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Committees of Mountain View County council reports outline successes, challenges

Cremona, Sundre committees among those bringing Mountain View County council up to speed on activities

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Council has reviewed and accepted annual reports from committees of council, including from the agricultural service board (ASB).

Reports were presented by the ASB, Cremona & District Recreation Board, Sundre Library Board, municipal planning commission, South McDougal Flats ASP steering committee, subdivision and development appeal board, Strings & Keys Music Education Fund Committee, and the Water Valley/Winchell Lake ASP steering committee.

Made up of county councillors and appointed public members, the ASB advises the county and province on agricultural-related matters.

Chairman Brian Rodger outlined some of the activities the board was involved in over the past 12 months. His comments included the following:

• Farmer’s mental health has been a worrisome topic hightailed in the last couple of years and is a topic worth a lot of discussion especially with the uncertainty in the weather and crop pricing.

• The ALUS program allows for the innovative community-developed and farmer-delivered program that produces, enhances and maintains ecosystem services on agricultural lands. To date the board has approved projects with 55 participants resulting in 375 projects enhancing over 2,250 acres of wetland, riparian, and uplands.

• The ASB is a proud supporter of Alberta Open Farm Days, providing extra support for the host farms along with helping facilitate the production of a video highlighting the innovation and entrepreneurship of each farm.

• Many concerns have been received regarding the increasing demand of ‘green energy’ through solar and wind farms and the impact it is having on the agricultural landscapes with lands being taken away from food production

“The board appreciates the roles that the ag services staff play in keeping the ASB successful,” said Rodgers. “It is a pleasure to continue working with council, the county, and its residents to strengthen the roots of agriculture and help with council’s vision of an engaged rural and agriculture community inspired by the unique and diverse qualities of our people and environment.”

Board member and councillor Dwayne Fulton said there are now programs specifically available for farmers' mental health.

Jen Gunderson, chair, submitted the annual report for the Cremona Recreation Board. 

“We reviewed, discussed and allocated $250,900 to different facilities and organizations within the Cremona and Water Valley areas,” Gunderson said. “These funds will help the organizations to successfully run programs for youth, adults and seniors in our communities. We were able to help facilities offset the rising operational costs for 2023 as well.”

Lynda Lyster submitted the annual report for the Sundre Library Board.

“Our summer programming numbers were very impressive,” said Lyster. “We had 69 children engage in our kids' summer reading challenges, reading for a total of 201 hours.

“Volunteer Appreciation Week was a time to reflect on the amazing volunteers we have at the library and an opportunity to share our sincere thanks and appreciation for all that they do to support our excellent library.”

Chairman Gerald Ingeveld submitted the annual report for the municipal planning commission.

“There are no major areas of concern or challenges for us, although there is still some frustration over communication towers, both in locations and the refusal of companies to engineer them for multiple users as per our conditions,” said Ingeveld.

Greg Campkin submitted the report for the South McDougal Flats area structure plan review committee.

“Significant and considerable progress in bringing the area structure plan up to date by reflecting changes within the community as well as addressing the various updates to regulatory and legislative processes over the past 10 years, since the inception of the area structure plan, has been made,” said Campkin.

Chair Alana Gibson submitted the report for the Mountain View County appeal board.

“The year was a less active year for the SDAB than we have traditionally been seeing. It was again successful in terms of the board’s ability to meet, participate and work collectively,” said Gibson.

Jamie Syer submitted the report for the Strings and Keys Education Fund Committee.

“This year we have six applications to consider. More than one is a prior recipient, and we’re pleased to see their musical progress,” said Syer.

Dawn Lashmar submitted the report for the Water Valley/Winchell Lake area structure plan review.

“Overall, all we are progressing very well as a group and feel that the review is moving forward at a great pace,” said Kashmir. “We are trying to make certain any decisions we make are clear and understood by all members of the group as our biggest challenge we feel will be taking the plan out to the community for support.”

Council accepted the committee reports as information.

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