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Communicator A quarterly newsletter published by Woodlands County



Fall 2015

Mayor’s Message Welcome to our Fall 2015 Newsletter

Members at Large Required


Community Services


Upcoming Events


Parks & Recreation


Corporate Services


2015 Citizen Survey Results


Infrastructure Services


Planning & Development


Your Input to County Development 8 Agriculture Services


Council Highlights


Woodlands County Box 60, #1 Woodlands Lane Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3 P: 780.778.8400 F: 780.778.8402 OR Woodlands County Box 33 Fort Assiniboine, AB T0G 1A0 P: 780.584.3866 F: 780.584.3988 For more information about this newsletter contact Holly LaRochelle, Community Liaison and Programming Coordinator at 780.778.8400 or

Woodlands County Mayor, Jim Rennie

What a summer, filled with highs and lows. As I am a positive thinker, I would like to mention some struggles first, and end things on an optimistic note! My Dad, longtime County resident Jim Rennie Sr. passed away this summer from a brief illness with cancer. While it has been a sad time in our family, it has shown me the compassion and support from our community that I thought was always there. I cannot imagine a family in Edmonton receiving the number of cards, calls, and most importantly hugs that we received, it is truly a small community strength that shows up at a time of crisis! To all of you, thank you for your support, and let’s continue to stand up for our neighbours when they need us the most. On that note, when one of our staff was recently diagnosed with cancer, I was proud to see the rest of the team stand united with a fundraiser for local cancer support groups that will raise money to see our CAO Luc Mercier, as well as Council, wear purple wigs during a November meeting to show our support. If positive attitude is the key to overcoming an illness, this staffer will be healthy again before we know it! To my fellow councilors, I know this is taking some of you out of your comfort zone, so your participation has gained my respect – good job team! Lastly on the harder side of life – what a challenging year with the drought in many areas of the County. While myself and Council don’t have a solution, we are there to listen and support our farming community in any way we can! We have solicited the Province on behalf of our farming community and declared a region an agricultural disaster area. This has help raised awareness of the situation and allowed the Province to improve their programs to help our farmers in hard times. Although we have seen our economy slow in the past while, I am very confident that we will see progress in the months to come. Those in the forestry business are moving forward very well, and we are proud to

Mayor Rennie visits with a delegation of Chinese businessmen looking at local industry investment opportunities.

celebrate with West Fraser as they turn 60 years of age, Alberta Newsprint Company on their 25th Anniversary, and Millar Western is almost finished their much anticipated bio-energy project! Congratulations to all three mills and their employees who make our community sustainable! Lastly, I want to touch on events. This summer was filled with some incredible celebrations, such as Party in the Park in conjunction with Whitecourt, the always awesome Fort Hamlet Hoedown (my kids say it is the best parade Dad gets to go in!), the very popular events at Hard Luck Falls, and of course the growing in popularity Blue Ridge Logging Days. It seems like there was an event around our community every weekend, and with the warm summer, the turnouts were great! In closing, it is the start of budget season at Woodlands County, please watch for a number of open houses in November where we ask for your feedback on planned projects, and also for us to listen to new ideas to continue improving our great community! Finally, I end with a shout out to Marty’s Café in Fort Asssiniboine – you are an awesome place!! My kids loved fresh snacks, and I thought the ambiance was so cool. Be sure to check them out right on main street – you will love them too! Mayor Jim Rennie

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Community Help us Spread the Word About Your Event! If your community group is holding an event or if you know of one that is happening in Woodlands County, let us know. We can help promote it and get more people there!

Members at Large Required Applications are being sought from individuals residing in Woodlands County to serve as members at large on the following boards: v Agriculture Services Board - 2 vacancies v Economic Development Committee - 2 vacancies v Municipal Planning Commission - 2 vacancies

Please call or email Dana Severson at 780.778.8400 or

v Subdivision and Development Appeal Board - 2 vacancies

Do You Know a Tourism Operator in Woodlands County?

v Woodlands County Library Board - 1 vacancy (3 year term)

Let us know if you or someone you know offers these services and we can refer customers to them. We receive tourism requests for the following:

Detailed information, with respect to the positions, may be obtained by contacting the Woodlands County Municipal Office in Whitecourt at 780. 778.8400 or toll-free at 1.888.870.6315. Honorariums are paid for meetings attended in accordance with Policy 1905 - Travel, Subsistence, and Honorariums.

• Horseback Riding

Letters of interest and/or resumes and experience will be received until 12:00 (Noon) on Thursday, October 15, 2015 and can be delivered, faxed, mailed or e-mailed to:

• Snowmobile Rentals • Quad Rentals • Guided Tours (Hiking, Fishing, Quadding)

v Woodlands County Community Services Committee - 3 Vacancies (1- adult & 2 youth)

All Positions will now be held for a two year period from November 1, 2015 to October 31, 2017, unless noted otherwise with appointments being made at the Woodlands County Organizational meeting.

Luc Mercier, Chief Administrative Officer Woodlands County Box 60, #1 Woodlands Lane Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3 Facsimile: 780.778.8402


Help Clear the Way... Please keep the path to your utility meter clear of debris and snow so our staff can safely reach them to collect the correct data. l 3

Community Services Community Angels Recreation Enrichment (C.A.R.E.) Program The Woodlands County Community Angels Recreation Enrichment (C.A.R.E.) Program offers assistance to families that may be financially unable to enroll their child in recreational programs. C.A.R.E. offers assistance by covering part or all of the costs of registration fees and equipment. Activities such as band, sports, dance, skating, swimming, etc. may qualify under the program. For sports clubs, school counsellors, coaches or instructors who know of a family that could use assistance, please contact Woodlands County at 780.778.8400. All referrals will be kept in the strictest confidence. C.A.R.E. is funded by donations from corporations, clubs, organizations, businesses and individuals, as well as through fundraising initiatives.

Christmas Markets Anselmo Hall Christmas Market

November 14 l 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Discover ideas for unique Christmas gift giving by shopping through our business, craft and artisan vendors. Admission is free. Concession available on-site all day (proceeds to a non-profit group). Call Angela for more details or to reserve a table at 780.786.4210.

Westward Centre Christmas Market

November 21 - 22 l 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Come find a special gift for the special people in your life! Free admission with a food bank donation. Great Christmas crafts and gifts. Call 780.779.4343 for more information.

Welcome to Woodlands Program The Welcome to Woodlands Program is a wonderful way to welcome new residents to the area by providing a welcome basket. Woodlands County encourages residents to call the Municipal Office in Whitecourt to advise of new residents or businesses in order that they may receive a basket. To obtain further information or to arrange for a basket please contact the Community Services Department: Phone: 780.778.8400, Toll-free: 1.888.870.6315

Drop-In & Play Connect with other Parents in our Community Blue Ridge Mom & Tots Drop in play every Wednesday 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at the Briar Patch in Blue Ridge. For questions call Reanne at 780.898.9825 or Sue at the Blue Ridge Library 780.648.7323.

Fort Assiniboine Playgroup Drop in play on Wednesdays at the Fort Assiniboine Agricultural Society building. Call Jenny at 780.674.0537 for more details.

Journey to Bethlehem Journey to Bethlehem is preparing for its 17th season of performance. It’s a free, outdoor, family-friendly event. Travel through time and consider what it may have been like on the night Jesus was born. Journey to Bethlehem, 2015 performances take place in the hamlet of Fort Assiniboine on the evening of November 21 & 22 and November 28 & 29. Tours through Bethlehem begin at the Catholic parish on the edge of town and conclude with refreshments at the Fort Assiniboine Friendship Centre. The outdoor tour takes about 25 minutes, please dress warmly! Volunteers are always needed. If you are interested, contact Margaret Attrill, 780.294.9383.

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Community Services Movie Night Sunday, November 8 l 2:00 p.m. Anselmo Hall Now playing: Inside Out. Popcorn, movie and beverages provided, $3/person. Contact Angela for details at 780.786.4210.

Harvest Supper Sunday, November 1 l 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Topland Hall, Fort Assiniboine

Parks & Recreation A “Walk in Time” Takes visitors back from 2015 to 11,000 years ago at Hard Luck Canyon This year, a walk-in time has been added to Hard Luck Canyon. The short loop takes visitors from 2015 back 11,000 years ago highlighting significant geological happenings around the world such as the completion of the Stonehenge in England and the Great Wall of China. Take a walk through Hard Luck Canyon this fall…and discover these significant events!

Harvest Supper with Bison, Ham and Pyrogies. $14 adults l $7 Children 12 & under. Call 780.584.3984 for more details.

SOLD OUT Jason Blaine, Tebey and Three’s a Party Concert Saturday, November 21, 2015 Anselmo Hall Cocktails 6:00 p.m. l Supper 7:00 p.m. Concert 8:30 p.m. Tickets $90/each. Call Marie 780.786.4665, or Angela 780.786.4210

Get Ready for Another Great Season of Sledding from Groat Creek

Ladies Night Out A night out with the gals. Grab a friend, get a drink and release your creativity! Participants will enjoy a creativity activity, instruction and a glass of delicious wine or spirits to fuel your inspiration. $40/participant. Call 780.778.8400 to register.

Painting with Jacquie Paul

Friday, November 6 l 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Blue Ridge Community Hall

Chalk Painting 101

Friday, December 4 l 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Blue Ridge Community Hall Located just 17 kilometres south of Whitecourt on Highway 32, Groat Creek is an excellent facility to start your next sledding adventure from. The staging area, located at the group campground area, is complete with a warm-up shelter, fire pit, picnic tables, and outhouse. The Groat Creek Canyon trail provides direct access to the Summit trail system on to the Golden Triangle. Trail conditions and maps can be found online at l 5

Corporate Services 2015 Citizen Survey Results




Respondents rated Road Maintenance, Fire Departments, and Parks and Recreation as Services that were most important to them.

92.34% of all respondents believe that Woodlands County is a great community to raise a family in.

Over 88% of respondents consider they get good value for their property taxes.



79.59% of respondents always read our quarterly newsletter Thanks for being a loyal reader!


79% of respondents believe Woodlands County does enough to support and recognize our volunteers.

Join us on Facebook

Overall quality of life over 98% of residents rated as Very Good or Good.

The top concerns respondents felt Woodlands County should make a priority were Roads, and Rural Communication.

The recreational & leisure activities that were most participated in included Fishing, Nature Appreciation, Camping, or Hiking.


Over 69% of respondents think Woodlands County always takes residents’ views into consideration when making decisions that affect them.

Like the Woodlands County page for up to the minute news, and upcoming programs and events.

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Infrastructure Services Project Updates Hamlet Water Meters Reminder to keep debris away from the water meters to make them accessible for staff.

Transfer Site Hours Hours for Anselmo, Doris and Goose Lake Transfer Sites Summer Hours: March 1 to November 1 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Winter Hours: October 31 to February 28 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

There were a number of projects on the books to be done this construction season. Completed Projects:

Cold Mix Overlays

Old Blue Ridge Road Construction

Rebuild TWP RD 590A

Goose Lake Asphalt Overlay

Airside Subdivision Hangar Development Phase 1 Paving

Projects Still in Progress:

Design and Build Maintenance Shop for Equipment and Staff

Installation of 4 Wheel Chair Ramps in Blue Ridge

Replacement of Natural Gas Lines within the Hamlet of Fort Assiniboine

RGE RD 123A and HWY 32 Lane Enhancements

This will  serve  to  advise  that  this  project  is  scheduled  to  commence  during  the   Hamlet Water Meters to keep debris away from the water meters to Replacement of Water and Sewer Lines RGE RD 123A and Reminder HWY 32 Lane Enhancements make them accessible for staff. week  of  September  15,  2015  with  a  completion  date  of  October  16,  2015  (weather   on Veterans Ave in Blue Ridge Local traffic will be allowed. Please slow down and proceed with caution. dependent)   Transfer Site Hours Hours for Anselmo, Doris and Goose Lake transfer sites This project is scheduled to commence during the week of September 15, Please slow down and proceed with caution when approaching – 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. March 1st to Nov 1st Local  traffic  will  be  allowed.  Please  slow  down  and  proceed  with  caution  when   2015 with a completion dateSummer of October 16, 2015 (weather dependent). Winter hours 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. October 31st to Feb. road crews. th approaching  road  crews.  Obey  all  traffic  control  flag  persons  and  be  aware  of   Local traffic will be allowed. 28 Please slow down and proceed with caution Obey all traffic control flag persons and be aware of contractor’s contractor’s   e quipment.     when approaching road crews. Obey all traffic control flag persons and be equipment. aware of contractor’s equipment. l 7

Planning & Development

Land Use Bylaw, Municipal Development West Whitecourt & Airport Plan and Intermunicipal Area Structure Plan Woodlands County  has  hired  a  consultant  from  Opus  Stewart  Weir  Ltd.  to  complete  an  Area  Structure  Plan   Development Plan in  the  area   outlined  County in  the  m ap  hired below:   Woodlands has a consultant from Opus Stewart Weir Ltd. to Review complete an Area Structure Plan in the area outlined in the map below: Woodlands County has hired a consultant from Opus Stewart Weir Ltd. to do a comprehensive rewrite of the Land Use Bylaw and the Municipal Development Plan. A minor review of the Intermunicipal Development Plan between Woodlands County and the Town of Whitecourt is also envisioned. These plans are the essential framework to planning and development in the County. A quick explanation of these plans are below: •

Intermunicipal Development Plan: a collaboration of the County and Town of Whitecourt outlining a shared vision for land goals in each municipality.

• Municipal Development Plan: prioritizing growth options for the County using available infrastructure and financial resources.

Land Use Bylaw: this planning tool is to regulate and control the use and development of land and buildings within the County. This is relevant to landowners who are subdividing, building, renovating or purchasing new land.

The Area  Structure  Plan  will  provide  a  framework  for  the  future  physical  development  of  the  specific   Structure Plan provide a framework the future development Westthru  residential  and   • Area Structure Plan: Area Structure Plans locale.  TThe his  pArea articular   area   has  will experienced   significant  for growth   in  the   last  three  yinears   Whitecourt and the Airport Area. This particular area has experienced significant industrial   growth  and  the  installation  of  municipal  services  provided  to  the  Airport  and  Old  Ferry  Loop   provide a framework for the future growth in the last three years and the plan is being developed to guide the continued development in a specific locale. An example area.  The  Area  Structure  Plan  is  being  developed  to  guide  the  continued  future  growth  anticipated  in  the   future growth anticipated in the area. can be seen to the left of the West Whitecourt area.   Included in the Area Structure Plan are technical studies, and extensive input from

and Airport Plan.

adoption of the Area Structure Plan.

for workshops, open houses and public hearings that

An Area  residents Structure   Plan   requires  technical   tudies,   input  from  will Woodlands   and stakeholders. The plan swill clarifyextensive   where development be locatedCounty  residents  as   well  as  iand nput   f rom   o ther   s takeholders   s uch   a s   t he   T own   o f   W hitecourt,   A lberta   Environment  and  Parks  aThis nd   review will assist Woodlands County in how essential services (eg. water, sewer, fire, etc) will be provided. These types prioritizing growth options based on needs and put Alberta  of Transportation.   An  Athe rea  number Structure   Plan  identifies   where  residential,   commercial,   plans also estimate of people that are expected to live in the area and industrial,   us in a better position for a sustainable future. how development may be staged over time. institutional  and  recreational  development  will  be  located  and  how  essential  municipal  services  such  as   Woodlands County Residents are encouraged to water,  sWoodlands ewer  systems,   arterial   and  care ollector   roads,  to parks   and   protection   will   be  provided.  These  types   County Residents encouraged watch thefire   local papers and County in the next weeks for more information and times for of  plans  website also  estimate   the  several number   of  people   that   are  expected   to  live   in  workshops, the  area  and  how  development  watch the local papers and County website in the next several weeks for more information and times houses public hearings that will be held for the development and final may  be  open staged   over  tand ime.   Woodlands  County  Residents  are  encouraged  to  watch  the  local  papers  and  County  website  in  the  next  will be held for the development and final adoption these planning documents. several  weeks  for  more  information  and  times  for  workshops,  open  houses  and  public  hearings  that  will  of be   held  for  the  development  and  final  adoption  of  the  Area  Structure  Plan.  

Land  Use  Bylaw,  Municipal  Development  Plan  and  Intermunicipal  Development   Plan  Review   Woodlands  County  has  hired  a  consultant  from  Opus  Stewart  Weir  Ltd.  to  do  a  comprehensive  rewrite  of   the  Land  Use  Bylaw  and  the  Municipal  Development  Plan.  A  minor  review  of  the  Intermunicipal   Development  Plan  between  Woodlands  County  and  the  Town  of  Whitecourt  is  also  envisioned.  

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Planning & Development Your Input to County Development

Woodlands County has seen several projects happening throughout the County over the past years. With proposed new subdivisions, Land Use Bylaw Amendments and other developments pending it is Agriculture Services a good time to revisit the various stages where you have input into the process.

provide input or to adjacent landowners. Adjacent landowners can comment; however they cannot appeal a decision on a subdivision approval.

Development Permit (Permitted Use): Each land use designation has a list of permitted uses and discretionary uses. When applying for a Boughs  'n'  Bows  Workshop     permitted use, if no variances are required, adjacent landowners are not Land Use Amendments (Zoning/Districting): All the land in the however ao notification put h inoliday   the newspaper. The only way a Join   s  for   a  duse ay  designation of  decorating   tips,   demonstrations   and  notified; the  creation   f  your  oiswn   masterpieces   countyuhas a land (zoning) that defines which kinds of permitted use can be appealed is if there is an omission, error in law or a development or subdivisions are permitted. Once an application has for   your  home.     misinterpretation of the Land Use Bylaw. been received by the County it will be brought in front of Council for first  reading and to establish a public hearing. During the referral process, the Development Permit (Discretionary Use): When applying for a TWO   LOCATIONS   TO  toCadjacent HOOSE   FROM!!!     them of discretionary use adjacent landowners are notified of the proposed application is also mailed out landowners notifying development. At this time if the adjacent landowner is not in favor of the the proposed amendment input or comments in December   5,  2015  –and  Brequesting lue  Ridge   Community   Hfavor all     of proposed development he/she can write a letter of objection or attend or in opposition of the Land Use Amendment. December  6,  2015  –  Fort  Assiniboine  Recreation  Hall     the Municipal Planning Commission Meeting. All discretionary uses are Subdivision: As mentioned previously all lands have a land use promoted through Public Notice ads in the local weekly newspapers. TIME:   10:00   a.m.   o  3:00  phow .m.  many (bring   a  bofag   lunch)   designation (zoning), thistdetermines parcels land in a   If you have any questions regarding how to apply for a permit or quarter section will$ be permitted. For example in am Country Residential COURSE   FEE:   40.00   (covers   basic   aterials)     change your land use designation, please do not hesitate to contact zoning there can be up to a maximum of 20 parcels per quarter section  depending on site suitability. Once an application has been received our Planning and Development Department at 780.778.8400. REGISTRATION   DEADLINE:   ovember   27,  2and 015     We would be happy to help you. by the County, it is referred out to otherN government agencies

Class size  is  limited  to  25  participants  so     pre-­‐registration  is  required  to  reserve  space. l 9

Community Events

The Big Bang Mud Run The Big Bang Mud Run is the first of its kind in Alberta, and possibly the world, and it happened right here in Woodlands County! Like other mud runs, the terrain was rough, all natural, full of obstacles and, obviously, muddy. What made the Big Bang different is that the course route ran alongside a meteorite site located 10 kilometers outside of the Town of Whitecourt. Discovered in 2007 by a local resident, few people have had the chance to visit this natural wonder due to the remoteness of the area. Taking place on October 3, the Big Bang Mud Run gave residents and visitors to Woodlands County a chance to get up close to the protected site and enjoy the terrain on the way. In addition to bragging rights, the 260 registered participants of the Big Bang Mud Run also took home a piece of history, as their medals contained part of the meteorite discovered at that site. Mayor Rennie and Mayor Chichak at the finish line of the Big Bang Mud Run.

Slow Down! Please SLOW DOWN when passing equipment and workers on roadways! If you see flashing lights, flag people or signs, please slow down for the safety of our workers and residents!

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Agriculture Services Boughs ‘n’ Bows Workshop

Join us for a day of decorating tips, demonstrations and the creation of your own holiday masterpieces for your home.

Two locations to choose from! December 5, 2015 l Blue Ridge Community Hall December 6, 2015 l Fort Assiniboine Recreation Hall 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (bring a bag lunch)

Registration Deadline: November 27, 2015 Course Fee: $40.00 (covers basic materials) Class size is limited to 25 participants so pre-registration is required to reserve space. Please contact: 780.584.3866 or toll free 1.866.584.3866 to register or for more information.

Learn about  native  and  honey  bees  in  this  exciting  FREE  workshop!  What’s  needed  for  them  to  th ecosystem  services  they  provide,  plus  turning  honey  into  a  unique  value  added  product!  

Bees & Trees Learn about native and honey bees in this exciting FREE workshop! What’s needed for them to thrive, ecosystem services they provide, plus turning honey into a unique value added product! To register contact 780.584.3866 or toll free 1.866.584.3866 or email to Registration Deadline is November 20, 2015

Agenda: 6:00 6:10 7:10 8:00

Introduction and review of agenda for the day Gary Bank: Native bees, their role, and how to manage for an ecosystem service called pollination; building bee condos Jeff Renton: Shelter belts and tree plantings for pollinators Wrap up and Questions

Date: November  25,  2015  

Time: 6:00  to  9:00  PM  


Register:   Contact  780-­‐584-­‐386  or  toll  free  1-­‐866-­‐584-­‐3866  or  email  to   Registration  Deadline   November  l20,   2015   to 9:00 p.m. November 25,is  2015 6:00     Blue Ridge Community Hall AGENDA   6:00  

Introduction and  review  of  agenda  for  the  day  

6:10 Gary  Bank  -­‐  Native  bees,  their  role,  and  how  to  manage  for  an  ecosystem  service  called   pollination;  building  bee  condos   7:10    

Jeff Renton  –  Shelterbelts  and  tree  plantings  for  pollinators  


Wrap up  and  Questions  

Presentation  and  discussions  led  by:  

Gary Bank:  Recently  retired  agroforestry  Researcher  with  AAFC.  Studied  the  role  of  wild  bees  in  th pollination  of  canola  and  designed  new  kinds  of  shelterbelts  to  support  wild  pollinators   Jeff  Renton  –  Project  Manager,  Agroforestry  &  Woodlot  Extension  Society  

Presentation and discussions led by:

Gary Bank: Recently retired agroforestry Researcher with AAFC. Studied the role of wild bees in the pollination of canola and designed new kinds of shelter belts to support wild pollinators. Jeff Renton: Project Manager, Agroforestry & Woodlot Extension Society.

Blue Ridge  Community  Hall  

      Council  Highlights l 11

Council Highlights Highlights from March 24, 2015 Meeting Volunteer Recognition Nominations: Council approved the recommendations from the Woodlands County Community Services Committee to issue awards to the following individuals/organizations: Golden Heart Award: Tim Imbery, Darcy Thompson, Margery Warchola, Stan Marcellus, Brita Keulken, Grant and Tanya Chittick, Jeannette Agrey, Kevin and Cecile Hagman and Angela Quinnell, Garry and Alverna Thompson, Renee and Kerry LaLonde, and John and Mabel Baxter Public Service Award : Tara Baker Civic Award: Fort Assiniboine Legion #210 2015 All Wheel Drive Grader Purchase: Council approved the purchase of three new 2015 140M AWD Caterpillar Graders with rear ripper/scarifier, one (1) new 2015 140M AWD Caterpillar Grader with rear ripper/scarifier and (3) new 2015 140M AWD Caterpillar Graders with rear windrow eliminators from Finning Canada. Beaver Dam Removal Fee: Council approved increasing the beaver dam removal fee to $120. Canada – Alberta Building Canada Fund Small Communities Fund (SCF): Council approved the Old Blue Ridge Highway base rehabilitation and paving project and Final Mile Internet application as joint projects with the Town of Whitecourt for the Canada – Alberta Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund with Woodlands County acting as the managing partner.

West End Bus Purchase: Council approved an unbudgeted expenditure up to $8,375.00 for Woodlands County’s portion of the bus in order for the West End Bus Committee to proceed with purchasing a Dodge Sprinter and Caravan for a total purchase price of $33,500.00.

Highlights from May 19, 2015 Meeting

Highlights from April 21, 2015 Meeting

Agreement for Construction of Access Across Airport Lands for Portion of Gravel Haul Route: Council has directed administration to proceed with discussions with the developer on the execution of agreements required for the construction of an access road to gravel pits located in the east Windfall area. The access road will be on county owned lands north of the airport.

Natural Resource Extraction Class 1 Pit Direct Control – 15-006-2015 Phelan Gravel Operation: Council directed administration to have the developer advise how they plan to mitigate hours of operation around school bus concerns and discuss the end land use, as well as have AESRD address concerns relating to river flooding, how funds are determined for the reclamation holdback and confirmation from Alberta Transportation on the intersection improvements and if it can be requested by the County to have a higher standard intersection than proposed for this application and bring it back to Council for further review. 2015 Seasonal Road Maintenance Programs: Were approved by Council for publication and can be located on the Woodlands County website as well as in the local newspapers. Heavy Rescue Unit – Town of Whitecourt: Council approved a 50/50 cost sharing funding with the Town of Whitecourt up to maximum of $233,475.00 towards the purchase of Heavy Rescue unit for the Town of Whitecourt Fire Department. Volunteer Firefighter Awareness Week May 3-9, 2015: Council was advised that the Volunteer Firefighter Awareness Week is May 3-9, 2015.

Support Letter for Town of Whitecourt: Council approved two joint applications to the Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund for the Athabasca Flats East Development Project and Water System Upgrading Project, with the Town of Whitecourt to act as the managing partner for both projects.

Blue Ridge Library/Change Room Project: Council directed Administration to proceed with the design of a new building to include a library, change room, meeting room and a concession area.

Highlights from April 7, 2015 Meeting Bylaw 456/15 – Fire Protection Bylaw: Council passed bylaw 456/15 which adds several clauses to allow the Fort Assiniboine Fire department to provide the Medical First Response program as requested by Alberta Health Services.

Bylaw 457/15 – 2015 Mill Rate Bylaw: Council approved a 2.19% increase in the municipal mill rate. Final property taxes however can also be affected by assessment changes or changes to the seniors foundation and school tax levy. A brochure has been posted on the Woodlands County website to explain your property assessment and tax notice at as well as it being included with your property assessment and tax notice.

Digital Sign Agreement: Council has directed administration to draft an agreement for the operation and maintenance of the community digital sign located in Fort Assiniboine. Council RRSP: Council had a discussion on RRSP/Pension plans for Council and direct administration to take no further action as Council does not wish to proceed or endorse a pension for council members. Policy 3228 – Annual Roadside Cleanup Campaign: Council approved new policy 3228 – Annual Roadside Cleanup Campaign which provides support to volunteer groups who wish to participate in the annual roadside cleanup campaign and is a means to provide financial support to these groups. Council also asked all groups who participate in this program to call administration to advise when they have cleaned an area and have garbage bags ready for pickup.

Highlights from May 5, 2015 Meeting

Policy 6201 Post-Secondary Bursary Program and Policy 6202 Post-Secondary Scholarship Program: Council approved a revision in policy 6201 increasing the amount for the Apprenticeship bursary from $250/year for two years to $1500/ year for two years making it equivalent to the amount of the University/College Bursary of $3000. Also included in the revision was clarification that the applicants could receive either of the bursary once in their lifetime. Barrhead Pool: Council passed a motion to rescind Woodlands County’s participation in the Barrhead pool project and research other options with the residents of Fort Assiniboine that would enhance their quality of life.

Request to Name Internal Subdivision Road – Rolling Hills Estates: Council approved the request to name internal subdivision road on SE 8-58-12 W5M, Plan 082-8137 as “Rolling Hills Estates”.

Asphalt Overlay – Goose Lake: Council has awarded the Goose Lake asphalt overlay paving project for TWP Rd 615 to Paveit Construction Inc.

Highlights from June 2, 2015 Meeting Request to Name Internal Subdivision Road – Fitzel Lane: Council approved the request to name internal subdivision road on NE 25-58-12 W5M, Plan 142-4558 as “Fitzel Lane”. 2015 Woodlands County Citizen Satisfaction Survey Results: Council reviewed the results from the citizen satisfaction survey sent to county residents in January and noted 94% of residents were satisfied with overall level and quality of services and programs provided by the County. Council also decided that it would be beneficial to conduct the satisfaction survey approximately every 2 years. Request for Letter of Support: Council directed administration to send a letter of support to the Mountain Bike Club for their proposed track.

Highlights from June 16, 2015 Meeting Development Permit Application 15-0062015–Phelan Gravel Operation (LaFarge) – SE 3-62-6 W5M & 34-61-6 W5M: Council asked administration to investigate with the developer other options that would allow the intersection at the Phelan Gravel Operation to be upgraded should the need arise. Pine Meadows Access – Upgrading Options: Council approved an unbudgeted expenditure of $88,970.00 to E. Construction Ltd. to upgrade access to RR 114. Canada 500 Community Infrastructure Grant: Council directed administration to submit the Blue Ridge Fire Hall Extension for $275,000 and the Fort Assiniboine Museum addition/ renovations for $430,000 as projects for the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Grant Program. Hoedown Breakfast: Council approved an unbudgeted expenditure of $1,100 for the Hoedown Breakfast taking place on August 15, 2015 during the Fort Assiniboine Hamlet Hoedown annual celebration. Continued on page 12

Woodlands Communicator Fall 2015

Woodlands County Council Members SYLVIA BONNETT 
 Councillor for Anselmo Electoral Division - Division 1 780.786.2298

CHAD MERRIFIELD Councillor for Whitecourt West
Electoral Division - Division 2 780.706.2065

RON GOVENLOCK Councillor for Whitecourt Central 
Electoral Division Division 3 780.778.3343

JIM RENNIE Woodlands County Mayor Councillor for Whitecourt East Electoral Division - Division 4 780.778.0202


Council Highlights Highlights from July 7, 2015 Meeting S/Sgt. R. Comaniuk – RCMP Whitecourt Detachment: S/Sgt. R. Comaniuk reviewed the priority issues with Council being Traffic – Impaired Driving – Distracted Driving and Crime Reduction Initiatives – Reduce Person, Property as well as Serious Organized Crime. Council will also be inviting S/Sgt. R. Comaniuk to attend the Woodlands County open houses for public input that will take place in November. Development Permit Application 15-006-2015– Phelan Gravel Operation (LaFarge) – SE 3-62-6 W5M & 34-61-6 W5M: Council approved the development permit application 15-006-2015 for the Phelan Gravel pit with various conditions to meet the requirements of the community. Cancellation of August 4th Regular Council Meeting: Council cancelled the August 4th Regular Council Meeting.

Timeu Cemetery: Council directed administration to proceed with taking over the Timeu Cemetery.

Highlights from September 1, 2015 Meeting

Bylaw 465/15 – No Parking Bylaw: Council passed a No Parking bylaw for the area along the road in the East ½ 21-49-12 W5M which accesses the most westerly tubing drop off site. Parking is encouraged however at the beach area and Woodlands County will be working on additional parking areas for the future. Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) – Update: Council approved the placement of one student into the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) on a permanent basis as the program is working very well for Woodlands County and helps create learning opportunities for youth in our community.


Highlights from August 18, 2015 Meeting

Councillor for Goose Lake Freeman River Electoral Division - Division 6

Update on Planning Document Whitecourt and Airport & Area Structure Plan: Mayor Rennie, and Councillors Govenlock and Merrifield were appointed to the West Whitecourt/Airport Area & Area Structure Plan Committee. This committee will include representatives from the Town of Whitecourt, Alberta Environment & Parks, Alberta Transportation, Woodlands Planning Department, Infrastructure Department and the Airport Manager and will review recommendations made for this area. Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada Seminar: The Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada is conducting a seminar on hydraulic fracturing on September 16.

DALE KLUIN Councillor for Fort Assiniboine/ Timeu 
Electoral Division - Division 7 780.584.2610

Veterans Avenue Water & Sewer Replacement: Council awarded the Veterans Avenue Water & Sewer Replacement project to In-Line Contracting and have asked that administration make the necessary arrangements, so that the project does not interfere with the Blue Ridge Logging Days celebration. Crop Insurance: Council discussed their concerns with crop insurance and asked that the Agriculture Service Board send a letter advising the Minister of Agriculture that the thresholds within this program are too low and need to be looked at prior to the 2016 season. 780.648.2149 780.584.2619

Highway 32 & RR 123A Intersection Upgrade: Council awarded the Highway 32 & RR 123A Intersection Upgrade to E-Construction Ltd.

Whitecourt Senior Centre Letter of Support Request: Council approved providing the Whitecourt Senior’s Circle a letter of support for their New Horizon Grant Application.

Agricultural Crop & Hay Conditions within Woodlands County: Council has requested that administration bring a detailed report on the crop and hay conditions throughout Woodlands County to the August 18th County meeting for their consideration on how to best aid local agricultural producers.

Councillor for Blue Ridge Electoral Division - Division 5

Level of Service on Provincial Roads in Woodlands County: Council was recently advised that the province has reduced maintenance that typically takes place on provincial roads such as weed control and crack filling and will be sending a letter to the Minister of Transportation and local MLA’s to express their concern with the province reducing seasonal road maintenance.

Policy 7002 – Recreation and Arts Culture Grants Program: Council approved recommended changes to the Recreation, Arts & Culture Grants Program and increased funding to community group administration expenses. Policy 6201 – Post Secondary Bursary Program: Council approved a change to the post-secondary bursary program in order to open up the bursary to any resident that wants to pursue post-secondary education regardless of how long they may have been out of school. 2015 Small Business Week Events: Small Business Week takes place October 18-24, events are scheduled as follows at the Forest Interpretive Centre: October 21 – Business Results Coach October 22 – Customer Service and Best Practices October 23 – Top Guns October 23 – Awards Gala taking place at the Westward Community Centre Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month: Council declared September as Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month within Woodlands County. Getting Wiggy: In support of a colleague Woodlands County is fundraising money to be donated to the Whitecourt Cancer Support and Wellness Group Volunteer Driver Program. Upon reaching certain monetary milestones, CAO Luc Mercier, Council and Directors will don a purple wig which they will wear throughout a November Council meeting.

For more details on these and other Council agenda items, all Council minutes are available on our website at

Woodlands County Fall 2015 Newsletter  
Woodlands County Fall 2015 Newsletter