Tire recycling situation driving forward

Ponoka County Briefs - News story brings recycling authority to the table

A huge step has been taken toward resolving the Cutting Edge Tire Recycling saga.

The nearly two year long dilemma for Ponoka County is now moving ahead as the situation finally has the full attention of the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA).

County council received an update at their meeting on Dec. 13, where it was explained a Ponoka News story last month got ARMA to the table. Chief administrative officer Charlie Cutforth stated the article got a quick response with ARMA stating they are ready to go on this case.

In addition, Cutforth said some previous information about the shredding equipment not being operable was incorrect. The company looking at the equipment remains interested and is now hoping to move the items to some county-owned property next door and begin operations in order to use the shredded material in other operations.

“They are hoping to get a lease signed in order to operate, but the one problem remains in that we’ve had a hard time determining who needs to be served so that we can get the process started,” Cutforth told council.

However, he added there is now some optimism with ARMA involved as well as Suncor, who owns many of the large industrial tires at the site, interested in discussing how to deal with the cost of handling those tires.

New washrooms

A delegation from the Rimbey Agricultural Society appeared before council at the meeting and requested $55,000 in funding for next year in order to complete their new facility. Council approved the request.

Society president Tim Edge explained they need the help to construct washrooms in the new building after the group ran into the fundraising wall put up by corporations hit by the economic downturn.

He stated the organization will once again receive an operating grant of $21,000 from the province, yet are operating a new unfinished facility with higher costs.

“We are hoping to get the washrooms completed which should allow us to charge a higher rate and make up what we might have to pay out extra on utilities with the coming carbon tax,” he said.

The project is estimated at $134,000 though Edge explained they have whittled down the actual amount of money needed to $55,000 due to in-kind donations and volunteer labour. The hope is that can be further cut down through a deal for the concrete needed and working more with their contractors on pricing.

Edge added he believes the future is bright as they have been seeing more and bigger events booking the facility as well as now having the capacity to expand after being loaned 140 stalls by the Drayton Valley Ag Society, who don’t currently need them.

Fire update

Regional fire chief Dennis Jones presented a status report on the department’s activities as of Nov. 30.

The West District Fire (WD) has attended 102 calls in the first 11 months of 2016, while East District Fire (ED) have gone to 105 calls since starting on Apr. 26. The bulk of ED calls have been vehicle accidents (38) and grass fires (27), with just 19 calls listed under the fire category. However, that category includes structure/vehicle fires plus units called to assist WD at scenes.