crime Watch signs. They are also looking into supporting camera purchases for private businesses and towns. They also operate a Facebook page that provides information on crimes and criminal activities.

Some of the other sponsors include Red Deer County, Village of Delburne, Lousana Community Association, Friends of Delburne Library, and Ember Resources.

The Council approved to support the Highway 21 Corridor Crime Watch Association in the amount of $1,000.00 with funds to come from the 2020 operating budget.

Haugen second proposal was on the 2020 Discovery Fair & Ratepayer Evening, and because of the restrictions still in place due to COVID-19, administration is asking the Council to postpone the Discovery Fair Ratepayer Evening. The Council moved to cancel the Discover fair and Ratepayer Evening until 2021, or when COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

At 11:00 am, Delegations of Town of Trochu and Trochu Housing Corporation (THC), presented by Barry Kletke, Trochu Mayor, Sam Smalldon, President of the Trochu Housing Corporation and Shelly Murphy, Covenant Heath, and provided an update of the Trochu Senior Supportive Living Facility Project since last presentation to Council. They are asking Kneehill county to partner with the Town of Trochu for the Trochu Seniors Supportive Living Facility project for borrowing $25 million that is required for construction of the facility.

This project will serve the Town of Trochu and Surrounding Communities, the project will add Seniors Housing Capacity for Kneehill County. Borrowing for the Project will exceed Debt Ratios of the Town. The county would be provided with a seat on the THC Board.

Haugen proceeded to present agenda item 9.3, Acme ICF Extension, for extending the Nov. 1 deadline by six months primarily due to the Village awaiting engineering information regarding the lagoon and also the County’s uncertainty regarding the area north of Acme. The council accepted the deadline extension.

Lastly, Haugen presented agenda item 9.4, Provincial Policing Priorities. 9.4 Provincial Policing Priorities, asking for each municipality to submit one survey about setting policing priorities and determining how new police resources are distributed. This survey is being conducted on Surveymonkey. Council directed Administration to submit the Provincial Policing Priorities survey as amended.