Council OK’s funding for flood plan

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Mountain View County council has authorized the spending of $20,000 for the preparation of the McDougal Flats Flood Evacuation and Emergency Preparedness Plan.

The move came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

The county’s policies and priorities committee recently recommended that council approve the preparation of the plan.

The McDougal Flats area has experienced numerous flood events due to the Red Deer River overflowing its banks, including in 2012 and 2103.

In a briefing note to council, county CAO Tony Martens said the county approached Edmonton-based ERMC with a request to prepare a proposal to develop a specific flood and emergency preparedness plan for the area.

“This plan would be a specific plan for the residents of McDougal Flats that would be directly affected by flood waters as per the May 2014 Flood Hazard Study prepared by Golder Associates for the Province of Alberta,” said Martens.

“The objective of the plan is to prepare the residents for a potential evacuation due to flood (and) supply them with critical information on what to do during a flood, evacuation routes, social services plans, how the county will alert them on potential threats and specific details on recovery after the flood is over.”

The proposal developed by EMRC would see the county “engaging the public and possibly preparing some education strategies to help for retention of the information, such as fridge magnets. Finally, the county and its partners will have a tabletop exercise to familiarize ourselves with the plan and test it,” he said.

GRAVEL PIT WILL BE LISTED FOR SALE

Meanwhile, council has authorized administration to list the former Fallen Timber gravel pit for sale. The move also came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

Operated by the county from 1983 to 1988 the pit is located at SW5-31-5-W5. A total of 16,000 cubic yards of gravel was mined from the site during that time.

“Mountain View County identified the Fallen Timber Pit for potential sale during the review of the county-owned land inventory,” CAO Tony Martens said in a briefing note to council.

“This 15-acre parcel, zoned agricultural district, does not have a county agricultural lease on the lands. Rezoning prior to sale is not required as the zoning reflects the current use and rezoning may be required depending on the proposed future use of the buyer.

“If the lands are to be retained it should be tendered for an agricultural lease, but may not attract much interest due to the small parcel size.”

VISITOR CENTRE FUNDING APPROVED

In other news, council has approved funding for the Carstairs Heritage Centre and related visitor information services. The OK also came during council’s recent regularly scheduled meeting.

In a letter to council, Carstairs and District Historical Society manager-curator Michael Dougherty said the facility sees approximately 2,800 visitors per year.

“Being the southern entry to the county, we are many tourists’ first stop out of the city; as well many locals and campground visitors drop in or phone to discover regional activities and businesses.

“We are well positioned to be an economic development driver in the region.”

He said the annual budget is $72,000, with $10,800 going directly to visitor information services.

“We are asking for assistance with this cost,” he said.

In a briefing note to council, county CAO Tony Martens said: “The centre’s largest operating costs are staffing and administration. Approximately 15 per cent of the annual staff and administration time is spent on visitor information services. Fifteen per cent of the total staffing budget equals $10,800.”

Council approved a $5,000 contribution.

“This plan would be a specific plan for the residents of McDougal Flats that would be directly affected by flood waters.”Tony MartensMountain View County CAO

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Dan Singleton

Dan Singleton is the editor of the Mountain View Gazette who joined the newspaper in 1994. He covers news, municipal politics and community events in Mountain View County. He is also a longtime columnist for other publications of Mountain View Publishing.