Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

By Helge Nome

Chickens won the day at the regular meeting of County Council when any household within a county hamlet or country residential acreage was given the green light to keep a maximum of six chickens (but no rooster!).
The decision was unanimous.

Greg Neale and Tom Daniels from Sundre Forest Products/ West Fraser told council about their problems in regards to new American duties of 24.12% slapped on their exports to the US and the pine beetle infestation in BC and Western Alberta, which is not expected to show more than a temporary setback due to a relatively cold winter.

Council was given an update on an invigorated Rocky/Kamikawa Japanese student exchange program by coordinator Kim Hastings.

Bill Shaw from Bill Shaw Consulting presented council with a revised draft of the North Rocky Major Area Structure Plan which covers the area between Highway 22 and the Rocky Airport. This is a work in its early stages with much consultation ahead involving the public and the Rocky Town Council. Many issues remain to be resolved.

New provincial electoral boundaries were discussed with concern being expressed over large urban municipalities benefiting at the expense of rural ones.


Council decided against changing its 2/3 majority requirement in regards to a request from the Hamlet of Withrow to connect it to a municipal wastewater system.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Caroline Royal Purple and Elks Host Alberta Elks/Royal Purple Walk For Children


Walkers, supporters and family members posing before the walkathon



The annual Alberta Walk for Children was hosted by the Royal Purple and Elks Lodges of Caroline on Saturday May 27, starting and finishing at the Caroline Elks Youth Centre. 24 walkers registered for the walk which took participants through some of the parks and playgrounds in Caroline. Reportedly, some of the younger participants would have preferred to stay at the playground rather than keep walking. The event, which was blessed by sunny weather, culminated in a beef-on-a-bun dinner at the Youth Centre. Next year's walkathon will take place in Red Deer.



Local family who has received help from the Elks and Royal Purple Fund For Children: Breana and Barry Langendoen's daughter Noela received extensive coaching with her speech, greatly improving her ability to communicate with other people. Barry expressed his gratitude at the windup of the walkathon event in the Elks Youth Centre in Caroline and presented a card from his family to the Elks and Royal Purple. Richard Foesier from the Caroline Elks accepted the card and expression of gratitude



Donation to Walk for Children: Dan Leroux from the Sundre Elks Lodge #338 presented a cheque for $1000 to Walk for Children Coordinator Diane Wilson (left) and Caroline Royal Purple/Elks representative Val Staben

Monday, May 15, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS OF COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING, MAY 9, 2017

By Marianne Cole

1. Development on County land in Caroline.
 > Phase 1 (planned for the northern part of the property) included the creation of 11 industrial lots and the county’s lot for its salt/sand storage facility.
> Phase 2 includes the southern portion, along Highway 54, with 10 proposed highway commercial lots.
> Phase 1 development has been approved by council but Phase 2 development was contingent upon the county and village receiving the Small Communities Fund (SCF) grant. This was unsuccessful.
> About 75% of Phase 1 infrastructure construction was completed last fall but weather prevented completion. Northside Construction Partnership is scheduled to return shortly to complete the earthwork. Then the construction of the salt/sand storage facility will proceed.
> Discussion took place on servicing the lots in both Phase 1 and 2, focussing on the impact on Caroline’s water/sewer system as well as receiving approval from Alberta Environment re the impact on nearby wetlands.
> A motion was made directing administration to discuss Phase 2 development with the village, investigate the water/sewer implications, and bring back a more detailed report for approval.

2. Land Use Bylaw Amendment passes first reading.
 > This draft bylaw would establish penalties and definite courses of action for those whose developments contravene development bylaws (encroachment on neighboring properties, not abiding by building permits, etc.)
> Action here is usually complaint driven and begins with a letter informing the offender of contraventions. This is followed up, if necessary, by further action and penalties.

3. Condor Community Centre Request.
 > Council approved the granting of $18,000.00 to assist Condor Community with renovations to their hall. (Approximate cost $53,000. The community has the remaining funds.)
4. Compassionate Care Hospice Society Letter of Support.
> The Society was formed in 2016 and is now actively working to establish a hospice center in Rocky that would provide compassionate, quality comfort care for people with a life-limiting illness and their families.
> Steve Taylor, Vice Chair of the Society attended council to ask that a letter of support from the County be sent to Alberta Health Services on behalf of the Society. This request was granted.

5. Town on Rocky Recreation Master Plan
> Roger Smolnicky, Director of Recreation for the town, and a representative from McElhanney Consulting were present to discuss the process the town is engaged in to provide a framework for future recreation programs used by the town and county.
> Recently a survey re. the available facilities and usage was completed with an approximate 60-40 % split of town-county respondents.
> The results of this survey will be presented to the town on May 16 and to the county following that (likely May 23).

6. Clearwater Broadband Foundation.
> Michelle Swanson, Chairman, made a brief presentation regarding the CBF’s previous request for funding and the county’s subsequent request for a review of the CBF’s proposals.
> Part of the county’s review included getting legal opinion regarding the CBF’s non-profit status and the county’s legal ability to provide a loan to a “for profit” organization.
> Significant discussion took place on the possibility that the legal firm may not have investigated the “non-profit” status as fully as it could have. (It did not investigate the O’Net/Olds Institute system which has non-profit status.)
> Discussion also took place on Michelle’s suggestion that a “Tech Review Committee” be established with the town, county, and the CBF each arranging for a tech consultant to be part of the committee that would evaluate the pro’s and con’s of fibre optics and tower systems. Currently there seems to be a distinct difference of opinion on council on the benefits of each system.
> In the end Council passed a motion to not approve the loan to the CBF. They also passed a motion requesting an administrative report on the available options to improve broadband services in Clearwater County.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CLEARWATER COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

By Marianne Cole

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

1. Summer Tour--- This was first held last year and was organized by our Ag Services Department in cooperation with the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance. It involved a canoe trip on the North Saskatchewan River with provincial rural caucus members and other dignitaries. This year an ATV trip is being planned for August, potentially in the Rig Street or Big Horn areas. The purpose of this would be to promote the benefit of designated Public Land Use Zones (PLUZ), along with advocating for the work the county has been doing on maintaining west country trails.

2. Clearwater Regional Fire Services--- Pivotal Project has been retained as project manager for the construction of the new Condor/Leslieville Fire Hall. They in turn advertised for a request for proposal (RFP) for a Primary Consultant who would be in charge of engineering and design. The successful applicant for this, BR2Architecture, was chosen after to scoring the highest on a summary evaluation. Their fee for service will be $291, 165.
(Note: It is stated in the agenda package that “Section 1.8 of the RFP states that the County is not bound by the lowest bid in evaluation and award of the RFP.” This is most interesting as other instances of RFP’s have noted that the county must accept the lowest bid, which raises the question, why the difference? )

3. Nordegg Historic CIBC Bank Building--- Due to its deteriorated physical state and hazard to public safety, the building had been slated for demolition. A very generous offer from TdB Construction (Ted deBoer)has been put forward to reinvest the demolition cost into stabilizing the structure and maintaining its original fa├žade. This would allow for future development/use of this historic structure.

4. Pine Beetle Resilience Project--- Mr. Rob Friberg, a PhD student from the University of British Columbia outlined his proposal to work with communities on the western side of Alberta to study strategies that might make our forests more resilient to pine beetle attacks. His proposal would involve interviews with local residents, elected officials, and industry personnel as part of a focus group. County council voted to support his endeavors.

5. Financial Matters

 > Federal budget--- Highlights noted were the $28.5 million deficit, funding for “green” water    (mostly for First Nations), affordable housing, and the gas tax fund. Councillor Maki suggested that  our council reps who attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference should make  every effort to pass on to the appropriate federal politicians that the “green” infrastructure must  include funding for the internet in rural Canada.

 > Reserve Transfers--- Because some projects budgeted for in 2016 didn’t materialize there is an  unallocated amount of $629, 128 in unrestricted reserves. Discussion took place on what to do with  this…leave as is or put into a restricted fund. Leaving it as unrestricted gives council flexibility as to  its use, and it was also suggested that council can review the current reserve balances at its A & P  (Agenda and Priority) meeting next week. It was also suggested that it may be prudent to review the  tax rate bylaw before making a decision on reserve transfers.

 > 2016 Audited Financial Statements--- Phil Dirks, representative from Hawkings Epp Dumont,  along with Rhonda Serhan from the county, reviewed the 2016 audited financial statements. He  noted that the county is in a healthy position financially, that the county staff was very helpful, and  that accounting procedures are very satisfactory. Two concerns that had been raised by taxpayers  were addressed: a.) The Regional Waste Authority financials will now be under the control of the  county as we are a managing partner, and b.) The debenture servicing costs relate to the renovations  done on the Westview Lodge, and that the penalty for paying off the loan would be greater that the  interest costs. A key note of interest for taxpayers is that revenue last year was $3.3 million higher  than expected, and that the accumulated surplus per capita is $5,500, just over the average of $5, 300  for the jurisdictions Hawkings Epp Dumont compared.


 > Tax Rate Bylaw--- Discussion took place on setting the 2017 tax rates. It was noted that a budget  deficit of $213, 757 could occur due to a decrease in revenue resulting from lower assessments.  However, it was also mentioned that well drilling dollars are already up for 2017 so that could  alleviate a deficit. In the end it was decided that there be no increase in municipal taxes, though there  will be a 1% increase in Education Tax (government controlled).


6. CCTA Letter of Invitation--- Following a motion made at its March meeting, the CCTA had sent a letter to each councillor inviting them, as taxpayers, to attend any of the CCTA’s monthly meetings. Subsequently this letter was discussed today.
It was noted that perhaps a policy is needed before a decision on this is made and that the new MGA is proposing a matrix for such a policy. Councillor Laing suggested it should be left up to each councillor to decide on what community meetings they might attend if invited. It was noted that administration is in the process of preparing a draft policy for the next A & P meeting of council on this matter.
IN THE NEWS

By Marianne Cole

1. Joint Town/County Council Meeting, March 14

Following the County’s February 16th public meeting on the proposed Area Structure Plan for the land north of Rocky, the town requested a joint meeting of town and county councils. Highlights were:

 * Concern was expressed by town councillors that they hadn’t been consulted on the content of        the ASP before it went public.
 * It was noted that all meetings of the Intermunicipal Development Plan committee had been “in  camera” and information was not shared with either council prior to the February meeting.
 * Elected members of the committee are Pat Alexander, Curt Maki, and Jim Duncan from the County  and Fred Nash, Jason Alderson, and Don Verhesen from the Town. The respective CAO’s and    planning department personnel also attended.
 * County councillor Earl Graham suggested that committee level “in camera” sessions could be  brought back to a whole council in camera session. Ron Leaf suggested councils get legal advice on  the matter.
 * County councillors were generally in favor of proceeding with the Area Structure Plan although  one councillor suggested more info was needed on financing and the Rocky’s lagoon system.
 * Town councillors were more reserved, with concerns over financial benefit along with lagoon  issues and transparency of information.
 * In the end Ron Leaf said that there is lots of work, negotiations, and public consultation needed  before final plans are approved.


2. Results of the Town’s Economic Feasibility Study

The results of the town’s economic feasibility study on the Joint Development Agreement with the county on lands to the north of Rocky was recently presented to the town with the following highlights:

 * The JDA could have a positive fiscal impact on the town but there are risks.
 * The timing and magnitude of growth from the JDA is uncertain and subject to current economic  conditions.
 * With current population trends, the town does have plenty of land for residential growth, but has a  limited supply of commercial and industrial land.
 * In further questioning by town councillors it was noted that if the town doesn’t grow, there is no  need for more land.

3. Clearwater County Crime Watch

The Clearwater County Crime Watch held their annual general meeting at the Leslieville Community Centre on Wednesday, March 29. Special highlights of the meeting were:

 * Presentation by a representative of the Action Coalition on Trafficking. She explained that human    trafficking is not limited to young females for the sex trade, but can involve both
 genders in any situation where they are held against their will, under duress, with little or no pay, and  in potentially deplorable living conditions.
 * Presentation by Sgt. Jay Penner of the Rocky RCMP. He indicated that the incidence of domestic  violence has gone up 130% in Clearwater County in the last year. Much of it attributed to drugs and  the economic conditions. The RCMP is working diligently to curb drug use and crime with their  strategy of tracking/watching repeat offenders and those on parole.

The County’s Crime Watch group is desperately needing board members and we encourage anyone interested in helping support this very beneficial group to contact Marianne Cole or Trish Bingham.

ROSES: This month’s bouquet of roses goes out to the Clearwater Broadband Foundation’s board of directors. They have worked diligently to gather information on the benefits and feasibility of improved broadband services to county residents. This has been an issue that area residents have indicated was of significant importance to them. We certainly commend the CBF for their diligence and efforts to work together for the provision of a very beneficial service for county residents.

RANT: As I reflect on the various development discussions/meetings that have taken place this past year I am reminded of the continual opinions of county taxpayers:

 * The CCTA’s survey in February 2016 indicated overwhelming opposition to the county’s building  plans.
 * At the Dovercourt meeting in May the requested show of hands showed huge opposition to the  building developments.
 * The county’s own satisfaction survey this past fall indicated significant opposition to the building  plans but strong support for improved broadband service.
 * At the ASP open house in February the need for additional development and concern for the  economic benefit was again brought forward.

With the county taxpayer sentiments being so clearly expressed in opposition, I continue to wonder why the county presses on with their development plans. Isn’t there a cost to the continual consultant work? Why continue if there is so much opposition? OR… Do the opinions of county taxpayers, those footing the bill, have absolutely no relevance? Is there any validity to the promise that we would be consulted before any decisions are made? Even after consultation, will the decisions made follow the wishes of the majority??? Perhaps the fall election will be the only real way to ensure our voice is heard and definitive answers to this whole quandary are provided. One could only hope.

Coming Events:

April 13, 2017, Regular monthly meeting, 7:00PM

May 11, 2017, Regular monthly meeting, 7:30PM

Note: Meeting time change in May from 7:00PM to 7:30pm

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes

by Helge Nome

All councillors were present at the regular meeting on February 28 to hear a delegation from the Town of Rocky Mountain House report on public concerns over a discharge from the Town sewage lagoon into the North Saskatchewan River.
The Town’s Director of Engineering and Operations, Rod Fraser, reported that levels of solids and ammonia products, exceeding new federal regulations, had indeed been discharged into the river and that the Town is working to identify the causes. Several county councillors expressed concern over a lack of communications between the Town and County in light of the fact that the two municipalities are sharing the cost and use of the Rocky Mountain House wastewater treatment facility.

Maintenance of another shared facility, the Credit Union Co-op Aquatic Centre in Rocky Mountain House, was discussed as well with a request for an additional $61,400 to shore up the deck around the pool in 2017. Doing all the work needed in 2017, rather than spreading it out over two years as originally planned, will result in an overall cost saving. Council approved the additional funding. 

A delegation from the Clearwater Broadband Foundation, a local recently formed not-for-profit society, made a video presentation arguing for the case of optical fibre as the solution for local residents’ access to the internet. John Reid, Secretary/Treasurer of the foundation, stated the intention of the group of digging in fibre clusters to serve six different areas of the county, including one in Nordegg. These clusters would initially be served by signals from/to adjacent microwave towers to be erected by the group. Funding, in the form of $3.48 million of loans guaranteed by the County, would be needed for these projects. Council accepted the presentation as information.


Based on a recommendation from Public Works, Council decided to post “No winter maintenance” signs on roads in the west country that are not being graded in the winter. It was noted that snowmobilers can and do use these snowy roads.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes

by Helge Nome


All councillors except Kurt Maki were present at the February 14 County Council meeting where a major decision regarding Nordegg development was made:  Based on a presentation and recommendation from West Country Manager Rick Emmons, Council gave the green light to the development of a 29 lot mobile home park in the vicinity of the municipal building in Nordegg at a cost of $2.55 million. 

Council also approved 5.2 km grading and other work to the Northfork Road. A bid from Netook Construction Ltd. for a total of $1.354 million was accepted.

Councillor Theresa Laing brought a concern over Town of Rocky Mountain House lagoon use to the attention of Council. It has been suggested that county based sewage trucks may have exceeded the capacity of the sewage treatment plant when dumping their loads resulting in raw sewage being discharged into the North Saskatchewan River. CAO Leaf was asked to look into the matter by Council.

A decision by the Clearwater County Council on December 13, 2016 to amend an agreement with the Sundre Fire Department to provide fire suppression and rescue services to the southern part of Clearwater County has generated a negative response from the Sundre area: Based on a rationale of cost savings, it was decided that the Caroline Fire Station should be the first responder in this area, rather than Sundre.
Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services Chief Jesse Kurtz made a presentation to Council in response to this unexpected development. CAO Leaf is scheduled to meet with the Town of Sundre CAO to deal with the matter. For the time being, the Sundre Fire Department will continue to be the fire service provider for the area south of Highway 587 and west of Sundre.

An "In Camera" session at the end of the meeting was labelled "Third Party Interest" in the agenda. Judging by the group present in the council chamber at that time it is assumed that the "third party" is the Clearwater Broadband Foundation as represented by its board.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes



by Helge Nome

There was discussion right from the outset at the first regular meeting in 2017 on Tuesday, January 10: Councillor Vandermeer pointed to a discrepancy in the minutes from the December 13 regular meeting pertaining to a motion from Vandermeer for the county to go ahead with a broadband demonstration program in 2017. The minutes, as presented to council for ratification, did not reflect this intent and the minutes, as amended by Vandermeer, were adopted by council.

Detailed information on the 2017 winter gravel program was presented by Public Works, where it was noted that the amount of gravelling done would depend on weather conditions.

Alberta Municipal Affairs’ recommendation for Council to hire a consultant to carry out a review of county operations was turned down unanimously on a motion from Councillor Duncan. The sentiment was that Council already had a good idea of where there are shortcomings, notably in its communications with the public strategy, as identified in the municipal inspection of the Town of Rocky Mountain House where improvements were recommended. Also, Councillor Vandermeer believed that $75,000 could be better spent elsewhere.

Based on a recommendation from Regional Fire/Rescue, Council decided to go ahead with the purchase of a replacement fire engine for the one that was written off following a rollover in October. The cost to the County will be $163,851, the remainder of the total purchase price of $588,851 being covered by insurance.

A delegation from the “Clearwater Regional Tourism Working Group” presented the newly designed logo to be used to promote the region. The logo depicts voyageurs in a canoe and asks the visitor to David Thompson Country to ”challenge your inner explorer”.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friends of Caroline Library Donation


"The Friends of the Caroline Library, represented by Leslie Detta, Judy Winter and Jackie Cooper, donated an amount of $3,800 to the Caroline Library represented by Amanda Archibald. Some $1,800 will go towards the maintenance of the photo copier over the coming year. The remainder will be spent as needed by library staff. The library provides a range of services to the Caroline community and is a busy place. The Friends of the Library are looking for like minded community members to help out."

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Clearwater County Council 2017 Budget Sessions Notes

by Helge Nome

I attended two full day 2017 Budget presentation sessions to Council held on December 14 and 16. The public was invited to attend but no printed or electronic information was made available, including a agenda. The only visual information observed were spreadsheets presented on projector screens. 
So, apart from listening to what was said by staff and councillors, rough notes could only be taken on the fly.

No motions of any kind were advanced or voted on during the two days, however, Councillor Maki in particular expressed concern over proposed increases in spending in most departments. Late on Friday afternoon, it was decided to call another meeting this Monday, December 19 in order to come to some kind of resolution. CAO Leaf suggested that Council might choose to run with an interim budget based on 2016 numbers, as important decisions over 2017 spending need to be made by Council in the first quarter of that year.

I will not quote any numbers in this article for the simple reason that no printed information was made available and any numbers in this article could easily be disputed without information to back them up.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes

by Helge Nome

Delegations make attendance at County Council meetings interesting for observers.
That was the case on December 13 when three people from the Cartier Creek subdivision along the Red Deer River south west of Sundre brought their concerns over encroachments by neighbours onto Municipal Reserve land adjacent to the subdivision to the attention of Council.
Jo and Glenn Allen and Stephen Kenny, using a photo and map presentation format showed how several river front lot owners have placed permanent structures between their properties and the river bank, effectively preventing the public from walking along the bank. The group appealed to Council to take decisive action on this issue.

Michelle Swanson and Bob Haagsma from the Clearwater Broadband Foundation, which is now a registered not for profit Society, presented a case for municipal support for their project which seeks to provide affordable broadband internet service to all residents in Clearwater County. Council was told that some 200 memberships at $20 each had been sold to local people in the last few days indicating a latent demand for this service.
Council decided to direct staff to work with the Clearwater Broadband Foundation to initiate a broadband project in 2017.

Clearwater County now has an interim Fire Chief who was presented to Council. He is Jesse Kurtz, a retired Deputy Fire Chief with many years of service from Southern Alberta, who has now taken on the duties of Cammie Laird who resigned from her post a short while ago.

Bob Winship, Pembina Timberlands Forest Resources Manager for Weyerhaeuser gave an update on company activities in the area. He noted that a new approach will be used in consulting with the general public, moving away from standing committees towards individuals.

Council accepted as information a closeout report on the planned new administration building and operations facility north of Rocky. Preliminary earth work has now been completed and further work will depend on Council approval for the next stage. Meanwhile, decisions in regards to the use, or otherwise, of services, like water and sewer, etc. from the Town of Rocky Mountain House, will have to be made.

A discussion on West Country Management took place where concerns were aired over the possibility of a Provincial Park being created, replacing the current PLUZ
(Public Land Use Zone) designations, potentially causing problems for people who make their living in the west country and so possibly limiting County revenues as well.

For a number of years, the Sundre Fire Dept. has been the first responder to calls from the James River area of Clearwater County. Based on a recommendation from Clearwater Fire and Rescue, this responsibility was transferred to the Caroline Fire Station

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes



by Helge Nome

Four delegations presented their cases at the regular meeting on November 22. County involvement in internet service to local residents was also discussed.

Members of an Agriculture Recreation Committee made a case for a recreational complex to be constructed on the newly acquired county lands near the Rocky airport. The total cost of the project is estimated at $22 million with approximately one half of the money potentially coming from municipal sources. Art Terpsma presented the case for a facility with a number of other people interested in the project in attendance. Reeve Alexander responded by advising the committee to broaden its base of community support for the complex before the County would become actively involved. Council did, however, carry a motion to make its airport  lands available as a potential site.

David Gummer, Wildlife Biologist with Parks Canada, made a presentation on the planned re-introduction of bison into the Banff National Park. 16 animals will be moved from Elk Island National Park into a controlled area on the eastern slopes of the Rockies in the Banff park for a trial period of 5 years.

Don Livingston and Ed Van Heeren made the case for County support for the Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue group in its upcoming 2017 budget.
The group is a registered society and has entered into a cooperative relationship with the municipally controlled Clearwater Regional Emergency Management Agency. It has a broad volunteer base and is looking to replace capital equipment and upgrade skills and equipment to be able to participate in helicopter rescue operations.

The County is increasingly being asked to give financial support to local volunteer groups. This trend was affirmed by a delegation from the Prairie Creek Memorial Cemetery Association who asked for some $7,000 to $10,000 to replace a gate and fencing around the cemetery. Reeve Alexander said that the request would be considered during the 2017 budget deliberations. A related issue came up shortly afterwards in regards to the costs of demolishing the Taimi Hall which came in at $73,405; 33,405 over budget due to the need to dispose of asbestos in the debris.

The County’s electronic information system is in very poor health. This became evident during a presentation by Corporate Services Manager Rodney Boyko when he requested an amount of $50,000 over and above budgeted costs to deal with ongoing problems. The request was granted.

The broadband internet issue was back on the agenda with Community and Protective Services Manager Ted Hickey resubmitting a previously tabled item:
 “Broadband Request for Proposal - Focused Study Area”. After a good amount of discussion where previously held positions and beliefs were restated, it was resolved to release the full text of the TaylorWarwick Broadband Internet Study to the public. The agenda item under discussion was re-tabled until the next regular meeting.

Finally, on a positive note, Public Works Manager Marshall Morton reported that a tender for asphalt overlay of 22 km of the Prairie Creek Road  came in  $1 million below the estimated cost of $3.9 million. Good deal!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Caroline Elks donate to local library



Friends of the Caroline Library, Allison Hewitt and Barbara Lee received a cheque for $500 from the Caroline Elks represented by Richard Foesier, on Wednesday, November 16. The money will be used for non-budget items needed by the library. A silent auction of donated items to support the library is currently underway at ATB Financial in Caroline until November 25.


Caroline School Principal's Award for 2015/16



Award is presented to Mallory Westergaard by Caroline School Principal Dean Pilipchuk at the school's annual awards night on October 28, 2016. Mallory excelled in all areas of student achievement, including academics, sports, citizenship and leadership. This award is the highest recognition given by Caroline School.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes

By Helge Nome

Today, October 25, Council held its annual organizational meeting where Reeve and Deputy Reeve for the upcoming year are elected from within the group of seven councillors by the councillors. Some fifty community boards are also populated by a mixture of community members and councillors.
Following the organizational meeting, a regular meeting was conducted where crime statistics were presented by members of the Rocky RCMP Detachment.

With all seven councillors present, CAO Ron Leaf opened the organizational meeting, asking for nominations for the position of Reeve.
Councillor John Vandermeer took the floor and and expressed a lack of confidence in how Reeve Alexander had conducted himself over the past year. He nominated Councillor Graham who declined the nomination. He then nominated Councillor Maki for the position of Reeve. Maki declined the nomination. He went on to nominate Councillors Duncan and Laing in that order. Both declined the nomination.
The process ended up with Councillor Laing nominating Councillor Vandermeer and Councillor Greenwood nominating Councillor Alrxander for the position of Reeve. Both accepted the nomination and CAO Leaf collected the votes which were counted with the assistance of Staff person Christine Heggart. Alexander was elected for the upcoming year. The number of votes for each person was not disclosed.

There was a change in the Deputy Reeve chair: Councillor Maki replaces Councillor Graham.

For the upcoming year, the Municipal Planning Commission will have councillors Graham, Duncan and Maki serving, along with community members Cheryl Dezall and Kelly Spongberg.

Councillor Laing was not successful in getting on the Rocky Mountain Regional Waste Authority Board, where Councillors Alexander, Graham and Maki will continue to represent the County.

The newly formed Clearwater Broadband Foundation had requested a councillor appointment by letter. Councillor Vandermeer agreed to represent the county council on this board, with Councillor Duncan as the alternate.

Following the organizational meeting, Staff Sgt. Mark Groves and Sgt. Jason Penner from the Rocky RCMP Detachment made a presentation. Auto thefts were down in number compared to last time a presentation to council was made.
Property crimes in the area have increased in line with a province wide trend. Sgt. Groves noted that the detachment is now at full strength, and even a bit over, as he has been accepting junior RCMP members into his detachment with the idea of training them to perform at a high level in their work. He also noted that the newly appointed constable to Caroline School, Brian Bouchard, used to be a teacher and school principal before joining the RCMP.

A permanent Rocky RCMP satellite station at the Sunchild and O’Chiese reserves has considerably improved policing in that area. When asked by Reeve Alexander about an RCMP presence at Nordegg, Groves said that he could not justify keeping a member out there, based on population numbers. Sgt. Penner added: “It is a summertime deal” .

Friday, April 24, 2015

Caroline Seniors Center April Birthdays


Lawrence Stewart, Don Ellis, Sharon Delorme, John Bugbee and Roy Follis. They were all born in the month of April.

Volunteers are recognized in Caroline Community

The volunteer appreciation event was hosted in the Caroline Legion Hall with the guidance of Marjorie Peters.

 

Over 200 volunteers were recognized in the Caroline Community on April 13 as part of Volunteer Week celebrations. They were all nominated by community people who had to pay $2 for each name submitted. Some 80 people attended the event and enjoyed good fellowship and snacks along with lots of door prizes. The event was organized by volunteers from several community organizations.




Volunteers from the Caroline Fire Department present were: Tim Simard, Rick Foesier, Yvonne Evans, Rachel Young and Aeron Hisey


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Friday, January 17, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Monday, December 30, 2013

Alberta - Land of Oil and Money

Elk Crossing Red Deer River

Elk Crossing Red Deer River from Helge Nome on Vimeo.

This female elk crossed the river not far from where I was sitting having my lunch on a gravel bar. She was never aware of my presence, giving an opportunity for some very rare footage