Forestburg supporting local businesses in pandemic through land use bylaw

Written by Terri Huxley

Forestburg council, at their regular meeting on Thurs. April 8, discussed the recent choice of the provincial COVID-19 rules, pulling back to Step 1.

In Step 1, restaurants and taverns are no longer allowed to hold dine-in services, being restricted to patios and outdoor settings as well as takeout.

Council agreed they wanted to do their part and help as much as they could in alleviating hardship for small businesses on a local level.

No motion was made but council, through Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Dwight Dibben who also acts as development officer, directed him to assist business by issuing development permits to allow use of public sidewalks for outdoor spaces through their land use bylaw.

The village and businesses will also work with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Agency to get alcohol served outdoors in these areas to ultimately gain revenue to stay afloat.

Plot layout changing

A request from the Forestburg Cemetery Society has asked council to consider a possible layout change to the Baptist Cemetery.

Council agreed to this request which will have future plots spaced differently from the existing setup.

According to the Cemetery Society, the existing layout consists of a series of head-to-toe plots separated by a six foot walkway.

Each plot on the right would have approx. 2.5’ – 3’ x 5’ column of earth to support a monument.

The proposed change will be to move the left-hand row of plots  ft. into the existing six foot walkway, creating a three foot walkway between each row of plots.

Doing this will provide a more stable column of undisturbed ground to support any monument placed on the right-hand plot.

The column of earth would be approx. 5.5’- 6’ x five feet of undisturbed ground.

This increased size for the column will lessen the potential for column slump and subsequent disturbance of the monument.

The unchanged portion of the illustration will not incur any layout change other than described in the Enhancement Proposal.

The proposed layout change will drive a survey of the cemetery which will likely have to be done once the Enhancement Proposal is complete.

The public cemetery already utilizes this layout.

In May 2020, the Forestburg Public Cemetery agreed to take over the Forestburg Baptist Cemetery.

Matching grant support

Minister of Municipal Affairs Ron McIver sent a letter to the Town of Killam after being approved for a matching grant of $30,000 in support of regional fire services protocol implementation with Flagstaff County, the towns of Daysland, Hardisty, Sedgewick, and the villages of Alliance, Forestburg, Heisler, and Lougheed.

The funding is a cost-sharing partnership between the province and participating municipalities listed.

It is conditional upon the participating municipalities contributing towards the remaining 50 per cent of the project costs, with the province providing the other 50 per cent..

“I appreciate your efforts towards this important collaborative initiative. I wish you every success as we work together to strengthen communities in Alberta,” stated McIver in this letter.

RCMP report

Killam RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. RC Colin Thorne shared his first quarter report through correspondence.

Starting this year, quarterly updates on community-identified policing priorities will be shared through this new policing report to all communities served by the Alberta RCMP.

The report serves to provide a quarterly snapshot of the human resources, financial data and crime statistics for the Killam/Forestburg Detachment.

In the report, it was stated that of the eight established positions, all eight are currently working with none on leave of absence.

One position has two officers assigned to it while all detachment support positions are currently filled.

On average, expenditures within  detachment areas are lower this fiscal year.

Reductions have been realized primarily within extra duty pay and unit operating costs, including travel, fuel and guarding costs.

Surplus funds have allowed for the reallocation of funds to deferred information technology and operational equipment requirements.

In January, Killam had a total criminal code offence increase of two per cent when compared to 2020.

There was an 11 per cent increase in property crime, a 57 per cent decrease in persons crime and a 14 per cent increase in other Criminal Code offences.

February saw a decrease in total Criminal Code offences to the tune of seven per cent, an 11 per cent decrease in property crime, 29 per cent decrease in break and enters and a slight increase in Other Criminal Code offences with four more occurrences.

Sgt. Thorne attended virtually to meet with Flagstaff County council as well as Sedgewick council presenting objectives for their upcoming annual plan, introduced Crime Reduction/Community Engagement Incentive plan seeking county involvement.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.