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Last updateThu, 14 Oct 2021 10am

Kneehill County closing gap in square foot requirements

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An application for a residence in Kneehill County unveiled a gap in minimum square footage requirements in the county’s Land Use Bylaw (LUB) during the Tuesday, September 21 Committee of the Whole meeting.
Manager of Planning and Development Barb Hazelton brought the discussion forward to council following a request from the August 25 Municipal Planning Commission meeting which triggered a conversation about the gap in requirements.
“The subject application was for a residence that did not meet the minimum square footage for Ag District, but was too large to meet the definition of a tiny home under the current LUB,” Hazelton said during her presentation at the September meeting.
She noted administration will propose draft changes to the LUB in the new year, and stated administration can include changes regarding the housing issue at the same time.
Hazelton’s recommendation was to make the LUB as least intrusive as possible by setting a maximum 1,000 square foot discretionary size for garden suites, keeping the maximum discretionary tiny house size at 500 square feet, and removing the 800 square foot minimum requirement from some county districts including the Agriculture and Manufactured Home districts.
Hazelton noted this would allow all single family dwellings to be permitted, so long as it was over 500 square feet and was not a secondary residence, garden suite, or tiny home.
She added other municipalities in the area have varying square footage requirements-Wheatland County, which borders Kneehill County, has no minimum square footage requirement in its Agriculture District, though Hazelton noted there were several designations within their Eagle Lake/Speargrass development.
Reeve Jerry Wittstock moved for administration to bring the proposed amendments back to council in the new year.


Tom Zariski running for re-election on Drumheller council

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Tom Zariski has lived and worked in the Drumheller Valley for the last 45 years and is running for re-election on the Town of Drumheller Council.
Mr. Zariski retired as principal of Drumheller Composite High School and has maintained his activity within the community through serving on numerous committees and boards, including as President of the Newcastle Community Association, Chair of the Drumheller Seniors Foundation, among others. In 2002, Mr. Zariski was named the Town of Drumheller Citizen of the Year; he also received the Golf Canada Volunteer of the Year in 2017.
“I feel my mission as a Councillor is to work collaboratively with all members of the community--not-for-profit sector, other orders of government, and the private sector to develop the necessary infrastructure, cultural, recreational, and social amenities which are necessary and of benefit to all members of the community, regardless of their age, sex or economic position,” Mr. Zariski says in a press release.
He wants to help facilitate making the Town of Drumheller a high-quality environment where residents will recommend to their friends and families, businesses will prefer for their business and employees, professionals will prefer to work and for their clients, and somewhere employees and residents will be proud of.
He hopes to attract future economic development prospects and seek long-term returns. If elected, he will work towards an inclusive high quality of life for all members of the community, while also making sure there is a quality experience for visitors.
Mr. Zariski adds drought mitigation, making Downtown Drumheller an attraction, and a bicycle master plan for the valley are future projects needed. He says he would also like to see a study on using effluent water on gardens and flowerbeds rather than potable tap water, and to work towards more dog parks, pickleball courts, and baseball diamonds.

Couple hang up mailbags after decades-long career

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For literally decades, Al and Florence Hodgson have been the people hundreds of residents have trusted to receive their mail and packages, but that era is coming to an end.
Together the couple has spent literally decades working for Canada post, but this week Florence is stepping away from her work station, and stepping into retirement.
Al started with Canada Post temporarily more than 45 years ago. He remembers it was January 2, 1975.
“Helen Hislop was a postal clerk at the time, and she got married at Christmas time, and she quit her job. I had my name in at the Manpower Office. I got a phone call right after Christmas and was asked to go down and see the postmaster Gordon McPhee,” explains Al.
He was asked to start work in the new year. He was hired on as casual, and by the spring, he was hired on full-time as a postal clerk.
“I must have done alright in those three months working there,” he recalls.
That began a career that spanned more than three decades.
In around 1989, as their kids grew and were in school, Florence re-entered the workforce, as a contractor for Canada Post, delivering to the new super boxes.
In 2004, the Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers entered their first collective agreement, and she was no longer a contractor but an employee.
“I really enjoyed the job, except the cold winters,” Florence tells the Mail. “I met a lot of people.”
When Al retired on his birthday in 2008, he still kept coming to the post office every day, but now he was working for Florence.
“I have been going to the same building for 46 years and nine months, but I wasn’t actually an employee since 2008,” he said “I went to help my wife Florence with her job.”
“She has what they called 0Y1, 0Y2, and 0Y3 postal codes. Florence did the north side of the river and I did the south side of the river, I was just her helper.
The partnership has worked out well, and Florence says he was a pretty good assistant.
“He even worked on the days that I was sick, or if I just wanted to go shopping with my sister, I wouldn’t have to worry about it,” said Florence.
Mike Brown of the Drumheller Post Office said it has been a pleasure to work with the Hodgsons for all of these years.
As far as retirement, the couple will keep busy with their grandkids and also hope to do some more travelling when things open up.


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