A potentially sticky situation for Ponoka County council has turned into a win for all sides.
Last month, council approved sending a letter to the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) objecting to a proposed confined feeding operation (CFO) near Bluffton, following a written request from a landowner nearby that was worried their current enjoyment of the property and possible future development would be hindered if the CFO was approved.
However, at their May 14 meeting, council found out that the five-acre parcel the county was worried about is outside of the NRCB setbacks for the size of the proposal.
Chelsey DeJong made a brief presentation regarding the application for a feedlot that her and her husband want to set up. She was concerned about why the objection was lodged as well as why they hadn’t received a copy yet.
In response to DeJong, assistant CAO Tom Webber explained to council that no physical letter was sent — instead he made a call to the NRCB and was provided some updated information.
“I found out then that all of the distance separations were all adequate for the numbers in the application,” he said.
“Even to the acreage that was in question, so there really is nothing to worry about.”
With that information being brought forward, CAO Charlie Cutforth stated that council, in discussing the objection initially, was led to believe there was an issue with the setback and felt it was necessary to support the landowner.
“That means it is great from your (DeJong’s) perspective and from the county’s,” added Coun. Mark Matejka.
Council approved a $27,000 in-kind or cash donation to the Crestomere Recreation Society to assist in their reconstruction project of the outdoor rink.
Coun. Doug Weir brought up the request as the society has come up with nearly all of the $200,000 cost, though are looking to the county for some help to ensure the work can be completed this summer.
“What they have asked from us is to supply the gravel needed and help clean out the area to prep it for the new rink,” Weir said.
Cutforth suggested to council the county could use its various resources to accomplish what the society has requested.