Letter from Division 5 Councillor

Division 5 residents, landowners and businesses,

Here is hoping everyone had a great summer. This is an update of County business and some issues / topics that I think you might find of interest as of September 23th 2018. As always, please pass this along to anyone that you think may be interested. To those that are receiving this via someone else, please let me know if you would like to be added to the direct mailing list. Also, I am always looking for ways to improve communication, so if you have any suggestions, or would like more information on a topic that I have not addressed, let me know and I will do my best to provide the information.

Flood preparedness open house  – –– – May 25th
In 2017, an information session was held at Coyote Creek with Mountain View County staff. The main topic was to discuss the initiative the County was under taking to create a flood preparedness information package for residents and landowners in the McDougal flats Provincially mapped flood way area. No Councillors were present at the 2017 meeting, including myself as I was on a conference out of the province. The feedback was that Councillors should have been present for the discussion. Therefore, I arranged for an information session to be held at the Sundre Legion on May 25th 2018 to discuss the flood preparedness information as well as provide an update on the range road 55 / 60 projects and any other questions that may arise. Present were 4 Councillors, our CAO, the Directors of all the County Departments, the Deputy director of emergency services and a Representative from Alberta Environment. The meeting was held on a Friday night to accommodate the landowners from Coyote Creek. Personal invitations were sent out to those directly impacted. Unfortunately, only 7 people attended the session. Good information was provided on the flood preparedness document that Mountain View County created for residents in the area (http://www.mountainviewcounty.com/emergency), discussion on the app for Alberta Rivers, as wells as the timing of the Range Road 55/60 project. The road project on range road 55 is currently underway. The road will remain open for the entirety of the work. This project includes significant flood proofing of the road infrastructure as well as surface upgrades.

Mountain View Regional Waste Commission
As a Board member for the commission, I would like to provide some information regarding the MVRWC. As most of you have probably read in the newspaper, a review of the Commission was done earlier this year. It was determined that the Commission has been running at a deficit compared to the budget for a number of reasons. Having said that, the Commission has sufficient reserve funds to cover closure and post closure liabilities as well as additional reserves to cover related costs associated with processing collected recycle material such shingles and concrete.
Do to identified issues, the Chief Administrative Officer of the Commission has been released and the Commission has entered into a contract with a new Chief Administration Officer as of September 1st. The Board is confident that the Commission is able to continue to provide the services of landfill and transfer station management, as well as the hauling of recycle materials from the recycle depots. The staff at the regional waste commission are dedicated and have been doing a great job in continuing to provide the services.
I have had some concerns regarding the Sundre recycling depot. As previously reported in my last newsletter, the County and the Town of Sundre have signed an agreement regarding the recycle depot. The Town is responsible for managing the recycle depot and the County contributes an agreed funding support to cover the cost of staff time and the hauling of non recycle materials gifted to the depot by some residents. The Commission holds the contract for hauling the recycle material from the depot.

LUB and MDP updates 
At the Council meeting on August 22nd, Council held a public hearing regarding the administrative recommended changes to the MDP for the environmentally significant area mapping. Council gave second and third reading approving the use of the updated maps based on the 2008 summit report and the 2014 Provincial Environmental Significant Areas (ESA) by Fiera Biological Consulting in the Municipal Development Plan which reduced the area defined by ESA’s 1,2,3 and 4 by 15,798 acres. The updated maps are based on the same premise and the same rating for ESAs as the 1991 Sweetgrass report, with more resolution and updated mapping techniques. Of the 15,798 acres, 1,244 acres are located on Crown Land.

For those landowners who wish to provide more environmental preservation considerations for their property in future, I encourage you to contact the Legacy Land Trust (https://legacylandtrustsociety.ca/). In response to providing more emphasis on environmental protection, the County has been a great supporter of the Legacy Land Trust. In October 2017 a Conservation Easement on Jackson Lake was signed between the Legacy Land Trust Society and Mountain View County to project 644 acres of permanent wetlands and surrounding grazing/woodlands.

McDougal Flats reclamation  (Printed in the Gazette) —  McDougal Pit Consultations Moved  Closer to Depletion Date
A plan to hold public consultation on the future use of the County-owned McDougal Gravel Pit has been moved to the 2020 budget year.
Council ratified a decision by the Policies and Priorities Committee in July to defer the planned engagement with area residents closer to the projected pit depletion date of 2022 to ensure that the engagement sessions were timely and effective.
Councillors reiterated their wish to involve locals in the decision-making process for the property but wanted to avoid initiating a process that could prove frustrating to community participants due to the time gap between the initially proposed engagements and potential implementation of an approved plan.
Additionally, they also recognized that the layout of the area, needs of the community and the County vision may change between now and once reclamation of the entire site is complete. Holding engagement activities with area residents closer to the depletion date will reduce or eliminate some of these other factors.
It was also noted during discussions that the interest by residents in the area to provide input into future land-use planning remains high.
The County-owned property is located south off Highway 584 on Range Road 60 directly west from the West Fraser Mill property. It has been in operation since the 1970’s and the County utilizes approximately 30,000 tonnes of gravel per year for road re-gravel and road chipping projects.
Progressive reclamation continues on depleted or non-utilized portions of the property.
The project sheet for McDougal Pit engagement activities has earmarked a budget of $42,000. Council will review the content of the project sheet and the budget amount when it is resubmitted for 2020 budget discussions.

Mountain View County and the Town of Sundre Agreements
I am very pleased to inform you that both the Sundre Town Council and Mountain View County Council have approved two agreements, the Inter Municipal Collaboration Framework Master Agreement and the Recreation and Culture Funding Sub Agreement. The Recreation and Culture agreement provides the financial support from the County to the Town for Recreation and Culture facilities within the Town. As per this agreement, the Town of Sundre will receive a 40% increase for funding support for operations and capital maintenance for facilities within the Town, or $627K for 2018 as the County has agreed to allocate the increase for the entire year. The Agreement identifies County contributions to the library and the pool, however the total funding is transferred to the Town and allocated as per the Town’s discretion. I am thrilled to be a part of the negotiating team and can report that we are working very well together and both the Town and the County are encouraged to continue to develop additional agreements which will benefit all our residents and business through the Inter Collaboration Committee (ICC).

Upper Red Deer River Flood Hazard Study
The Province is continuing their efforts to conclude the flood hazard study on the larger area of the Red Deer River. Although the last update on the Alberta Environment and Parks website is from March 16, 2018, I have contacted them and received the following update as of last week.
“ Our consultant (Golder) is in the midst of working on the hydraulic model of the study reach. A d d i t i o n a ll y , t h e h y d r o l o g y c o m p o n e n t ( 2 – y e a r t o 1 0 0 0 – y e a r f l o o d s ) i s v e r y c l o s e t o b e i n g finalized. There have been some delays in this stud y, as the modelling is proving to be quite complicated, but we are definitely still aiming for a summer 2019 completion.”

All my best,
Angela Aalbers
Division 5 Councillor, Mountain View County, aaalbers@mvcounty.com 403-507-1057
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