Council sponsors pageant star for finals

County council is sponsoring Miss Teen Canada World Regional Finalist, Ann-Marie Rogers Cooper, for $500.

County council is sponsoring Miss Teen Canada World Regional Finalist, Ann-Marie Rogers Cooper, for $500.

Cooper, who is from Ponoka, will attend the Calgary-based event Jan. 27, 2013.

“I also volunteer in the community as a Girl Guide leader for the past three years. As I am visually impaired, I look forward to giving back to the groups that have helped me, by doing work with the CNIB and the Children’s Stollery Hospital,” wrote Cooper in her request letter.

Any extra donated funds Cooper receives will be donated to the Cardiac Kids Foundation.

Organizational meeting outcome

At the Oct. 9 organizational meeting Gordon Svenningsen was elected the new reeve and Gawney Hinkley the deputy reeve.

FCSS budget approved

At the Oct. 9 meeting council also voted to support the Rimbey FCSS budget for the upcoming year with $19, 836.

“They run a good program there, that’s for sure,” said Reeve Svenningsen. “Where would we be without those FCSS groups?”

The approved FCSS can be calculated with the council’s budget, said CAO Charlie Cutforth.

Subsistence increase

Based on a salary survey by the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMD & C) council decided to increase its subsistence from $110 to $200 per day.

Cutforth believes surveys from past years haven’t been applicable to the county. They’ve included municipalities such as Fort McMurray. “So it’s really hard to compare apples to apples.”

However, this year the survey was divided to cover rural areas of approximately 10,000 people.

Council only changed the subsistence rate and all other rates stayed the same.

Rezone decision postponed again

A re-advertised rezone application from early September is tabled until the next council meeting.

The original request was to subdivide 14 acres from a larger parcel of land for an acreage. It was later increased to approximately 50 acres due to standing bodies of water on the land.

“It’s my land, I’m trying to subdivide it,” Murray Brittain told council.

Adjacent landowner Dean Levie also attended the Oct 9 public hearing. Levie is opposed to the subdivision due to neighbourly disputes, noise and land values.

“I really don’t want nobody next door to me. It’s changed the resale value of my place,” said Levie. “Anything I can do to stop this—I’m going to try to stop it.

Cutforth said there are many undeveloped acreages in the area but if the area is flooded nobody makes money. “On the other hand how do we control that market?”

“It’s all about land use, the rest of it doesn’t matter,” said Coun. Paul McLauchlin. “Based on land use it’s a good idea.”

Rezone request approved

Council approved a rezoning request near Gull Lake to separate a house and yard site from an agricultural parcel.

The landowners don’t want to further develop or subdivide the five-acre yard site but want the house under their personal name instead of the company name of Second Wind Broilers Ltd.

New rescue unit needed

Ponoka’s Fire Department is in need of a new rescue unit, and county council donated $125,000 towards purchasing it. This money is separate from the budget the department will be given.

The fire department is contributing $50,000 toward the unit and Dillon said the department has asked the town council for another $125,000.

The new rescue unit will cost approximately $300,000.

“That one-ton of ours is actually dangerous to take out with the amount of equipment we’ve got on it,” said Fire Chief Ted Dillon.

Dillon believes if it’s ordered by Jan. 1 the department will have it by Oct. 26, 2013. However, he’s hoping to have it ordered sooner.

Three-year energy contract

Council agreed to enter into a three-year energy contract with 8760 Energy Inc.

“They’ve actually been retained by the AAMD & C to look at a pool-power supply contract for, well, as many municipalities as are interested,” said Cutforth.

Cutforth said entering the contract could save the county $8,000 to $10,000 annually.

The Calnash Ag Event Centre could also be included in this contract. “Their power costs are extremely high,” said Cutforth.

He doesn’t know how much the Ag Event Centre would save.

8760 Energy has combined the energy usage of participating communities and it totals 1.4 billion kilowatts.

With the energy costs pooled each municipality would get a better deal for their power, explained Cutforth.

‘The risk always is in signing these contracts, if the prices go south well then maybe we’re paying too much. On the other hand what are the chances of that? We haven’t seen that happen in recent history.”

“We’ve got nothing to lose,” added Coun. George Verheire.