County commits 25 per cent for high load corridor

A request to help pay for the burial of power lines on Highway 53 from Ponoka to Highway 21 was approved by county councillors.

A request to help pay for the burial of power lines on Highway 53 from Ponoka to Highway 21 was approved by county councillors.

The request came from the Gemini Corporation who seeks a high load corridor on the route for its large fabricated oil field units, explained CAO Charlie Cutforth during a regular meeting June 17.

“There’s a general benefit in having this done,” he said.

Companies such as Treo Drilling, Calnash Trucking and Big Country Energy Services could make use of this high load corridor and have also been asked by Gemini to help pay.

Cutforth told councillors that the cost to raise the power lines every time they move a unit is approximately $147,000 and Gemini is struggling to be competitive in the industry.

Ponoka County approved 25 per cent of the cost or up to $200,000.

“No money changes hands until the partners are in place,” Cutforth added.

There are 40 power lines that need to be put underground.

Among the groups involved is the Battle River Rural Electrification Association (BRREA). While Fortis Alberta has six power lines along the route, the BRREA have 34 that they are responsible to move when a high load comes through Highway 53 to Highway 21.

Manager Colleen Musselman says since the association is not-for-profit, their goal is to get the wires underground at minimum costs to its members. Two representatives from BRREA were at the recent meeting in the Town of Ponoka that Mayor Rick Bonnett

County provides gravel for raceways project

County councillors approved 7,000 tonnes of gravel to help Central Alberta Raceways during their regular meeting June 17.

Herb Schwingel, public works superintendent for the county, said he received the request for gravel in their pit area. Schwingel said the gravel would amount to $70,000 worth of work and product and would take about one week to complete the work.

Council approved the request unanimously.

Master drainage plan for Wolf Creek

In an effort to ease flooding of the Wolf Creek and Whelp Brook south of Ponoka, county councillors seek to finalize a drainage plan.

The proposed plan was presented to council by Peter Stevens with MPA Engineering who said four local authorities; Ponoka County, City of Lacombe, Town of Blackfalds and Lacombe County have all agreed to a master plan that they all can follow.

The report was approved to be finalized, which will then be sent to Alberta Environment for approval.