Kneehill County Council Report

Rob Mayhew's operations report, at the Kneehill County Council meeting July 6, indicated that building materials were stolen from the Selkirk WSA Reservoir site on the evening of June 24. Cement was slated to be poured on Friday, July 2. Chinook Pipelines started work on the Selkirk distribution line June 24 and should be going full tilt by mid July. They will start east of Linden, head south and circle back. Council is toying with the idea of changing the name of this 'Linden' phase of the Selkirk line (in actuality an extension of the original water service area north of Linden, called the Linden North WSA). There seems to be no conflict with the Village of Linden, but there could be a perception out there that the use of the name would infer it as belonging to Linden rather than Kneehill County, in much the same way that County rate payers often confuse Kneehill's WS Areas, with the Kneehill Regional Water Commission's main pipeline. The Director of Operations and Administration were asked to investigate how much legal work would be involved in changing the name of 'Linden North' at this point.
The Kirkpatrick distribution line is nearing its end, with pressure testing set to begin. There is a delay waiting for final regulatory approvals for the Red Deer River crossing, which could be another two weeks. The Torrington reservoir is generally completed, albeit a few 'deficiencies' to work through and the bulk fill is in use. It had been hoped that dust control would already be completed but weather has caused some delays. There were about four or five calcium contracts left to do as well as some gravel roads and then spec crude application would begin, weather permitting. The Reeve gave her congratulations to the staff and crew for all their hard work in accomplishing as much as they did in spite of all the rainy weather. Rob then advised that NexTera Wind Farms had still not be able to finalize their construction route roads, as they are still waiting for the map showing access roads and service roads within the boundary. They will not start work until they receive signed papers from Alberta Utilities.
Paving at Horseshoe Canyon will happen in three weeks. The County is piggybacking this paving work with other paving by the Province. It has been confirmed that the Horseshoe Canyon site receives 1100 visitors per day. This also affects garbage. "We have four double bins and two single bins and they are all full." Administration will check into the feasibility of having an agreement with Drumheller to perhaps include help with clean up and maintenance. Clr. Long advised that going on a conversation he had recently with Drumheller, they showed interest in partnering with Kneehill in regard to both Orkney viewpoint and Horse Shoe Canyon.
Kneehill County will not have adequate time to advertise its existing sign shop for local rate payer purchase in the traditional way, yet will try advertising on the County website instead. The sale comes with a condition that removal is as soon as possible and within a week before Scott Builders requires the area. It is described as being a really long garage and already on a pony wall so will be relatively easy to move. However, to just relocate it on the County's yard, and have a fully functional building when finished is just not worth the cost of around $20,000. A price quote to move the building within a 15-mile radius was given as $11,000.
Will Nyman, IT Technician, introduced a software system to track requests/tasks and even complaints and also updated Council on the GPS function on County vehicles. Council was advised which vehicles were now outfitted with GPS and how it was working out, explaining that as a safety feature it allows for some peace of mind in knowing where its By-law officers are, and graders, for when they are working alone. It can act as a record for which roads have been graded and when. With a password, the appropriate staff can retrieve the information off the computer. He told Council that the gravel trucks were next on the list to be outfitted with GPS. The "Everest" software system works as a tool, so when a call comes into the office that call will be logged and an entry will be made and automatically sent to the person selected for that task. It will record whether the person dealt with the task or even if they forwarded it to another. The Administrator can create monthly reports that will breakdown all subject tasks, how many calls received, outstanding tasks, and so on. "Most programs out there," said Will "are sales orientated." He showed how this program has a tracking number and log in screen with an item page that has a description, concern, subject classification, and resolution and can even 'ping' the Administrator regarding the due date of the item. The cost of the software is $20,000 one-time fee, stored on County's server, with a $2000 set-up fee. The other option is for Everest's server to host the software and handle backups and updates, with a cost of $9000 per year and $2000 set-up fee.
A hearing went unchallenged today for a land-use by-law amendment to include "Outdoor Storage Facility" as a discretionary use in a Light Industrial District (LI) area and to re-designate a parcel from Agricultural to LI. A development permit has been issued for a parcel located about two miles west of Acme. Circle E. Farms Ltd. did operate as an intensive livestock operation for poultry but is being phased out and at present only one building is temporarily housing poultry. One of the out-dated buildings (30-50 years old) has already been taken down. The applicant's plan is to have storage facilities for recreational vehicles and the plan calls for screening and security, which will include chain link fence. The Planning and Development Officers feel that having outside storage as a discretionary use under LI affords the development authority (MPC) some control of the type of outside storage that is approved in the future. It would also avoid the risk of opening up the area to some uses in the Industrial District that may not be desirable. Appropriate screening requirements already exist in the LI District and the listed uses are more compatible with Agricultural District. The Planners cautioned Council about the alternative scenario, which would be to offer outdoor storage facilities as a discretionary use in the "Agricultural' district. Though some materials are, naturally allowed to some extent in the A District, adding 'outdoor storage facility' as a discretionary use would affect all Agricultural parcels in the County, of which there are many, versus how few LI parcels there are. After adjourning the public hearing portion, Council approved second and third reading of the by-law 1607 amendment, with one opposed. The rezoning (bylaw 1608) affects 9 acres of the 20 acre parcel, to be designated LI and was approved by three readings.
Another hearing this day was definitely challenged. There were about 14 people in attendance for the public hearing portion. The applicant was requesting a rezoning of two 45 acre parcels of land from Agricultural (AG) to Country Residential (CR), the purpose being to create five CR lots. The subject lots are north and east of Linden, on what local residents refer to as the Nursing Home road. The applicant owns two lots, subdivided from the quarter in 2009 with a dwelling placed on the western-most lot. The rest of the quarter is cultivated. A driveway runs along the norther boundary of the subject lots, with an easement in place for this access road to serve the existing farmstead. Problems have arisen due to past errors in which there is only this one access road and another error in which this existing road was registered to be included in the new parcels of the subdivision rather than being left as the legal access to the existing farmstead. The issue of the road access had been resolved as an understanding of equal usage but the agreement is now in dispute in light of the request for re-designation of the parcels to become five lots of CR. The owner of the farmstead and those leasing the land for agricultural purposes use the narrow access road with large vehicles, and at odd hours. They and other neighbors feel the one road as well as farming practices on adjacent agricultural land could cause friction (odor, dust, traffic, noise concerns) with those not used to an agricultural lifestyle coming to live in a small island of a CR district There were safety concerns expressed as well. There is the possibility of increased traffic for the Nursing Home road which has a school, but there is also the possibility of children playing so near to the access farm road alongside these proposed CR lots. The subject quarter has three lots, which is the maximum allowed in the Agricultural District and the size of the proposed lots are smaller than the minimum lot size in the AG, which is why the re-designation to CR has to be entertained. There were other issues raised in the Planning and Development Officer's report. Due however, to the alleged breakdown of the agreement for use of the access road, it was requested that this hearing reconvene at a later day. Council approved the date of September 14, 2010 to reconvene on this matter.
Road allowance
Administration has proposed new clauses to Policy#5-13 Development of Undeveloped Road Allowance that would make it possible for the County to deal directly with a contractor or when possible to do the work themselves. As one Councillor put it, "No one should work on County roads unless you have County approval - end of story. I want it so County has control, unless there are extenuating circumstances." Said the Reeve, "If the County has control, then at least we know the standards are safe for bussing and others." "When the County goes and looks at what a contractor has done, it is totally not right." "Regardless of it going to someone's residence or not, it's still a public road on our property allowance and we assume liability." The situation was said to apply about two times a year, where people want to build on a house on a dirt road. Council was aware that oil companies, however, do not want the County involved at all. Council made a motion to direct administration to bring the amendments discussed, to the next Council meeting.
Wild Pink Yonder
Council approved a motion to support each village or town in Kneehill who chooses to participate in an event that supports the Wild Pink Yonder three-week trail ride fundraiser for breast cancer research. Each community would receive $300 to sponsor a planned event when the trail ride, as scheduled, arrives in the community. Trochu is currently organizing an event for August 26. Acme and Three Hills are on the list for August 25.
Council directed Administration to complete and submit a response to Regional Transportation Strategy summary, prepared by Stantec for a Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) committee, as part of their Regional Economic Development Strategy. The goal was to help local communities retain businesses and residents by improving their quality of life by supporting their participation in employment, recreational, social health services, and educational opportunities across the region. This involves a long-term vision for regional transportation. The County Administrator advised Council that he felt it was excellent for those areas or communities directly on the main corridor or 'spine', but for others, it still didn't answer the question of how to transport people from outlying areas and get them to those main areas where transportation is then offered.
Council approved a motion to sponsor a sign for the Trochu Lions, as they request, to assist them with building a new Bruce Guard Lion's Centre. The sign would have the Kneehill logo and will cost $500.
In spite of the vote being four to three, a motion was carried to support a request from the Torrington Wellness Centre Library Program to assist with a Summer Reading Program (three days per week basis). The financial support was for $600.
Council lent its support, for a letter, as proposed by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, being sent to Kevin Sorenson, MP, along with other MP's, requesting the federal government's consideration of a $3000 income tax credit for 'trained' volunteer firefighters. Council voiced a concern, however, that there should be a standard level of training achievement.