County to enlist synergy groups to produce landowner pamphlet
A pamphlet to inform property owners of their options and resources during land deals should be jointly produced by the two stakeholder synergy groups active in Mountain View County, council agreed at last week’s regular meeting.
The idea of a landowner information pamphlet came up after a recent presentation by a member of the Alberta Surface Rights Group.
But rather than the county producing the pamphlet, Reeve Bruce Beattie suggested last Wednesday, the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group (SPOG) could be asked to take it on.
“Why not see if SPOG can do this?” Beattie said. “That to me is the organization that should be providing that information. I suggest we take it to them – SPOG. It’s in their mandate to provide for that and it would seem the logical place.”
To include the east side of the county, the Central Mountainview Action Group (CMAG) will be asked to partner with SPOG on the pamphlet.
Div. 7 Coun. Al Kemmere recommended the move.
“We do have a county rep at CMAG and in true synergy we should ask that CMAG and SPOG undertake this as a joint project,” Kemmere said.
Div. 6 Coun. Paddy Munro said he was reluctant to put the project entirely in the hands of the two synergy groups.
“We know who they work for,” he said.
But while Munro initially wanted to include the surface rights group in the request, Beattie responded that Munro could bring that group’s input forward at a SPOG board of directors meeting.
“To me it’s a test to see what kind of a performance we can get from SPOG and CMAG,” Beattie (Div. 4) said.
Allaying concerns expressed by Div. 2 Coun. Patricia McKean about the project’s timeline, Beattie said if the two groups take too long to produce results “then we’d look at other options.”
During the discussion, Munro said the pamphlet is needed because landowners in the county have nowhere to go to obtain information on how to best protect their interests.
Div. 1 Coun. Kevin Good agreed.
“We have skilled negotiating land men operating on a one-off basis,” Good said. “By the time you learn it’s too late.”
Beattie, however, said his experience was quite different.
“I’ve had three pipelines and a gas well at my place and all the land men I’ve dealt with I found very good to deal with.”
With a pamphlet of this sort, Div. 7 Coun. Al Kemmere cautioned, “we don’t want to steer people in a direction that may not help them out. It might not be a question of liability,” he said, “but of credibility.”
The county’s directors for SPOG and CMAG will take the request forward to their respective boards.