Haunted Lakes campground gets county support

Lacombe county

Haunted Lakes Golf club near Alix will get help from Lacombe County for its upgrade and maintenance project.

Lacombe County, at its regular meeting March 24, unanimously voted in favour of funding 50 per cent of the costs, to a maximum of $2,725.

In a report to county council, Max Soltermann and Brain Peterson, said the golf course has about $5,450 in repairs to the existing electrical supply in four campground sites, camp kitchen and installation of a security gate.

Lacombe County Coun. Rod McDermand said he was in favour of helping the club.

“The campground is a revenue source for the golf course and it’s well used.”

Likewise, Coun. Barb Shepherd also supported the expenditure.

“It’s a county asset.”

Coun. Dana Kriel said volunteers do all the work so she didn’t see any problem helping fund the repairs and maintenance.

Coun. McDermand also suggested the county look into expanding the facility and the county possibly partnering with them.

“It’s full all summer.”

They entered an agreement with Lacombe County in 2011 to lease the campground property, which consists of 22.5 acres, for 25 years. Before this the county leased the land to the Village of Alix, who sub-leased the land to the club.

But the provincial government required the village give assurances that the area would be open to the public and used for public purposes and the village would assume responsibility of the operation of the campground if the Haunted Lakes Golf Club dissolved.  So the county entered an agreement with the club directly.

The county owns other properties and leases them to groups including Burbank and Wilson’s Beach Campgrounds, which are both leased to Lacombe Fish and Game Association.  The county also owns the Mirror Campground and leases it to the Mirror Skating Rink Society; and they own the Tees Pond campground.

Confirms importance of agriculture
Agriculture is important in Lacombe County and the county council is developing a framework to protect agriculture in the future.

“Agriculture has a long history in Lacombe,” Kristina Dembinski of Sagewood Communications told county council at its regular meeting March 24.

Lacombe County has 1,045 farms according to the 2011 Census and is one of the top 10 Alberta municipalities with the most farms.

Sagewood Communications was commissioned by Lacombe County to draft a Lacombe County Strategic Agriculture Framework. They started the process in 2012. This was in response to considerable growth and change in Lacombe County and the county’s desire to ensure agriculture continues to be an integral part of and contributor to the fabric of Lacombe County’s economic, social and environmental existence into the future.

Some of the many recommendations in the framework include new development should minimize the amount of prime land taken out of agricultural production, establishing agriculture protection districts with restrictions on subdividing of agricultural land in these districts and concentrate development zones on marginal farmland areas.

In addition, it suggests upgrades to infrastructure to deal with larger agricultural equipment and increased traffic volumes. Some of the upgrades include wider, stronger bridges, higher capacity roads and larger culverts.

Coun. Brenda Knight said the document “supports the vision for agriculture in Lacombe County and it will be well received” by county residents.

Coun. Keth Stephenson said he likes how the framework is coming together.

Likewise, Coun. Barb Shepherd praised the document adding that the county needs to focus on agriculture and remain a strong agricultural county.

County council received the framework document as information and administration will bring back a final document for council to endorse.

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