Residents speak out on CETO Project

Gerald and Donna Fetaz came to council with concerns surrounding the new Central East Transfer Out (CETO) transmission line project.

Both Altalink and ATCO Electric have entered the second round of consultations where everyone that could potentially be affected by the two potential lines is notified with one-on-one meetings.

The official line has yet to be determined as it is still subject to change.

At the meeting held on June 18, Fetaz mentioned that her and ten other resident landowners shared concerns and alternative locations with the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and ATCO regarding the stretch of line proposed within the County of Paintearth.

Twelve letters of concern were also presented at the meeting.

The end of the meeting left everyone feeling confident and relieved that their voices had been heard. County of Paintearth council had directed administration to create a letter outlining various questions and concerns surrounding the project on behalf of themselves and residents.

The outcome was better than expected.

“The meeting has given us some hope and fundamental will to meaningful consultations with resident landowners. We asked ATCO ‘How impactful is it when a county states a concern towards a project?’ The response was ‘Impactful’,” said Donna.

ATCO and AESO mentioned that they are in constant contact with city planners as part of the process, helping with making the best decision.

Fetaz mentioned the Tinchebray Substation at the top of the Paintearth valley and how it is not the safest location as fires could erupt.

The group of residents that gathered felt an additional 13 miles of power line through the centre of the valley could be dangerous for firefighters and endanger homes but noted the fire departments do not enter the valley as it’s too risky and part of protocol not to enter.

Fetaz also mentioned that the county can request changes to the project.

“We have an opportunity to stand together with the county to say the location is a bad one for many reasons,” said Fetaz.

The homes and families at risk in the Paintearth Valley were listed.

“If a fire were approaching any one of these 11 homes, ATCO’s plan is to call the Stettler office. They don’t actually fight fire but they know what to do.”

Fetaz provided some information on the increase in powerline fires, increase in fire expense and taxes.

“The increase in taxes can still be achieved if the county would require ATCO to place substations where accessibility to fight fires is possible.

The Paintearth Valley is not a safe location.

“Let’s put more value on homes and people and less value on increased profit margins,” she said. “We are stronger together. We all want the same thing: health and prosperity.”

Council accepted the presentation as information and agreed to wait until ATCO gets in contact with the county before they move forward.

Strategic planning process adopted

Council reviewed a completed draft of the new strategic planning process with new established guidelines and timelines.

Council agreed to have the document reviewed after the first year.

The goal of the document is to define the council’s goals and articulate major results over their four year term.

For newly elected councillors, this is an important step in understanding what should be prioritized and strived towards.

The strategic plan sets out objectives for each area of county operations.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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