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40 Mile County declares agricultural disaster

Posted on July 20, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith
Commentator/Courier

With temperatures at their highest, storms rolling in every other day, and whispers of agricultural disaster in the southeastern corner of the province, it must be summer for county councils everywhere.

The County of 40 Mile No. 8 approved a policy that defined the level of service that each fire station would be striving to achieve, as well as which stations are qualified for what kinds of service. This workup is based on outlines given by Council, and it was noted that these were goals more than hard lines that had to be filled.

A delegation was present from Magnum Infrastructure, that came in to talk about the possibility of cement stabilization in some of the soil in the county, particularly along some of the roads that would benefit from less “pinpoint pressure,” as explained by Travis Barber, Director of Soil Stabilization with Magnum.

A motion was passed to allow Bow Island to be the funding authority in regards to the FCSS. It was noted that this year there was an increase of about $900 a year.

Council discussed a need to have the RCMP return for a delegation soon, citing reports of property crime in some regions of the county from ratepayers that feel a need to address this issue with officers.

Bylaw officer Stuart Payne was brought in to discuss an instance where an irrigation pivot was spraying water on the road, and an overview of the ticketing process in the event of these kinds of offences.

A motion was also passed to declare an agricultural state of disaster, in order to address the lack of rainfall and high temperatures that have had a negative impact on crops and on native grass that has, in previous years, been used to feed grazing cattle. These conditions have also had an impact on the insect population.

The decision was hotly debated amongst council in regards to if they qualify for the designation, and what information would need to be gathered to submit the decision. Ultimately, the motion passed, citing that if they waited until crops had failed, it would be too late.

Council discussed their participation in the Foremost Rodeo Parade on July 22, and their intentions to acquire candy to toss at spectators during it, as well as the potential for the float with the knowledge that there was no parking on main street this year.

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