September 20th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 38
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Municipal Council update:
Goverance and Priorites
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
Chicken farming

Longtime chicken farmer Lesley Schatz spoke to Council in favour of micro urban chicken farming within the municipality.

Schatz says that she and her family have been rearing chickens for well over 40 years.

“Not only did they give us this wonderful meat, but the eggs were incredible,” says Schatz. “For the older people, it’s a mental health benefit. It’s their happy time. For young children, it’s a chore. There’s nothing that can take an 18-year-old down a notch or two than to get them to clean the chicken house and if they’ve done it since they were 13, they won’t develop that extra attitude. A little bit of stinky dirt is good for them.”

Schatz recommended that the municipality allow two chickens as a pilot project. Under the current bylaw, chickens are allowed only on residential or agricultural parcels between 0.81 ha (2.0 ac) and 16.1 ha (39.9 ac) in size.

She further discussed how to deal with chicken manure, the threat of predators and housing options for chickens.

Chickens acting as a wildlife attractant is a major concern for municipalities located in a more rural setting such as Crowsnest Pass. As such, Council was still concerned by the chickens acting as attractants for predators and other wildlife.

“I have been in conversation with BearSmart and they have expressed serious concerns,” says Mayor Blair Painter. “They will be bringing a presentation forward in the near future.”

Councillor Marlene Anctil noted that she has also spoken with Fish & Wildlife on the topic of chicken rearing in the municipality, and they “have a lot of concerns.”
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Animal Control Bylaw

Fire Chief/Manager of Protective Services Jesse Fox brought forward the new proposed Animal Control Bylaw.

The first reading of the bylaw was passed on August 22.

Council discussions centered on whether to allow apiary rearing in the municipality, which they decided should be permitted as long as there are no complaints or nuisances.

Under the proposed bylaw, three dogs and two cats are permitted. A grandfather clause would apply to the permitted numbers of domestic animals and livestock.

The bylaw would only be administered when there are complaints or problems. Fox says that the bylaw is not intended to proactively search out noncompliance.

“It’s fine until it becomes an attractant, a problem,” says Fox.

Community beautification project

Joni MacFarlane, Lynnette Jessop and Kari Lehr, representing the Crowsnest Pass Creative Minds Group, presented their idea for a beautification project in the community.

This summer, Community Services met with the Crowsnest Pass Allied Arts Association requesting their input about which beautification projects they would like to see in the community. In July, a group of approximately 30 local artists came together for a brainstorming session at the Artist Collective Studio in Coleman. The group came up with dozens of ideas, from revamping the local crow statues and community gardens to designating dedicated alleys for sanctioned graffiti and setting up a mosaic tile art installation.
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The beautification idea that the Creative Minds Group is endorsing is to hang a mural-like installment of fish sculptures on the south side of the existing chain-link fence that encloses the Crowsnest Pass Community Pool.

“We would like to strike a balance between privacy for the swimmers inside, but we also recognize that there need to be viewing areas from outside,” said MacFarlane.

According to Jessop, they would request that the artists create structures that are tamper-proof, long lasting, durable, and easy to install and remove for swim meets or other activities that require higher visibility.

The Creative Minds Group is proposing a joint venture with the municipality. Council had allotted $15,000 to beautification in the 2017 budget and Riversdale Resources has also donated $1000 to this initiative.

As per MacFarlane, the Creative Minds group hopes to have the project decided, agreed upon and earmarked by end of 2017 in order for them to have the project designed and constructed over the winter to have it ready for the 2018 pool season.

Council discussion was in favour of the project.

“Beautification has been very high priority on this Council’s minds and we’ve been working on doing a lot of cleanup in our community. This is a very timely presentation,” said Mayor Blair Painter.

“It’s really nice to be using local talent and resources for this type of thing,” said Councillor Bill Kovach.

Councillor Dean Ward requested that should the project go forward, that the design, once completed, be brought back for Council’s consideration prior to going forward with production. He also encouraged that any left over funds be put towards the entrance signs.

At the next Council meeting, a vote will be held on whether Council wishes to go ahead with the fish installation, or another one of the beautification initiatives brainstormed by the Creative Minds Group.
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September 20th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 38
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