Wild boars by-law issue

Paintearth County council will take another look at the wording for “wild boars” before passing the amended Land Use By-law.
Council heard at their May 2 regular council meeting that the addition to the amended Land Use By-law prohibits wild boars in the county, however Chad Weber’s  farming occupation is cross breeding domestic sows with wild boars.
Council was unaware of this farming operation.
Weber has a market and has recently purchased another barn to expand his operation to 400 sows.
“Alberta Agriculture are the ones with the fencing  standards,” said Agriculture Fieldman, Jeff Cosens who was in attendance at the meeting, will meet with Weber over regulations put in by Alberta Agriculture as far as fencing requirements and council agreed to relook at the wording in the by-law.
“Containment Standards have to be done by the end of next year, the fence has to be in, there’s no if, ands or buts,” said Cosens.
According to Weber, as the by-law stands now, if approved, he would not be able to sell his business nor transfer it to his family if he was to get hurt or retire.
The ruling was instigated because several provinces were running into troubles with wild boars on the loose due to the unsuccessful sport of releasing them for hunting.
“Really glad you came in,” said Coun. Rocky Dalmar, “we wouldn’t have known about it [your farming operation] otherwise.”

Landfill update
Waste Connections of Canada Inc., John Rush and Dan Rochette attended the county council meeting to update council on the merger between two companies that involved a name change from Progressive Waste Management.
Rush also noted the efforts put into controlling the sea gulls saying that they use several different tactics to keep them under control which includes bangers and falcons and hawks.
“We are talking to the government for a shooting permit,” said Rush. “The bangers, they get use to it. It’s not just one thing you do. The more things we can do, switch them up, the better.”
Odour supression is accomplished by covering up the garbage as soon as possible with dirt, and chemical spraying.
Rochette noted that the company spends approximately $50,000 monthly locally on fuel, oil, gravel, tires, etc. as well as support for local groups and on average $90,000 annually for the Community Grant Fund that they participate in along with the Paintearth Regional Waste Management body.

Council motioned to purchase two light duty trucks from Stettler Dodge for $43,022 each, the lowest tender received, to replace a 12 and a 13 year old truck.
The lowest tender of $31,361 from Tom Cat Sales & Rentals was the tender accepted for a grader-mounted packer to help extend the longevity of the MG 30 roads three to four weeks longer between blading before it starts to deteriorate.
Flagstaff County has had great success with seven graders with the packer mounted and are purchasing two more, said Public Works Supervisor, Bryce Cooke.
Council motioned to purchase a rock rake from Cervus Equipment for $23,644.71, the lowest of four quotes, for cleaning up three to four gravel pits in the next two to three years, said Cooke.
This would eliminate the large amount of small rocks resurfacing after the topsoil has settled over a season or two.
Previously public works had rented one but it seemed to be in the shop most of the time getting fixed.
Cooke also asked  and received approval, if needed, to hire one or two gravel trucks and to approve an additional 50,000 tonne of gravel due to the poor conditions of the roads caused by a prolonged wet spring.
“Look at other solutions too,” said Coun. Rocky Dalmar, including MG30, calcium, reshaping, rebuilding and stabilizing the base on some of the roads.
Council also approved the signing of a 3-year contract for 30,000 tonnes of gravel at $11.78/tonne in a pit only four miles from the border in the northeast corner of the county.
“Cheapest we’ve had gravel for in a long time,” said one councillor.
Approval was given to purchase a Polaris UTV for $18,114 from Heartland Marine & Motorsports in Erskine for the purpose of spraying roadsides for weed control.
Council also agreed on purchasing a sprayer attachment, a Pro-Tec 325L UTV sprayer from Univar at $7,304.
All approved expenditures are coming from restricted surplus and some from the MSI Grant.

Budget/Mill Rate
The mill rate will stay the same as last year however county taxpayers will see a slight increase in both the Castor & District Housing Authority (Foundation) tax and the Alberta School taxes.
Total assessed property in the county has decreased from $1,168,520,290 to $1,112,352,100.
Estimated municipal revenues from all sources other than taxation is estimated at $2,938,578 leaving a balance of $13,598,733 to be raised by taxes in 2017.
The residental total taxes levied will be $14,123,832 with the budgeted total expenditures for 2017 at $13,598,733.
The budgeted draw from restricted surplus is $1,059,572, down 689,517 from last year.
The expenses are budgeted at $15,407,569 less the loss on the sale of the Jaw Crusher of $315,000; depreciation of $2,270,075 and bank charges of $75,000 leving a final budget for operating costs at $12,747,494.
The budget reflects a 2.4 per cent cost of living increase for all staff, union and non-union.
Budgeted operating revenue came in at $837,850.
Capital expenditures are set at $3,160,300 with grants offsetting $1,506,928 and proceeds of sale of capital assets at $593,800 for a deficit of $$2,100,728.
Drawn from restricted surplus is anticipated to be $1,059,572.

PEPS update
Coun. Diane Elliott reported on a joint cost share powerline project with Paintearth Economic Partnership Society (PEPS) and League Projects to bury the power line at the entrance to their property off Highway 12 removing the necessity for three power poles for a cost of $100,000 with PEPS contributing half, $50,000.

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