County of Paintearth

County of Paintearth Highlights from July 21, 2020 meeting

Paintearth Council voted to maintain the $5 per capita donation to STARS

By Kevin J Sabo

For the Advance

The County of Paintearth is reaffirming its commitment to keep STARS flying.

In a motion presented by Deputy Reeve Doreen Blumhagen, the County of Paintearth Council has voted in favour of maintaining the $5 per capita donation to the air-ambulance service.

“They’re moving up to larger machines so they can access Consort,” said Coun. Tyrill Hewitt, speaking in favour of the motion.

“I think it’s really important for our area.”

The $5 per capita donation will make the total contribution to STARS for 2020 around $10,500. STARS generally flies into the County of Paintearth region anywhere from six to a dozen times a year, depending on the calls.

County to sell 1 ½” gravel to Coronation

The County of Paintearth has received a request from the Town of Coronation, who would like to purchase 120 tonnes of 1 ½” gravel from the county at cost.

Not all councillors were on board with the request.

“There are other companies in the county, we would be competing with them,” said Coun. Maurice Wiart.

“We’ve traditionally stayed away from competing with them.”

The 120 tonnes of gravel works out to four or five truckloads.

“We’ve been pretty supportive of municipalities,” said CAO Michael Simpson.

“We haven’t put a lot out to coronation’s way this year.”

In the end, Due to the small amount of gravel being sold, Coun. Wiart put forth the motion to sell the gravel. In a split decision, the motion was ultimately passed.

County of Paintearth guaranteeing loan for Valley Ski-Hill

With erosion at the top of the Valley Ski-hill an ever-present problem, the organization is planning to get the slope repaired this summer, at an estimated cost of $660,000. The fund raising so far has been fantastic, but the hill still finds itself around $80,000 short to do the project. A contractor who specializes in ski hill repair has been booked to do the needed repairs at the hill.

“They are about $88,500 short,” said Todd Pawsey, the County of Paintearth Development Officer.

“They don’t want to lose this opportunity. The work is supposed to start mid-August, ending in September.”

To support the ski hill that rests in the valley North of Castor, council has opted to sign as guarantors on a loan for the outstanding amount, allowing the work to proceed.

“I feel this isn’t something we want to stop. It’s very desirable to keep this hill open,” said Coun. Wiart, in support of the request.

In addition to signing off on a loan for the ski hill, County of Paintearth Administration will be checking with the County of Flagstaff to see if they would be willing to contribute to the project as well.

The County of Paintearth removes Fusarium Graminearum policy.

With the Government of Alberta removing Fusarium Graminearum from the list of Pest Nuisance Control Regulation, the County’s policy mcombatting the fungal disease which can reduce grain crop yields has become obsolete.

The removal of the policy means that the County of Paintearth would no longer check crops for the disease innthe county.

“It doesn’t affect day to day. There is no reason to have this policy,” said Jeff Cosens, the County’s Director of Environmental Services.

“It’s just getting rid of some of the red-tape,” said Reeve Stan Schumeister.

The removal of the policy was passed in a motion made by Coun. Dale Norton.

Surplus equipment

With the purchase of a new Degelman mower earlier in the year, one of the older units owned by the county now finds itself surplus. Due to industrial auctions being impaired at least until the fall, the decision has been made by the county to put the unit up for sale by public tender. If the unit fails to sell privately, then the unit will be taken to a spring-sale at Ritchie Bros.

The County has a policy to replace the machines every three years to maintain warranty and keep repair costs down. According to Cosens, the the repair costs escalate when the machines start getting much older.

“Every three-and-a-half to four years, things start going,” said Cosens, when asked about why the machines are replaced so often.

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