Notes from Council, August 31, 2023

Dear Residents & Ratepayers,

August had the two regular meetings of Council for me and no meetings for any of the other boards and committees to which I am appointed. I volunteer to sit on the District 20 (Champion) Fire Association Board—a great group of community-minded individuals—and we will be having a meeting in the near future. One item on the next agenda for this group is the upcoming Fall dinner and fundraiser to benefit our local fire protection service. After a few years hiatus, last year was a tremendous success and the association is looking to have another enjoyable community event. The hall is booked for November 4th, so please mark it on your calendars, spread the word, and get your tickets once they are available.

The Lomond Community suffered a terrible loss this summer with the passing of their local Fire Chief, Brayden Shepherd. A Celebration of Life was held in Lomond on August 26th. Given his local roots, as well as the integration of local fire protection into a regional organization, the passing of Chief Shepherd has been felt across the County. My sincere condolences to the Shepherd family and Brayden’s friends as they come to terms with his passing.

County Council received an update at its August 2nd meeting from Evolve Surface Strategies on the erosion mitigation project for McGregor Lake Reservoir that the province is undertaking. This has been a very significant project, taking advantage of the lower water levels in the reservoir to begin reconstructing the east shoreline in areas prone to erosion. The over-sized rock has been hauled from Exshaw and the area southwest of Milo is completed. Further works are also planned for the areas known as “Monner Estates” and “Sunset Marks.” Separately, lobbying efforts continue from Vulcan County and the Village of Milo to improve the boat launch at the north end of the reservoir, as well as encourage future development of a marina.

(Near Milo, picture provided by Evolve Surface Strategies.)

Please stay tuned for a public hearing regarding the proposed tarping bylaw that is under consideration. Survey responses yielded an interesting divide on the questions answered while the comments seemed strongly opposed. While some members of council received a lot of phone calls on this matter, I did not receive any input from effected parties, be they in my division or not, despite there being the three highways of 529, 534, and 542. I have posted the bylaw to my website, so please let me know what you think.

Best wishes to area farmers with their 2023 harvest. Given the drought conditions and grasshoppers this has been a very tough year for many, prompting County Council to declare an agricultural disaster. This move has not gone unnoticed by the province and other rural municipalities. We will see how necessary economic supports for agriculture can be reinforced as producers move forward and plan for future years.


Christopher Northcott

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