County wants better watershed plan for Wolf Creek

Rather than participate in a Wolf Creek Watershed Drainage Plan headed by Alberta Environment

Rather than participate in a Wolf Creek Watershed Drainage Plan headed by Alberta Environment, Ponoka County council has decided to write a personal letter to Diane McQueen, minister of environment and sustainable resource development, about channels of the creek within the county.

The council was approached to participate in the plan, along with Blackfalds, Lacombe County and the City of Lacombe. However, they feel writing a letter to McQueen stating council doesn’t want to change the channels, just achieve better water flow, is a more beneficial option.

CAO Charlie Cutforth said Wolf Creek, from the county’s border to Battle River, needs to be cleaned, a topic that wasn’t originally going to be discussed if the council decided to participate.

“Alberta Environment is proposing a watershed management plan to be created for the Wolf Creek drainage area, from Blackfalds to the Battle River,” Cutforth told council at their Nov. 27 meeting.

The intent of the plan is to create a smoother process for stormwater management, in terms of design and how much release there can be from future developments in the area.

“I can certainly see the need for that. On the other hand, the City of Lacombe currently, since 1980, has a license to rechannel that creek to our county boundary. And, they have a current license to maintain that in a clear manner,” said Cutforth.

Cutforth told Alberta Environment he was certain the council wouldn’t want to participate unless the plan included a provision for cleaning up the creek from the county’s border to the Battle River.

He said the council didn’t want to re-channel the river, just clean up messes, such as deadfall, that have created flooding.

Following this, Cutforth said Alberta Environment decided to prepare terms of reference to see if council was interested. He said a provision states the plan and study will list the most appropriate stormwater practices for the study area, and the pros and cons will be evaluated.

Cutforth also said the biggest concern is discharge, whose levels can’t increase with future developments from what already exists.

Potential channel improvement options will explore how to return the channels to their original capacity.

Coun. Gawney Hinkley feels Alberta Environment is talking about changing all the culverts and bridges between Morningside Road and the river, which he believes isn’t necessary because the culverts have proven themselves to be large enough to handle the capacity of the last 25 years.

“Their talking multi-million dollars of construction and carrying that thing out when it would only take …  give me $50,000 and a backhoe and we’ll clean that out in two days,” said Hinkley.

The drainage project is working with Stantec Consulting, and Hinkley feels the procedures associated with Stantec regarding the plan aren’t necessary.

“Any dummy can walk that thing and tell you what’s wrong with it, they don’t need Stantec to do it.”

Cutforth agreed with Hinkley and said the points he was making weren’t the original intent of the proposal. “They’ve tried to include something in here to pique our interest in participating, in my opinion.”

However, Cutforth told council Alberta Environment feels improvement options must be regarded with caution because an increase in capacity will often result in a decrease in the channel’s stability.

The extensive analysis of the project is to ensure that stability.

“And it says it is also understood that Wolf Creek is a fish-bearing habitat,” said Cutforth. Fish concerns also have to be factored into the options.

Cutforth said even if council agrees to participate there’s still another major hurdle — Fisheries and Oceans.

The study alone costs $121,800 and the completion of the master drainage plan will cost another $69,800.

Cutforth feels the costs of the project aren’t worth the council’s participation. “It doesn’t address the concerns we have — it’s not going to solve our problems one bit.”

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Team Alberta takes exciting victory in wheelchair basketball, remains undefeated

After three games in the tournament, Alberta is sitting in first place of its pool

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Body found after apparent house explosion in Calgary, police investigating

Sgt. Dwayne Lepchuk declined to say whose remains were found

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Most Read