Concerned residents, Robert Frizzell, Blaine Welsch and Bert Hagel came to Forestburg council on Thurs. April 22 asking about solutions to a dust control problem.
With construction taking place for a new subdivision since 2018, residents in the southern part of town near the industrial end have been having issues with massive amounts of dust entering their property constantly.
This has caused continual cleaning inside and outside for many who live there.
In both 2019 and 2020, they came to the administration suggesting solutions to solve this as well as providing prices, phone numbers and so forth but felt it needed to come to council to get the ball rolling for this year.
The frequency of strong winds has made them pay attention, noticing constant dust coming two to three times a week.
One complainant said they built a new deck which they want to enjoy but have to spend a minimum of an hour cleaning before they can use it or the fact of having to keep their houses closed including windows as it can easily come in.
They also mentioned how this dust can be hard on homes, vehicles and even health by breathing this in too much over time.
“I don’t want to endure another year like this… I don’t think I should have to,” said Frizzell.
The trio added they appreciated what public works have tried to do so far but were now wanting a more permanent solution.
They recommended hydroseeding the grass with a special blend of a mulching agent which takes root quickly, stopping the erosion from taking place.
Council and administration agreed this was a true problem, agreeing to speak with Flagstaff County on planting this blend within the next couple of weeks.
Public works will prep the land beforehand.
Demonstration project funding
The Battle River Economic Opportunities Committee (BREOC) has funding available for BREOC community-identified projects that will support their own unique initiatives and enhance private sector development opportunities.
The project is to be a community-driven and supported initiative that returns economic benefit back to the host community.
The supports available are up to $20,000 with a minimum of 10 per cent matching required.
The Flagstaff Region BREOC communities (Flagstaff County, Villages of Forestburg and Heisler) are eligible for a Community Demonstration Project (CDP) that benefits the region (private sector development in all three municipalities).
Following discussions with Forestburg and Heisler where options were discussed, Flagstaff County is submitting its attached application for funding consideration.
Council passed a motion to endorse the Flagstaff County funding application for the Community Demonstration Project application to the Battle River Economic Opportunities Committee (BREOC) for $20,000 to further develop and implement the “Intent to Buy Local” program for food/agriculture supply-chain and product development.
This money will specifically be used, if approved, for market research implementation laid out in Phase Two of a recent study done on the region.
Kristy Jackson, economic development officer at Flagstaff County was in attendance to answer questions.
She mentioned that other projects were brought up like focusing on hidden professionals and broadband internet but both were turned away as it was determined they would be worth more than $20,000 to pursue.
In the summer of last year, the county put on an outdoor farmers market in Sedgewick which was a big hit.
She added that COVID-19 has indirectly highlighted a few good things on markets and local events like markets, and interest across this region – especially around food.
She explained that with the empty shelves everyone experienced last year it has created an appreciation for local food and other necessities.
“It’s a good time to act on that natural interest of the consumers,” said Jackson.
Fire Department disbursement
The Community Enhancement Fund has been collecting donations designated to the Forestburg Fire Department.
Since the fire department is an entity of the Village of Forestburg, the funds of $6,550 have not been disbursed and retained in the bank account.
Administration asked council to allow these funds to be transferred into their bank account to be used to cover expenses regarding the Forestburg Fire Department in 2021.
Council agreed to this, asking to put this money towards hall renovations versus operations.
Street name by students
Council thoroughly enjoyed reading submissions from the Forestburg Elementary School Grade 3-4 class who are currently studying Social Studies.
The class has sent letters to council requesting to rename a street within the village to Duxbury Street.
“These were absolutely hilarious,” said Mayor Blaise Young.
Council recommended that administration explore some options as to street name designs and choose the perfect street to honour this history which will then be brought back for discussion at a future meeting.
Bylaw enforcement officer replaced
In September of 2020, the village retained the services of J.A.G. Security 2018 Inc. to provide bylaw enforcement.
Administration was informed that J.A.G. Security will provide the Village of Forestburg with a new bylaw officer, Riley Repchuk, following the resignation of current bylaw officer, Wayne Nyback.
With a change in personnel, council is required to appoint the new person to this role.
Council appointed Repchuk to become the village’s bylaw officer.