Theft of road signs a continuing problem in the county

Road signs on Highway 53 are regularly going missing, specifically Climax Road and Hoar Road.

Road signs on Highway 53 are regularly going missing, specifically Climax Road and Hoar Road.

The issue is causing safety concerns for county crews who have to re-install the signs, says CAO Charlie Cutforth. To deal with the issue, crews will be putting the signs further back, closer to the corner of the property line, rather than close to the road.

“The signs won’t be as big and noticeable possibly,” said Cutforth.

Land correction

A purchase almost five decades ago has caused the county to do some backtracking.

The county registered a road plan in 1964 that cut 66 feet off an acreage. This change made the lot approximately 1.3 acres but it should actually show more than two acres.

“Technically the county should have cancelled and consolidated the old road at the same time they registered the new,” explained Cutforth.

A boundary adjustment was needed on SW 11-42-04-5 for Stanley Schumaker who believed the old road was part of the acreage. Councillors approved the purchase by Schumaker of the property for $1 to fix the error.

Air brakes use

Requests to ban jake brakes on Medicine Lake Road have been turned down by councillors. “They’re (truckers) jaking to make the turn,” explained Cutforth.

The concern was if they restrict air brakes on this road then they would have to continue with more restrictions, which would cause difficulties for truckers.

Rezoning in the county

There were four rezoning requests asked of council and all of them were approved.

The first came from Roland and Irene Grutterink off of Range Road 24 and Westlake Road. The request was to rezone three parcels to country residential hobby farm from agricultural.

Each of the properties would have access to the road. There were no objections.

Request number two came from Marrion Owen and

Bill Spies to rezone property off Highway 53 near Glenfred

Road to country residence from agricultural. The goal is to subdivide into three parcels for residences.

Road access to Highway 53 should not be an issue.

“I understand that Alberta Transportation has now confirmed that those road accesses are OK,” said Cutforth.

The accesses are adjacent to the highway and Owen has been in discussion with the department. “I believe there’s enough space from the highway back.”

She is in the process of remediating an old tank site but is unsure of the how long the process will take.

The third request came from Tom and Brenda Griffiths to allow for a farm-site separation on Range Road 244 and Township Road 424. The request is to rezone to country residential hobby farm from agricultural.

“It’s for the future is what I’m looking at,” said Mr. Griffiths.

The last request was from Clifford Bollinger requesting a 2.6-acre parcel for his son to have home and help with the farm.

“It’s a bushed area and would make a bit of clearing at Range Road 11,” said Bollinger.

The property is south of Township Road 434.

There were no objections.

Drainage at Wolf Creek Golf course

Last year Wolf Creek Gold Resort approached the county to help rectify an issue that has contributed to flooding on the course. A culvert in Morningside built some time ago has caused flooding issues on the course and Ponoka County has been working to solve the issue.

Heavy rains this year have shown flooding still occurs and Cutforth has suggested they build a manhole/sump to help with the heavy water flows.

They would then pump the water into the culvert.

“This we hope would resolve it and we should be looking at $30,000 to $40,000,” said Cutforth.

Wolf Creek is prepared to pay for the pumping and Coun. Gawney Hinkley wants the manhole built soon.

“Get it (the water) out of sight and this will make these people happy.”

Sewage treatment at Wolf Creek

The golf course has a sewage treatment plant and handles sewage deliveries from county residents. A request from owner/operator Ryan Vold has been sent to the county to assist with upgrades of the plant.

“Current hauls average about 300 cubes per month; at this current rate our system is undersized for this flow,” the letter states.

If two trucks come at once then there is also lag time for the trucks.

“It’s not handling everything that they’re doing now,” said Cutforth.

There is no direct cost to the county as users must pay for the disposal of sewage but Ponoka County has to ensure a site for county residents to dump. The total cost for the upgrades is $75,000 and Cutforth recommended they pay for half.

Another option available to the county is to use the Town of Ponoka’s treatment plant but a new cell would have to be built to accommodate the product. “A new cell would cost much, much more.”

Hinkley was in favour of the plan considering the cost of a new storage cell and council approved the request.

Pension plan change

The Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP) has audited the county’s pension plan and noted a slight error. Each employee class must be identified whether they opt-in to the plan.

“The change actually is with the (Bluffton) landfill attendants,” explained Cutforth.

There are two employees there who opted out of the plan and the county needed to acknowledge that.

Election time

The county works with Wolf Creek Public School and St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Schools during election time. Polling stations include voting for the school divisions and the county assists with that.

Nomination day is Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon, and election day is Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Intersection treatment

The intersection of Secondary Highway 771 near Westlake Marina is undergoing some treatment by a developer. Cutforth recommends the county take care of its side of the intersection at the same time.

Paying for the project could come out of the cash reserve and paid for next year during budget deliberations. He estimates the cost to the county at $150,000 for the treatment, which was approved by council.