New provincial agreement denied by council

Ponoka County council had an agreement with the provincial government saying that once the province rebuilt and paved

Ponoka County council had an agreement with the provincial government saying that once the province rebuilt and paved Secondary Highway 607 the county would assume responsibility for the road.

However, the province put one layer of asphalt down, which the county council won’t accept because it’s not up to standard of other county roads.

The original agreement specified the county would be involved in the design of the road. According to county administrator Charlie Cutforth no one came to talk to council about what was being done.

Council withheld signing the agreement until the road was done or a cheque was given to council for the cost of rebuilding the road.

The province recently brought forth a new agreement and Cutforth says it causes concerns.

The new agreement says that in the future, when provincial budgets permit, an overlay will be laid on the road to county standards.

Cutforth doesn’t believe this is good enough for council to accept. “When provincial budgets permit, and when might that be? Can you at least give us a maximum date.”

Without attention from either the county or the province the road is starting to break up.

A motion was made and accepted that until the road is paved or compensation is given in lieu council will not accept the new agreement.

County donates to wrestler

The county council is donating $1,000 to Ponoka’s up-and-coming wrestling star.

Kelsey Raab will be going to the Cadet World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in August.

“She’s making quite a name for herself, that girl,” said Coun. Gordon Svenningsen.

When Raab went to the Canadian Championship council sponsored $1,000 to her then as well.

Rezone requests deferred until fall

An application to rezone a 160-acre parcel northwest of Ponoka was deferred until September.

The land was left to three brothers and they want to split the land equally to avoid family hassles in the future.

The West Central Planning Agency doesn’t support splitting the land because it wasn’t meant to be a multipurpose lot.

The land is used for farming and pasture and the three split lots would remain farming and pasture. However portions of the land are covered in brush. Council believes the productivity of the land would be low.

“The land lends itself to an 80-acre split and then an acreage off it, so that’s the problem,” said Coun. Paul McLachlin.

According to Coun. Gawney Hinkley, applications similar to this have been turned down before.

Another rezoning request, to change a 40-acre parcel of land into two 20-acre parcels was also deferred. The 40-acre parcel has two residences on it due to compassionate reasons, but it was only meant to have one. Without the rezoning approval, after the factors for the compassionate reason are gone, landowners would have to turn the second residence into something like a garage or remove it.

Each residence has its own well and septic service as well as natural gas and a land line.

However, getting two titles for two separate pieces of land means that Alberta Transportation needs to be contacted.

Daniel Bradford, an adjacent landowner three parcels south has been in contact with Alberta Transportation, trying to get a common access for a 20-acre split parcel with no success.

The 40-acre parcel is for sale. The auction sale is Aug. 10.

With the rezone application given to council it would fall on new landowners to follow it through if they chose it the request is accepted in September.

According to the Western Central planners this parcel is potentially suitable for multi-lot residential purposes.

Revised Chain Lakes watershed management plan

Council has adopted the revised Chain Lakes watershed management plan as an overview.

To preserve the lakes, which are southeast of Ponoka, and their surrounding environment, an new land district, the Chain Lakes Special Area is set to be created.

In the plan council has been advised of several ways to reduce threats to the lakes.

These are:

• Conduct a groundwater study

• Set limits on development

• Protect aquifers and feed springs

• Keep cattle out of watercourses

• Discourage the drainage of wetlands

• Maintain a CFO exclusion zone

• Provide alternative locations for new CFOs

• Test agricultural runoff and groundwater

• Upgrade private sewer systems

• And maximize tree cover.

Rules of the new area would give landowners the choice of continuing to farm under the same rules that apply to all farms of the county, with a minimum parcel size of 80 acres, or subdivide into parcel of 10 acres. Doing so would mean the land would have to be maintained in a way that would protect the natural tree cover.

A public hearing regarding the new plan has been set for Sept. 25.