County discusses planting trees along highway 840 near Rosebud

·2 min read

During the May 17 Wheatland County regular council meeting, discussion was introduced regarding potentially having trees planted along Highway 840 near the Rosebud community.

According to Dave Rimes, community services coordinator with Wheatland County, discussions are open with the Rosebud Community Association regarding the logistics of the idea and what the project might look like.

“We have been working with the Rosebud Community Association on a tree planting project … basically it is planting along Highway 840 along the road going into the community of Rosebud and exiting on the North,” said Rimes.

The idea is to plant roughly 65 trees along the stretch of highway. In the long term, the trees would serve to not only beatify the area, but also to help filter some of the potential noise from nearby traffic and recreational vehicular activities.

The Rosebud Community Association has proposed to raise the funds for the tree planting operation so as to take much of the financial burden away from the County.

Financial commitment from the County would potentially consist of approximately $26,000 a year for two years following the tree planting, to ensure the tree’s health and proper establishment. Following that period, maintenance would be minimal until the trees grow large enough to require pruning.

Wheatland County was requested to be on board with the project and apply for a development permit from Alberta Transportation, as the project would only be considered if there was county involvement to maintain the trees.

“Alberta Transportation does not want to assume maintenance of the trees over the long term, so they would not accept a proposal from a community association, it has to be from the county,” said Rimes.

Wheatland County would need to provide approval for the project and may be on the hook to hire staff to maintain the plants for the fist two seasons after planting.

Councillor Rick Laursen moved to approve the Rosebud community tree planting concept plan as presented, including support for short and long term maintenance of the project, and directed administration to apply for an Alberta Transportation Roadside development permit.

Council’s concerns were regarding whether Alberta Transportation would grant a permit for a community organization to work along a highway to plant the trees, and whether the contingency of approximately $26,000 a year for two years would have to be spent on maintenance costs of the trees by the county.

The motion was amended to strike the clause regarding the “short and long term maintenance of the project” and was passed by council without opposition.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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