M.D. Council Highlights

Keeping you informed of the services, business and development that affect YOU!

Water Level Crisis Response – The Municipal District of Bonnyville is applying to the Alberta Disaster Assistance program for Disaster Recovery Assistance. The continuing high moisture levels and significant above average precipitation in the M.D. have resulted in ground saturation increasing water run-off. This has caused overland flooding, road washouts, bridge damage, as well as high water levels and shoreline erosion on several water bodies within the M.D. Wave action on the lakes is eroding properties, impacting foundations and septic tank and field systems. High ground water seepage into crawlspaces and basements is widespread. Agricultural producers are losing crops from flooded fields. Residents around Moose, Crane, Marie, Charlotte, Barreyre and Pinsky Lakes are currently impacted. Agricultural producers are facing a $5.6 million loss.

Open Fires at the Beaver River Trestle Soon Will Be Prohibited – Municipal District of Bonnyville Council gave First Reading to amendments to the Fire Services Bylaw No. 1668 prohibiting open fires within 100 metres of the Beaver River Trestle or any bridge structure located on the Iron Horse Trail. Anyone who sets a fire within the 100 metres must extinguish it upon the order of a Peace Officer, Fire Guardian or the Regional Fire Chief or designate. If the person fails to comply with the order, fire services may extinguish the fire and recover the costs from the person in accordance with Section 10 of the Bylaw.

Crime Deterrent Patrols – M.D. Peace Officers continue to do crime deterrent patrols during their shifts. The Officers pick a rural area and focus their attention on this area for a period of time during their shift. Officers have had tangible results, including many suspicious vehicles being checked and suspicious persons being reported or turned over to the RCMP. In one case, thieves were caught right after they had broken into some residences. A Rural Crime Watch group is being reestablished in the M.D., organizers are waiting for the Society status to be approved. Once paperwork is in place an organizational meeting will be advertised.

Flooding Surveillance – Agriculture crews are continuing to work on flooded areas. The first priority has been areas with property and infrastructure damage. Staff have been monitoring the Moose Lake Weir, and assisting with keeping the water flowing. The crew is also dealing with the Crane Lake outflow. Drainage ditches that the M.D. controls are a challenge this year, maintenance will have to be looked at in the near future.

ASB Hosting Local Tour – The Agricultural Service Board is hosting a local summer tour to showcase agriculture on Thursday, August 17. The tour will feature local businesses and award our Rural Beautification winners. The day will end with a barbeque at LARA in Fort Kent.

Public Safety Update – Public Safety is working with North East Muni-Corr Ltd. to deal with some concerns at the Beaver River Trestle on the Iron Horse Trail. Officers have taken action on abandoned vehicle complaints in areas such as vacant lots, campgrounds and municipal reserves. Joint operations with the RCMP have been completed, with more planned in August. Officers are dealing with unsightly properties in various locations in the M.D., including Crane Lake, Ardmore, Fort Kent, Cherry Grove and Glendon. Public Safety has had an increase in its Oilfield Traffic Safety program, with one local oil producer increasing the hours from 10 to 30 per month. This has impacted our operations, however this is a positive example of how traffic safety is being prioritized by local oil producers. Officers are responding to complaints about trucks hauling from various gravel pits. During the last few weeks Ardmore has been the hotspot for stray dogs.

Community Services News – Parks crews worked steadily to remove all the downed trees after the mid-July storms. Parks is formulating a plan to address the drainage issues in the east and west campgrounds on Crane Lake, which became apparent after several storms. High ground water levels have forced the closure of the Muriel Lake M.D. Park shower house and one outhouse. Work continues on the replacement of the Kinosoo Ridge Snow Resort chalet deck. Upgrades to the ridge’s works shop are almost complete, with house renovations on schedule to be completed mid-August. An audit was done on the green chair lift revealing that renovations will bring it up to code and extend the life of the lift by 20 years with regular maintenance.

Ag and Waste Services Update – The M.D. has started to collect mattresses at two of our landfill sites – La Corey and Ardmore – to save space in our Class III pits that are close to reaching capacity. The mattresses will be fully recycled into other products. One 40-foot sea-can has already been filled to send to the recycler in Calgary. The shoulder pass of the Roadside Mowing Program is completed and crews have moved on to Municipal Reserves that were not done earlier due to wet conditions. The subdivision mowers are struggling with wet conditions as well, but the crew is moving towards Cold Lake this week. Fence line mowing has begun and will continue until the fall. Roadside Spraying is continuing, concentrating on brush in the ditch and noxious weeks. Weed inspectors are spraying Scentless Chamomile and Oxeye Daisy areas, as well as industrial sites. The St. Paul Organic Waste processing/Conversion Facility Study is complete. The facility would include a Material Recovery Facility (MRF), Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Biogas combined heat and power. The construction cost of the facility is estimated to be $21 million, based on 45,000 to 60,000 tonnes of waste collected. The tipping fee would be $56 to $70 per metric tonne. M.D. Council will make a decision on whether or not the municipality wants to be a part of the initiative after a formal presentation on August 23.

Planning and Development News – In June, 37 Development Permits were issued, including 30 Residential, one Agricultural, one Commercial, four Industrial and one Recreation Permit, with a year-to-date total of $7,751,950. Year-to-date housing starts include 14 Single Family Dwellings and five Mobile Home Units. Twenty-two applications for Subdivisions were received in 2017. In June, 66 Plumbing, Gas, Sewer and Electrical Permits were issued. First Reading was given to Land Use Bylaw No. 1207 to consolidate amendments and updates. The suggested inclusions are campgrounds, wind energy conversion systems and medical marijuana production facilities.

Transportation & Utilities Update – Council agreed to move $125,000 from reserves to hire a contractor for the Crane Lake Improvement Project on Township Road 640 to raise the ditch and grade to divert water to the culvert. Council also agreed to pave the south section of Range Road 461 by the old Duclos Hospital, rather than the north section. Mother Nature has put the 2017 road priorities work behind schedule by about a month. The Construction Crew has completed Range Road 491 and the intersection treatment on Highway 55 and Rge. Rd. 433. It is now working on Rge. Rd. 484 and will moving to Twp. Rd. 630 next. The Paving Crew has completed Twp. Rd. 630 by the ski hill and is working on the intersection on Highway 55. The crew will move to Ardmore next. The Oiling Crews are working on Twp. Rd. 630 and the Marie Lake subdivision. Rain has delayed the Road Gravelling Program and it will continue for the next two months. This year almost every road in the M.D. will be gravelled. The Drainage Crew has completed most of the simple culvert replacements and they are now starting on some of the larger projects. The contractor for the Ardmore Storm Pond has moved in and is starting work on the Ardmore east pond and the outlet swale. The contractor for the Ardmore Surface Works is currently placing sidewalks and curbs, as well as doing some landscaping to the backside of the curb. The contractor will be paving this week. The contractor on Gurneyville Road has completed the top lift to Twp. Rd. 610 and is paving between Twp. Rd. 610 and Twp. Rd. 604. The subgrade work is just about completed for the entire job and the base crew is working right behind them. All four Patch Trucks are operational and working on problem areas. Urlacher Construction has completed the Ardmore Water and Sewer Project and M.D. crews will be moving in to work on the paving. Western Asphalt has completed the two Micro Surfacing projects for the year –the LARA Road and the Franchere Bridge. The M.D. will be monitoring the projects to see if this type of surfacing is viable. The Moose Lake project was deemed an unsuitable candidate. Dust Control with MG30 has started and will proceed as weather conditions allow. The Waterline Tech Committee has met with North East Muni-Corr. The new waterline will be laid under the trail from the Alexander turnoff to Bonnyville.

Supporting Industry – M.D. Council agreed to send a letter to the federal government expressing its concerns regarding the proposed regulations to limit methane emissions in Canada. Council is asking the federal government to delay implementation and to look for a joint solution in partnership with industry to meet emission goals.

Funding Support – Alexander Recreation Society received its annual $25,000 Operating Grant.