County activity throughout the summer has remained high.
Work is underway on the partial twining of a section of Country Hills Blvd., between Rocky Ridge Road and 12 Mile Coulee Road. This is a City road that boarders Bearspaw. The Bearspaw residents effected by this change met with me and the County Manager and we successfully convinced the City to change the road design to improve the outcomes for County residents. Good.
Construction is also underway on the twining of south 12 Mile Coulee Road and the widening of 80th Ave (twp road 252). This project is to be done over two years and next year will see the south portion of 12 Mile Coulee Rd. east of Watermarkwidened and the hill slope reduced. Other improvements are also being considered.
I have confirmed recently that the long awaited widening and improvements to the northern portion of Bearspaw Road is still a priority and work continues. The selection of the Contractor and the Contractor’s own scheduling as well as some surveying and access approvals has resulted in some delays, but the focus remains to complete it this year, weather permitting.
The condition of portions of the northern section of 12 mile Coulee Road remains a concern for some and I am working to see if we can get it resurfaced a little sooner than the County’s road plans calls for. Also the safety of the intersection at 12 Mile Coulee Road and the western end of Country Hills Blvd needs to be improved. Thank you to several residents who have brought these items to my attention.
The County recently hired Doug Hafichuk as the Supervisor Capital Infrastructure Projects, Engineering Services. I met with Doug and his staff and provided detail on each of the 15 different Storm water and drainage issues I am aware of in our division. Many of these are not currently a problem, others we are actively working on. Mr. Hafichuk then followed up to visit each of the sites in person, which I am grateful for. This fall will see more progress on storm water solutions.
In July I was successful (thanks to the help of many who sent me their concerns) in getting Council to agree to send an official letter from the Council to the Provincial Ministers and Premier asking for the STAR gravel pit, just east of Rocky Ridge Road in the City, to restrict their operation from 24 hours to no more than 12 hours day. The letter has been sent and I remain hopeful that the impact on Bearspaw residents from this Provincially operated pit can be further mitigated.
For the County rules on gravel pits, the re-worked Aggregate Resource Policy is to be released again for public input. The hope is the final version will be approved sometime before the end of March 2018. I also believe this new version will ensure much better outcomes for Bearspaw residents well into the future.
For over a year, and through the summer, the County has been working on changes to the “Transportation Off-site Levy” (TOL). This is a fee that is charged to offset the County road construction costs related to new development or subdivisions. I felt the fees first proposed were too high ($25,000/ acre) and council supported a rework. County staff have been adjusting the rules and fees to make it more equitable. We still have a way to go in my mind, particularly for the smaller acreage owners looking to subdivide part of their home acreage land. Some amendments will likely be proposed. Council is scheduled to make some decisions on this levy during the September 12 council meeting.
The new Bearspaw Gas/TIM HORTON, after a little pushing, is now finally under construction. I have been in touch with the owner of the Tim Horton Franchise who will be operating out of that station. They are behind schedule and are eager to open as soon as possible. They were the same group that contributed to our Community Heritage Celebration. A great group of folks eager to be part of the community here.
The Glenbow Ranch Area Structure Plan has now been completely passed and approved by the County. All the amendments I brought forward, on behalf of local residents, were approved by Council. Although Calgary and perhaps Cochrane have their own plans for this County land, I hope this made-in-Rocky-View plan, that compliments the Park beautifully, continues to move forward.
During the last few months the County has been running a “Recreation Needs Assessment” for the Rocky View West and the Bearspaw recreation areas. Your volunteer Recreation Board, chaired by Mr. Richard Wadsworth, and the Bearspaw Lifestyle Centre, Chaired by newly elected Mr. Chris Sharkey, will be looking at the results of the survey to help shape existing and new recreation opportunities in Bearspaw. These volunteers boards do an excellent job and I am grateful to be able to serve with them. (BTW … A big Thank You is in order for Bertha Staddon for serving with excellence as the Chair of the Lifestyle Centre Board for several years)
To find out more and to be heard please come out to the Saturday morning COMMUNITY UPDATEon September 16th , 9 am to 11 am at the Bearspaw Lifestyle Centre. I’ll have the coffee on…
Also check out more on mywebsite at www.ericlowther.ca.
Thank you for allowing me to serve,
Eric Lowther, Rocky View Councillor – Bearspaw (Division 8)