June 21st, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 25
Municipal Council – Governance & Priorities June 13
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
Oldman Watershed Council

Shannon Frank, executive director at the Oldman Watershed, presented Council with an update on the organization’s projects.

The Oldman is one of 11 watershed councils in Alberta, set up by the provincial government in 2004 because of concerns about water shortages. The councils were set up to help deal with water management challenges and inspire people to work together to solve problems.

Headwaters action plan

Education and outreach in the backcountry are a large focus of the Oldman Watershed. Frank expanded on several projects currently in progress.

For the “Love your headwaters” campaign, recreationalists take a photo with their pledge to protect and preserve the backcountry. The photo is then shared on social media to create awareness and inspire others to protect and preserve the backcountry.

Partnering with Cows and Fish, the action plan also involves restoring streambanks by replanting willows. Spray Lakes and the Quad Squad have also been helping out.
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Southern Alberta Water Charter 2017

The Oldman Watershed Council’s latest initiative has been the Southern Alberta Water Charter 2017, a project that began in May and will run until the September long weekend.

Frank requested Council’s participation in the charter.

“It’s a demonstration of your belief in maintaining the water supply,” she said. “A lot of groups want to do something and care about the environment, but they don’t know how to demonstrate that. Secondly, it’s a way to showcase things that you’re already doing that are great initiatives. Thirdly, it’s important that we all do our part for the watershed because it’s our water supply.”

By signing the charter, it also opens the door for grants opportunities for the municipality.

The water charter is a pledge campaign where families, businesses and municipalities sign a voluntary document saying that they “commit to at least one new project and/or program in 2017, for the betterment of people, animals and ecosystems in the Oldman watershed.”

Film Project

Frank played the “Water You Eating” clip for Council, the latest of 10 completed videos to help educate people about the different aspects of water management.

The Watershed Council is sharing the videos for educational purposes and will be developing lesson plans that teachers can use.
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Crowsnest Heritage Initiative

Fred Bradley, chair of the Crowsnest Heritage Initiative (CHI), presented Council with an update and overview of on organization’s programs and events.

The CHI is a community group interested in preserving the heritage of Crowsnest Pass. According to Bradley, the principal goals are to preserve important heritage resources in the Pass, increase community involvement and awareness around these resources, and increase tourism and business revenue using these historical resources.

A master plan with 17 projects was developed by The Crowsnest Heritage Initiative in 2002. Of those projects, the great majority have been completed, such as developing the Historical Driving and Walking Tours, building the Hillcrest Cemetery & Mine Disaster Memorial and opening the Alberta Provincial Police Barracks at the Crowsnest Museum. Several projects still require a lot of work, such as the machinery acquisition from the Bellevue Mine, while other are threatened, like the stabilization of the Crowsnest Lake Dance Hall.

The CHI is in the process of reviewing and redoing the 2002 Master Plan, setting new goals, and creating a new Cultural Heritage Master Plan that will go further in identifying and protecting provincial and municipal historic resources than the previous plan.

The goal is to increase awareness of the natural, cultural and historic heritage of Crowsnest Pass to get people off the highway and discover the area.

Bradley also provided Council with an update on Canada Day celebrations and the opening of the APP Barracks. A crowd funding campaign is ongoing to raise funds that will go towards financing the seven exhibit rooms. More information and the opportunity to donate can be found on http://www.appbarracks.com/lastrun.
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Wifi Project Plan Update

Chief Administrative Officer Lorrie O’Brien presented Council with an update on the project to increase access to Broadband internet and Wi-Fi in public buildings.

“At a Parks and Recreation Authority Board meeting, it was brought to the attention of Administration that Wi-Fi access in some of our public buildings is not up to today’s expected standards and is resulting in a poor visitor and resident experience,” noted the Governance & Priorities package.

O’Brien and Ola Oladele, the Director of Finance with the municipality, met with Shaw Cable to discuss options.

Oladele is conducting an analysis to locate gaps and blocks in public buildings. The next step, said O’Brien, is to develop a tentative agreement with Shaw, who would then analyze the network requirements in the Crowsnest Pass and develop drawings of public buildings and activate the system.

The possibility of making Main Street Blairmore as a hotspot was also discussed with Shaw. According to Oladele, Blairmore would be the starting point, as it has the highest accumulation of core businesses, but an Internet hotspot would eventually extend to the main streets of other communities as well.

O’Brien noted that a strategy, while underway, is slow moving because of a lack of dedicated resources to the project.

Animal Control Bylaw

Council granted Fire Chief/Manager of Protective Services Jesse Fox permission to review and revise the 2014 Animal Control Bylaw in order to better address the feral cat issue in the community.

According to Fox, the current bylaw has many pitfalls and loopholes that hinder peace officers from adequately dealing with certain issues regarding animal control.

“With a new look at the animal control bylaw, it would give peace officers the ability to bring some order to some of the exceptional circumstances that we have. We’re one step closer to gain control over some of the situations that we have going on in our community,” said Fox.

The bylaw is also expected to tackle the issue of leaving pets inside cars during summer.

Fox stressed that the great majority of pet owners would not notice a change in the bylaw; the revision is intended to allow peace officers to address specific, exceptional circumstances.
June 21st, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 25
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