By Anna Smith
With many councillors in the agricultural sector and harvest in full swing, there were some few empty seats at the Auguest 8th Council Meeting for the County of 40 Mile No. 8. Regardless, those present still found themselves with plenty to do.
Bylaw officer Stuart Payne gave a report on the current state of enforcement files. A few cases were discussed of unsightly properties and other issues. It was noted that files are largely complaint driven, not opened by Bylaw and the County itself.
A few instances of problems in 40 mile park were also noted, including one near-escalation that was thankfully successfully resolved.
Another report noted an issue in regards to the Winnifred Raw Water local development tax, in which Council will eventually set a bylaw and apply a tax to landowners in order to fund the project. Letters were sent with the estimated cost to landowners; however, there was a base data error in the calculations used to determine the cost.
Fortunately, the error has been caught and letters have been re-sent with the correct amounts.
The RCMP came as a delegation to speak on the quarterly reports to the community. It was noted that the real time communications centre is up and running, allowing local officers to take some small breaks; this is critical with some of the resource issues seen in the area detachments.
Points of note included two individuals who had been charged with failure to comply with conditions of release, as well as working with the Medicine Hat Police force to reduce property crimes. Some work with enhanced road safety was also noted over the last quarter.
The majority of crime rates have been down in percentages compared to the past five years.
Fire Chief Mark Myra was also present to discuss options for the purchase of a new vehicle for the County. A motion was made in order to allow for extra funding required to make a purchase, and was carried. It was noted that they had already budgeted this year for the purchase of a new truck.
The Council received correspondence from the Alberta Utilities Commission in regards to their investigation into ongoing economic, orderly and efficient development of electricity generation in Alberta. As a party with a project that will be affected by the investigation and as a stakeholder, the County was invited to give input on the nature of the upcoming six-month pause on applications as the AUC addresses concerns.
After debate, Council directed to return input for a partial abeyance of applications.