Parcels of land within the classified Chain Lakes Special Area will be affected by a bylaw amendment.
The bylaw now states lots other than yard sites will be eligible to be created with an area of at least four hectares, (10 acres), but on land which is traversed by ravines, creeks or other obstacles the minimum lot size may be reduced or increased so that the obstacles become the parcel boundaries.
Ponoka County CAO Charlie Cutforth says the reduction in lots to 10 acres is the main issue and that some people oppose the reduction.
In a previous public hearing it was brought forth that smaller acreages would mean more roads, people, and septic tanks.
Joanne McMillan, resident of the area, said with that kind of subdividing a possible 630 acreages could be created. With a concern about increased sewage generated she asked council to increase the acreage size.
However Coun. Gordon Svenningsen supports the reduction, saying 10 acres is enough to handle any sewage system in the area.
“I think we should just leave it at 10 and forget about it,” Coun. Gawney Hinkley added.
He also supports the amendment whereby parcels can be made with natural boundaries. “If there’s a 20-acre natural split leave it be.”
Other issues regarding Chain Lakes, acknowledged by the council, are the environmental issues. “That’s outside our jurisdiction and authority,” said Cutforth. “We all understand the concerns and issues but we can only deal with what we have the authority to deal with.”
Cutforth believes that this practice is standard based on other similar situations, such as Pine Lake.
Pine Lake also has environmental problems and has a residential group that works with Fish and Wildlife and Sustainable Resources rather than Red Deer County, said Cutforth.
Purchasing offer denied
Ponoka County council denied a buyer’s offer to purchase a D7 Cat and scraper.
The buyer offered $250,000 and a financial arrangement. The buyer would put $30,000 down and pay the rest in $10,000 deposits each month.
“My initial reaction was we are not in the finance business, nor have we ever been,” said Cutforth.
Cutforth brought the offer to council, which decided the offer and financial arrangement weren’t in the county’s best interest.
Grader orders placed
Council has decided to order three graders for next year.
Cutforth says the orders were placed Sept. 10 but the grader orders themselves will take six months.
The order will cost approximately $1.2 million but can be cancelled at any time said Cutforth.
According to Cutforth the cost of a grader is $300 less than last year.