Town of Lumsden - Explosions on the Hill

·4 min read

Cabbage in the Sewer

Councillor Verne Barber gave his report from the Group 2 Committee Meeting. He reported the wastewater treatment plant would go through its first 24-hour operational test the following week. There were some problems with cabbage from Kissel clogging up the intake. The issue has been resolved as the company is now using a Loraas container, so they no longer running the cabbage through the sewer lines. Barber said this is a good news piece of information, and the company understands they can’t return to the old practices and will continue with the use of Loraas containers. Council will be working on a bylaw for what can go down the sewer lines.

Explosions on the Hill

Councillor Longmoore asked about dynamite explosions occurring at the top of the hill and asked if they have had a response from the RCMP on that. Mayor Matheson, “sorry...about the what at the top of the hill?” CAO Merkosky explained a fellow was renting a house at the top of the hill who had a stockpile of an explosive which is legally obtainable (not dynamite), and a firearm is shot at it to make it explode. She said the RCMP has spoken with the tenant, and they are hopeful he understands that his recreational activities are disruptive, living that close to town.

Did You Know?

During accounts of approval, new Councillor Ashlee Longmoore asked about the bill from the Last Mountain Railway. The amount billed to the town was $592. Councillor Verne Barber explained that the town has to pay for maintenance of the track at every town road that the railway crosses, as the railway company cleans the road at the crossing. Barber said the amount is nothing compared to what the town used to pay CN Rail for three crossings. He said it’s a small, locally-owned railroad, and they charge a standard fee.

A delegation from Fawn Ridge Resident

Scott Armstrong, a resident of Fawn Ridge, presented as a delegation to the Council to bring forward two concerns.

Armstrong presented what he feels are safety concerns because of the lack of lights in Fawn Ridge. Following the completion of the delegation, Council discussed the issue.

When the community was built, the intent was for it to be a dark sky neighbourhood, meaning they didn’t want lights and wanted to have a dark sky. As a result of whether to add lights to the neighbourhood, the town sent out 27 surveys to the area residents. Nine responses indicated that three wanted lights, and six saying they wanted everything to be left as is.

The town plans to put lights at the corner of James and Canning and heading South at Minerva Ridge Road. When discussing where exactly the second location was, a Councillor said it was where the Schandre sign used to be when it blew down that time (Canning and Rosewood). They all knew exactly the place ‘the great sign-blowing down’ event occurred. Council made a motion to investigate the costs for those two lights for budgetary purposes and bring it again to Council.

Armstrong is the second resident who had appeared before Council over a green space they claimed were promised to buyers by the developer. Mayor Matheson said there is currently no application for a subdivision for the lots at issue. He also said the Director of Planning and Development had found some information they didn’t have before, “this is still very much up in the air moving forward.” The Council explained they reached a settlement with the developer where construction of the road would be paid for, and in compensation for that, they would receive two lots West of the last house in the development. This settlement was agreed to by an Arbiter.

Councillor Rhonda added that she was appreciative that Armstrong brought the issues forward and said that the town does not possess those lots. She said her vision was that she saw a much larger park area for the surrounding neighbourhoods. Armstrong asked if it’s an option that when developers are proposing new lots, they would be required to provide a park, noting there are many kids with no place to go except backyards and the street. He has emphasized the safety concerns of kids walking on a well-travelled street in the dark without sidewalks.

Mayor Matheson said there is an expectation that developers provide a green space; however, they can propose money instead. Director of Planning and Development Aimee Bryck explained that it is a negotiation as there are multiple options for a developer to meet a municipal reserve requirement. She explained there is a legal process involved and a public hearing that will occur so that the public will have an opportunity to comment when the time comes.

Meetings of the Council are open to the public. You can attend over Zoom via an electronic device or by telephone by requesting an invitation from the office. The next meeting of Council is March 23 at 6:30 pm.

Jennifer Argue, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Last Mountain Times