By Marianne Cole
In the CAO’s report presented at the May 25th council meeting, it was noted that the MDP Steering Committee (which includes all council members) met, in camera, on May 14th to discuss further process options. The following suggestions were made:
· Small in-person meetings (@ 15 attendees) could be held in 4 locations across the county, potentially in June/July.
· There could potentially be two rounds of meetings with multiple sessions held per day (morning, afternoon, evening).
· Pre-registration would be required and no repeat attendance would be allowed.
· The anticipated number of attendees might range from 180 to 360 people. (Note: This is about 3.6% of our county population.)
· While Council anticipates a meeting in August to review comments and decide on revisions, the MDP review may not be completed before the 2021 municipal elections this fall.
It is interesting to note that two letters on this matter were included in the May 25th meeting agenda. One was from Century 21 and the other from the Rocky Chamber of Commerce. Both promoted improved internet/technology capabilities as well as land use changes such as increasing acreage sizes along with the allowable number per quarter.
The CCTA has also written a letter suggesting that the County send out a survey to all county residents/landowners with information about the MDP review in order to provide equal opportunity for all to have input into this important document that could affect everyone. No response to this suggestion has been received.
In his verbal report at the Council meeting, Interim CAO Murray Hagan noted that Council’s Broadband workshop on May 21st had been “worthwhile” and that feedback from the ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) had been “helpful”. No further information was given verbally or in the written report as to what the ISP’s had actually indicated about the project.
It was also noted at the Council meeting that the “Point of Presence” (POP) facility in Rocky will be ready in September/October. This facility will house the broadband project operations. It is interesting to note that Supernet’s operation works out of a single room in Calgary while serving a whole province.
While fibre optic cable installation to Ferrier (Phase 1 of the county’s 6 step projects) is complete, no information is being given to the ISP’s on connectivity procedures/costs. This is definitely needed so that use could begin and the county could get some of their money back.
Study This was the survey/study, initiated by the town, on the possibility of town/county/village of Caroline amalgamation. Originally the timeline indicated that a report would be released in April. When no information had been released by mid-May, I contacted the consultant in charge of the study. He indicated that the report had be publicized on the Regional Governance Study website on April 16th. I’m not sure how many people check out ccregionalgovernancestudy.ca on a regular basis, so how were we to even know a report had been published?? Nothing on the matter has been mentioned in local media.
In reviewing the 67 page document the following highlights were noted:
· 462 people took active part in the online open house, survey, and on-line learning session (out of @17,000 town and county residents).
· Of those, 73% were residents or landowners in Clearwater County. (Were those numbers due to the wrap that the CCTA did in the Western Star?????)
· Generally, the majority were opposed to any idea of amalgamating with the town.
The next step in the process is for County Council to review/discuss the report in camera, before more information will be publicly released, likely later in June.
Resumption of CCTA Meetings
With the province’s easing of Covid restrictions we will be having our regular June meeting on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 7:30PM at the Arbutus Community Hall.
COMING EVENTS: Regular meeting, Wednesday, June 16, 2021.