Michichi Campground reviewing introduction of seasonal sites

A satellite view of the Michichi Recreation Area campsites. The highlighted yellow boxes as well as Site 4 will be set as seasonal sites for a one-year term as a pilot project. ECA Review/Palliser Regional Municipal Services
Terri Huxley
Written by Terri Huxley

Starland County is diving into possibly offering seasonal sites at the Michichi Recreation Area.

On a first-come-first-serve basis, the county plans to set seven different sites up for seasonal rental on a one-year term to test and see the demand for this option.

Council reviewed the site contract at their regular meeting Wed. Feb. 24, analyzing for any potential issues that may crop up.

This agreement is for the seasonal operating period of May 1 to Oct. 31 for the purpose of establishing a rental of a campsite within the Michichi Campground.

Rates suggested for a full-service lot are priced at $2,000 for the season.

Coun. Jackie Watts noticed a section within the agreement that allows people to dig holes in order to anchor a deck to their dwelling.

She mentioned that people can use cement blocks versus digging a hole to achieve the same result or bring in portable decks so they take it when the visitor leaves.

If more interest is made in the sites, additional sites may be developed.

Sections within states deals with recreational vehicles are to be removal at season’s end unless otherwise approved by the county and late fees for those vehicles left onsite until removal is made.

Coun. Watts was concerned that aesthetic standards should be put in place as a derelict site ‘takes away from the rest of the campground.

Council asked to come back with the changes they requested before moving forward.

Survey results

Starland County recently put out an engagement survey to allow the municipality to get a feel for what residents are wanting now and in the next three-five years.

The survey was available both online and on paper and discussed spending priorities, vision, and levels of satisfaction.

This was the first foray into this type of engagement for the county and the intention was to use it as a test case for whether or not this may be a viable option for the future.

The process included having residents the opportunity to provide their thoughts on potential funding priorities for the county, input on the county’s future economic development strategy and inviting feedback on overall satisfaction regarding services and communications.

Administration and council agreed after review that more background information is needed to ensure residents have a good idea of what is offered.

“My take is we need to do a better job of what we do for our residents; What taxes are paying for,” said Judy Fazekas, the presenter of the results and Starland County financial manager.

Residents were asked to express the relative importance of each funding priority, on a scale of Not Important to Very Important.

Fire protection services were ranked highest (very important) at 85 per cent with the second priority being road maintenance.

Lowest ranked priorities were tied at six per cent between senior supports and animal control in hamlets.

Surveyors were asked to also indicate their level of support for various funding sources and potential economic development on a scale.

Agricultural product processing plants were most supported at 78 per cent while support value-added agribusiness came in at 76 per cent support.

Lowest support went to property tax increases as required at 26 per cent and support of wind turbine farms at 35 per cent support.

There were 346 visitors but only 159 respondents.

Council meeting procedure

Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Matthew Kreke asked council what direction they would like to move towards in terms of council meeting procedure.

He plans to create a draft bylaw but was concerned it would be too formal.

This draft will also address the annual organizational meeting, outline various types of motions, rules for in-camera, councillor attendance, how the reeve conducts themselves and acts as chair and how council interacts with each other while in session.

The draft is meant to solidify practices already done as well as bring in portions out of alignment including the prevention of informal digressions while discussing a topic.

It was agreed to have Assistant CAO Kreke ‘throw the kitchen sink at you first and then make decisions on it’ in the future.

988 Hotline

Battle River Crowfoot MP Damien Kurek is asking municipalities to send letters of support for a federal mental health hotline.

This number (988) is consistent with the United States.

Council passed a motion to support the resolution.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

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.