File photo

No decision made on second home rules

Rebuild of RR24 in northwest part of county will go ahead

Administration brought forward the subject of the rules surrounding a temporary secondary residence — usually a mobile home — on a county property, in order to clarify things.

The subject came up at Ponoka County’s council meeting on Aug. 11. Currently, the land use bylaw allows one temporary residence per lot, outside of the present multi-lots subdivisions.

CAO Charlie Cutforth explained there have been a number of inquires about the rules in the past month, mainly due to the present economic circumstances people find themselves in.

“On one hand, we want to help out, but on the other what are we creating,” Cutforth said.

Some issues include the size of the lot, what impact it may have on existing marketing values and the potential of future secondary suites over garages.

In the end, administration will draft some recommendations and bring it back to council at a future date.

Road work

Council is moving forward with work on two miles of road on Range Road 24, located in the far northwest reaches of the county after a brief discussion about whether they could afford to do it.

Herb Schwingel, public works superintendent, provided an update on the construction crews were doing which included a half-mile section of RR 24 further south that was almost complete.

He then brought up that preliminary surveys have been done on the stretch from Township Road 444 to 450 and wondered if council wanted to talk about when the work could begin, as the site and crews are ready to start now.

Schwingel added the job would provide work until about the end of September at a cost of around $500,000. It was in the 2020 budget, though all capital spending was halted — unless council re-approved the spending — earlier this year due to an expected financial crunch.

Peter Hall, director of operations, explained that if council wished to proceed, cost would not be a factor now.

“So council is aware, we have collected around $24.6 million in taxes and arrears currently,” Hall said.

“That leaves us with about $4.6 million outstanding. So we are in very good shape considering what we were anticipating earlier.”

Other business

Additionally, options on the Elkhorn Road repair were spoken about, but no final decision was made. It seems the water and heaving issues have settled, so council will take another look later this year. An estimate has been provided of $3.2 million, which includes an overlay for the entire road as well as the repair.

Also in his update, Schwingel explained the work at the Bluffton landfill is nearly finished and while the environmental approvals are now in place, the work of diverting Wolf Creek away from a home in Wolf Creek Estates will be hopefully completed sometime this fall at an estimated cost of $200,000.

There has also been no word yet on any provincial funding for the county’s various bridge projects. However, council did pass a motion to put out a tender on replacing the Hoadley and Medicine Lake road bridges, estimated to cost around $1.1 million.

Ponoka County

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