County Council

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Fire ban

Weeks after they were first introduced the county’s bans on fires and ATV use, remain in effect.

The county first introduced the bans in early May right before a large fire broke out in the northeast corner of the county between Redwater and Gibbons. That fire eventually spread across 21 square kilometres and consumed three homes in its path as well as a number of outbuildings.

Fire crews used helicopters and heavy equipment to battle the blaze and remained at the fire for almost a week before bringing it under control. They remained on scene after the evacuation orders were lifted putting out hotspots for a few more weeks.

Fire Chief Bart Clark said the fire is essentially out, but they have been called back several times to put out new hotspots. Clark said the county is still very dry and keeping the bans in place is helping firefighters.

“It has drastically reduced our fire calls, so it is working.”

Clark said the county is even drier than it was when the ban first came in.

“Farmers and firefighters are both praying for moisture.”

Hot on the heels of a recent expansion plan for the Sturgeon Valley, another development proposal was introduced to the public last week.

County residents had their first chance to take a look at the Highland Ridge outline plan at an open house held last week at the Sturgeon Valley golf course.

The proposal would place 25 country residential lots on 13 hectares on the north bank of the Sturgeon River. The new subdivision would be located at Range Road 250 just south of Trestle Ridge and east of Riverstone Pointe.

A public open house is a new part of the process that county councillors began to encourage developers to undertake before submitting a formal plan.

Mayor Don Rigney said he welcomes any housing development as a good economic sign, but he will remain neutral on this project until the process works through.

“We have a process we have to follow so we are waiting for it to come forward. We are always interested to see interest in Sturgeon County.”

The latest proposal comes just months after the public gave input on a proposed 90-lot subdivision called Quail Ridge. Plans for Quail Ridge have passed second reading at county council and now await the green light from the Capital Region Board.

County councillors gave organizers of the Boonstock full permission to rock on this summer at last week’s council meeting.

Organizers of the festival, now in its third year, came to county council for an assemblage permit, a needed piece of the puzzle for the organizers to obtain their liquor licence in advance of the event.

Coun. Karen Shaw told organizer Colin Kobza she was initially hesitant about the massive event before the first year, but she credited him for a well-run festival.

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