Red Deer County News

Posted on: March 8, 2017

Division 5 Town Hall Meeting Responses

Richard Lorenz.jpg

November 28, 2016 with Councillor Richard Lorenz

I would like to start by thanking everyone who joined us on November 28 for the community meeting at the Spruce View Hall. It was a great opportunity to connect with area residents to share information and to listen to concerns. This article provides a summary of matters raised, responses provided during the meeting, as well as additional information that was not readily available that night.

Snowplowing – residents have concerns with snow being plowed into driveways by the graders. In an effort to address these concerns, the County is trialing an ‘end gate’ attachment on one of its graders, an attachment that works well for urban-style plowing. While this attachment is quite expensive, if it is effective, further consideration may be given to having this attachment installed on all graders.

Mountain View Gazette Delivery – residents’ concerns that this paper is no longer distributed to area residents. While Red Deer County has no authority to dictate the newspaper’s business model, I did pass on the residents’ concerns to the newspaper. In the end the publication indicated they weren’t getting enough ad revenue from the area to support their delivery.

Offsite Levies – Road Construction – referred to C&E Trail offsite levy and questioned if offsites would be charged for upgrades to other roads (i.e. Rge Rd 40). Offsite levies are imposed in instances where infrastructure improvements are completed and it is deemed that they are more of a benefit to the local area, from a future development perspective, than for the general tax base as a whole. While upgrading the C&E Trail provides another ban free market road for the traveling public, due to its location and existing area development, the County believes that paving this road will benefit local residents even more as it will create interest in potential future development. Instead of a proposed developer having to pay the costs for paving the entire road, he/she will be paying a portion of the cost.

Once an offsite levy bylaw is adopted, the levy does not become payable until the area landowner plans to either develop or subdivide the lands. If the land remains in its current state, the adjacent landowner will continue to enjoy the benefits of the upgraded infrastructure without incurring any costs.

Speed Limits on Roads – pursuant to the County’s Road Protection and Traffic Control Bylaw, the standard speed on County roads is 80 km/hr. When roads are upgraded to a paved surface, the County’s engineers review the status of the road taking into consideration, among other matters, the road alignment (curves), road width, degree of ditch slopes, the number of residences/accesses on the road, intersections along the road and traffic movements and patterns. Then, in adherence with Transportation Association of Canada standards, the engineers provide a recommendation to Council of the speed limit that should be set on the road. Safety of the travelling public is one of the main considerations when determining speed limits.

2017 Budget – Future Reserves – Red Deer County is in a healthy financial position due to the amount of funds it has in reserves (i.e. savings account). Because of this, there have been many times in the past, as well as currently, that the County has been able to take advantage of the economic times to garner good prices for construction. On January 17, Council awarded the contracts for two 2017 capital projects with the total costs being $2.5 million less than the original estimated costs for the projects. Dependent on Council’s direction, these funds may be returned to reserves.

In addition to roads, the County has a large inventory of bridges and culverts that are reaching the end of their life span. Previously, the province provided a large portion of the funding for bridge and culvert replacement. This funding is no longer available, and, as result, the County is tasked with funding this more than $80 million infrastructure replacement. While balancing the need for infrastructure replacement as well as maintaining a healthy reserve account, the decision has been made to fund replacement of these structures from reserves.

Twp Rd 370 – Rge Rd 30 to West County Boundary – local residents would like this road to be upgraded to a pavement standard. As the local elected representative for this area, I will continue to lobby members of Council to have this road included on the capital road program.

Wall Street (Rge Rd 43) – upgrading this road to a paved status. This intermunicipal road connects to a Clearwater County road that is banned throughout the year. I will continue to push for the paving of this project, as I believe it has great value for our area.

Directional Sign – Gwendale Hall – An application will be forwarded to Alberta Transportation for location of a directional sign.

Operations Fieldwork – some general and specific concerns were raised in relation to the quality of some of the County’s road and roadside maintenance work – roadside mowing, road regravel program, weed spraying and spot spraying, brushing. In addition to County field staff that travel the roads on a daily basis, County residents are the eyes of the community that witness areas that may need attention such as sight lines being restricted by trees and brush, clumps of grass being left on roads or being pushed into the ditches causing drainage concerns, noxious weeds that have not been sprayed, roads requiring gravel or the quality of the gravel is poor. In all of these instances, a call to the County office 403.350.2150 or e-mail to cao@rdcounty.ca providing specifics as to location will see a County worker conduct a site visit to determine what may be required to address the concern. If contact information is provided, normally a call will be made to insure the correct location and concern are being addressed.

Twp Rd 380 – Power Pole – Red Deer County agrees that this pole is not located in the most ideal location. While the County does have the ability to enforce safety in relation to power pole location, it does not have the authority to require the pole to be moved. Discussions are continuing between County and Alta Link representatives regarding safety features for this pole, the intersection and other poles that are located in the area. Red Deer County will also continue to work with all utilities to ensure they are utilizing our road right of way safely. In this instance, the utility proceeded to construct prior to the County having an opportunity to review the details of the construction.

Spruce View Upgrades - Update – at the January 17 Council meeting, the contract was awarded for the paving of the Spruce View Community Hall parking lot.

Range Road 20 signage – Staff has reviewed signage on the road, south of Highway 54. We will be replacing the current signage with more appropriate ones. The “no loitering” sign will be replaced with a “no trespassing sign” for the land adjacent to the road, and the “hill” sign will be changed to a “bump” sign with a 15 km/hr speed warning.

I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to come out and speak with us. I would also like to encourage you to contact me or the office if you have any issues you wish to discuss.

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