Central City paving crews, supported by a whole host of trucks, were on Menaik Road near the intersection of Range Road 253 on July 12 in hopes of completing the first round of pavement by the end of last week.Photos by Jordie Dwyer

Central City paving crews, supported by a whole host of trucks, were on Menaik Road near the intersection of Range Road 253 on July 12 in hopes of completing the first round of pavement by the end of last week. Photos by Jordie Dwyer

Menaik Road in Ponoka County finished first paving

County briefs — Public works update, concerns expressed about NRCB

Tis the season for road construction and Ponoka County is getting a lot done this summer.

Public Works superintendent Herb Schwingel was at county council’s meeting on July 11 to provide an update, noting that one of the county’s major projects is about half complete.

Central City Asphalt from Red Deer was nearly done the first round of paving on the stretch of Menaik Road between Highways 2 and 2A, with the hope the work would be finished by July 14. A second and final round of paving is expected to be done a bit later this summer, followed by line painting.

A number of other projects are either underway or are complete, Schwingel stated.

Work that is finished includes a 1.5 mile portion of Range Road 12 north of Township Road 432, two miles of RR 43 south of Twp Rd 440 and the short stretch of Twp Road 434 between Arbor Park Road and Highway 2A.

Projects that have begun include RR 261, 282, 283 and Twp Rd 432 in the industrial area northwest of the Highways 2 and 53 intersection.

Meanwhile, other department work is progressing according to Schwingel.

The county’s graveling and patch work program is half complete, a total of 75 areas were part of the first round of dust abatement with 80 done during the second round and upgrading of roads as well as chip sealing is moving ahead smoothly.

Letter of concern

Council has directed CAO Charlie Cutforth to draft a letter to call on the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) to better deal with problems and concerns over confined feeding operations (CFO) — better known as intensive livestock operations, which include cattle feedlots and large dairy farms.

The topic was brought forward by Coun. Doug Weir after residents continue to bring issues to him, mostly concerning water runoff and expansions.

“It seems that the NRCB is hiding behind the legislation and I’m wondering if there is more we can do,” Weir said, noting the most recent concern was over a dairy farm expansion with a new building.

Cutforth explained that, back in 2001, the province took away the decision-making from municipalities due to local politics getting in the way of further development of the two industries. He added that all CFOs are exempt from county development permits, the same as any other agricultural activities.

He suggested council take a different tact and focus on pressing the NRCB to work on the one big aspect that can affect everyone.

“I think we should change our tactics and get the NRCB to start looking at regulations regarding storm water management plans for CFOs,” Cutforth stated, adding Ponoka County isn’t going to get a lot of help from other counties since none of them have the concentration of big commercial CFOs.

Reeve Paul McLauchlin believes going this route might actually gain some traction with the NRCB.

“This is a good idea, focusing on how these operations deal with the rain, the environmental risk from breeches and what may happen if it’s not done properly, because to me that’s the issue,” he said.

The motion to draft the letter came from Weir and passed unanimously.

 

A view of the completed portion of the first lift of pavement on Menaik Road stretching from Highway 2 east.

A view of the completed portion of the first lift of pavement on Menaik Road stretching from Highway 2 east.