Communicator A quarterly newsletter published by Woodlands County
Mayor’s Message Welcome to the Fall 2017 edition of the Woodlands Communicator!
Economic Development & Tourism
Planning & Development
Parks & Recreation
Woodlands County Box 60, #1 Woodlands Lane Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3 P: 780.778.8400 F: 780.778.8402
As with every year, it’s quite the trip down memory lane thinking about all of the events and accomplishments that have taken place. This time last year, I spoke of the resiliency of our region during the economic downturn. 2017, however, appears to have been a year of recovery, with unemployment rates dropping, new businesses setting up shop in the area, and companies diversifying their services in response to new market demands in the region. I am enthusiastic to promote our region and the uniqueness of working and living here, and I look forward to more of this upward trend into 2018. As a municipality, Woodlands County has had a good share of positives this year. Throughout the county, construction has been going nonstop. From the addition to the Blue Ridge fire hall, to the administrative building expansion and municipal shop underway at the Whitecourt office, crews and contractors have been busy adding valuable infrastructure to our community. New additions to the county include the new library opening in Blue Ridge including a new playground structure, new pumper unit for the Blue Ridge fire hall, and a first responders unit in Fort Assiniboine. These welcome additions are
sure to improve the quality of life for residents in Woodlands County. Throughout the summer during my visits to Hard Luck Canyon or Rotary Park, I was actually surprised, and pleased, to see more faces I did not recognize visiting these places! New businesses are coming to the area, including Lakeshore Helicopters Ltd. and Heli-Source Aviation at the airport, North Country Meats in Anselmo, and Get Hooked Jewelry Creations out of Goose Lake. And several long term businesses are growing, such as Strike Energy, Badger Daylighting and Tri Hi Pressure setting up shop in the Woodlands Industrial Park. The influx of new residents, employees and businesses to our region is a positive sign of things to come. After a soggy spring, our Infrastructure crews worked diligently to complete a number of projects including various cold mix overlays throughout the county, culvert repairs and shoulder pulls, and line painting and crack sealing at the Whitecourt Airport. Several projects are still ongoing before the cooler weather changes gears from grading roads to plowing them. Continued on page 2
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 Dana Severson Economic Development Officer at 780.778.8400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of Council and the Blue Ridge Fire Department with the new addition behind them.
Members of Council attend the grand opening of the Blue Ridge Library.
Members of Council and the Fort Assiniboine Fire Department standing next to the first response unit acquired by the department this summer.
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Community Services Woodlands County Bursaries
Woodlands County is currently accepting applications from students. Applicants or their parents, must be residents of, or own property within, Woodlands County and the applicant must have lived in the County within the past five years to be eligible for either of the following two bursaries:
Continued from page 1
Another busy department this year is Agriculture Services. Some highlights include planning an Agriculture Education Day for late November, the compilation of a list of custom services available in our region, an enhanced vegetation management plan for both County right of ways and residents to help them with vegetation management issues, continued monitoring and control of Mountain Pine Beetle infestations in our area, and our Veterinary Services Incorporated program is very active and being utilized by many producers in the area to assist with some veterinary costs .
1. Two Year Post-Secondary Bursary: $3,000 Year 1: Semester 1 - $1,000 Semester 2 - $1,000 Year 2: Semester 1 - $500 Semester 2 - $500 Applicants must be registered and enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution attending full-time courses. Application Deadline: Sunday, October 15, 2017 By 4:30 p.m.
2. Two Year Apprenticeship Bursary Year 1: $1,500 Year 2: $1,500 Applicants must be enrolled in a provincially recognized apprenticeship program. Applications for the Apprenticeship Bursary will be accepted throughout the year and awarded on a first come, first served basis.
2017 is also a year of change. Municipal elections will be occurring throughout the province on October 16th, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates on the election and announcements. Opportunities for member- at- large positions will be filled with some new faces. The mix of new and old members of Council and committees is sure to bring new ideas and insight, keeping Woodlands County a great place to work and live!
Bursary application forms are available at either of the municipal offices in Whitecourt and Fort Assiniboine or online at woodlands.ab.ca. There is no age restriction for applicants. Applicants cannot be receiving a wage or subsidy from their employer while attending school. For further information please contact: Community Services Department Woodlands County Municipal Office Box 60, #1 Woodlands Lane, Whitecourt AB T7S 1N3 Telephone: 780.778.8400 l Toll-free:1.866.870.6315 Email: email@example.com
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Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Transportation Grant Woodlands County would like to remind all seniors and disabled residents to submit their 2017 Transportation Grant Applications, which also include mileage for attending the Healthy Living Program in Whitecourt (registered through the Whitecourt Healthcare Centre), by January 15, 2018. First time applicants must provide photo ID. Physically disabled individuals must produce a parking placard or letter from a physician stating they are permanently physically disabled. Developmentally disabled individuals must produce a letter from their psychologist/physician stating they have significant limitation in intellectual capacity or in adaptive skills. • The County will reimburse health care related transportation expenses at the rate of $0.50 per kilometer to a maximum of $300 per year • The County will reimburse transportation expenses related to attending the Healthy Living Program in Whitecourt (registered through the Whitecourt Healthcare Centre) at the rate of $0.50 per kilometer to a maximum of $300.00 per year.
Welcome to Woodlands Baskets The “Welcome to Woodlands Program” is a wonderful way to welcome new residents to Woodlands County by providing a welcome basket. Woodlands County encourages residents to advise us of new residents in order that they may receive a basket. Please provide the County with their phone number so we can contact the resident to arrange a time to drop off the basket. To obtain further information or to arrange for a basket please contact: Woodlands County Community Services Department Box 60, #1 Woodlands Lane Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3 Phone: 888.870.6315 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• The County will pay transportation grants twice a year, on June 30 and December 31. All individuals applying for the grant must complete the Transportation Grant Form which is available at either of the Woodlands County offices in Whitecourt or Fort Assiniboine. The grant form is also available on the County website at woodlands.ab.ca For further information, please call Community Services at 1.888.870.6315.
Community Angels for Recreational Enrichment (CARE) Program Woodlands County is accepting applications for the Community Angels for Recreational Enrichment (CARE) Program. CARE offers financial assistance to families and provides recreational funding for children and youth wishing to participate in local recreational activities that would not otherwise be able to afford those opportunities. Applications will be accepted for a wide variety of activities from school sponsored interests, such as, band and sports teams to other alternative activities including dance, skating and swimming. For further information please contact: Woodlands County Community Services Department Box 60, #1 Woodlands Lane Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3 Phone: 888.870.6315 Email: email@example.com
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Community Services Income Tax Preparation Program Program dates will be announced in early 2018. Free income tax preparation is available for Woodlands County residents that meet the maximum income criteria as outlined below: Family Size
Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) 2018 Grant Funding Available
Family and Community Support Services
Couple $40,000 1 Adult & 1 Dependent
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 $1,000 • 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. - 4:30 p.m. (closed 12:00 - 1:00 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 County is pleased to provide grant funding for “preventative social initiatives to enhance the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.”
Funding is available for our communities! To our local organizations! For local initiatives! The programs/projects must fall into one of the categories listed below: 1. Social development of children and their families 2. Enrich and strengthen family life by developing skills to function within our environment 3. Enhance quality of life in the retired and semi retired 4. Promote, encourage and support volunteerism 5. Inform the public of available services Application forms available at woodlands.ab.ca Or our offices in Whitecourt and Fort Assiniboine. Deadline to apply is 4:30 p.m. Friday, February 23, 2018. *Approved funding must be utilized by December 31, 2018. Please contact the Community Services Department to obtain further information. Call 780.778.8400 or toll-free at 1.888.870.6315.
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Economic Development & Tourism Help us Spread the Word About Your Event!
Big Bang Mud Run Recap September 16 the 3rd Big Bang Mud Run sent participants up, over, under, and through obstacles mucky enough to make the strongest washing machine shudder. Participants young and old took on the terrain and man made challenges with great enthusiasm. In addition to the run, buckets of clean WARM water were sold on site with all proceeds going to the ALS Society. As before, the Big Bang Mud Run was a day to remember!
Global Petroleum Show Woodlands County and the Town of Whitecourt came together to highlight the diversity and opportunity of our region, to businesses and attendees at the 2017 Global Petroleum Show. This event attracts companies from all over the world looking for new and innovative ways to be part of the oil and gas industry provincially and globally. Representatives from the provincial and federal government attend the show, in addition to representatives from countries all over the world. It is our hope that the awareness of our region, the unique assets we have to offer new and expanding businesses, and the connections made at the Global Petroleum Show will result in new opportunities for our region.
Connect with us on Facebook!
Are you on Facebook? Connect with Woodlands County! Stay up to date on County announcements, events and activities going on throughout our area, and notifications of important information that affects you. We are linked to community groups, committees and organizations, giving our followers real time updates on anything involving Woodlands County.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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)
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.
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Planning & Development
NEWS Woodlands County council has passed a new Land Use Bylaw 490/17 on June 6, 2017. Some of the highlights are noted below:
• Setbacks from a county road from 40m to 30m • Subdivision density increases for residential districts
• Clarification on zoning in the airport area • Enforcement section has been reworded • Fire Smart Protection section has been added • Truck limit has been reduced from 5 to 4 for a Transport Contractor Business (Major) in Country Residential Districts
• Shop size limited to 5005 square feet (465 square meters)
• Definitions, terms and phrases have been updated Council has also passed the End Land Use Concept Plan for the Pride Valley Area Structure Plan on August 1, 2017. This will allow for development permits for gravel pits to come forward in this designated area and be reviewed by the Pride Valley Aggregate Oversight Steering Committee and council. Some of the constraints identified in the End Land Use Concept Plan were the 1:100 year flood plain event, fish bearing watercourses, groundwater wells, etc. Gravel proponents will have to mesh seamlessly together end land uses with previously approved plans. This will ensure that the end land uses will be compatible with each other and the area will not end up with varying uses. Some of the approved uses are highly productive end pit lakes and wetlands, integrated agricultural parcels and recreational opportunities. The Intermunicipal Development Plan and the Municipal Development Plan drafts are completed and council will review them after the election. Open houses and public hearings will be held late in 2017 to early 2018. The West Whitecourt Area Structure Plan is awaiting final comments from Alberta Transportation this September, with a public hearing and final review by committee in late 2017 to early 2018. Woodlands County residents are encouraged to watch the local papers and county website in the next several weeks for more information for the final adoption of these planning documents.
RV Storage Outdoor storage of tent trailers, travel trailers, motorhomes and truck campers. There will be no more than two (2) recreational vehicles (RV’s), not owned by the resident, parked or stored on your property at any time. The Land Use Bylaw and new Community Standards Bylaw set out rules about the use, storage or parking of recreational vehicles (RV’s) on Country Residential parcels. At no time may a recreational vehicle (RV) be used as a permanent or temporary dwelling. For more information on the Woodlands County Land Use Bylaw and Community Standards Bylaw, please contact the Planning & Development Department or the Peace Officers at the Whitecourt Woodlands County Municipal Office 780.778.8400. Woodlands County Whitecourt Municipal Office #1 Woodlands Lane, Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3 l Telephone: 780.778.8400
Planning Fees Woodlands County council reviewed the planning fees in July of 2017 and new planning fees were adopted by council on August 1, 2017. Please see the new planning fees below:
Development Land Use Bylaw Amendment Development Application: Permitted/Residential Development Application: Discretionary Development Application: Industrial/Commercial Development Application: Natural Resource Extraction Development Application: As built development or Proceeding without a permit (varies based on application)
$1,000 $100 $250 $500 $1,500 2x fee
Subdivision Application Fee and First Parcel Out Per Lot Created Time Extension Certificate of Compliance Title Search Copy of Land Use Bylaw Copy of Municipal Development Plan Copy of Intermunicipal Development Plan Development Appeal Hearing Development Permit Renewal: 1 year
$500 $200 $100 $100 $15 $30 $15 $15 $250 $50
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Agriculture Services Helping Make Energy Efficiency Achievable
Woodlands County Agriculture Services Bursary
The Government of Alberta, through Growing Forward 2 (GF2) a federal, provincial, territorial initiative, offers two incentive-based programs aimed at helping Alberta farmers and ranchers reduce energy consumption and associated costs.
The Woodlands County Agriculture Services Board wishes to recognize academic achievement and community contributions of local students. Those students wishing to pursue post-secondary education in agricultural or environmental sciences may apply for the Agriculture Services Bursary (one $500 Bursary is awarded annually).
The GF2 On-Farm Energy Management Program (OFEMP) and the GF2 On-Farm Solar Photovoltaic (OFSPV) Program offer farmers and ranchers the opportunity to become energy efficient by sharing the cost to purchase energy efficient or renewable technologies. These initiatives are intended to make energy efficient technology as affordable as current technology, making the environmentally friendly choice also the economically sensible choice. There are many technologies and practices farmers and ranchers can implement on their operations to reduce their energy footprint and protect (and possibly even increase) profit margins. Carbon emission reduction and energy sustainability can both be practiced while also running an economically sustainable farm. Eligible projects of OFEMP include: • Construction projects that install high-efficiency equipment from the program’s Funding List; • Retrofit projects that improve operation energy usage per unit of production; and • Installation of sub-metres to monitor on-farm electricity and/or natural gas usage. Eligible OFSPV systems must be: • Grid-tied, not off-grid; • Approved under Alberta’s Micro-Generation Legislation; • Positioned to optimize sunshine and minimize shading; • Have manufacturer-warranties on: Solar modules, Racking, Inverters and/or Micro-inverters; and • Producing power that is used in the production of a primary commodity. The Government has partnered with three grassroots organizations staffed with Energy Outreach Officers whose role is to promote the OFEMP and the OFSPV Program to Alberta communities. Energy Outreach Officers are available to attend community events, talk about energy efficient technologies, answer questions about the OFEMP and OFSPV Program, and explain the benefits of these programs. The Outreach Officers are also more than happy to meet one-on-one with you to help you find potential energy efficiency solutions for your operation. If you would like more information on these programs and how you can access funding, you can visit www.growingforward.alberta.ca and subscribe for updates, or contact your regional Energy Outreach Officer. Regional Contact Information: Energy Outreach Officer, Kale Scarff Phone: 780.307.7849 Email: email@example.com
Eligibility requirements, bursary information and application deadline information is listed below: • Applicants must be enrolled full-time in an Agricultural or Environmental Science Program at a post-secondary educational institution in Alberta. • Applicants, or their parents, must be residents, or own property, within Woodlands County. •
Applicants must supply a transcript of their marks from the last year of high school attended, together with a letter of acceptance and course of studies planned at a post-secondary institution.
The Woodlands County Agriculture Services Board will select a bursary recipient based upon scholastic achievements, social and community activities and the chosen program of study.
• High school graduates entering the first year of post- secondary studies will be given priority over students in subsequent years’ studies. • Applications and all supporting documentation must be received by the Agriculture Services Manager no later than October 15, 2017. For more information, or to obtain an application form, please contact: Dawn Fortin, Agriculture Services Manager Fort Assiniboine Regional Municipal Office Telephone: 780.584.3866 l Toll-free: 1.866.584.3866. Don’t miss the October 15 application deadline!
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Transfer Site Hours
Project Updates 2017 Infrastructure Project Update
Hours for Anselmo, Doris and Goose Lake Transfer Sites:
Winter Hours l October 31 to February 28 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Cold Mix Overlays:
Tower road, St Martin Subdivision, Trestle Road, TWP 621, Walsh Park Sports Grounds
Cutbanks Road (intersection off West Mountain Road)
TWP 592 Culvert extension repair, Earth works and rip rap, Shoulder Pull RGE RD 123
Line painting, Crack sealing
Projects in Progress
Summer Hours l March 1 to November 1 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Hamlet Water Meters Reminder to keep debris away from the water meters to make them accessible for staff.
Road Safety Tips
Land Fill Road erosion control
Airport Subdivision stage 1, Phase 1 development, Maintenance shop conversion
• Woodlands County wishes to remind residents
Whitecourt Regional Municipal Office:
Build a new maintenance shop for equipment and staff, Administration Building renovations
aware that graders will often reverse without notice – please be sure to remain at least 15 meters behind graders until it is safe to pass.
with the onset of the winter season please watch for staff and equipment.
• When approaching equipment/graders be
• Please drive according to the weather conditions and help us to keep all motorists safe.
Contractor Truck and Equipment Registration for 2018 Woodlands County is accepting registrations for the supply of gravel trucks and/or equipment effective January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Forms are available at our Municipal Office in Whitecourt, or our Regional Office in Fort Assiniboine, or on our Woodlands County website at woodlands.ab.ca.
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Snowplowing of Roadways and Driveways 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. 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 obtain 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. At right is a suggested safe way to clear snow from a driveway:
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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Parks & Recreation
Students learn survival techniques.
E.S. Huestis Demonstration Forest Field trip On May 31, 2017, Whitecourt Grade 4 students, about 200 in total, and their teachers were guided by industry experts and government representatives on forest sustainability and how we all work together to replenish harvested trees. The day is organized through a partnership of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta Environment and Parks, Inside Education, Woodlands County as well as our partners in the lumber industry – Blue Ridge Lumber, Alberta Newsprint Company (ANC) and Millar Western. Students worked through a series of stations which included tours through the demonstration forest to learn about different kinds of trees and animals and making a craft. The “hands-on” education included planting trees, close to 2,000 of them!
Photos from Top: Teams of students use the tools to catch, separate and categorize their finds. Students from Elmer Elson in Mayerthrope learn about water conservation and the value of the eco-systems from Heather Robertson-Gagne, from Alberta Environment and Parks.
Pond Stocking at the Blue Ridge Recreation Area On a chilly May 17, 2017, Grade 4 students from Elmer Elson in Mayerthorpe participated in our annual stocking of the Blue Ridge Recreation area. This event is a partnership with Woodlands County and Alberta Environment and Parks. Students learned about water conservation and the fascinating world of aquatic insects that are found that show how healthy or unhealthy a body of water can be.Just before the students were spilt into teams to catch and catalog insects, they were encouraged to pay attention to what they find and what they don’t find and each team was given nets, buckets, trays and an insect matrix. After the “insect hunt” each team shared their findings and learned how pollution can affect the aquatic life and the ripple effect it has on the eco-system. After gaining all that knowledge the students helped release 2,100 small rainbow trout from the Cold Lake hatchery into the pond.
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Voyageur Brigade Lands in Fort Assiniboine To commemorate the importance of the Athabasca River in the development of Canada as part of our country’s 150th birthday celebrations in 2017, the 2017 Athabasca River Brigade took place June 22 - 28. 15 large canoes, holding 170 paddlers traveled from Jasper to Fort Assiniboine. Their goal was to promote cultural cooperation and water stewardship, while educating paddlers and local citizens about the history of the Voyageur Canoe and Canada’s waterways. With stops in Hinton, Whitecourt and finishing in Fort Assiniboine, the brigade covered 333 kms, braved the elements, experienced rustic camping and shared a true bonding experience. Left to Right: Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, His Honour, Doug Mitchell and Mayor Jim Rennie in front of the largest Wagon Wheel and Pick in Fort Assiniboine, Alberta.
A local steering committee was formed of numerous volunteers and lead by Chairman Quentin Olsen and there was a huge outpouring of local sponsorship. The event was successfully organized by the committee which came together to plan an amazing celebration of the end of the 6 day trek on June 28, 2017. Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta visited Fort Assiniboine to welcome the Brigade and she enjoyed a free barbeque supper along with over 1,000 guests in the Fort Assiniboine arena. Fabulous entertainment followed with Calvin Vollrath and the Child Metis Dancers which followed the children from the Fort Assiniboine School singing.
The Brigade arrives at Woodlands RV and Marina and calls for “permission to land”.
Students from the Fort Assiniboine School sing for her Honour, the Brigaders and guests as they are led by their teacher Colleen Kiselyk, who also participated in the Athabasca Brigade.
Traditional dancing with the Child Metis Dancers and Mrs. Vollrath.
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Parks & Recreation Berry Nice Spray Park Gets a New Playground A new playground was installed at the Berry Nice Spray Park in Blue Ridge in June!
Journey to Bethlehem November 18 & 19 and 25 & 26 Join us in Fort Assiniboine as we travelling back in time to the night Jesus was born. This interactive dramatic performance will guide you on a Journey to Bethlehem. Tours for â€œBethlehemâ€? leave every 8 to 10 minutes from the Catholic Church on November 18 & 19 and November 25 & 26 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Starting place is the Catholic Church (first building on the right as you arrive in town) and ending with refreshments and snacks at the Friendship Centre. This is a Free, exciting, outdoor event that everyone will enjoy! Find us on Facebook at: Journey to Bethlehem 2017 - Fort Assiniboine Bussing will be provided by Woodlands County to and from Fort Assiniboine for this event so please watch our website and Facebook page for location pick-ups and times.
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June was Recreation & Parks Month Woodlands County Council declared June as Recreation and Parks month to encourage our residents to enjoy the recreation sites within the County. There were a few fun activities planned throughout the County during the month of June to inspire families to get outside and come participate. Father’s Day Mini Golf at the Goose Lake Campground, a spray park play date at the Blue Ridge Spray Park and a Drumming Circle and Cookie Craft at the Groat Creek group campground. The Alberta Recreation and Parks Association began this initiative several years ago and it has grown with more and more municipalities declaring June “Recreation and Parks month”. Woodlands County Council believes that providing our residents with quality, well maintained recreation sites to utilize is a priority and they hope programming like this motivates residents take advantage of our beautiful locations mentioned as well as Hard Luck Canyon, Blue Ridge Recreation Area, Schuman Lake and the beautiful riverside park in Fort Assiniboine.
Photos from Top: Mayor Jim Rennie attaches the last leaf in memory of Woodlands County employee Ron Laberge. Family members point out a special leaf.
On June 19, 2017 the Memorial Tree in the Fort Assiniboine Park was unveiled by Woodlands County Council. The tree was established to honour and memorialize residents that have made a significant contribution to Fort Assiniboine and surrounding area. Community residents submitted names of their family and friends to be engraved on metallic leaves which have been placed on the tree. Friends and family of those honoured were present to celebrate the accomplishments of their loved ones. Live music and light refreshments were served as stories and memories were shared of the accomplishments and dedication of the pioneers of this historic community.
Photos from Top: Families enjoying the drumming circle at Groat Creek Campground. Proud maker of the campfire cookie craft.
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Parks & Recreation
Blue Ridge Family Fun Day The 4th annual Family Fun day held out at the Blue Ridge Recreation area was a huge success this summer. This event has grown and attracting families from Woodlands County, Whitecourt and as far as way as Surrey, British Columbia. This yearâ€™s Family Fun Fiesta offered Canoe tours for groups or individuals, Wagon Rides, Wild Fire Obstacle Course, Craft table, Face painting, Drumming circle and the ever popular the Fish, Fur and Scat booth. Always held the 3rd Saturday in July and attendance is FREE so mark your calendars for next year, July 21, 2018! Photos from Top: Drumming with Leah Disney from Happy Tree. Wagon Rides from Cactus Patch Ranch with the popular colts in training. Albert Wildfire crews test the kids skills in the wildfire obstacle course.
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Highlights from the March 7 Meeting Bylaw 490/17 – Draft Land Use Bylaw: Draft Land Use Bylaw 490/17 was given first reading by Council and the Open House and Public Hearing dates set for April 3 commencing at 6 p.m. at the Woodlands County Municipal Office in Whitecourt and on April 10 commencing at 6 p.m. at the Legion Hall in Fort Assiniboine. STARS Air Ambulance: Glenda Farnden, Senior Municipal Relations Liaison for STARS provided council with a presentation on the number of missions flown within Woodlands County, an overview of the medical technology each STARS air ambulance carries including a cost break down for every mission flown as well as where STARS gets most of its funding 2017 Budget: Council approved the 2017 budget. Letter of Support for CCI Wireless: Council approved a letter of support for CCI Wireless for their Connect to Innovate Grant application to upgrade equipment for towers to provide additional broadband capacity. Highlights from the March 28 Meeting Accurate Assessment: Troy Birtles, Ray Fortin and Chris Meadows with Accurate Assessment provided council with an overview on property assessments within Woodlands County including the various changes that have occurred in the last year, which have affected the assessment. Level of Service – Woodlands County Fire Service: Council revised section 12.2 in the Standard Operating Guidelines for the Emergency Fire Response Levee of Service so that the Goose Lake Department would have the option to be equipped with a combination pumper/tank unit.
Highlights from the April 18 Meeting Bylaw 493 – 2017 Mill Rate: Woodlands County Council approved the 2017 Mill Rate Bylaw 493.
A full report regarding the monetary impact to municipal costs will be provided in 2018. However, it is important to note that the provincial carbon levy will be doubling in 2018.”
Barrhead Community Victim Services: Council had a presentation from Barrhead Community Victim Services on the area the organization serves and the services they provide. Council also directed administration to include them in funding discussions in the 2018 budget deliberations and approved $1,000 for 2017.
Highlights from the May 16 Meeting Memorial Tree Unveiling: The Memorial Tree unveiling will take place on Monday, June 19, 2017 from 7 - 9 p.m. in the hamlet of Fort Assiniboine
Wellsprings Family Resource and Crisis Centre: Council had a presentation from Wellsprings Family Resource and Crisis Centre regarding their organization who they serve and their plans to build second stage housing. Broadband Utility Tower Project: Woodlands County is still waiting for further information from Service Alberta and Telus before any additional plans will be completed regarding the broadband utility tower project. Volunteer & Senior Appreciation Policy Update): Council has updated their policy for volunteer and senior appreciation to reflect holding a bi-annual event. 2017 Senior’s Week Event: Council has endorsed Thursday, June 8, 2017 for the 2017 Woodlands County Senior’s Week event. Letter of Support for Air Ambulance Service in Northern Alberta: Council has directed administration to prepare a letter of support for the Town of Peace River and surrounding municipalities in their quest for an emergency meeting with the Minister of Health to discuss Air Ambulance service in Northern Alberta.
Goose Lake Pumper Tenders: Council approved purchasing the WestVac Tanker/Pumper for $357,500, subject to no lower bids coming in after the Tanker/Pumper is advertised on the Alberta Purchasing Connection. Highlights from the June 6 Meeting Bylaw 490/17 – Draft Land Use Bylaw: Council gave 2nd and 3rd reading bylaw 490/17 - Land Use Bylaw. This bylaw is effective immediately and can be viewed at www.woodlands.ab.ca Low Level Bridge Crossing Anselmo Update: Council received a report on the low level bridge crossing in Anselmo and noted that the existing culvert system has a remaining life span of 5 - 8 years. As the government discontinued funding for bridges there is currently no provincial funding available to offset the approximate $1.5 million cost to replace the culvert system to a girder bridge as such the low level bridge will continue to be monitored. 2017 Seasonal Road Maintenance Program: Administration provided council with the 2017 Seasonal Road Maintenance Program which can be viewed at www.woodlands.ab.ca Seniors’ Week: Council declared June 5-11, 2017 as Seniors’ Week in Woodlands County.
Private Property Spraying: Anyone wishing to have their property sprayed can contact Dawn Fortin, Manager Agriculture Services, Fort Assiniboine Office for information on companies in the area that can provide this service.
Community Lunch Box Society Support Letter Request: A letter of support was drafted for the Community Lunch Box Society for their community initiatives program grant application.
Road Bans: Concerns were raised that with the current road bans in place could cause some issues with agricultural producers and that the county give leniency if required.
Highlights from the May 2 Meeting Recreation Master Plan – April 2017 Final Draft: Council endorsed the Recreation Master Plan (April 2017) and The State of Recreation Research Report (December 2016).
SRD Crop Burning Seminars: Council has asked Administration to contact SRD to looking at setting up some information seminars in the Fort Assiniboine area regarding regulations on burning crops.
Correspondence from Alberta Transportation: Council accepted the Alberta Transportation letter addressing highway 32 and 43 intersection, highway 658, Whitecourt hospital and emergency response on provincial highways as information.
Carbon Levy: A notice on the carbon levy and its effect on municipal costs will be included with the Tax Notices – “The introduction of the carbon levy was a contributory factor to the increase in municipal taxes.
Food Bank Information: Administration is looking at holding another “Food Bank Face Off” with the Town of Whitecourt details coming soon.
Recreation & Parks Month: Council proclaimed June Recreation and Parks Month within Woodlands County. Continued on page 16
Woodlands Communicator Fall 2017
Woodlands County Council Members SYLVIA BONNETT Councillor for Anselmo Electoral Division - Division 1 firstname.lastname@example.org 780.786.2298
CHAD MERRIFIELD Councillor for Whitecourt West Electoral Division - Division 2 email@example.com 780.706.2065
RON GOVENLOCK Councillor for Whitecourt Central Electoral Division Division 3 firstname.lastname@example.org 780.778.3343
JIM RENNIE Woodlands County Mayor Councillor for Whitecourt East Electoral Division - Division 4 email@example.com 780.778.0202
DANIEL PRITCHARD Councillor for Blue Ridge Electoral Division - Division 5 firstname.lastname@example.org 780.648.2149
DALE MCQUEEN Councillor for Goose Lake Freeman River Electoral Division - Division 6 email@example.com 780.584.2619
DALE KLUIN Councillor for Fort Assiniboine/ Timeu Electoral Division - Division 7 firstname.lastname@example.org 780.584.2610
www.woodlands.ab.ca l 16
Council Highlights Highlights from the June 20 Meeting Trident Exploration: Trident Exploration gave an update including the restructure/finance, operational safety, environmental stewardship as well as recent hike in thefts that have been taking place at their well sites. All incidents have been filed with the RCMP and they asked Woodlands County to highlight the issues regarding these thefts with staff and residents. Cost Comparison for Dust Control for Surrounding Counties: Council reviewed neighbouring counties to compare costs on dust control rates and approved an increase in dust control from $150 to $200 per 200 meters effective January 1, 2018. Letters of Support: Council approved letters of support for the Blue Ridge Golden Age Club and the Fort Assiniboine Friendship Club for their grant applications. Highlights from the July 4 Meeting Bylaw 497/17 – Pride Valley Area Structure Plan: Council gave 1st reading bylaw 497/17 – Pride Valley Area Structure Plan and scheduled the Open House and Public Hearing to take place on Monday, July 24 commencing at 6 p.m. in Fort Assiniboine at the Legion Hall. Highlights from the July 18 Meeting Flag of Remembrance – Veterans Voices of Canada: Council approved sponsoring three Flags of Remembrance – Veterans Voices of Canada. Luncheon Invite for County of Barrhead No. 11: Council are inviting the Council from the County of Barrhead No. 11 to join them for lunch at the Fort Assiniboine Museum on August 15 to express their thanks for their participation in the Voyageur Brigade.
Continued from page 15
Highlights from the September 6 Meeting Farm Vehicles and Equipment Regulations: Council received information regarding farm vehicles and equipment regulations and asked that the information be provided to the Agricultural Service Board. Drones: With recent concerns over the operation of drones in Woodlands County Council has requested that administration look at how drones are regulated. Highlights from the August 15 Meeting Emergency Rescue Unit: The Fort Assiniboine Volunteer Fire Department proudly displayed their new emergency first responder. Council viewed the new unit while questions were answered by the fire department members present. Fort Assiniboine Voyageur Brigade Committee: Council approved funding to assist the Fort Assiniboine Voyageur Brigade Committee with their June 28, 2017 event. Due to the overwhelming community support and local donations the Committee did not require the funds from Woodlands County and in turn made donations to the Fort Assiniboine Ag. Society and Library. County of Stettler No. 6 Request for Support: Council will be providing written support to the County of Stettler requesting amendments to the MGA and other provincial legislation with respect to outstanding issues of uncollectible school tax and senior housing requisitions which municipalities must collect and remit on behalf of the Provincial Government, as well as to improve our ability to recover unpaid taxes levied against oil and gas operations and the associated machinery, equipment and linear property.
Highlights from the August 1 Meeting
Cell Service: Council has requested administration to provide a map showing the areas with inadequate cell service in Woodlands County. Once completed Council will submit the map to Telus to see if there is anything they can do to improve the cell service for the areas of concern.
Telus Update: Brian Bettis, Telus General Manager, Alberta North Customer Solutions Delivery provided Council with an update on the improvements of wireless coverage for the Woodlands County area and what can also affect bandwidth coverage including possible solutions.
Fire Department Level of Service: Council has directed administration to provide them with options available and the applicable costs with respect to increasing the Level of Service from EMR to EMT for the Fort Assiniboine Volunteer Fire Department.
Waste Oil Handling and Disposal at the Regional Landfill: Council was advised that the Whitecourt Regional Waste Management Authority will be looking at waste oil handling disposal options in the near future.
For more details on these and other Council agenda items, all Council minutes are available on our website at www.woodlands.ab.ca
Telus Update: Council has directed administration to request that Telus provide an update on how the system improvements they were doing may affected the broadband service in Woodlands County.