Doug Griffiths and Heather Thomson of 13 Ways were in Hanna the evening of March 28 where Doug spoke about “Embracing Change”.
CAO Neill told Hanna councillors at their regular meeting on April 9, there were an estimated 100 people in attendance to hear his presentation.
The following day, March 29, Griffiths and Thomson were led on a tour of town so they could gain an understanding of what the community has for services and facilities which will assist them with a marketing plan that Griffiths and his team are working on in conjunction with the Strategic Plan.
The Mayor and CAO along with local members of the Hanna Solar Group attended a couple of meetings recently, one of which was a start-up meeting on March 25 with CWL Energy Management regarding the start-up of the Community Generation Capacity Building Project.
The other was an exploratory meeting with Elemental Power regarding some options that they may be interested in exploring with the Town of Hanna and Special Areas Board regarding the supply and possible operation of a power distributor.
Potential energy from waste facility
The Special Areas Board has asked Hanna Town council for their support in a potential new facility that could grace the area and subsequently create jobs for the area which they readily agreed to.
The Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association (SAEWA) requested final expressions of interest from municipalities that are wanting to host the 50 MW Energy From Waste (EFW) facility.
Special Areas (SA) has identified possible spots and is planning on sending their own letter of interest to the SAEWA. To make their letter stronger, they asked council to join them in the effort by supporting the facility be located in SA.
Direct economic benefits, if the site were to be approved for the area, would include 40 new jobs and spin-off benefits to the surrounding communities.
The project has an estimated price tag of $500 million to construct but the town sees the potential for new economic development opportunities like electrical generation, heat, recyclables and more from this facility.
So far, the SAEWA is looking at three sites, so one of the challenges mentioned was location.
Since SA is not centrally located to where most of the garbage will be generated it could be harmful to their case but on the other hand, Oyen is close to the rail which could help with transportation of material.
“But we do have some advantages on some of the sites that whether it’s an Oyen site where its close to rail, whether it’s closer to the power plant, whether it’s closer to the interconnected in transmission distribution lines so they will look at all of those factors,” said CAO Neill.
“We do potentially have a number of people can operate the plant as well.”