Hanna approves 17 properties for public auction

Written by Terri Huxley

Town of Hanna council approved a motion that in accordance with the Tax Recovery process as set out in the Municipal Government Act, a Public Auction be set for Thurs. Nov. 12.

Plenty of lots along 1st and 2nd Avenue east, as well as three near golf course crescent, were found on the list. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Niell explained that even though this was the case for the 1st and 2nd Ave. listings, in actuality there are only seven buildings on those lots, the rest remain empty.

The Municipal Government Act provides municipalities with the authority to enforce payment of legally levied taxes which are in arrears through the Tax Recovery process.

Twenty one properties were placed on the Tax Recovery Arrears List in March of 2019.

There are 17 properties that were placed on the list which are still in arrears and the property owners have not signed an agreement to arrange payment.

Solar panel memorandum
Council authorized the CAO to enter into a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Town of Hanna, PACE Canada L.P. and Prairie Mines & Royalty ULC which will establish the framework of the relationship of the three parties to develop a solar photovoltaic generating facility within the lands of the Sheerness Coal Mine, to generate and sell electricity into the Alberta Integrated Electrical System.

The Town of Hanna submitted an application to the Community Generation Capacity Building (CGCB) Program in March 2019 and were successful in being awarded $265,689 in funding towards the development of a renewable resource inventory for the Town of Hanna.

One of the early potential sites that was a catalyst for the Town of Hanna/Special Areas Board/CWL Energy partnership was a site located at the Sheerness Coal Mine on lands owned by Prairie Lands Inc.

As a result of the potential of this site, CWL and Westmoreland approached the Town of Hanna and the Special Areas Board on the viability of this site and the potential for funding through the Community Generation Capacity Building Program to do the necessary technical studies like economic feasibility, environmental impacts, legal requirements, etc.

This project was the driving force for the CGCB Program application.

To date, this is the priority renewable energy site that has seen a majority of the necessary background work completed to have a fully permitted project
Ground work studies include feasibility assessments, land use agreements, financial assessments, stakeholder engagement, environmental assessments, wildlife studies, drainage studies, hydrological studies, glint and glare studies.

The original intention in March of 2019 was to have a fully permitted project in which the Town of Hanna could access funding through the Community Solar Program to be launched in the fall of 2019 through the Office of Climate Change.

With the change in Provincial government in May this funding program was eliminated.

Administration has been working with CWL Energy Management Ltd. and Prairie Lands Inc. representatives since March of 2019 and at the July 2019 council meeting a resolution was approved by council that authorized the Chief Administrative Officer to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the other two parties.

A revised MOU was presented because of changes brought forward by Prairie Mines & Royalty (Prairie Lands Inc.).

The MOU is very similar to the document approved in 2019 with some housekeeping changes, one of which is the change of CWL Energy Management Ltd. to PACE Canada L.P. and Prairie Lands Inc. to Prairie Mines & Royalty ULC.

The MOU primarily outlines the terms and conditions of the relationship on this project, together with the willingness of all parties to work towards a formal agreement on a renewable development project.

If all parties are unable to enter into a formal agreement satisfactory to everyone within 12 months of the execution of the agreement, the MOU becomes null and void.

In addition, this MOU allows for the Town of Hanna to terminate the MOU with 60 days written notice to both parties in the event that funding, suitable counterparties or feasible project development will not be available for the project.

Gun support letter
Just like the Town of Coronation who also approved supporting the same letter at their meeting earlier in the week, Hanna council passed a motion to send a letter to the federal government sharing their concerns and supporting a letter written by Cold Lake council.

The City of Cold Lake has sent this letter across Western Canada to show the federal government municipalities are not comfortable with the recently passed criminal code amendment and instead focus on support programs on ending gun-related violence.

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.