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Communicator A quarterly newsletter published by Woodlands County



Spring & Summer 2015

Mayor’s Message Welcome to our Spring!

Upcoming Events


Woodlands County Mayor, Jim Rennie

Airport Updates


Our council hopes this issue of the Communicator arrives at your post office box as the leaves are ready to come out, and the birds are chirping. In my house, our five year old son James is busy testing out his new rubber boots in the giant mud puddles in our yard- always lots of fun!!

Post Secondary Bursary Recepients 4 Blue Ridge Library


Playground Structure at Groat Creek Campsite


A Walk in Time


Center of Alberta Natual Area


Recreation Programmnig


2015 Budget


Infrastructure Services


Trade Show Opportunity


Planning & Development


Agricultural Services


Health & Safety


Council Highlights


I want to thank each of you that took the time to come to our open houses and provide feedback on new projects, ideas for improvement, and more! Our council hopes this will become an annual event (we have had a request to add Anselmo into the tour) where we roll out a preliminary budget late in the fall, and after the 4 open houses, finalize our plans before the end of the year. For those of you that know me, I am very focused on positivity, and I want to say that the open houses were filled with comments and critiques shared in a positive way. When this type of exchange occurs, our council is excited to get to work for you and make the changes needed to improve things from road maintenance to community programming. As well, I want to take a chance to thank our staff for taking time from

their lives to attend the evening meetings, your expertise was appreciated. Also of excitement to me is the lay out of the new Building Canada Fund. On our last few rounds of this national, provincial and municipally shared construction projects, we were able to pave around a third of the old Blue Ridge highway that connects Blue Ridge and Whitecourt, as well as add a water and sewer line to the airport and water to the Old ferry loop. Council is currently looking at options for new projects already identified as needs to improve our rural lives. Lastly, I am hoping to add a bit of a new area of to the Communicator starting in the next issue. As Mayor, I am truly amazed at the incredible young people in our County. Their accomplishments range from academic to athletic to philanthropic, and it makes me proud that they are our community’s children. Also amazing are the great and unique businesses that are continually started in Woodlands! If you have ideas of young residents that are shining stars, or businesses that make you look twice, please forward directly to me at

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 Heather Anderson, Economic Development Officer, at 780.778.8400 or

Mayor Rennie with daughter Hannah as we welcomed Dragon Den’s Barb Stegemann. She delivered her story to 1100 kids from the area, including Grades 7 - 9 from Fort Assiniboine, and also to the Economic Forum held at the Westward Centre in Woodlands County.

Mayor Rennie with Mayor Chichak from Whitecourt, Health Minister Stephen Mandel, and MLA George VanderBurg. It has just been announced $4.7 Million in provincial funding to build an assisted living facility for seniors for Whitecourt and Woodlands County in conjunction with Christenson developments.

Here is a bird’s eye view of the new power generation plant at Alberta Newsprint Company. This new plant went on line in November 2014, at a cost of $70 million, and will bring in taxes of $300,000 per year. This photo was taken on a tour with Mayor Rennie and MP Jim Eglinski.

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Airport 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! Please call or email Heather Anderson at 780.778.8400 or

Do You Know a Tourism Operator in Woodlands County? 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: • Horseback Riding • Snowmobile Rentals • Quad Rentals • Guided Tours

(Hiking, Fishing, Quadding)

Check out all the funs things to see and do in Whitecourt and Woodlands County:

COPA Shares Passion for Flying A number of private pilots operate out of our airport. The Canadian Operators and Pilots Association (COPA) chapter 185 is based in Whitecourt. These dedicated individuals act as ambassadors to other private pilots flying through the area. The members of COPA 185 are also dedicated to passing their passion of flying on to the youth in our community with programs such as COPA for Kids where individuals as young as 8 can experience the joy of flight free of charge. See COPA for Kids article in this newsletter for more details.

COPA for Kids Helps Dreams Soar COPA for kids is a nationally recognized program that introduces children age 8 to 17 to the excitement and wonder of flight. Local pilots volunteer their time and aircraft for no reason other than to enjoy a day of flying while bringing smiles to first time fliers. The event is to be held on June 13, 2015 and begins with registration. You can download the form from our website and fill it out prior to registration or fill one out at the airport. Once the kids are registered they will be organized into groups. The kids will go to a short 10 to 15 minute ground school where they will learn the basic parts of an aircraft. The children learn what these parts are called and also learn how the pilot controls the aircraft. After ground school the kids will be assigned an aircraft and a pilot. The pilot will lead them out to the aircraft and get them buckled in and take them on a 15 to 20 minute flight that will allow them to see Whitecourt and area from a whole new perspective. When the aircraft lands the participants are all given a certificate and get a picture taken with the plane and pilot. These pictures will be available for download from our website after the event. There are burgers and hot dogs for the kids after the flight. The best part is that the event is free there is absolutely no charge for the event. Over 10,000 kids have taken advantage of this program across Canada. You must pre-register online on our website pre-register early as we can only accept a limited number of kids.

COPA volunteer pilots with participants. l 3

Scheduled Flights to and from Calgary Add to our Airport Services Scheduled flights from Whitecourt to Calgary will begin this spring. Flights will be offered twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Departure and arrival times have not yet been announced however plans are for an early morning flight and an evening flight in order to facilitate business orientated passengers. The primary aircraft that will be used is a Beechcraft Kingair 200 with an 8 seat configuration, with a the larger Beechcraft 1900D seating 19 as a secondary aircraft. File photo: King-air 200-03

Airport Attracts Airplanes, Military and Helicopters The Whitecourt Airport is a hub of transportation for personnel in the forestry as well as the oil and gas industry. Most days at least one charter (privately hired) aircraft will arrive and depart with all manner of passengers and crew. Corporate jets spending the day are also are common. These aircraft transport anywhere from 6 to 18 employees at speeds up to 980 kilometres per hour. Due to the long runway and proximity to both the Edmonton and Cold lake airports, the Whitecourt Airport has played host to a number of military aircraft during training exercises. These aircraft range from a Hercules C130 to F18 hornets to Bell 412 helicopters. All of these machines are a spectacle to behold. Whitecourt Airport terminal building

Airport Hangar Lots Available For Sale A new section of apron and a bank of hangar lots are currently in development with a completion date of summer 2015. These lots will be available for sale to both private aviation enthusiasts and commercial aviation ventures. Airport Phase 1: taken from Whitecourt Airport Master Plan

While medical emergencies are never a positive event, the Whitecourt airport is a suitable landing location for all of the STARS helicopters, including the newest and largest helicopter the AgustaWestland AW139. Though less frequent than the helicopter medical services, fixed wing medivac flights do also make use of the airfield. We are conveniently located as a suitable refuelling and overnight stop for bush pilots travelling to Alaska. These aircraft typically have 1 or 2 seats and are specially designed for the demanding terrain and the short takeoffs and landings needed to operate in the wilds of Alaska. Our local forestry base employs 3 seasonal staff and can be a home away from home to water bomber crews from across Alberta if the weather is right (or wrong). We regularly see single engine Fireboss aircraft as well as the enormous Electra water bombers and their support aircraft. A large part of the activity at the airport is rotary wing or helicopter traffic. With a year round flight school and 4 other helicopter centric commercial operations based on the field, at times it may seem to be more of a heliport as opposed to an airport. These aircraft support both the oil and gas industry and the forestry industry with regular surveys and patrols. Helicopters are also a staple in the fight against forest fires in both the search for new fires and dropping water once a fire has been found.

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Community Services

Post-Secondary Bursary Program 2015 Recipients Woodlands County believes in supporting the youth of our community and has been awarding County students bursaries and scholarships for post-secondary education opportunities since 2002. Every year the County advertises the program in local newspapers and through the high schools in Whitecourt, Mayerthorpe and Barrhead. The Community Services Committee reviews the applications that are received and awards the bursaries to the selected students. All bursaries are two year bursaries and students applying for them must be residents of Woodlands County, or the parents or the applicant owns property in Woodlands County, and the applicant must have lived in the County within the past five years. A fairly recent addition to the bursary program is the apprenticeship bursary, The County awards up to six of these a year and applicants can apply for this bursary anytime throughout the year. Congratulations to the recipients of the 2015 bursaries: Cambell Mackay, Maria Manning, Dylan Marcolin, Shayne Meunier, Megan Oleksow, Dawn Ostrander, Jordyn Skinner, Christina Steinecke and Jenna Tschigerl each are receiving a total of $3,000 over two years.

Blue Ridge Library to Get a New Home With the aging infrastructure of the Briar Patch and ongoing costly maintenance issues, Woodlands County Council has approved $1,000,000 million dollars to construct a new facility that will house the Blue Ridge Library. The location of the new facility will be located on the site of the outdoor rink, playground and splash park. The new facility will have a combined washroom and change room that will serve the splash park and outdoor rink. The Blue Ridge Community League will be hosting a meeting on April 13, 2015 at 7 p.m. to assist Woodlands County Administration with the design of the facility. The meeting will be at the Community Hall and everyone is invited. Bring your ideas and Woodlands County staff will facilitate the discussion.

Tanner Callihoo, Lee Trigg, Jeffrey Bannister, Shelby McLean and Cole Nickolson are the recipients of the apprenticeship bursary receiving a total of $500 over two years. For more information regarding Woodlands County bursaries please contact the Whitecourt office at 780.778.8400 or toll free at 1.888.870.6315. l 5

People ask me what I make as a Volunteer Fire Fighter and I tell them...

“I make a difference!”

Ignite Your Volunteer Firefighter Career You need more than just a desire to help people and give back to the community, You also need courage dedication, assertiveness and a willingness to learn new skills and face new challenges. The rewards are so much more. Woodlands County Fire Departments are looking for individuals who want to make a difference in their community and within themselves as a volunteer firefighter.

• Be part of a team • Learn emergency responder, fire

suppression and fire fighting equipment skills • Be a community role model • Protect community residents

Contact Woodlands County today! Gordon Frank l Director, Community Services 780.778.8400

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Parks & Recreation Playground Structure to be Installed at Groat Creek Group Campsite 2015 will see a small playground structure added to the group campsite. The playground will have slides and climbing structures. As well a rustic style wooden cabin will be added for everyone to enjoy. Reservations will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. The first available weekend for camping is the Victoria Day long weekend, May 15, 2015 and the last available weekend is the October, Thanksgiving Day long weekend, October 11, 2015. Reserve your spot at the Groat Creek Group Campground by calling the Whitecourt Forest Interpretive Center at 780.778.3433 or 1.800.313.7383. Site amenities include: shelter with woodstove and power via generator hook-up, group fire pit, common grassed area, 10 sites complete with a fire ring and picnic table, and outhouses. $400.00/weekend (Friday/Saturday night) with a maximum 7 night stay. Price includes one cord of wood. Additional nights stay to corresponding weekend $140/night. Day rentals for week days only $140.00 (no firewood supplied). Groat Creek is located 18 kilometres south of Whitecourt on Highway 32. For more details go to

A “Walk in Time” Takes visitors back from 2015 to 11,000 years ago at Hard Luck Canyon Last summer Woodlands County worked in collaboration with the Alberta Geological Survey and Alberta Energy Regulator to create geological tourism signs at Hard Luck Canyon. The site now offers technical information on the geology of the site. The kiosk near the parking lot describes the geological history of Hard Luck Canyon, a 55 million year old exposure of Paskapoo sandstone. There is also a sign at the top of the falls that educates the visitors as to what they are looking at on the face of the canyon. This year a “walk-in time” will be added to the site that takes visitors from 2015 back 11,000 years to when the canyon was believed to first begin to form. Significant geological happenings around the world such as the completion of Stonehenge in England and the Great Wall of China will be highlighted along the walk into the timeline. l 7

Blue Ridge Spray Park Hours of Operation 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. June to September weather permitting.

The Center of Alberta Natural Area Partnership begins to upgrade site to open Time Capsule Woodlands County and Alberta Parks, now a division of Alberta Environment and Sustainable Development, are in the beginnings of a working partnership to upgrade the site facilities at the Center of Alberta. Upgrades are planned to be completed prior to the opening of the time capsule in 2018. The approximate position of the geographic centre of Alberta which is located in Woodlands County, just off Highway 33, was first identified by John O.A. Peets and published in the Alberta Book of Knowledge in 1980. The exact location was calculated by Roy Chimiuk on June 1, 1989. He surveyed and marked the spot as the heart of Alberta. The geographic center of Alberta is the mid-point between the north and south boundary and the east and west boundary of the province. Woodlands County Councillor Dale Kluin remembers, “The Grizzly Trail Promotional Society Association was a subcommittee of the Midnight Twilight Tourist Association (MTTA) which consisted of local elected officials from the County and Town of Barrhead, Lac Ste Anne County, MD of Big Lakes, Swan Hills, Kinuso and Woodlands County. We worked together to establish a natural area surrounding the site and commission the construction of a Cairn to mark the spot.” On Sunday, September 12, 1993, Deputy Premier and MLA Ken Kowalksi officially declared this monument to represent the geographic Center of Alberta and a time capsule was placed in the Cairn. The capsule is planned to be opened 25 years later in 2018. Councillor Kluin is excited to see the plan for upgrades and refreshed look of the site. “there was a guest registry located at roadside pullout off Highway 33 to enter the site. There were names of people not only from Alberta, but from all over the world. Hopefully, we can have something similar in our new plan.”

Looking for a fun way to beat the heat during the summer months? Take a trip to the Blue Ridge Spray Park – a great afternoon outing for the whole family! The Berry Nice Spray Park is free to visit, with picnic tables, and portable washroom facilities on site. Located just 20 kilometres from Whitecourt along Secondary Highway 658 in the quaint hamlet of Blue Ridge, the spray park facility features 13 splash-ready water features. Parents will enjoy the relaxing outdoor atmosphere of the park, while children marvel at the assortment of enticing water-play activities.

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Be a Part of Nature’s Rhythm!

Take a Deep Breath on the Canyon Floor!

Guided Drumming at Hard Luck Canyon

Woodlands County Invites You to Connect with Nature at Hard Luck Canyon!

Saturday, July 18, 2015 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. All rhythm instruments provided! What to bring: Positive energy and a small chair. Instructor: Dale Kiselyk, Nature Alive. All levels welcome. FREE For further information visit or contact Woodlands County at 780.778.8400.

Due to the nature of the activity the class will be cancelled if raining. Cancelled classes will be posted on the County website at

Sunday, June 21

Summer Solstice Celebration Tuesday, June 23 Wednesday, June 24 Tuesday, June 30 Thursday, July 2 Wednesday, July 3 Thursday, July 9

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

What to bring: A water bottle, and a yoga matt or towel that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Instructors: Santosa Hot Yoga & Wellness All levels welcome. FREE Due to the nature of the activity the class will be cancelled if raining. Cancelled classes will be posted on the County website. For further information visit or contact Woodlands County at 780.778.8400. l 9

Family Fun Day

At the Blue Ridge Recreation Area Saturday, July 25, 2015 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Woodlands County invites you to a Family Fun Day at the Blue Ridge Recreation Area! There will be a scavenger hunt, nature games, native dancers and drummers. There will be face painting as well as hot dogs and Italian ice. Make sure and check out as further event details will be posted closer to the event date!

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Corporate Services Woodlands County 2015 Budget The following graph outlines the Woodlands County 2015 Budget. The graph shows the percentage of spending per department. The overall budget is a combination of both Operating and Capital expenditures. Operating expenditures are expenses incurred as a result of performing the normal day to day operations. Capital expenditures are funds for creating future benefit either by purchasing, building, or adding value to existing physical assets. If you have any questions or would like some clarification please contact: Theresa Musser, Director of Corporate Services at 780.778.8400 or 1.888.870.6315.

2015 Operating & Capital Expenditures by Department:

2015 Budget Expenditures : Legislative General Administration Intermunicipal Fire Protection Safety Patrol Infrastructure Airport Water Supply Sewage Solid Waste Computer Support Family & Community Support Subdivision Agriculture Rural Development Economic Development Community Services Community Recreation Boards Parks & Recreation

$ 659,456.95 $ 2,384,622.66 $ 970,949.49 $ 1,673,227.98 $ 132,933.42 $ 635,488.38 $ 16,501,629.35 $ 2,396,392.36 $ 2,473,874.74 $ 202,290.39 $ 651,624.85 $ 258,936.00 $ 624,984.13 $ 668,758.28 $ 589,685.56 $ 1,549,204.16 $ 599,809.19 $ 304,734.05 $ 740,923.69 $ 2,478,072.43 l 11

Infrastructure Services 2015 Annual Roadside Clean-up Campaign Woodlands County is seeking interested volunteer groups to conduct roadside clean-up on Saturday, May 2, 2015 to Saturday, May 9, 2015 (inclusive) on County managed roads only and on Saturday, May 2, 2015 or Saturday, May 9, 2015 being the alternate date, along Provincial roads. The roadways within Woodlands County are as follows:

Provincial Roads

County Managed Roads

Carson-Pegasus Provincial Park Road

Flats/Trestle Road

Secondary 661 - Esso to Gravel

Horse Creek Road

Secondary 661 - Gravel to Ferry

Pride Valley Road

Secondary 658 - Goose Lake to Hwy 33

Secondary 661 - Gravel to Ferry

Secondary 658 - Christmas Creek to Goose Lake

Timeu (RR45)

Secondary 658 - Christmas Creek to Hwy 43

West Mountain Road

Secondary 751 - Hwy 43 to Secondary 647

East Mountain, Tower and Cutacross Road

Secondary 647 - RR100 and Secondary 751 south to TWP560A

Old Ferry Road

Hwy 32 South to TWP 580

Old Blue Ridge Highway Pavement

Hwy 32 North for 35 KM Westridge Bison Robison

Woodlands County will pay $100 per kilometer (includes both sides) of roadway cleaned. Volunteer groups will be covered under Woodlands County general liability insurance policy. A mandatory training session for “Road Managers� of participating organizations will be held on Monday, April 27, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. at the Woodlands County Municipal Office in Whitecourt, a training session will also be held at the Woodlands County Regional Municipal Office in Fort Assiniboine on Monday, April 27, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. Woodlands County reserves the right to assign roadway sections.

Deadline for letter of application: Wednesday April 22, 2015 All interested groups should contact: Debbie Kushnirak, Infrastructure Services Secretary Box 60, #1 Woodlands Lane, Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3 Telephone: 780.778.8400 Facsimile: 780.778.8402 e-mail:

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Infrastructure Services Road Bans

Effective March 11, 2015 Description

Percentage-Axle Weights

Gravel Surfaced


Pavement Surfaced


Cold Mix Surfaced


Range Road 45


TWP Road 620A East of RR55


ANC Service Road


There is also an ongoing contact list if you wish to be added, contact the Infrastructure Services Secretary at debbie. or 780.778.8400.

Dust Control Woodlands County offers dust control in front of your residence for $150.00 for a 200 meter spread. The dead line for applications is the end of the first week in May. Applications are available at our Municipal Office in Whitecourt, or our Regional Office in Fort Assiniboine, or on our Woodlands County Website at www.

Contractor Truck and Equipment Registration for 2015 Woodlands County is now accepting registrations for the supply of gravel trucks and/or equipment effective January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Forms are available at our Municipal Office in Whitecourt, or our Regional Office in Fort Assiniboine, or on our Woodlands County Web site at www.

Hamlet Clean-up Fort Assiniboine, Goose Lake, Blue Ridge Woodlands County has a hamlet clean-up campaign that is held around the long weekend in May in which our staff pick up the items on the Tuesday, Wednesday after the weekend. The following items must be separated into individual piles wood, metal, domestic garbage (bagged) leaves, grass and animal feces ( these must be bagged). The following will not be picked up: large objects such as car bodies, large chunks of concrete, building demolition debris or trees over 3� in diameter.

Your contribution to this annual event will benefit you and your community! l 13

2015 Infrastructure Project Update There are a number of projects on the books to get done this construction season. A new project supervisor position will help with our scheduled construction projects. Once winter finally leaves, our crews will start preparing for spring re-gravelling and the application of spring dust control . Cold Mix Overlays Scheduled for:

TWP 594A, TWP 594B, RR 124B, and subdivisions off of Tower Road (RR 121), RR 64 north of Horse Creek Road, TWP 620A

Cold Mix Rehabilitation Scheduled for:

TWP 590B

Road Construction

Old Blue Ridge Highway from Whitecourt town boundary to hydro towers, rebuild TWP RD 590A, RR 105 (south of TWP 590A), Airport Road and HWY 32 intersection improvements, RR 123A and HWY 32 turning lane enhancements, installation of wheel 5 wheelchair ramps in Blue Ridge, extension of concrete sidewalk, south side of Railroad Avenue in Blue Ridge, replace water and sewer lines on Veterans Avenue from HWY 658 east to railroad tracks in Blue Ridge

Goose Lake

Asphalt Overlay on TWP 615

Whitecourt Airport

Airside Subdivision Hangar Development Phase 1 Paving

Whitecourt Regional Municipal Office

Build a new maintenance shop for equipment and staff

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 – March 1 to November 1: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Winter – October 31 to February 28: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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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Planning & Development Trade Show Opportunity for Local Businesses in Woodlands County Whitecourt & District Trade Show l May 8, 9,10, 2015 In an effort to support and assist our small and home based businesses access to additional markets, Woodlands County is offering an opportunity for 4 (four) businesses to be selected to display their products and or services at the Whitecourt & District Trade Show on May 8, 9,10, 2015. Each display is half of a 10 x 10 booth. Applications will be reviewed and 4 (four) businesses will be selected by members of the Woodlands County Economic Development Committee (EDC). The EDC is comprised of 4 Councillors and 4 members at large. Only those that meet the following criteria will qualify to be selected

v Must operate in Woodlands County

v Products and services must be manufactured or produced locally v Components can be imported then assembled v Business must have no more than 5 employees v Business cannot be a franchise or direct selling (Tupperware, Avon)

Those interested need to apply by 4:30 p.m. on April 22, 2015. Winners will be notified by April 27, 2015.

What is a Restrictive Covenant and How is it Enforceable? A restrictive covenant is a document that a developer, landowner or a municipality may register against a land title under the encumbrances, liens and interests. This document serves as a notice to future landowners, and generally outlines an interest in land to control use, development or to indicate concerns or issues or to ensure consistency related to a parcel. A restrictive covenant can operate outside of and in some cases in addition to municipal policies and land use planning documents (i.e. a municipalities Land Use Bylaw). A registered restrictive covenant runs with the land and is binding on future buyers/owners of a property. A restrictive covenant must have four aspects written into the document to be enforceable: 1. Dominant and Servient Tenement must be identified (in other words there must be a parcel of land which is subject to a restriction and a parcel of land which benefits from the restriction). 2. Negative obligation must be present (in other words it must be an item that is prohibiting something as opposed to a positive act). 3. Touch and Concern Land. The restrictive covenant must identify concern or benefit to the land, that is it must be a restriction that enhances the use or value of the land. (ie building schemes, no mobile homes or manufactured homes allowed or a minimum square footage allowed, etc.) 4. Annexed to Lands means that the restrictive covenant binds the land and all subsequent owners by implication of an agreement or by express words. A restrictive covenant is only enforceable by the parties to the restrictive covenant, namely the owners of the land affected by obtaining a court order to stop a use or development that goes against the restrictive covenant. A restrictive covenant and the outlined obligation and/or benefit cannot be enforced by persons that do not have a registered interest in the land subject to the covenant. Potential purchasers should be aware that in some instances restrictive covenants are more restrictive than a municipality’s bylaws. It should be noted that if a covenant conflicts with a municipalities land use bylaw or statutory plan, that the Courts could set aside a requirement of the restrictive covenant. Note: When purchasing a property review and verify any encumbrances, liens and interests on a property with your solicitor to ensure your intended use of the property won’t have unpleasant complications. References:

Environmental Planning: Are Indemnities and Other Contractual Planning Tools a Help or Hindrance? By Lorne Randa, Brownlee LLP Applied Land Use Planning (ALUP) Program – Module 8 Environmentally Sensitive Lands – Brownlee LLP Alberta Land Titles – Procedures Manual – Subject Restrictive Covenants Calgary Real Estate Review by Mike Fotiou, Associate Broker with First Place Realty – What are Restrictive Covenants? l 15

Development Permit Stats for the Last 5 Years Year

Number of Permits

Construction Value

2010 109


2011 96


2012 134


2013 153


2014 175


5 Year Stat: Number of Development Permits Issued

Planning & Development Projects for 2015 1: Complete the Highway 43 Service Road Study, East of Whitecourt, North side of Highway 43. 2: Request for Proposals for planning document review to start process of a complete review, rewrite of:

• Woodlands County Land Use Bylaw

• Municipal Development Plan

• Woodlands County/Town of Whitecourt Intermunicipal Development Plan


3: Area Structure Plan (ASP) for lands south and west of Airport including gravel extraction area identified by AESRD northwest of airport.

2013 2012

Identify future land uses, transportation corridors, and servicing potential.



Hire an additional staff member (Development Officer) to fulfill department demands from increased applications, complexity of applications being received and to deal with increased enforcement complaints being received.

2010 50




Are you planning to construct a new residence, garage, shed? Moving a mobile home, manufactured or modular home? Starting a home based or transport contractor business? Woodlands County Land Use Bylaw sets out regulations relating to zoning and the acceptable uses of a particular piece of land. It is important to know what is permitted or restricted in your area before you build new structures, renovate or start a business. Having a development permit ensures that the proposed structure or use of the land does not conflict with surrounding uses. It will also ensure that the development is set back the appropriate distances from property lines. Set backs are required to ensure that the development is located in a safe place: that it isn’t too close to road right-of-ways, water courses, steep banks or oil and gas facilities. Development Permit applications are available at both Woodlands County Offices or online at

Woodlands County Whitecourt Municipal Office #1 Woodlands Lane, Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3 780.778.8400 Woodlands County Regional Municipal Office Hwy #33, Box 33, Fort Assiniboine, AB T0G 1A0 780.584.3988 A Development Permit will become valid a MINIMUM of 3 weeks after it has been submitted so apply early to avoid delays in your project. Please allow time for review and processing of your application. For detailed information on whether a development permit is required for any proposed development please contact our Development Officer at the Whitecourt Woodlands County Municipal Office 780.778.8400.

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Planning & Development

Enforcement of Unsightly Properties One service that the Planning & Development Department provides is a contact for regulatory services that are outlined in the Land Use Bylaw such as complaints on unsightly premises. The department works primarily on a reactive, complaint-driven basis and utilizes the tools outlined in Woodlands County Land Use Bylaw and the Municipal Government Act to effectively deal with unsightly premises complaints. Sections 546 of the Municipal Government Act provides for a municipality to deal with unsightly conditions in respect of a structure whose exterior shows signs of significant physical deterioration and in respect of land that shows signs of serious disregard for general maintenance or upkeep or dangerous properties. Further to the Municipal Government Act, Section 35 of Woodlands County Land Use Bylaw indicates that a registered owner or occupier of property must not: • allow such property to become or remain unsightly; or, • cause, permit or allow refuse, abandoned equipment or abandoned vehicles, to collect or to accumulate on or around such property; or, •

cause, permit or allow refuse, to accumulate in any building or structure within the County, except in appropriate containers provided for the temporary storage of refuse or other waste materials for pick-up and disposal at a sanitary land fill, recycling centre or other waste management facility.

Section 36 of Woodlands County Land Use Bylaw outlines that a property owner or occupier of property, or their agents must:

• remove or cause to be removed from the real property, any refuse, or abandoned equipment, or abandoned vehicles, or any unsightly accumulation of refuse, or discarded materials; • clear or cause such property to be cleared of unsightly brush, trees, weeds or other growth. A designated officer (Development Officer) may, for the purpose of ensuring that the provisions outlined in the Land Use Bylaw are being complied with, enter in or upon any property, in accordance with Section 542 of the Municipal Government Act, to carry out an inspection, enforcement or other action required or authorized by the Land Use Bylaw, the Municipal Government Act, or other statute. When exercising the authority to enter onto property for an inspection or enforcement the designated officer shall provide the owner or occupant of the property with reasonable notice. Where an owner or occupier, or their agents fail to comply with the Land Use Bylaw, the designated officer may serve a Clean Up Order on such person, which requires the person to remove or clear the offending material from the property within a specified period of time. A party that has been issued a clean up order does have an opportunity to appeal the notice in writing to the County administrator within fourteen (14) days of the date of the issuance of the Clean Up Order by stating the grounds of appeal and paying the applicable fee. If the order is upheld by the appeal board or Council then the property owner must comply with the order and/or any amendments to the order. If the property owner does not comply with the order, the municipality may further proceed to the courts to obtain access to the property to carry out the required clean up. The municipality can place any costs associated with the clean up and court costs to the properties tax roll. l 17

Agricultural Services Nominations Now Being Accepted for Agricultural Pioneer Award Woodlands County Agriculture Services Board would like to recognize pioneers of agriculture; individuals with a long-term commitment to agriculture in Woodlands County. Nominations are now being accepted for this prestigious award. If you know of anyone who is deserving of this award, please submit a nomination letter briefly outlining qualifications based on the criteria below. Nomination deadline is May 8, 2015 Eligibility Criteria: • Nominees must have resided and actively farmed in Woodlands County for a minimum of thirty (30) years • Nominees must be a minimum of 60 years of age • Priority will be given to individuals who currently reside in Woodlands County or Woodlands County facilities • Nominations will be accepted from family members, members of the public and Agriculture Services Board members. Individuals may also apply Nominations may be submitted by mail to: Woodlands County, Attn: Dawn Fortin l Box 33, Fort Assiniboine, Alberta TOG 1AO Or by Fax: 780.584.3988 l Or e-mail:

Agriculture Services Board Annual Tour July 29, 2015 To begin a full day of fun and sightseeing, registrants may board a bus at any of the following locations: 8:00 a.m. – Anselmo Hall 8:45 a.m. – Blue Ridge Community Hall 9:30 a.m. – Fort Assiniboine Regional Municipal Office The tour will take place in the Fort Assiniboine and Goose Lake areas. Potential stops may include: Rural Beautification Winners’ Yards, Goose Lake Campground, Thistle Weevil release site. Plus many other sites along the way. Registration includes lunch along with a steak barbecue. The presentation of the 2015 Woodlands County Agriculture Pioneer Awards will follow the barbeque. Registration: $30.00 PER PERSON To register call: Fort Assiniboine: 780.584.3866 l Toll Free: 1.866.584.3866


18 l Woodlands Communicator Spring & Summer 2015

Agricultural Services 2014 Rural Beautification Award Winners Celebrated The Agriculture Services Board honored the recipients on February 20, 2015, at the Agriculture Services Annual Appreciation Supper. Hats off to our 2014 winners for their dedication in beautifying Woodlands County! Division 3 – Non -Agricultural : John & Keri Kidd Division 6 – Agricultural:

Cecil & Katy Barnhart

Division 6 – Non-Agricultural : Darren & Shelly McKort Division 7 – Agricultural :

Ken & Doreen Lee

Division 7 – Agricultural :

Ted & Rosemarie Breitkreitz

Health & Safety Homeowner Guide for Hiring Contractors At some point in time, most homeowners will hire a contractor to repair or renovate their home. Even a veteran of home projects may have to hire a contractor because of equipment, size or difficulty of the job. How to hire qualified tradespeople? 1. Check the qualification of the tradespeople who will do the work. A qualified trades person will have a certificate issued by a recognized regulatory authority such as the Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education. 2. Ask the contractor to view past and current relevant projects and request a list of past customers for references. Professional contracts are proud of their work and will be happy to provide you this information. 3. Ask and request for proof if they said they are a member to an association such as Canadian Home Building Association, Alberta Construction Safety Associations or in good standings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

How to decease liability and financial risk? Make sure the contractor and tradespeople have Workers’ Compensation coverage (Valid WCB Clearance Letter) and ask for an insurance certificate that shows public and property damage for all workers. If workers are injured on your property, you and the other party would have to agree on who is liable. How to check into permits? Check with the local government and ask what building permits or inspections are needed and when to ensure the job is complete in compliance with building code. Doing your research now can save you more than a headache. Check with the Alberta government at for more information. Reference: Hiring a contractor. Extracted from l 19

Council Highlights Highlights from October 7, 2014 Meeting

Highlights from November 4, 2014 Meeting

Energy Consulting Services Agreement Extension Woodlands County Council directed administration to join the Aggregated Public Tender and extend the energy agreement with 8760 Energy for an additional three (3) year period from Jan 1/16 to Dec. 31/18.

Airport Airside Development Phase I – Apron III Expansion Paving Project Woodlands County Council approved the Airport Airside Development Phase 1 – Apron III Expansion paving project to Knelsen Sand and Gravel Ltd. The project is scheduled to start in May 2015.

Highlights from October 21, 2014 Meeting

GROWTH Economic Indicators Woodlands County Council reviewed the Economic Indicators for Woodlands County that GROWTH Alberta assembled. The GROWTH Economic Indicators are available for viewing on the county website at

Bylaw 448/14 – Civic Addressing Bylaw for the Hamlets of Blue Ridge and Fort Assiniboine Woodlands County Council passed bylaw 448/14 – Civic Addressing Bylaw for the Hamlets of Blue Ridge and Fort Assiniboine which requires residents in these hamlets to clearly have their civic address posted on their residence. Having a clearly posted address on residences helps emergency services locate properties correctly and efficiently when they are dispatched.

Highlights from November 25, 2014 Meeting Agricultural Water Tank Fill Sites Filtration System Woodlands County Council approved the installation of a filtration system at the Fort Assiniboine agricultural water truck fill.

Donation of Fort Assiniboine Fire Department Rescue Truck Woodlands County Council have approved donating the old Fort Assiniboine Fire Department rescue truck unit F106 to the Klondike Trail Search and Rescue group.

Internet Communication Strategies

Policy 1213 – Promotional Tent Rental Woodlands County Council approved new policy 1213 – Promotional Tent Rental, which will allow community groups to rent free of charge the Woodlands County promotional tent for various events that may require shelter.

Administration provided Council a report on the winter maintenance on Highway 658 which continues to be a concern and discussions to help rectify the issues are being held with Ledcor.

Communities in Bloom Council noted that Fort Assiniboine received recognition of four stars from the Communities in Bloom Program.

Woodlands County Website Woodlands County Council had the opportunity to view the new Woodlands County website that went live a couple of months ago. Please check out our new website at . We would love any

Woodlands County Council continues to look at strategies to obtain easily accessible internet services for all residents. Highway 658

Highlights from December 2, 2014 Meeting

feedback you may have regarding the site, so be sure to fill out the contact us form to leave us your comments. Winter Maintenance – Ledcor Update Administration provided Council with an update on the discussions that have taken place with Ledcor regarding the winter maintenance on Highway 658. Administration will be meeting with the General Manager – Contractors Group with Ledcor Alberta Limited to review and initiate subcontract documents that will allow joint coverage. In the meantime ratepayers are being asked to forward any complaints they may have to Sabhago Oad, Operations Manager with Alberta Transportation at 780.723.8563 or 780.728.8959

Highlights from December 16, 2014 Meeting PHRD No. 7 Board of Trustees PHRD No. 7 Board of Trustees Kim Webster, Jennifer Tuininga and Jan Hoffart meet with Council and thanked Woodlands County for their continued support and belief in the Fort Assiniboine School and advised Council there are currently no plans to close or reorganize the school. Winter Maintenance – Hwy 658 & 751 Update Administration provided Council with an update on the discussions with Ledcor for Woodlands County to provide sand at Fort Assiniboine and that County staff and trucks would help Ledcor trucks to plow and sand hwy 658 & 751 during severe winter conditions when Ledcor requires help. Agreements and contracts will be reviewed with County solicitors to finalize. CCI Wireless – Connecting Canadians Letter of Support Woodlands County Council will be providing a letter of support to CCI Wireless for submission to the Connecting Canadian grant program in order to provide improved internet services to county residents. Continued on page 16

Woodlands Communicator Spring & Summer 2015

Woodlands County Council Members l 20

Council Highlights Highlights from January 6, 2015 Meeting

 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

DANIEL PRITCHARD Councillor for Blue Ridge Electoral Division - Division 5 780.648.2149

Bylaw 450/14 – Amendments to LUB Section 104A – CRB – Country Residential Business District Woodlands County Council is currently looking at amending the Land Use Bylaw by adding Section 104A – Country Residential Business District. A Public Hearing has been scheduled for February 3, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in Fort Assiniboine and February 26, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Woodlands County Offices, Council Chambers in Whitecourt. Bylaw 139 – Regulating burning to manage smoke reducing visibility on municipal roads within Woodlands County Council reviewed bylaw 139 and have asked administration to review and to determine when smoke is being a nuisance for neighbouring properties if options could be added to the bylaw to deal with it.

Councillor for Goose Lake Freeman River Electoral Division - Division 6 780.584.2619

Council directed administration to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Operation Division Upper Athabasca Region Forest Capital of Canada Event Council approved a request from Millar Western for financial sponsorship for the Forest Capital of Canada Event being held in Edmonton with noted environmental author and speaker Richard Louv.

Highlights from February 17, 2015 Meeting PAPTAC 2015 Mill Manager of the Year Award

STARS Air Ambulance Request for Support

Council will be sending a congratulatory letter to Mr. Mike Putzke General Manager for ANC for receiving the 2015 Mill Manager of the Year award.

Council received the missions stats for Woodlands County and the 2013/2014 Community Report as well as a request from STARS Air Ambulance for Woodlands County to renew its support of $2/capita for the 2015 year which will be forwarded to budget deliberations. March Council Meetings Council discussed various scheduling conflicts with the current March meeting dates and asked that administration advertise changes for the March 3, 2015 evening meeting to be held during the day commencing at 9:30 a.m. and that the March 17, 2015 meeting be rescheduled to March 24, 2015 as an evening meeting commencing at 7:00 p.m.

Council reviewed a request from the Woodlands County Community Services Committee asking council to endorse a working partnership for the development and maintenance of the Centre of Alberta.

Highlights from February 3, 2015 Meeting


Options for Domestic Septic Waste Disposal - Stantec

Councillor for Fort Assiniboine/ Timeu 
Electoral Division - Division 7

Stantec gave a presentation regarding four options and the costs associated with those options for domestic septic waste disposal. 780.584.2610

Memorandum of Understanding with AESRD

Highlights from January 20, 2015 Meeting

Request for Working Partnership with AESRD for the Center of Alberta DALE MCQUEEN

Options included upgrading the current lagoons located in Blue Ridge and Fort Assiniboine, as well as building a new facility or to retrofit the Town of Whitecourt’s existing plant in order to accommodate county residential septic waste.

Correspondence from Minister of Transportation Council will be asking Minister W. Drysdale for clarification as to why the installation of traffic signals at the intersection of Highways 43 and 32 have been denied, whether this was a low priority or a dollar issue and will also advise in the letter that Woodlands County will not approve any further gravel pit developments in this area unless lights are install at this intersection due to safety concerns.

Highlights from March 3, 2015 Meeting Alberta Transportation Meeting Council will be meeting with Alberta Transportation – North Central Region at the end of March to discuss numerous road issues and requests within the Woodlands County Area. Open House Wrap Up Council discussed the recent 2015 Recreation & Budget Open House meetings held at the beginning of February in Whitecourt, Blue Ridge and Fort Assiniboine. Administration has been directed to bring this back to council in September in order to schedule similar meetings for the 2016 budget process.

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

Woodlands news summer 2015 v4  
Woodlands news summer 2015 v4