Council debates smoking laws

Come September 12 the public is invited to join Stettler County Council during a public hearing to discuss upcoming preparation of the legislation within Stettler County.

The County conducted a survey in which over 600 participants took to determine the direction council should go in and to get a gauge on what the community in and around Stettler believes is the best route to take. Federal and provincial government have required municipalities to amend their bylaws to reflect this incoming legislation.

Municipalities are unable to entirely prohibit cannabis production or sales but may decide to customize certain aspects as to how business is conducted.

Majority, 78 per cent were either neutral or not concerned about the separation distance between cannabis stores while 78 per cent either neutral  or very concerned about the separation distance of cannabis stores to places where youth gather. Nearly 70 per cent of surveyors want cannabis stores separated from places where youth gather by 200 metres or more.

For retail, only 23 per cent were concerned about the location and 25 per cent felt that a farm was an appropriate place to have a store location. Forty-four per cent thought that hamlet commercial areas are appropriate cannabis store location.

Lastly, 58 per cent were either neutral or not concerned about the location of cannabis production facilities.

Cannabis retail sales and production has been added and defined in the list of discretionary uses within Land Use Bylaw 1597-18.

Marijuana can be produced at a certain property but must not be sold at the same location unless the operator and or owner have a separate permit for the intent of sale.

All of these rules from the bylaw are still subject to change as the bylaw has only passed first reading. Council hopes to see many faces at the public hearing on Sept. 12 to make an appearance to voice their concerns or suggestions over the proposed bylaw before nation legalization begins on Oct. 17, 2018.

Botha and Erskine get the blues

The communities of Botha and Erskine safely have an answer when it comes to signage around their homes. Council made the motion to have small blue rectangle shaped signs with numbers representing locations at each residence in the two hamlets all in the name of safety.

Each resident will acquire this blue sign and a steel post which will be placed in the front yard of each home as it is visually easier for emergency personnel to find the home they are needed to attend to.

Residents will, however, have the option of moving their sign or placingit somewhere on their home but must contact the county and fill out an application to change the location of the sign.

From there, an assessor from the county will determine if and where another placement for the sign would be better. All signs are required to be visible from the main road.

Roadside vegetation

The county implemented a program to eradicate troublesome weeds throughout the area approximately four years ago.

Each year, a third of the county is sprayed for noxious weeds to accommodate for budget costs and man power. This year the crew is working on weeds in the south third and have since completed a full cycle.

The Agricultural Service Board recommended the county should allow staff to continue spraying into the middle third of the county up to $58,000 in herbicide and manpower which is money that was left from last year’s budget. This money was not anticipated in the 2018 budget.

Only 51 per cent was covered in the middle third based on weather and timing of growth.

Agricultural Fieldman Quinton Beaumont was told by companies DOW and Bayer that they were still supportive of eradication of noxious weeds at this time despite how late in the year it seems.

The fieldman also said the program was ‘seeing some ground’ after three years but much more work is needed to be done before the game of catch up is over.

A motion was made to stay in the southern third of the county.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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