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Last updateTue, 23 Apr 2024 5pm

Land redesignation underway for new landfill in Kneehill

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A Class II landfill, which will handle non-hazardous solid waste materials, is being proposed on over 500 acres of land in Kneehill County. Kneehill County council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 23 regarding this proposal.

 

Waste Connection of Canada is proposing to construct a Class II Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) in Kneehill County. A Class II landfill handles solid waste that is considered non-hazardous in accordance with provincial laws, and specializes in the collecting, transporting, processing and disposing of various types of residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial waste.

At the Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Council Meeting, a Request for Decision was presented to council members by Kneehill’s Manager of Planning and Development Barb Hazelton, to move first reading for Land Use Bylaw 1895 and 1896, amending Bylaw 1808 to Direct Control (DC) land district.

In order to apply for the Redesignation of Lands, the Municipal Government Act requires a public hearing to take place prior to council adopting the new Bylaw. Redesignations of land use are solely about the proposed use for the land, and not a permit to develop.

The IWMF site is proposed to be located Section 2-029-24-W4M, north of Township Road 29-0 and east of Range Road 24-2, on 536.86 acres of land. This said land is mostly designated as Agricultural District, with a portion designated as Local Rural Commercial District. The Redesignation of Land will classify the lands as DC districts.

“We recognize this as the beginning of a fairly lengthy process as far as redesignation is concerned. Even if it’s redesignated, after that it goes into a lot more complicated process,” states Ken King, Reeve of Kneehill County at the meeting.

There is a provincial approval process where acts and regulations must be met for any landfills going through this process. These require specific construction standards, details of the operation and closure of the site, and are required to have a plan for annual groundwater monitoring.

There are many concerns among the residents who will be greatly impacted by the project. Lyle Miller lives next to the proposed site, where he owns and operates a farm with his family. He was informed on Good Friday, through a third party, of the proposed landfill being constructed a half mile to the north of him. It was on Thursday, April 4, that he received a letter from the County confirming it, and that a Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23.

“We’re probably the closest residence to this and there’s been no contact from the County and/or from the landfill company to us personally other than the letter we received in the mail,” states Miller.

Miller, and a handful of his neighbours, have taken it upon themselves to inform others within a five square mile radius of the site about what they can do. “We are informing people on who they should contact and what the process is,” Miller tells the Mail. “They can talk to councillors, talk to the MLA, write letters to the County prior to (April 18) and attend the meeting on (April 23).”

“As far as my opposition on the matter, our land values would be affected negatively. Dealing with the noise, smell, and air quality, it will be damaging to our quality of life,” says Miller about the many concerns from his perspective of living next to the landfill. “Garbage will collect in and around properties. There is the potential for groundwater contamination and predators to our livestock in the area. We are concerned about an increase in coyote and skunk populations, and there is a potential increase for gulls. There is quite a bit happening regarding the Avian Flu in the U.S. right now and it is being transferred over to livestock. It is a probability that it can happen here. Not to mention the impact the increase in gulls will have on our grain bags. They tear holes in them and cause spoilage because moisture gets into them. It will affect the quality of grain and limit how long we can store the bags. It’s a problem with being in agriculture and doing something different.”

The Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, at 10:00 am at the Kneehill County Office in Three Hills.


Dana Yemen appointed DVSS principal for 2024-2025

Dana Yemen

Last week Golden Hills School Division announced the appointment of Dana Yemen to the position of Principal of Drumheller Valley Secondary School commencing the 2024/2025 school year.
Yemen holds a Bachelor of Physical Education Degree from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary, and a Masters of Education in the Field of Educational Leadership from the University of Calgary.
Yemen has served as Vice Principal of DVSS since the 2018-2019 school year.
“We feel her 15 years of teaching experience and her instructional coach experience, as well as being a working member of various committees in Golden Hills, will serve her well in her new administrative role,” stated a release
The division wishes Yemen every success in her new leadership position at Drumheller Valley Secondary School.

Golden Hills flags Greentree School replacement as priority

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Golden Hills School Division has identified a replacement for Greentree School as one of its priorities.
At its March 26 board meeting, Golden Hills trustees discussed capital planning.
Per guidelines from Alberta Education and Alberta Infrastructure, there is a mandate that boards must submit their annual capital planning priorities by April 1.
According to the recommendations, “Capital planning considers the following needs: leases, modular classrooms, modernizations, new schools, and replacement (new) schools. Alberta Education evaluates all requests according to factors such as utilization rates, facility condition, and enrollment patterns in order to establish the Provincial priorities that are eligible for funding approval.”
The board approved the requests for the replacement of Westmount School in Strathmore, Greentree School in Drumheller and Dr. Elliott School in Linden.
It does note on March 1, as part of last year’s budget announcement, Westmount School was approved for funding for planning.
The board also discussed the 2024-2025 provincial budget, which was tabled on February 29.
For the education budget, which Minister of Education Demetrios Nicolaides provided an overview of, there are three areas for investment including enrollment, inflation/ affordability and the education mandate, which includes mental health, learning loss and school infrastructure.
Overall there was a 4.4 percent increase in total education funding. The reserve cap was also changed to six percent.
For Golden Hills this will allow the division to plan long term and provide timely resources for students.
“Once we receive the Funding Manual and our school divisions profile, we will have a better understanding, the specifics of the funding are essential for our budgeting strategies,” noted the presentation.


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