Trochu Council supports RCMP over Provincial Police Force

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Trochu Town Council held a regular meeting as well as a Public Hearing for Bylaws 2021-02, 2021-03, and 2021-04, on February 22nd, 2021. The meeting was held both on Zoom and in-person in the Council chambers, and opened at 6:00pm.

Council accepted their agenda, previous minutes, and housekeeping items, then proceeded into their public hearing at 6:10pm.

CAO Carl Peterson reviewed the three bylaws, which have all been discussed numerous times.

The first was Bylaw 2021-02 which deals with the Northwest Area Structure Plan, i.e. the land north of North Road and west of the Arboretum. The bylaw “proposes to zone the Northwest ASP plan area for future medium residential, commercial, and utility uses, in accordance with the current MDP and LUB land use maps.”

Bylaw 2021-03 was created to rezone four lots in the downtown area on Arena Ave, adjacent to Alberta Street, from Central Business District to General Residential district. Residents of these properties brought this request to Administration; “when these properties were zoned as CB, their homes were considered existing, but ‘non-conforming’ and as such they are currently limited to what they can do to enhance their homes. They also believe it [the current zoning] will discourage prospective buyers, should they decide to sell.”

Lastly, Bylaw 2021-04 was merely a correction to the drawing in the Land Use Bylaw to ensure it matched the written portion of the LUB, detailing the required distance between Principal and accessory buildings on a property. With the acceptance of Bylaw 2021-04, both the drawing and written portion state a required distance of 1 Meter between Accessory buildings and Principal buildings and between Accessory Buildings and lane-ways or property lines.

Notice of the public hearing was given many weeks in advance of the meeting. No members of the public were present to share either support or opposition to the bylaws. No members of the public provided written statements either in support or opposition of the bylaws. The public hearing was left open for half an hour before Council passed all three bylaws unanimously.

Councilor Cheryl Lumley attended a webinar with the Provincial Minister about the proposed Provincial Police Force. He shared the positives this Force would bring to the Province, especially related to addressing rural crime. A representative from the RCMP also spoke and explained what they are doing to address concerns with rural crime; engaging with municipalities to meet their needs and expectations. Lumley realized the importance of supporting our current Force, the RCMP, and to let the government know that this is what is desired rather than creating a Provincial Police force.

Councilor Bonnie Munro shared that she has been working on documents to ready the town for any potential film crews who come inquiring about the town’s policies. She requested the ability to borrow verbiage from the Town of Didsbury’s policies, as they have had success with filming projects in the town and surrounding area. She will bring these document’s to Council’s next Committee of the Whole meeting.

Mayor Barry Kletke expressed gratitude that Great Plains MDF has chosen Equity (between Three Hills and Trochu) as the site for its $850M MDF straw board plant. This project is expected to bring upwards of 350 jobs to the area and is the first of its kind in North America. The plant will be located on three quarter sections and construction is expected to begin in Fall 2021.

Council discussed the Senior’s Housing project, for which financial backing has recently been approved by the County. The facility will contain 24, 2-bedroom units, starting at $200K each. Life leases for these units are now available for purchase, and can be secured with a 10% deposit. More information, including how to register, is available at the Town Office.

Council entered Closed Session just after 7:00pm.