By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Independent
During the latest County of Stettler council meeting administration admitted that their communication with a ratepayer “fell short” of the level expected.
After some delegations presented to council during the July meeting, administration was charged with investigating the complaints brought forward and prepare a report for the August meeting.
The first report concerned landowner Glen Goertzen.
During the July meeting, Goertzen presented that due to improper drainage and communication from the County, when County staff drained the Red Willow sewage lagoon into the nearby creek, instead of draining the way it was supposed to, the effluent ended up in a field owned by Goertzen.
“We fell short with communicating with the land-owner,” said Andrew Brysiuk, the director of municipal services.
“(Goertzen) flagged some issues back in November. We acknowledge the failure to communicate.”
The path the effluent was supposed to take was previously engineered and constructed in order to direct the effluent to a nearby creek. However, the engineering was “botched,” according to Brysiuk.
“We believed the engineers that (the effluent) was going to go where they said,” said Brysiuk.
According to Chief Administrative Officer Yvette Cassidy, the landowner’s tenant has been compensated for the field damage, and administration is working with Alberta Environment to alter the discharge plan for the Red Willow sewage lagoon.
“I appreciate the fact that when we make a mistake, we own it,” said Coun. James Nibourg
“We’ll work with Mr. Goertzen until we get this right,” said Brysiuk.
Another delegation presented at the July meeting was that of Dallas Prybusy, owner and operator of North Star Trucking, who wanted to discuss road use agreements and the cap levy with the council.
In particular, Prybus requested amending the General Traffic Bylaw of Road Use Agreement Policy to allow haulers to, “Be able to more quickly obtain a road use agreement by forgoing the pre-haul inspection.”
At issue is the fact that it can take up to 72-hours to arrange a road-use agreement, and that customers, “Often give little notice.”
In the administration follow-up to the delegation, they agreed that the council should consider making changes, provided, “The hauler has posted the maximum bond ($50,000),” also noting that in doing so that haulers would be responsible for any pre-existing road damage.
Draft revisions will be made and presented to council at the next committee of the whole meeting.
The second issue Prybus discussed in the July meeting was the required CAP levy reporting. Prybus inquired whether the CAP Levy was being reported by operators and how much has been collected so far.
In the response, administration confirmed operators are reporting and submitting CAP Levy to the County, and to-date around $44,000 has been collected for 2020.
Administration also informed council that two operators are in arrears for the CAP Levy, with one asserting they are exempt from the bylaw.
It was administration’s recommendation that all gravel haulers be audited to establish baseline reporting.
The background and response to all delegations can be found on the home page of the County of Stettler web site.