Starland Seed Cleaning Plant committee hopes to begin construction in spring

Written by Terri Huxley

Coun. Murray Marshall shared plans and a request from the Starland seed cleaning plant committee at Starland County’s regular meeting on Jan. 13.

The Starland Seed Cleaning Plant is a project the committee hopes to see starting by the beginning of April.

“Hopefully, if we get the go-ahead, we are thinking of the end of March/April as soon as the ground is soft enough to scrape the top off,” said Marshall.

“I’m hoping we will have the plant open by this time in January of next year.”

Coun. Marshall asked council if the county would like to give a letter on an expression of interest but council didn’t feel it was necessary.

He also requested the county help by doing some dirt work including stripping, hauling, packing, grading and levelling the ground before anything is built on top to give the space a sturdy foundation as well as provide gravel.

An engineer would be onsite to ensure this process is done properly.

Reeve Steve Wannstrom reminded Marshall the country crew will be working on other projects by that time so it would be difficult to work into their schedule.

Coun. Jackie Watts added, “I think there is a way to help you, I just don’t think with these timelines they are all going to mesh and I don’t want to cancel starting a project somewhere and then we can’t move the crews around.”

She felt securing funding was the most important thing before going ahead with construction.

“That will be the first to make sure everybody is on-side and what kind of dollar figures we are going to be able to collect,” said Marshall.

He mentioned the banks have offered a loan of four million dollars at four per cent interest rate and hopes having at least half covered by public shares would be ideal.

Special Areas, the closest neighbour to the east has not agreed to give financial support at this time as the council has yet to look at the project but could provide 50 per cent for the project like they have with other projects so Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Shirley Bremer said they should keep track of time and fuel if they plan to help.

Fifteen acres are set aside near Delia for the plant.

Marshall added they hope to utilize the space and have at least nine of it filled with trucks, bins and the plant itself.

“As far as benefiting Starland in the area, I think it’s going to be hopefully a foot in the industrial part of making things happen here in the county. If there is something that can coincide with the seed plant it’s going to be beneficial for all of Starland versus just the seed plant.”

Council asked for more information such as soil test results before making a commitment.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

 

Correction: Jan. 25, 2:36 p.m. – Special Areas has not agreed to give financial support at this time as the council has yet to look at the project.

About the author

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.