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Ponoka County council has no plans to pave dusty, slippery road

Baker Road north of the Town of Ponoka gets slippery in wet weather due to calcium treatments
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(Stock photo/Metro Creative Connection)

Ponoka County council discussed residents' concerns over the condition of Baker Road during their regular meeting on May 14.

Baker Road, (Range Road 254) north of the Town of Ponoka, has been chip-sealed for many years but had been returned to gravel surfacing following reconstruction to a pavement standard width, according to the meeting minutes. 

Coun. Mark Matejka said he'd received complaints. Residents in the area had assumed the road would be paved based on the new width.

Ponoka County has put calcium down in front of residences for the past number of years to alleviate the dust concerns.

The road now gets quite slippery during rain events due to the amount of calcium that has built up.

Administration recommended that calcium not be re-done on the road this year, but rather, that speed be reduced to alleviate dust concerns.

It was noted that pavement of this road was not planned for the foreseeable future.

Chief administrative officer Peter Hall said a lift of pavement on the Elkhorn Road is a priority. He suggested that pavement of the Baker Road would likely result in the expectation that numerous other roads be paved that had been constructed to the wider standard.

He also noted that paved roads exist within two miles of the wider roads recently developed.

Dakota Road upgrading

Coun. Doug Weir had discussed the upgrading of Dakota Road with ratepayers in the area and potentially doing so without impacting drainage runs in the area.

Winfield FCSS contract

Rimbey Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) was awarded the Winfield-area home care contract.

Rimbey health care update

Coun. Nancy Hartford advised another doctor will start practicing in Rimbey in September, bringing the clinic up to an almost full staffing level.

The upgrades to the medical clinic were almost complete.

A tailgate party was held on May 31 for health care workers at the hospital.

Regional FCSS meeting

Hartford reported programs run by Ponoka and Rimbey are unique as other FCSS’s are only umbrella operations that channel funding to other agencies. The contracts with Alberta Health Services to provide home care were 10-year contracts which allowed assurance to the organizations.

PAECS update 

The Ponoka Ag Events Centre Society requested an extension to their development permit due to the delay for subdivision approval. They were awaiting confirmation of a Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) grant.

Provincial bills 18, 20 and 21

Reeve Paul McLauchlin, as president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta, reported he'd challenged Bill 18, 20 and 21.

McLauchlin said many sections of the bills were redundant and could be used for other purposes by a subsequent government.

He noted the RMA is challenging the government over all three bills as they were "seen to be an attack on rural Alberta."

Emergency response

McLauchlin said Ponoka FCSS was concerned they may not be capable of assisting if an emergency response was required during the Ponoka Stampede due to the size of the event.

Rimoka building proposal update

Lorne Fundytus, CAO of Rimoka Foundation, and Charlie Cutforth, Rimoka building committee member, attended the meeting.

A brief in-camera session to discuss the expansion of the Ponoka Golden Leisure Lodge followed.

Ponoka RCMP

Council heard the Ponoka RCMP's fourth quarter report. It was accepted as information.

Rimbey Ag Society

Council voted to allow the Rimbey Ag Society to use $20,000 in funds from the county at their discretion after being notified that the ag society had lost its bid to host the Wild Rose Association Rodeo, the intended use for the funds. The donation will now be used for other events.

Appointments

Justin Babcock and Devon Lloyd were appointed as an agricultural fieldman for Ponoka County and Alex Mercer, Grace Frederickson and Keith Walters were appointed as inspectors under the Weed Control Act for 2024.