See great things happening

Dear Editor,
“Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun and one’s feet moving forward.” – Nelson Mandela

This is a quote that speaks to us at this time in our lives. We have not always been able to see the sun but we have always known that it is there.

We are optimistic about the next few years for our county.

We are excited to see industry coming to our region in the form of wind projects and a power line. Not only will it help the county with municipal taxation but it helps all of us to recover from the loss of revenue from other industries such as the power plant and the coal mine.

Being optimistic about new ways to produce power does not mean we are against other industries like oil and gas. It means we are looking forward to new ideas that can compliment what we have developed in the past. To help find a balance and to not put all of our eggs in either basket.

We are looking forward to the many benefits that I see possible for wind projects in our area.
We are happy to see some of our young adults pursuing new careers in the renewable energy sector.

We understand that our local schools as well as the U of A and Lakeland College, (to name a few) have sent their post-secondary classes here to tour the Halkirk 1 Project to learn the latest technology in new power generation.

Our family has personally hosted a young man from southern Alberta who is receiving training on newer wind structures so he may stay current with his career. We have also hosted a university student who wrote a paper on the effects of wind projects on communities for her university degree.

We learned a lot from them and continue to learn as we have gone through the process of the Halkirk 2 project.

We are hopeful to see the spin offs in the supply chain revenue as we are often asked “When is the next project happening? It was sure good for business”

Any business owner would welcome a boost, as COVID is still fresh in our minds.
Not just with our local businesses, such as restaurants, construction, grocery, gas outlets but also for our neighbours in Flagstaff and Stettler county as well.

Any long- time industry brings us new residents to our communities and in the past they have been great assets to our fire departments, organizations and schools. We would welcome them and their families with open arms in the years to come as well.

Any wind project in our county has had sufficient participating land owners that are willing to host structures. It is a great source of income that can bring peace of mind to a producer during a tough drought or crop year.

We know that someday a young family will continue our farming operation and we are thrilled to know that our decisions today, as participants, will help a family to focus on building their farm rather than search for an off- farm income.

Past projects have helped our county to improve and maintain our road structure. Roads are always a large budget item and to have industry assist in that infrastructure is a huge benefit to everyone.

The new CETO line is necessary to ensure that we keep up with secure and reliable power transmission to various parts of our province. Something we often take for granted until, of course, the power goes out.

We have been very fortunate in this area that many companies have contributed thousands and thousands of dollars to our local communities. Great corporate citizens who find value in our people and our events and want to contribute to it.

Having our county and urban councils welcome one industry opens the door to other companies and people to explore what all we have to offer.

In our experience, as a participant, with Capital Power we have found them to very conscientious regarding our community and our farmland.

Not every proposal for their project has met with our approval but we have been able to work out compromises that continue to take place to this day. We’ve been treated with respect and we feel our input has been valuable to the project.

The people we have dealt with have taken the time to listen and educate us and for that we are grateful. Their team of experts continue to communicate with us as needed by either party.
Many landowners have come together to help make this a successful project for each other and for our county.

Moving forward with our faces towards the sun is where we plan to be in many aspects of our lives. We select a path in life by our everyday choices. We see great things happening in the next few years and we are looking forward to it.

Shannon & Doreen Blumhagen
County of Paintearth

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ECA Review