Wednesday, May 24, 2017


By Dan Warkentin

D1. Some concern was expressed by local contractors that rates paid by the county are too low. County pays 75% of Industry guide. Motion to keep rates same as 2016 passed.

D2. Council passed motion to take over a 400 meter section of Industry resource road. Council will also review the policy regarding this type of road issue.

D3. Report from Withrow Waste water delegation accepted as information. An interesting example of the long term effect of small lot subdivisions.

D4. Womens shelter delegation reported that they will be conducting a “Homelessness” survey on Sept 13 and 14th. E1. Council passed a motion to reimburse the $300 application fee, for PRIVATE use communication towers (less than 50ft).

G1. Recommendation passed. We are not too bad off, sounds like Ponoka and Stettler have Hundreds of thousands that can’t be collected!

G2. Council passed a motion to approve an additional $100,000 for new financial software as recommended. The software total is $168,000. $70,000 had already been budgeted.

G3. Recommendation passed ALL THREE readings! Looks like administration now has a blank check for $5 million.

H3. Telus Delegation by Teresa. - regarding cell coverage, 4 towers now in service with another one under construction. - the fiber backbone “ring” is not yet complete. Currently one leg is from Red Deer to Rocky, and the one from Calg only goes to Caroline, there is no fiber now from Caroline to Rocky. Completing this would bring Cell coverage to the Caroline area. - she indicated the “Smart Hub” should work great if you can get Two bars on your cell phone. They have wireless Hi speed plans of 50Gb for $60/mth. - no immediate plans to develop further west * it would appear they may be asking for $$ to help complete the fiber from Caroline to Rocky in the “In camera” session?

Note: D1 - H3 are references to agenda items

Monday, May 15, 2017


By Marianne Cole

1. Clearwater Broadband Foundation
The Clearwater Broadband Foundation continues to work diligently to present their vision for improved broadband/internet service within the county. They have made presentations to both the town and county councils and will be attending the May meeting of the CCTA on May 11, 2017 to describe their plans. In short, they are proposing a combination of fibre optic cable and towers to bring high quality service to county residents. According to information they have gathered, combining fibre optics with towers is a much more sustainable, efficient method of service than can be provided by towers alone. We really want to encourage everyone to attend this information session, and especially welcome the younger generation. They are the ones that will be most impacted by the service (or lack of it) in the future. As a bit of further enticement, we are offering two $75.00 gift certificates to The Source as door prizes.

2. Rocky Ag. Rec. Facility
The Rocky Ag. Society has been working hard to promote the building of an Ag. Rec. Facility on the county’s newly purchased land north of Rocky. Phase 1 would provide an indoor riding arena, lobby space, meeting room, wash racks, temporary indoor stabling (box stalls), administration offices, storage, and a concession area. The estimated cost of these “indoor spaces” (as per the feasibility study conducted by RC Strategies in 2015) would be $9, 283, 750. Phase 2 would include additional spectator seating, more box stalls, 1000 seating banquet hall, commercial kitchen, and more office space. The cost of the “indoor spaces” for Phase 2 would be $7, 527, 500. In addition to these indoor costs there would be outdoor costs to develop parking areas for vehicles and trailers.
The Rocky Ag. Society recently held three public meetings to promote their vision and urge community involvement. Attendance was marginal with only 15-20 people at each one. Highlights of the meetings were:
* At the meeting on Wednesday, April 19 a question was asked if this facility was necessary given that there are several private arenas that are available for rent in our area and perhaps we should be supporting them . (Note: In the feasibility study it listed 8 public indoor facilities within approximately 150 km. of Rocky---Thorsby, Rimbey, Ponoka, Stettler, etc.. No numbers were given in the study for privately owned facilities but “our” count is that there are 7 indoor
riding arenas within Clearwater County. Perhaps the Rocky Ag. Society could buy one of these if they want their own facility.)
* At the meeting on Wednesday, April 26 a guest from the Rimbey Ag. Society provided excellent information from their experience with building/operating a new indoor facility. He brought forward concerns relating to ownership of the land for this proposed building, the operation/managerial format, and how these issues could affect liability, permitting, and the accessability of grant funding.

3. Condor/Leslieville Fire Hall Plans
Discussion/planning continues with regards to the amalgamated facility for the Condor/Leslieville fire departments. At the April 11 county council meeting it was noted that PIVOTAL Project has been hired to fulfill the project management role (no cost for service given). They, in turn, have hired BR2 Architects to do the design work at a cost of $291, 165. The proposed land purchase price is $403, 992 and the building cost is approximately $2.1 million for a total of $2, 795, 157.
An alternate plan has, however, recently been suggested--- one which would keep the firehalls in their respective communities at a significantly reduced price.
As the Condor facility is in greater need of replacing, this “new” plan suggests that construction be done there first---on donated land. Information has been gathered to suggest a viable facility could be built there for $700,000 - $800,000. Because architectural fees are calculated according to building costs (normally @10%) those fees could be reduced as well. Building on donated land would eliminate the land cost. Ultimately you could have a new fire hall in Condor for less than half the cost of an amalgamated facility.
Another benefit of this second suggestion is that travel time to the various incidents could be potentially reduced by operating out of the two facilities. Furthermore, when necessary, a new facility could be built in Leslieville with money saved on the first go-round. In the meantime, money would be spent more efficiently and both communities get to keep their own fire departments.

Coming Events:
May 11, 2017 , regular monthly meeting

June 15, 2017, regular monthly meeting

September 14, 2017

(All meetings at 7:30PM at Leslieville Elks’ Hall)

By Marianne Cole

1. Development on County land in Caroline.
> Phase 1 (planned for the northern part of the property) included the creation of 11 industrial lots and the county’s lot for its salt/sand storage facility.
> Phase 2 includes the southern portion, along Highway 54, with 10 proposed highway commercial lots.
> Phase 1 development has been approved by council but Phase 2 development was contingent upon the county and village receiving the Small Communities Fund (SCF) grant. This was unsuccessful.
> About 75% of Phase 1 infrastructure construction was completed last fall but weather prevented completion. Northside Construction Partnership is scheduled to return shortly to complete the earthwork. Then the construction of the salt/sand storage facility will proceed.
> Discussion took place on servicing the lots in both Phase 1 and 2, focussing on the impact on Caroline’s water/sewer system as well as receiving approval from Alberta Environment re the impact on nearby wetlands.
> A motion was made directing administration to discuss Phase 2 development with the village, investigate the water/sewer implications, and bring back a more detailed report for approval.

2. Land Use Bylaw Amendment passes first reading.
> This draft bylaw would establish penalties and definite courses of action for those whose developments contravene development bylaws (encroachment on neighboring properties, not abiding by building permits, etc.)
> Action here is usually complaint driven and begins with a letter informing the offender of contraventions. This is followed up, if necessary, by further action and penalties.

3. Condor Community Centre Request.
> Council approved the granting of $18,000.00 to assist Condor Community with renovations to their hall. (Approximate cost $53,000. The community has the remaining funds.)

4. Compassionate Care Hospice Society Letter of Support.
> The Society was formed in 2016 and is now actively working to establish a hospice center in Rocky that would provide compassionate, quality comfort care for people with a life-limiting illness and their families.
> Steve Taylor, Vice Chair of the Society attended council to ask that a letter of support from the County be sent to Alberta Health Services on behalf of the Society. This request was granted.

5. Town on Rocky Recreation Master Plan
> Roger Smolnicky, Director of Recreation for the town, and a representative from McElhanney Consulting were present to discuss the process the town is engaged in to provide a framework for future recreation programs used by the town and county.
> Recently a survey re. the available facilities and usage was completed with an approximate 60-40 % split of town-county respondents.
> The results of this survey will be presented to the town on May 16 and to the county following that (likely May 23).

6. Clearwater Broadband Foundation.
> Michelle Swanson, Chairman, made a brief presentation regarding the CBF’s previous request for funding and the county’s subsequent request for a review of the CBF’s proposals.
> Part of the county’s review included getting legal opinion regarding the CBF’s non-profit status and the county’s legal ability to provide a loan to a “for profit” organization.
> Significant discussion took place on the possibility that the legal firm may not have investigated the “non-profit” status as fully as it could have. (It did not investigate the O’Net/Olds Institute system which has non-profit status.)
> Discussion also took place on Michelle’s suggestion that a “Tech Review Committee” be established with the town, county, and the CBF each arranging for a tech consultant to be part of the committee that would evaluate the pro’s and con’s of fibre optics and tower systems. Currently there seems to be a distinct difference of opinion on council on the benefits of each system.
> In the end Council passed a motion to not approve the loan to the CBF. They also passed a motion requesting an administrative report on the available options to improve broadband services in Clearwater County.