(File photo)

(File photo)

Two more half-way houses would be ‘very beneficial’ to Ponoka

Ponoka County council meeting briefs

A regular meeting of Ponoka County council was held on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

Delegations

Amanda Henderson-Kada, executive director of the Rising Sun Clubhouse, attended the meeting. She updated council on the activities of the society and the limitations they had experienced due to the pandemic.

She reported that two more half-way houses would be very beneficial for the vulnerable population in Ponoka. The province supports social housing, however, sustainability was always the issue.

Henderson-Kada was thanked for her attendance and she left the meeting.

Business

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Charlie Cutforth advised that he had not received a response from the Town of Ponoka to the county’s request for contributions toward the cost of the intersection treatments required at the Hwy 2A/airport and Hwy 53/Reid Road intersections.

He had received a formal agreement from Alberta Transportation for cost-sharing on the intersection project. Alberta Transportation had advised that the agreement needed to be signed as soon as possible in order to secure funding.

Coun. Mark Matejka suggested that Reeve McLauchlin connect with the Town of Ponoka mayor to discuss this further. It was agreed that a conference call meeting be conducted to determine the next course of action.

Finance

Council reviewed the accounts presented for payment from the Nov. 10, 2021 cheque register.

It was moved by Matejka that the accounts be approved for payment as outlined in the Nov. 10, 2021 cheque register in the amount of $1,689,539.40. The motion carried unanimously.

Council reviewed the monthly financial statement to Oct. 31, 2021. Initial year-end budget projections showed that transfers from reserves may not be required.

Modifications to the linear assessment are possible but no decision had been made yet.

It was noted that Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding would stay in place until 2023.

Development

Council reviewed Bylaw 24-21-ZA in light of the recent public hearing, which allowed for rezoning.

NW 12-42-1-W5 (approximately 158.68 acres) has been reclassified from Agricultural District to Country Residential Hobby Farm District.

Bylaw 24-21-ZA was given third and final readingon a motion by Coun. Paul McLauchlin and was unanimously passed.

Council reviewed the development report to Nov. 12, 2021.

Peter Hall advised that he was receiving calls daily regarding placing a second residence on a property.

It was moved by Coun. Doug Weir that the development report to Nov. 12, 2021 be accepted as information and was carried unanimously.

S1⁄2 NW 2-43-25-W4 (approximately 80 acres) was reclassified from Agricultural District to Country Residential District.

It was noted that this property was identified for future subdivision. The concerns raised by the adjacent landowners at the public hearing would be addressed during the subdivision process. A reduced speed on Hwy 53 and secondary access from the North Road may negate the need for an intersection treatment.

Councillor reports

Coun. NancyHartford had virtually attended the Rimbey and District Attraction and Retention Committee meeting. They had expressed appreciation to the county for its past support, however, there would be no monetary request this year.

The Rimbey hospital is very short staffed now and most personnel are required to work extra shifts.

McLauchlin would be working with administration to draft a statement of concern to the Alberta Energy Regulator regarding unpaid oil/gas taxes.

Weir had attended the organizational meeting of the Parkland Regional Library. He advised that the newly acquired property south of the Calnash Ag Event Centre will not be developed until spring as the existing wetlands need to be considered.

He had received a request to chip-seal RR 283 south to the Meadowbrook View subdivision. The Public Works Superintendent would provide an estimate for budget deliberations.

Matejka suggested that the low level crossing west of 34-42-26- W4 be closed for the winter to determine feedback. It was agreed that adjacent landowners be advised of the situation and the action to be taken.

The Ponoka Family and Community Support Services had been approached to contribute to a project to make the JJ Collett Natural Area wheelchair accessible. It was noted that the JJ Collett board has not approved the project and it is in Lacombe County.

He had attended the Canadian Finals Rodeo sendoff for 20+ local cowboys.

General discussion ensued concerning the new COVID-19 restrictions at Ponoka recreation facilities and the county’s contribution to recreation in the Town of Ponoka.

Councillors Bryce Liddle and Hartford had attended the regional Agricultural Service Board meeting via conference call.

Additional items

Matejka requested that administration commence a review of the divisional boundaries upon receipt of the May 2021 census numbers.

Upcoming meeting

The next regular business meeting is on Dec. 28

Ponoka County