Big Lakes County meeting briefs – February 14, 2018

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Joussard water project grants total $5.5 million
Grants of more than $5.5 million have been awarded to Big Lakes Country to cover some of the cost of a Joussard water project that have increased to almost $9.8 million.
At its regular meeting Feb. 14, council approved the new budget of $9,799,945 for the Joussard water treatment plant and reservoir, as recommended by Heather Nanninga, director of corporate services.
That’s the cost updated by M2 Engineering, up from the figure of $8,070,000 in the interim budget adopted in December.
“The county has been approved for funding of $1.95 million from the federal Clean Water Wastewater Fund for the reservoir and a further $3.6 million from the Alberta Municipal Water / Wastewater Partnership for the treatment plant, leaving a gap of $4,279,945 to be funded from reserves,” Nanninga states in her report.

Public hearing on sea cans quiet:
Council gave second reading to a land-use bylaw for sea cans after a hearing that attracted no residents.
“This bylaw is for accessory buildings,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.
Industrial structures such as sea can (shipping container) units and similar storage containers may be approved as an accessory building in each land-use district and require a permit.

County barbecues set for June and July:
Big Lakes County scheduled its annual county barbecue on June 21 at the county office grounds.
Council further confirmed the dates for the municipal awareness and community barbecues at Banana Belt Hall on July 16 and Grouard on July 23.

Event sponsorships granted:
Three organizations received $150 sponsorship grants for events.
Grants were approved for the Ukrainian Cultural Society of High Prairie for the annual Zabava celebration on March 3, East Prairie Metis Settlement for the Prince and Princess Pageant for students at the end of the school year and to the Swan Hills Swancicle Days on March 9-11.

Hamlet rec funding policy tabled:
A proposed updated policy for hamlet recreation was tabled to the next meeting Feb. 28 since four of nine council members were absent.
“This is something we should discuss only with a complete council,” Reeve Matthews says.
Council recognizes that only one hamlet community organization will be eligible for hamlet funding, based on a scoring system, the policy proposes.
Identified hamlet community organizations that receive annual hamlet recreation operating grant allocations are not eligible for events and sponsorship grant funding from the county.

Water expansion policy tabled:
Council also tabled a proposed policy for extending rural potable water services.
That will allow more intakes for connections, which helps with the economy of the entire system, states a report from presented by consultant engineer consultant Trent McLaughlin, co-owner of T&L Engineering.
“It also gives the county more control of the system to ensure the connections inside the home are constructed and maintained properly.”
“The policy will be fair as all owners that receive water will pay the same to get water from their tap.”


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