Suncor eyes wind project near Castor

The Craig Lake Wind Power Project is proposed for an area directly east of Castor

By Kevin J. Sabo For the Advance

Another wind energy project could be bound for Paintearth County.

The County of Paintearth council received a virtual delegation from Suncor during the Nov. 10th council meeting, to discuss the project. The Craig Lake Wind Power Project is proposed for an area directly east of Castor, running approximately from Hwy. 36 to Coronation, in between Hwy. 12 and Hwy 599.

“We need to make sure everything is out there and open,” said County Reeve Stan Schulmeister, discussing the need for transparency with the project.

“I think as a council we support any kind of development.”

The project is still in its very early stages, with no confirmation yet as to how many towers or what megawatt yield the field will be.

Before any concrete plans about the project are made, Suncor will be placing a meteorological tower in the area before the end of the year, then in 2021, they will begin some preliminary environmental work to further ascertain the viability of the project.

The proposed project has not yet gone for approval through the Alberta Utilities Commission, the provincial body responsible for approving this sort of development, and any final decisions on the project are years away.

Another item discussed during the Nov. 10th meeting of council involves a property that has gone up for tax sale.

The 1.9-acre property, originally owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway, was sold to a Regina-based company in 1940, however the transaction was never recorded with the County. It was discovered in 2015 that the property had changed hands, and the County set about getting in touch with the property owners, however the correspondence has been returned with a note saying that the company no longer exists.

Previous County records dating from the 1940s to 1960s show that other property previously owned by the same Regina-based company was put up for tax sale and that no taxes were ever collected since the purchase from Canadian Pacific Railway.

Another issue with the land is that the County of Paintearth does not know precisely where the boundaries lie, as the description says, “All that portion of the north east quarter not covered by any of the waters of Sullivan lake as shown on a plan of survey of the said township dated 19th May 1905 containing .769 hectares (1.90 acres).”

What County of Paintearth administration does know about the property is that there is limited access to it, through an unmaintained, gated trail ending around a mile and a half north of the land.

Currently, there is $138.61 owed in tax on the property, with an assessed value of $570.

Instead of moving forward with a tax sale at this time, in a motion made by Deputy Reeve Doreen Blumhagen, the County of Paintearth will write off outstanding taxes and not move forward with disposition of the land.

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