M.D. of Lesser Slave River Council notebook

Feb. 26, 2020
Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

CCRA gunning for 10-year lease

While the M.D. pushes the provincial government for a lease on a campground in Canyon Creek, it is also getting pushed, by the community group that wants to improve the west-end campground. Two members of the Canyon Creek Recreation Association made their case at council’s Feb. 26 meeting.

What they’re asking for is a 10-year lease from the M.D., to replace the usual one-year term.

“We require a longer lease term to invest in the campground,” said the CCRA in its written report. If they get it, the association “has local companies and community members who have offered to volunteer equipment and labourers to install power to 11 camping stalls and to help get rid of the hazardous trees.”

The CCRA reps (Charlotte Measor and Pamela Porter) were assured council is fully supportive of the idea. But the M.D. is still waiting for the province to grant it the lease on the land.

“We don’t have things in our hands yet,” said councillor Sandra Melzer.

“We’ve been pushing fairly hard,” said reeve Murray Kerik. He encouraged the group to send letters stating its case to the minister and the MLA.

Measor told council getting power to the sites is important because that seems to be what most campers want. Without it, the campground did a modest amount of business last year, bringing in $3,800, which was just a bit more than it cost to maintain it.

M.D. CAO Allan Winarski urged the CCRA to come up with a vision for what sort of a campground they want and how it would be run.

“It would be nice to know exactly what is contemplated,” he said.

The two groups agreed to keep working on it.

“We hope you don’t put this on the back burner,” said Porter.

“We’re all behind you on this,” said Kerik.

Visit from SHARA

SHARA vice president Fred Laughy visited with council for another update on the Smith arena. He heard about the latest proposal, which is to expand the old curling rink concrete pad, put boards around it and a roof over it. This would be an alternative to the more complicated and expensive option of fixing up the arena for dual use as a skating rink and a horse-riding venue.

Laughy expressed a certain frustration with how long the situation has dragged on.

“It’s been four years now. Every time the solution comes back with more problems. We’re trying to keep our community going.”

The M.D. had an engineer look at it and render an opinion, which was reported in the Feb. 19 Leader. What it’s waiting for now is some costs on the outdoor ice option, as noted above.

We’ll get back to you on it, said Kerik.

Board members – still looking

Council went in camera to discuss the various applications for membership on a couple of boards. When they invited the public back into the room they appointed Angela Wright as a member at large to the regional library board. But for reasons not disclosed they did not choose any of the three applicants for a member at large position on the regional housing authority. As for the Agricultural Pest Act Appeal Committee – nobody applied for the single vacant position.

For those two, council passed a motion calling for advertising to continue.

Rural addresses

Council gave second and third readings to the new rural addressing bylaw. There wasn’t a lot to add to the report they’d gotten on it two weeks earlier, when they gave it first reading.

Two addresses in need of changing in Canyon Creek will be taken care of, and other than that, the system is in place and working properly, council heard.

That doesn’t mean it’s in sync with Internet search capability, but that is up to powers well beyond the scope of the M.D.

“I reached out to Google,” said Ann Holden, the planning officer for the M.D. “I haven’t heard back.”

Holden said she had noticed that Bing maps had picked up more of the M.D. address information than its main competitor.

“Maybe we can play one against the other,” she said.

Ag Service Board

Councillor Melzer reported Agricultural Services Boards have been assured of five years of funding from the Government of Alberta. What isn’t assured at this point is how much that funding will be.

Speaking of the government, don’t hold your breath on the province taking action on weeds in its highway right of ways, Melzer said. Signals from the minister suggest “there’s not a lot going on,” in that regard.

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