By Jamie Rieger
County of Forty Mile council discussed a number of ongoing issues at their June 8 meeting, including an issue with an local resident who was burning items that do not comply with county bylaws, the Burdett lagoon, and the Foremost/County regional water project.
Thick, black smoke seen burning north of Foremost recently had County of 40 Mile municipal enforcement officer, Stewart Payne talking to a county resident about items that are not permitted to be burned according to the county’s bylaw.
When Payne got to the site, he found that about 1,000 chemical jugs filled a burn pit that had been lit.
The resident, who was not named at the meeting, told Payne he had permission from the reeve to burn on that day.
“He took out the necessary burn permit, but told me there was only one large grain bag at the bottom of the pit and that was what caused the black smoke,” said reeve Bryne Lengyel. “Actually, there was a combination of lots of items, including about 1,000 chemical jugs.”
“Chemical jugs? C’mon guys,” said councilor Steve Wikkerink.
Payne told council that when he initially visited the site, he issued a verbal order to get the fire extinguished. Payne then had to leave for an appointment before fire chief, Dustin McGarry was able to arrive.
“It was still burning when I came back,” said Payne.
County administrator said the incident created a bad situation for county staff.
Payne asked that in the future, council members forward requests onto the appropriate staff members who can then follow up with the calls.
Foremost/Forty Mile Regional water project
Utilities officer, Stewart Payne provided county council with an update on the regional water project. Well #6 has been completed and wells 4,5, and 6 have been in the process of having flow testing conducted.
“The flow testing seems to be improving as we move west,” said Payne. “The engineers are now working through site location options. Things are progressing. Wells 7 and 8 are site proposed and we may not have to drill well #9.”
Protective services report
Fire chief Dustin McGarry was not in attendance at the meeting, but provided a written report to council. During the month of May, there were eight calls; three for fire, three medical first responders’ calls, and two motor vehicle collisions.
Fourteen burn permits were issued in May.
A sludge depth study is going to be needed at the Burdett lagoon, Stewart Payne told council, indicating that approximately one-third of the lagoon’s volume is filled with sludge.
“About one-third of the volume is sludge in both cells and that is normal. In the 13 years I have been here, we have never dredged it,” said Payne.
The cost of just dredging the lagoon would cost an estimated $110,000.
“If we can organize this through our Gas Tax and grant structure, this would be good for years,” said reeve, Bryne Lengyel.
Payne said this project could be approved within weeks because it is a project for which there is available funding.