Friday, 6 June 2008

Turtle and More

Council did come up with a land use bylaw regarding the area that could be affected by a potential second slide of Turtle mountain. The bylaw puts the area in direct control of council and allows homes to be rebuilt and repaired. The bylaw also allows for the building of garages, garden sheds and similar structures that do not add to the density of the area. While the bylaw allows residents of the area to make application for a new home to be built (according to zoning in place in November of 2007) it does not allow for subdivision. The bylaw that was finally passed was based on a collaborative effort of affected residents and council.

Pictured is the south peak of Turtle that the AEUB tells us will fall some day. AEUB has sophisticated monitoring equipment on the mountain and tell us they will be able to give us 4 weeks advance notice of a slide, unless such slide is triggered by an earthquake. Fortunately we are not prone to earth quakes here in Crowsnest Pass (another good reason to live in the Pass) so it seems unlikely a quake will trigger a second slide of this mountain.

It has been awhile since I have posted anything here so I will report belatedly on few happenings of the past couple of months. Council did finally pass a budget late in April, including the Crowsnest Centre's budget request, and set a mil rate of just below 8 with an eleven percent tax increase. While the centre's budget passed the majority of council is still pursuing the closure of the facility. As a result the people started a petition requesting a plebiscite on a bylaw that would ensure the centre be used for the provision of municipal services and an educational facility. The petition has acquired the signatures needed and administration is in the process of verifying signatures. The petition will likely be presented to council at our next regular meeting.
Council does not appear to be wholly supportive of the idea of the transfer of development credits but seems to support the idea of using money coming from the development of potentially obtainable land from ASRD to protect land that is significantly more important for wildlife habitat.

Mayor John Irwin, our CAO Gord Lundy, and I attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention held in Quebec City this year. Much of the talk and plenary sessions this year revolved around funding for infrastructure, the infrastructure deficit of 123 billion dollars and who should best fund the cost of upgrading and repairs. We heard good speeches regarding this issue from Jack Layton and Stephane Dion. Unfortunately the Prime Minister did not attend this year's FCM, sending instead his minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to speak for his party. Jack Layton and Dion both did a good job of handling questions from the assembled municipal leaders but the minister responsible for infrastructure, Lawrence Cannon, refused to answer questions from the floor. Of course one of the benefits of attending these conventions is the opportunity to get some one on one time with people with influence as is pictured here. John putting our communities interests forward to the Honourable Ray Danyluk, Alberta's Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Finally those of you who watch blogs about municipal interests may recognize this hard working councillor from Grande Prairie discussing municipal problems with a colleague as he is waiting to hear Stephan Dion speak.

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