By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
A new residential subdivision for 50-plus residents is being proposed for the Town of Picture Butte to be located on the former hospital property at the corner of 4 Street and Cowan Avenue. “It’s 14 units. Council had originally zoned it R-5 to accommodate this development when we did our land-use bylaw back in November/December but then on closer review of what they wanted to do, we felt direct control would be more suitable for this type of development, as we can give what exactly needs to happen within the development,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Larry Davidson.
Davidson noted first reading on the proposal recently received first reading and the CAO expects to bring the proposal back to council for a public hearing and potentially second and third reading on Mar. 14. “If there’s any residents that have a concern or are interested in hearing more about it, they should attend council at that time. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.,” he said. The public hearing will be held in council chambers at the town office building.
Davidson added the proposal for development, if approved, will most likely start this year. The Town of Picture Butte, Davidson said, has also agreed on a new five-year fire services agreement with Lethbridge County. “A fire services agreement is an agreement between the Town of Picture Butte as the provider of fire services to Lethbridge County for the area we look after,” Davidson explained.
According to the CAO, it has been over a year of negotiating between the town and the county on the matter but both parties have agreed in principle to everything outlined in the agreement. “Both sides have agreed now because both councils have adopted it,” he said, adding the agreement has changes of the funding formula between the municipalities based on usage. “But, there’s some good things for our municipality. We got some additional monies coming in for capital replacement of the existing fire hall through rent and such. Overall, it’s good for our municipality,” he said.
Another important aspect, Davidson said, is when the county retires their existing fire truck, the town will obtain it for $1. “That’ll provide us with a second back up truck.”
Davidson would also like to thank the county for working with the town during, at times, difficult negotiations. “In the end, I think the interests of both communities prevailed,” he said.
About 60 per cent of call volume, not including motor vehicle accidents, is county-related, said Davidson. “Forty per cent is within the municipality. The county, they bill us independently for all of the motor vehicle accidents the Town of Picture Butte responds to on their behalf for highways,” Davidson added.
On Mar. 21, the town will be hosting a Community Cafe. “The town did a survey of our residents back in September of 2015 and it’s been a long time in coming but council has finally agreed to a date we will roll out the survey results and some of the steps council has undertaken to implement items the community felt were a priority,” said Davidson. The Community Cafe will be held at the Community/Seniors Centre at 7 p.m.