April 4th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 14
Council updates: correction, cannabis, highway, beautification
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Archive photo
Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council from left tor right: Councillors Marlene Anctil, Dave Filipuzzi, Doreen Glavin, Mayor Blair Painter, Councillors Lisa Sygutek, Gordon Lundy and Dean Ward.
Pass Herald Reporter
Correction: Crowsnest Pass Hospital

In a Council update article published on February 28, the Pass Herald reported that there is no surgeon on staff. However, Dr. Bertus Rietsma with the Crowsnest Surgery and Vein Clinic is a surgeon living locally who provides surgical services at the Crowsnest Pass Hospital. According to Dr. Peter McKernan, chief of staff at the Crowsnest Pass Hospital, Dr. Rietsma is a full-time, on-call general surgeon and offers a full slate of general surgery, including C-sections and appendix surgery.
Dr. McKernan adds that the hospital has recruited the previously needed anesthetist position and does not require any more family doctors, but is in the market for a GP surgeon to complement current staff and plan for future retirement.

Cannabis bylaw

Council passed first reading amending the Land Use Bylaw to define and regulate cannabis retail and production within the municipality.

Council also passed a motion stating that "the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass supports the cannabis sector and encourages the growth of the industry in our community through the development of production, processing and retail sales. The municipality would also assist any recruitment of valued workers for this new rural sector."

The federal government is expected to legalize recreation use of cannabis this upcoming summer 2018. As such, Council is taking proactive measures to develop a framework to accommodate the changes that would take place.

The draft bylaw designates the Sentinel Industrial Park as a new "C-4 district", which is a district where cannabis production facilities are permitted.

The draft bylaw details minimum distances that cannabis retail sale areas must be from certain institutions. Specifically, cannabis retailers must be a minimum of 100 metres away from provincial healthcare facilities, public parks, public recreation facilities and liquor stores. They must be a minimum of 200 metres away from schools and child care facilities, and a minimum of 300 metres away from other cannabis retailers.

These separation distances are recommended by the province.

A public hearing will be scheduled prior to second and third reading of the bylaw.
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Highway 3 intersections & speed zones

Council received correspondence from Alberta Transportation with a positive response to Council’s request to implement various safety measures along Highway 3.

Alberta Transportation indicated that at this time, they are willing to move forward with several speed zone changes along the Highway 3 corridor, which includes: extending the 50km/h zone east to include the Servus Credit Union entrance, reducing speed to 50km/h through the Frank Slide and extending the 60km/h zone west past the Volker yard to the top of the hill.

Alberta Transportation also recognized the merit in several traffic light additions and route changes along Highway 3, but stated that implementing these elements is dependent on funding availability.

Specifically, Alberta Transportation agreed that traffic signals are needed at the intersections of Highway 3/Highway 40 in Coleman, Highway 3/129 Street in Blairmore and Highway 3/213 Street at Bellevue/Hillcrest. They also supported the request to provide left turn lane at the access to Frank and a bypass lane for traffic continuing east.

Community beautification

Following the falling through of the fish sculptures along the pool fence project, Council re-issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for public proposals on beautification projects. They received one proposal from the Crowsnest Pass Creative Minds Group, the same collective that had proposed the fish sculpture project.

In the new RFP, the Creative Minds Group proposed a project to paint a mural of crows on the water tank along the road leading up to the Pass Powderkeg Ski Area.
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“Currently, the water tank is a non-descript concrete structure that sits forbiddingly among the tress along the busy ski hill roadway in an area that has become a prime destination for recreationists. What better way to welcome those visitors by transforming the visual appeal of this structure and shaping one of our large public spaces with the use of colour and design?” indicated the project proposal.

The group received a grant from the Alberta Foundation of the Arts that they were willing to put towards this project, but the amount in question and conditions were not presented in their proposal to Council.

Council voted to table the decision on the project until the April 24 council meeting and requested that the Creative Minds group produce a project budget and clarification on the details of the grant they received.

Councillor Lisa Sygutek recommended that discussions about community beautification be incorporated in Council’s upcoming Strategic Planning discussions.

“I don’t think we know what we want. I think that the concepts that we’re getting are great concepts, but I don’t think we know where we want to be going with our beautification process. We keep coming back to the table with new ideas,” she said.

Councillor Marlene Anctil agreed that a clearer course is required on what direction the municipality wants to take with community beautification and added that the entrance signs to Crowsnest Pass should be first priority

“Everybody coming in sees those entrance signs and they are a disaster,” she said.

Council had allocated $15,000 in the 2018 budget to community beautification, with an additional $1,000 donation from Riversdale Resources.
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April 4th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 14
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