With the title having been transferred to a new owner, Ponoka County is moving further toward a resolution of a year’s long battle over an unsightly property.
The land that housed the former Cutting Edge Tire Recycling facility was taken over by a new owner last month and county council was provided an update on the issue at its meeting on June 13.
CAO Charlie Cutforth explained he was at a meeting with the new owner and a company from Ukraine interested in processing all of the tires on the property.
“The good news is that both parties are working together on an agreement and that both see the value in the program (passenger) tires,” Cutforth told council.
“There is a financial benefit in processing those since it would provide the seed money for them to process the giant mining tires.”
As a result, Cutforth stated the county is holding off on the court action it had planned in hopes that a definitive signed agreement can be reached.
Part of that agreement is an environmental study of the site, including the county property where many of the tires are sitting. The study would look at soil and water samples, but Cutforth said the county isn’t concerned about contamination.
One thing that would be integral to any agreement for the county, according to Cutforth, is the need for some type of permit application before any new operation would be allowed.
“In that permit, there would not be more action on county land other than to remove tires as well as some sort of financial security to ensure all of the tires go, especially if the plan is to process them on site,” he said.
“In addition, until the site is cleaned up, no new tires would be permitted on the site.”
Public Works superintendent Herb Schwingel gave council an update on the progress of the 2017 roads program.
One of the department’s eight projects — upgrading of Range Road 241 south of Highway 53 to Township 422 — was cancelled because area residents felt it wasn’t necessary.
Due to this, Cutforth stated that another attempt to get agreements to improve Simpson Road will be done. Schwingel agreed that if it can be done, it would be a great project to complete this fall. Discussions with the Town of Rimbey will also take place to see if the two municipalities could partner together to include upgrading the one mile of road inside the town limits.
As for the other projects, one is waiting to get started and two are still in the process of obtaining land agreements, while the rest are all under construction.
Council also heard that Menaik Road is expected to seeing paving crews beginning by the end of this month.
Cutforth explained to council that a bill for more than $160,000 was received from Equs to have a power line moved to make way for a road construction project.
When Fortis has to move lines, Cutforth said they do so at no charge. However, when Equs does, they have historically charged the county so that the lines can be moved back onto private property.
He did add though that the policy is changing as Equs is now installing any new power lines in the county right of ways, meaning any moves will be on Equs.