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Communicator A quarterly newsletter published by Woodlands County


Mayor’s Message


Welcome to our Winter Newsletter!

Community Updates


Infrastructure Services




Community Services


2016 Grants


Small Business Week 2015


Agricultural Services


Planning & Development


Council Highlights

Winter 2016


For those that know me personally, it is well known that I am a goal setting fanatic, and January is an exciting time for me as we can all focus on what we can accomplish in a new year! The County Council has plenty of its own goals, and with a fresh budget in place, we look forward to a large number of regular road maintenance across the county, as well as some upgrades, rebuilds, and especially exciting, new recreation opportunities coming in 2106! Best of all, Council has a zero percent increase in its 2016 budget, for both residential and industrial taxes, as we know times are tight in our local economy. In reflection of 2015, there were some great highlights from the viewpoint of the Mayor’s chair. Events like the World Snowmobile Invasion, Big Bang Mud Run and Party in the Park were incredible successes. I had the honour of MC’ing the Annual Boob Tour, which raised an incredible $60,000 to benefit residents of our community who are fighting cancer. The best part of that event and charity is that 100% of the funds stay local, and none of the funds go to administration, it is purely volunteer! Another great event was the “Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes” event, raising awareness against domestic violence. I hope that through education, we can strive towards a future without the need for facilities

like the Wellspring Family Resource and Crisis Shelter. On that note, a huge thank you to the staff at Wellsprings for helping our residents who are in need. Looking forward, we have the Pembina Pipeline project running new pipelines from Fox Creek to Namao, B.C. awaiting AER approval, and hopefully proceeding this spring. Pembina Pipelines have been a business in our community for decades, with a commitment to safety, community support, and have a strong staff presence. We wish their project the best, and look forward to the busy hotels, restaurants and jobs they will bring in 2016! Lastly, we have some great events to look forward to. First up, the Trailblazers hold their annual Family Day weekend rally in February. Also, this summer will mark the 3rd Hometown Heroes Airshow at the Whitecourt Airport, always a great weekend of fun for all ages. Over the Labour Day weekend we will have the 10th Annual Party in the Park, and in early September plans are already underway for the 2nd Annual Big Bang Mud Run. And that is just to name the events I am involved with the organizing committees, there are so many other great things right in your back yard! All the best in 2016, Mayor Jim Rennie

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

Walk A Mile

On November 23, the 3rd annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event took place to benefit the Wellspring Family Resource and Crisis Centre. Woodlands County Mayor, Jim Rennie, did his part at the event, showing off his stiletto skills through an obstacle course involving many activities not typically done in heels. There were 56 walkers that not only took part in the event, but raised over $20,000 for the centre.

Getting Wiggy With It

On November 24, Woodlands County council members and Whitecourt staff let their hair down in support of the Whitecourt Volunteer Driver Program. See more on page 2.

Foodbank Faceoff

In a friendly competition, with a combined total of almost 5,661 pounds of non-perishable items filling 7 pallets, Woodlands County and Town of Whitecourt helped fill the shelves of the Food Bank right before the holiday season.

2 l Woodlands Communicator Winter 2016

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! Please call or email Dana Severson at 780.778.8400 or

Getting Wiggy With It On November 24, Woodlands County council members and Whitecourt staff let their hair down in support of the Whitecourt Volunteer Driver Program. This program provides an honorarium to local drivers offering to take cancer patients into Edmonton for their appointments at the Cross Cancer Institute. With the support of staff and the community, $3600.00 was raised, and in turn each council member wore a purple wig for the entirety of the council meeting. The staff of the Whitecourt office also showed their purple side in support of a fellow employee diagnosed with breast cancer. If you would like to become a volunteer driver or know of someone that could benefit from this service, please contact the Whitecourt Cancer Support & Wellness Group at 780.706.3173.

Join us on Facebook

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

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)

Members of Woodlands County Council and Staff get wiggy with it.

Senior Citizens and Handicapped Persons Transportation Grant and Snow Clearing Services In order to enhance the quality of life of senior citizens and handicapped persons residing in the municipality, Woodlands County has created a policy that includes the following benefits: • The County will reimburse health care related transportation expenses at the rate of $0.50 per kilometer to a maximum of $300 per year • An additional $0.50 per kilometer to a maximum of $300 per year is available to seniors/physically handicapped people attending the Healthy Living Program in Whitecourt • The County will provide up to five free snow flags per year To be eligible for these benefits, applicants must be a senior citizen or a physically handicapped person who reside(s) in Woodlands County. A senior citizen is someone 65 years or older. A physically handicapped person is a person who can either produce their vehicle mirror hanger or obtain a letter from their physician stating they are physically handicapped. The County will pay transportation grants twice per year, on June 30 and December 31. Visit or contact our office for information on obtaining the Transportation Grant form. l 3

Infrastructure Services The Snowplowing of Roadways and Driveways

2016 Contractor Truck and Equipment Registration Woodlands County is now accepting registrations for the supply of gravel trucks and/or equipment effective January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Forms are available at our Municipal Office in Whitecourt, or our Regional Office in Fort Assiniboine, or on our Woodlands County website at www.

Woodlands County commences snow removal on municipal roads if there is 3” of snow accumulation on gravel-surfaced roads, and 1” of snow on paved/based-surfaced roads. When good winter driving conditions have been achieved along all routes, cleanup activities will commence (i.e. plowing of approaches, intersections and winging of shoulders). If and when a windrow of snow is left on an approach or intersection that is above 6”, or considered by the operator to be unsafe for the travelling public, the windrow shall be removed. Snow plowing of driveways will apply to County residences only. Residents are required to sign a waiver. All residences requesting snowplowing services are required to purchase a snow plow flag for $40 plus G.S.T. per 300 meters, or portion thereof. Snowplowing of private driveways will occur after main roads and school bus routes are cleared except in emergencies. The grader operator will pick up the flag once the plowing is complete. The County will provide up to five free snow plow flags per year for senior citizens (65 years of age or older) or physically handicapped person, by either producing their vehicle mirror hanger or obtaining a letter from their physician to qualify. For the persons that clear their own driveways be sure to not leave any mounds of snow on our road ways as this is very dangerous for passing motorists. Below is a suggested safe way to clear snow from your driveway:

Drive Cautiously During Bad Weather • Motorists have a legal obligation to drive according to road conditions. You can be charged with a traffic offence by police if you are found not to be doing so. • Unless travel is absolutely necessary, stay off the roads during major storms. • Keep your headlights on all the time – don’t rely on daytime running lights. Low beams are more effective than high beams in fog or heavy snow conditions. • Never use cruise control in winter conditions. • When travelling on snowy roads, try driving outside of the previous tire tracks to give you some extra traction. This also helps when there are shiny ruts in the road. • Signal well in advance of turning to give other motorists time to anticipate and react to your actions. Check your rearview and side mirrors, and always shoulder check before changing lanes. • Avoid sudden moves by anticipating turns or lane changes. Abrupt changes in direction or slamming on the brakes could cause you to spin out of control. • Take your foot off the brake if your vehicle begins to skid and steer in the direction you want to go. When the wheels regain their grip, brake firmly and smoothly. • Stay back from snowplows. They will let you pass every five to eight kilometres or when it is safe to do so.

4 l Woodlands Communicator Winter 2016

Community Services Mini Sled Winner

Eastlink Park Now Open Skiing, snowboarding, and winter recreation activities have had a long history in our Whitecourt and Woodlands communities. The first skiing took place informally on the site of this existing in-Town facility and in Woodlands County on Whitecourt Mountain – on sites wherever people could find a good slope, good terrain, and easy access to hike back to the top! This informal use evolved into the formation of the first Whitecourt Ski Club; and in the 1970’s the group developed a facility on the site we have today. The facility featured a heated shelter, a T-bar lift, and groomed runs and was a great addition to the community. It was very successful during the 1970’s and early 1980’s; but unfortunately closed in the early 1980’s due to the loss of key volunteers and fire damage to the shelter. After a number of years, a group of dedicated volunteers came together with the goal of re-establishing a winter recreation park for the area. Extensive public input was obtained; and a decision was made to resurrect the in-Town site we have today. The group’s vision was to create a fun, affordable, and family friendly facility, easily accessed by all users. (

Congratulations to Kelly Lafond of Sherwood Park as the winner of the Golden Triangle Mini Sled. The draw took place at the Edmonton Snowmobile and Powersports Show in October. Representatives from Woodlands County and all of the partners in the Golden Triangle were on hand to provide information and attract new tourism to the area.

Snowmobile Rallies Now that winter is in full swing, snowmobilers are enjoying the natural playground that surrounds Woodlands County. The Groat Creek Staging Area opened in late November thanks to a big dump of fluffy white snow. Local snowmobile clubs are in full swing as well, gearing up for their annual snowmobile rallies. The Whitecourt Trailblazers are hosting their annual poker rally February 13 and 14. Also part of the Golden Triangle, along with the Trailblazers, the Fox Creek Sno-Goers are hosting their rally on February 6, and the Swan Hills Snow Goers will be February 20. You can visit for more information on these rallies, and snowmobiling trails in our area.

Mike Morin, Eastlink Park’s General Manager echoes this vision, “We have lessons going on each day. We have many different options, from private lessons to group lessons and especially ‘Discover Skiing’ and ‘Discover Boarding,’ specially designed for people that have never tried skiing or boarding. We even have tubing for everybody, even those that do not or can’t ski or board.” Thanks to the cooperation by Mother Nature, and countless volunteer hours spent making snow, Eastlink Park had its opening day on December 18th. Downhill and beginner slopes, tubing and a terrain park will easily fill a day, not to mention daily lessons for skiers and snowboarders aged 3 and up. Regular hours for the park are Thursday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and open for PD days. You can plan your visit online at

Snowboarders enjoying a ride to the top of the hill via the conveyor lift. l 5

2015 Bursaries & Scholarship Recipients Woodlands County has been awarding County students bursaries and scholarships since 2002. Every year the County advertises the program in Polic y StMayerthorpe local newspapers and through the high schools in Whitecourt, atem Woo d ent: com lands C oun m n ty w and Barrhead. The Community Services Committee reviews ity in applications stud uthe ish e v Cou nts to en olveme es to rec nt an nty a ogn h a n iz c n d purs students. that are received and awards the bursaries to the selected ue fu d to enc e the fu academ e outsta ture nd ou m rth ic To

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2016 Grants

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The Woodlands County Community Services Department encourages individuals and non-profit organizations to come forward should they require assistance with any upcoming programs in 2016.

• Services that enrich and strengthen family life by developing skills so people can function more effectively within their own environment

Two grant streams are available:

• Services that enhance the quality of life of the retired and semi-retired.

• Family and Community Support Services Grant • Recreation Grant Family and Community Support Services Grant The Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Grant encourages the development and delivery of social programs that are preventive in nature and promote and enhance the well-being of individuals, families and communities within Woodlands County. Services that may be eligible for funding include:

• Services to assist communities to identify their social needs and develop responses to meet those needs • Services to promote, encourage and support volunteer work in the community • Services to inform the public of available services • Services that promote the social development of children and their families

Recreation Grant The Recreation Grant encourages the development and delivery of programs that get participants physically active and participating within recreation activities within Woodlands County. Eligibility Criteria:

• Priority will be given to recreation programs that are orientated to children and youth • Preference is given to groups and organizations that are non- profit and can also demonstrate other fundraising efforts and funding sources • Demonstration of appropriate contribution by participants for recreation programs must be shown (e.g. membership fees, registration, etc.) • Funding requests for event hosting will be considered but funding requests for personal expenses will not be considered (e.g. travel, lodging, food, etc.)

6 l Woodlands Communicator Winter 2016

Community Services Groat Creek Reservations Begin January 4 Even though the snow is flying, it’s time to dream of warmer days around the campfire. Reservations for the Groat Creek Recreation Area, Group Campground can be made starting on Jan 4. The campground is open from May 20 - October 10. The site is perfect for a large camp out with friends or relatives, as it includes 10 large sites with their own fire ring and picnic table along with a group fire pit and the new playground and rustic playhouse. Included in your rental is one cord of wood.

Weekends book up quickly – so don’t delay. Call the Forest Interpretive Centre starting on January 4 at 8:30 a.m. at 800.313.7383 or 780.778.3433.

Northern Air Flight Launch

Bridge Installation at Blue Ridge Recreation Area The culvert along the walking trail was replaced with a 40’ pedestrian bridge as the crossing has experienced minor flooding damage from high water events over the last few years. A local company, Strike Group, won the bid for bridge construction. The project has gone smoothly thanks to their pride in workmanship. We are also grateful to our neighbours at Blue Ridge Lumber for donated gravel for the bridge approaches, and Alberta Transportation for the large rock donation. The bridge will be a great destination for photographs for your next special family portraits and can be accessed along the walking path to the north of the main parking lot, adjacent the WhiteRidge MX Park.

2016 Recreation Master Plan The Recreation Master Plan process is coming in 2016, and we need your input. The Master Plan is a document that will help guide the decisions of Woodlands County Council for the next 25 years relating to parks and recreation improvement and development. In the coming months, we will be seeking input on outdoor spaces, and indoor facility spaces like community halls. We want to know what you want more of – walking trails, shelters, parks, camping, spray parks, hiking or river access. We also want to know what can be repaired, improved or expanded – we can go bigger or better with washrooms, group areas, parking, docks, or ball diamonds.

The Town of Whitecourt and Woodlands County are proud to announce that Northern Air has expanded its scheduled air service to Whitecourt. It was announced earlier in the year that the Whitecourt Airport, operated by Woodlands County, would be applying to regulatory agencies for approval to provide scheduled air service for non-stop flights from Whitecourt to Calgary International Airport. Authorization was granted, and flights began on November 5. To kick off the flight services, there was a BBQ at the Whitecourt Airport on November 4 for the public with giveaways, tours of the terminal and even of the aircraft itself. Northern Air’s direct service will provide eight flights per week. Effectively immediately, bookings can be made for flights through Northern Air’s toll free number 1.800.661.1911. “From the perspective of Woodlands County, Northern Air will take our community a huge step ahead in the way we service our business community,” said Woodlands County Mayor Jim Rennie. “We were already the hub for energy services in the Grande Prairie to Edmonton corridor; and now for the Calgary to the north travelers we will strengthen as the center for future development. For all our residents travelling to Calgary to meet with their company headquarters, they will be able to have both breakfast and supper at home with their families.” While the new service has been spurred by regional oil and gas operations, the transportation link will provide an important social and leisure link to those that call Whitecourt and Woodlands County home. It will be quick, convenient, and affordable for those looking for a getaway, and will open up international travel opportunities and the flight options available through the Calgary International Airport. l 7

Trade Show

Small Business Week 2015 Small Business Week took place October 19 - 23 and Woodlands County once again partnered with the Town of Whitecourt, The Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures Yellowhead East to bring guest speakers, training sessions and the local favorite “Top Guns of Business” to the small business community. The Small Business Week Awards nominations were collected leading up to the events, with the winners announced at the Awards Gala. Congratulations to: Staff Member of the Year - Doug Shannon (IGA) Small Business of the Year - Whitecourt Paws Corporate Business of the Year - Eagle River Casino and Travel Plaza Area businesses participating in RAP (Registered Apprenticeship Program) were also recognized at the Awards Gala as valued members of our community making a difference to the education and retention of youth and skilled employees in our community.

Booth Giveaway 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 6, 7 & 8, 2016. Each display is half of a 10 X 10 booth and there is no cost to the business for the space. Applications must include:

• Business name • Owners name(s) • Location • Contact information • List of products and or services • How long the business has been in operation as well as a short description of the business You may also include any other information about your business that you feel may assist us in the selection process such as website address, Social Media platforms utilized or printed material (brochures, handouts or flyers.) Applications will be reviewed and 4 (four) business 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. Guest Speaker Shaun Shewchuk held 2 sessions as a part of Small Business Week events.

Journey to Bethlehem For 17 years, volunteers have come together in the hamlet of Fort Assiniboine to don traditional clothing and recreate the journey told in the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph. Approximately 700 people from around northern Alberta travelled to take part in the 20-minute walk through time. The Journey to Bethlehem took place November 21, 22, 28 and 29. Several volunteers played the part of various characters in the annual retelling of the Christmas story.

Only those that meet the following criteria will qualify to be selected:

• Must operate a business located in Woodlands County • Products and services must be manufactured or produced locally (components can be imported then assembled or added) • Business has no more than 10 employees • Business is not a franchise or direct selling company (ie: Tupperware, Avon) • Business must have all appropriate development permits according to Woodlands County policies and Land Use Bylaws Those interested need to apply via email or print by 4:30 p.m., April 8, 2016. Winners will be notified by April 22, 2016. To apply or to receive more information please contact: Dana Severson Economic Development & Tourism Assistant 780.778.8400

8 l Woodlands Communicator Winter 2016

Upcoming Events

Agricultural Services

Agriculture Services Annual Supper

Working Well Workshop

Save the date! February 26, 2016 at Blue Ridge Community Hall.

Join us for an evening of great food and entertainment and a chance to visit with your neighbours. We will also be honouring our Rural Beautification Award winners.

Bridal Fair Presented by Whitecourt & District Agricultural Society

February 28, 2016 10 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Westward Community Center Come meet our amazing local wedding vendors. Enjoy food, fashion and fun. Enter to win fabulous door prizes and ‘just for brides’ prizes. For more info on the event, please contact Shannon Fluney at 780.779.6789.

Information for Seniors If you are turning 65 within the next 3 - 6 months you should have a look at this website it has information on programs and services for seniors. There is also a Seniors Programs and Services Information Guide that is available on-line at the following link:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 l 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Blue Ridge Community Hall Consider how your life would change if you lost your water supply! Did you know that a poorly maintained water well can put your water supply at risk of contamination and reduce your well yield? If you are one of 450,000 Albertans who use their water well for household purposes, the key to ensuring your water supply is safe and secure is knowing how groundwater works, learning about your well and understanding how to properly maintain it. Proper water well siting, construction, maintenance and plugging will help protect your well from biofouling and contamination, save you costly repairs, and ensure your well water yields are sustained over many years. Find out what you can do to protect your well. Attend the FREE water well management workshop being hosted by Woodlands County, and presented by the Working Well Program, with technical expertise provided by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. During the workshop we will cover:

• Groundwater – how it works • Water quality and quantity testing • Well protection – protecting your well from contamination • Basic well maintenance • Water sampling – how to do it To attend the workshop, please pre-register prior to March 2, 2016 by calling the Woodlands County Regional Municipal Office at: 1.866.584.3866.

Boughs ‘n’ Bows Workshop Seniors-ProgramsServicesGuide.pdf or the guide is available at either the Fort Assiniboine or Whitecourt County Office. The new 2015 - 2016 guide should be available by the end of July 2016.

Woodlands County Agricultural Services Department hosted the “Boughs ‘n’ Bows” Workshop on December 5 in Blue Ridge, and December 6 in Fort Assiniboine. Ben Fulkerth, an Instructional Assistant from Olds College, facilitated both workshops. In learning new techniques, and with the ability to personalize their projects to suit their home décor, participants created two types of holiday décor; a traditional door swag using fresh greenery, and a holiday wreath made from cinnamay (a decorative mesh). A total of 44 people took part in the workshops over the two days. l 9

Planning & Development Woodlands County Planning & Development Department had a busy year in 2015. The charts below provide a snap shot of what has been processed for development permit applications, construction costs, subdivision applications processed and land use amendment applications for 2015, and for the last six years. Woodlands County has just recently started tracking complaints/enforcement issues that the department deals with. If you have any questions in regards to the information please do not hesitate to contact the Planning & Development Department. regards to  the  information  please  do  not  hesitate  to  contact  the  Planning  &  Development   Department.  

Subdivision Applications  

Development Permits  Issued/Construction  Trends   Subdivision  Applications   160   70   140  

70 60  

60 120  


50 100  



ResidenBal Lots  Created  

40 80  

Lot Line  AInsBtuBonal   djustments  

60 30  

Mixed Use   Amalgama<on  


20 10  

20 10   2009   2009  


2010 2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015  

2010 Construction  Value:  $10,360,851S     2010   Applications   Processed:   2011  SCubdivision   onstruction   Value:  $8,866,000     15   2011   Applications   Processed:   2012  SCubdivision   onstruction   Value:  $94,540,000     14   2012  Subdivision  Applications  Processed:  14      

2013 Construction  Value:  $33,137,000   2013   Applications   Processed:  23   2014  SCubdivision   onstruction   Value:  $25,175,000   2014   Applications   Processed:  19   2015  SCubdivision   onstruction   Value:  $21,559,900   2015  Subdivision  Applications  Processed:  11  







2010 Subdivision  Applications  Processed:  15   (3) Boughs ‘n’ Bows 2011  Subdivision  Applications  Processed:  14   2012  Subdivision  Applications  Processed:  14  



2013 Subdivision  Applications  Processed:  23   2014  Subdivision  Applications  Processed:  19   2015  Subdivision  Applications  Processed:  11  

Pg 9: Update to theLand Enforcement/Complaint Received Pchart Use  Amendment  Applications   rocessed   Enforcement/Complaints  Received  

Land Use  Amendment  Applications  Processed  


12 10  

45 40  



6 4  






20 15   10  


5 0  

Lot Line  Adjustments  


40 20  

0 0  

Lots Created  








Complaints Complaints  


45 8   40   35   6   30   25   4   20   15   2   10   5   0   0  

Outstanding Refused   Approved   Complaints   Complaints  


2011 2014   2014  



2014 2015   2015  



PLAN AHEAD!   Are  you  planning  to  construct  a  new  residence,  garage,  shed  or  move  a  mobile  home,  manufactured   or  modular  home  or  start  a  home  occupation  or  transport  contractor  business?  

will fit: Did Where you   know  itthat   a   Development   Permit   is   a   requirement   by   Woodlands   County   for   any   new   development   r  change  in  use  of  land  within  the  County  per  the  Woodlands  County  Land  Use  Bylaw?   Bridal oFair   Presented by Whitecourt & District Agricultural Society Having  a  development  permit  ensures  that  the  proposed  structure  or  use  of  the  land  does  not  conflict   28, 10-3pm Center with  February surrounding   uses.     It   will   also   Westward ensure   that   the  Community development   is   setback   the   appropriate   distances   from  property  lines.    Setbacks  are  required  to  ensure  that  the  development  is  located  in  a  safe  place  so   Come meet our amazing local wedding vendors. Enjoy food, fashion & fun. that  it  isn’t  too  close  to  road  right-­‐of-­‐ways,  water  courses,  steep  banks  or  oil  and  gas  facilities.   fabulous door prizes & ‘just for brides’ prizes. For more info on the event, pl   contactPermit   Shannon Fluney 780-779-6789 Development   applications   are   at available   at   both   Woodlands   County   Offices   or   online   at     Information for Seniors Woodlands   County           Woodlands  County   If youMare turning theRegional   next 3-6 months Whitecourt   unicipal   Office   65   within   Municipal   Office   you should have a look at th #1 oodlands  Lane        it has   information Hwy  #33,  Bon ox  33   programs and services for sen Whitecourt,  AB    T7S  1N3                                    or     Fort  Assiniboine,  AB    T0G  1A0   Telephone:  780-­‐778-­‐8400         Telephone:  780-­‐584-­‐3866     There is also a Seniors Programs and Services Information Guide that is av Please  be  sure  to  apply  for  your  development  permit  well     line at the following link: in  advance  of  starting  your  project!  

or the guide is available at either the Fort Assiniboine or Whitecourt County

10 l Woodlands Communicator Winter 2016

Planning & Development 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? Did you know that a Development Permit is a requirement by Woodlands County for any new development or change in use of land within the County per the Woodlands County Land Use Bylaw? 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 setback the appropriate distances from property lines. Setbacks are required to ensure that the development is located in a safe place so that it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 Please be sure to apply for your development permit well in advance of starting your project! 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. If you have questions regarding whether your project requires a development permit application, please call and make an appointment with either Tyler McNab or Jennifer Sunderman, Development Officers at the Whitecourt Office.

Transfer Station Winter Hours Whitecourt Regional Landfill (Located on Highway 43, 11 km southeast of Whitecourt)

Winter Hours: October 1 to March 31 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Open Monday through Saturday Closed Sunday and statutory holidays


Whitecourt Transfer Station (Located on the Old Blue Ridge Highway)

Winter Hours: October 1 to March 31 7 days a week. 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Anselmo Transfer Site (Located on Sec Highway 751, 18 km south of Highway 43)

Winter Hours: November 1 to March 1 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Goose Lake Transfer Site (Located on Twp Rd 614, 2 km east of Sec Highway 658)

Winter Hours: November 1 to March 1 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Doris Creek Transfer Site (Located South of Sec Highway 661 on Range Road 55, 13 km north of Fort Assiniboine)

Winter Hours: November 1 to March 1 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

780.778.8400 l 11

Council Highlights Highlights from the September 15, Meeting

Highlights from the October 6 Meeting

Highlights from the October 20 Meeting

Application of Calcium on Private Driveways: Council reviewed options for applying calcium on private driveways, however decided against providing this service as equipment is too large for many driveways and there is already a private company that provides this service in the area.

AFSC Perennial Crop Insurance Program Review: Council directed administration to forward a letter to Minister Carlier, the regional Agriculture Services Boards and local MLAs regarding a Perennial Crop Insurance program review due to concerns with the program.

STARS Air Ambulance: Council received an update from Senior Municipal Relations Liaison for STARS regarding STARS activities and statistics in the Woodlands County region and agreed to have funding for STARS forwarded to the 2016 Budget at $2/capita.

Whitecourt Woodlands Winter Recreation Park Society Request: Council gave first reading to bylaw 469/15 to provide the Whitecourt Woodlands Winter Recreation Park Society a loan for $280,000 that would be paid back over 14 years in order to allow the society to undertake and complete the capital expenditures for the Whitecourt Woodlands Winter Recreation Park.

Request to Sell Woodlands County Maps: Council approved the request from iHunter Alberta to distribute and market Woodlands County maps through the iHunter application through its Apple and Android phone applications.

Policy 6207 – Memorial Recognition Policy: Council approved policy 6207 memorial recognition policy for a proposed memorial recognition monument to placed at the Fort Assiniboine Park to allow any person wishing to hour or memorialize a resident.

Highlights from the October 6 Meeting Policy 6303 – Agriculture Services Board Sponsorship: Council approved revising policy 6303 to include all types of farm conferences that are available that may be of interest to producers and the farming community to attend and also now allows reapplication of sponsorship every three years.

Highlights from the October 20 Meeting Fallen Four Memorial Society: Colette McKillop, Special Projects Director – Mayerthorpe Fallen Four Memorial Society, provided background information to Council on the society and library boards desire for a possible partnership for the shared usage and management of the Fallen Four Visitor Center with the Mayerthorpe Library.

Community Standards Bylaw: Council reviewed the proposed Community Standards Bylaw and directed administration to present the proposed bylaw at the Budget Open Houses in November for residents to review and provide their input in the bylaw. ANC Mountain Pine Beetle Project: Council approved funding towards the Mountain Pine Beetle project that ANC is proposing to help increase processing of pine/beetle killed pine while minimizing natural gas usage. Continued on page 12

Income Tax Preparation Program Monday, February 22, 2016 to Friday, April 8, 2016. Free income tax preparation is available for Woodlands County residents that meet the maximum income criteria as outlined below: Family Size Single person Couple 1 Adult & 1 Dependent

Maximum Income $30,000 $40,000 $35,000

For each additional dependant you can add $2,500 more to the maximum income level. Additionally, we CANNOT prepare your taxes if you have any of the following:

• Capital Gains /Losses • Business or Rental Income and Expenses • Self-Employment Income • Interest over $1000 • Bankruptcies • Estates

Please bring any tax forms, T4 slips, your Social Insurance Number, annual prescription print out, etc. to either of the Woodlands County offices between the hours of: Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Municipal Office #1 Woodlands Lane Whitecourt AB T7S 1N3

Regional Municipal Office Highway 33 Fort Assiniboine AB T0G 1A0

Please be prepared to spend a few minutes completing an information sheet that will assist us in preparing your income tax form. The Community Services Department will contact you when your income tax return has been completed and is ready for pick-up. For further information please contact the Woodlands County Community Services Department at 780. 778.8400.

Woodlands Communicator Winter 2016

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

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

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

DALE KLUIN Councillor for Fort Assiniboine/ Timeu 
Electoral Division - Division 7 780.584.2610 l 12

Council Highlights

Continued from page 11

Highlights from the November 3 Meeting

Highlights from the November 24 Meeting

Morrison Hershfield – Highway 33 Bridge Review: Alberta Transportation advised council that there would be a public open house held in Fort Assiniboine on December 2 from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. to review the Highway 33 Bridge Review plans near Fort Assiniboine.

December 1 Council Meeting: Council cancelled the December 1 Council meeting.

Community Enhancement Opportunities – Confirmation at 2016 Budget Open House Fort Assiniboine: Council will be asking residents in Fort Assiniboine at the 2016 Budget Open House on November 19 to answer a survey question on what community enhancement opportunities or projects they wish to see in the area. Meteorite Site Concerns: Council is concerned with the amount of theft and vandalism taking place in the protected meteorite site area and has inquired of the University of Alberta if they could take action to help mitigate this issue. Special Council Meeting – Performing Arts Centre: There will be a special Council meeting held on January 11 at the Forest Interpretive Centre with the Town of Whitecourt Council to have a presentation on the Performing Arts Centre. Highlights from the November 24 Meeting Whitecourt Cancer Support & Wellness Group Cheque Presentation: Council presented the Whitecourt Cancer Support & Wellness and Whitecourt Volunteer Driver Program with a cheque for $3,600. The funds were raised through the “purple” getting Wiggy fundraiser that Staff and Council developed and exclusively donated to in a show of solidarity to support our colleague and friend, as well as others affected by cancer. Draft Woodlands County Strategic Plan 2015-2021: Council approved the Draft Woodlands County Strategic Plan for 2015-2021. Forestry Mayors Meeting Update: Council accepted the Forestry Mayors Meeting update as information noting that the softwood lumber agreement with the United States has expired and that a new agreement needs to be negotiated and that the forestry industry is the third largest resource industry in Alberta.

Highway 33 Bridge replacement Open House: Council was advised that Alberta Transportation have postponed the December 2 Open House in Fort Assiniboine with Morrison Hershfield regarding the Highway 33 Bridge replacement. Bylaw 473/15 – Temporary Road Bylaw: Council gave first and second reading to temporary road bylaw 473/15 for the purpose of opening a temporary road on private lands located on the southwest portion of SW 15-61-8 W5M. PHRD No. 7: Council had a presentation from the board of trustees J. Tuininga and J. Lefebvre for PHRD No. 7. whom provided an overview of student enrolment in PHRD, Fort Assiniboine School, area attendance review and partnerships and also advised that the board will not be considering any school closures or grade reconfigurations for the 2016-2017 school year. 2016 Interim Budget: Council passed the Woodlands County 2016 Interim Budget details of which can be viewed at Policy 6208 Welcome to Woodlands Program Policy: Council passed policy 6208 – Welcome to Woodlands Program Policy a copy of the policy can be viewed at Amendments to Groat Creek Rental Rates: Council approved increasing the rental rates at Groat Creek for the 2016 Season. The site day rate has increased from $140/day to $150/day and the Weekend rate (Friday & Saturday night) has increased from $400 to $450. Blue Ridge Library: Council has directed administration to increase the proposed new library plans by 400 sq. ft. and to bring the design back to council for further review.

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

Woodlands Communicator Winter 2016  
Woodlands Communicator Winter 2016