By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Deputy Reeve Henry Doeve offered a Lethbridge County report at a recent Coaldale and District Chamber of Commerce meeting held recently.
Doeve recently returned from China, as a part of the county’s delegation.
“We feel the trip was very successful. It’s a very unique experience to get there. We had some really good meetings, there were a lot of meetings set up with business men and with investors that had money,” he said.
Food and food security is a huge issue for them, Doeve pointed out.
“That’s really where they’re trending and are very aware of that. They’re looking to, where possible, invest in food and food production. Beef — they’re looking at our beef as something that they really enjoy,” he said.
According to Doeve, the county delegation opened up doors in China.
“The Chinese operate somewhat differently than we do here. It’s all about relationships. They want the governments to come in and open the door for business in the region. We told the story of southern Alberta — where we are one hour from the border, we have good rail connectivity, we have scheduled airlines into our airport with good highway access. These were all things they weren’t necessarily aware of. Being able to point that out to these investors was worthwhile. There was a lot of interest. These are first steps, they are baby steps, but we were very well-received. Lethbridge County has twinned with Anyang County, which is similar in what crops we grow,” he said.
Population-wise though, Doeve explained, Anyang County sits at just under a million, while the county’s population is just over 10,000.
Doeve was asked by a chamber member about the Broxburn Road and Highway 3 signal lights, recently installed at the intersection, during his report to the chamber.
“I have only heard positive comments from that light,” he said. The chamber member said no one slows down through there though.
“The 70 kilometres an hour speed limit doesn’t really matter. It hasn’t slowed a lot of people down,” said the chamber member.
Doeve added he feels the speed limit has slowed motorists down.
“I’m always amazed people actually listen to the signs and they’re slowing down and respecting it. I don’t see the sheriffs or the RCMP hanging out there handing out tickets. The people in Broxburn really like it. I think the traffic already coming down Broxburn Road from the north has probably increased because people are using that now to kind of get around to avoid the lights and slower traffic,” he said.
Coaldale Deputy Mayor Jack Van Rijn noted questions brought to his attention about the lights has been in regards to having to slow down to 70 kilometres and hour, but there is only one little sign with the speed limit decrease posted versus having a flashing light of some sort to indicate the speed limit change. “That’s one of the reasons why people don’t slow down and they are not noticing the sign,” he said. He asked Doeve if there was any discussion in regards to this issue by county council and possibly putting a flashing light or a better visual indication of the speed limit change. “I’ll ask the question. It makes sense. There is a warning sign that says ‘new’ up ahead, but you’re right, it’s just a regular sign,” Doeve said.
Lethbridge County BRIEFS
Diamond City Lane Road Closure
Lethbridge County council passed the motion to approve second and third reading of Bylaw #1468, and closed portions of described roads, subject to rights of access granted by other legislation. The bylaw has also been approved by the minister of Alberta Transportation in February.
According to a report submitted for council consideration at a meeting held Mar. 2, there will be no financial implications for the county, as the owners of the properties are paying all survey and registration costs. The report stated after splitting up the lane way into individual parcels to sell to residents, there are eight parcels left.
In 2015, according to the report, the county identified an undeveloped land in Diamond City, where the residents had placed numerous obstructions including fences, trees, gardens and semi-permanent structures such as sheds and fountains. The county took steps to have the residents remove the structures, as per county Policy 303 or “Road Allowance Obstructions.”
After receiving notice from the county development officer to clear the lane, the report stated, the residents involved collectively engaged council and requested the lane be closed and sold to the residents. Council agreed with the residents and directed administration to pursue a closure and sale of the lane. Part of council’s direction was to contact any utility companies that would have access to their infrastructure. An agreement was struck between the residents and Fortis to move the overhead lines from the alley to the street. That work has been completed, along with all third-party utility company notifications and a public hearing.
South Co-Op Utility Rate Amendment
County council passed the motion to amend the Utility Rate Bylaw #1486 to reflect the water rate change for the County of Lethbridge Rural Water Association (COLRWA) from $0.96 per cubic metre to $0.83 per cubic metre and the description in the bylaw be amended from the South County system to the COLRWA distribution system.
According to a report submitted to council at a meeting held Mar. 2, the Utility Rate Bylaw #1486 was passed by council in December 2016 and it included a water rate for the South Co-Op in the amount of $0.96 per cubic metre. Since the passing of the bylaw, some operational changes have been initiated with the COLRWA and the county.
Based on the negotiated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it was necessary for the water rate to be amended by eliminating the operation and maintenance surcharge portion included in the rate of $0.96 per cubic metre. The fees are included as an annual fee for service that will be invoiced to the COLRWA on a monthly basis, as stated in the MOU for operation of the COLRWA water distribution system by county forces. The report stated, as per the MOU with COLWRA, the total impact to the 2017 utility revenues received from the COLWRA will be immaterial. Water Rates will continue to be reviewed and presented to council annually.