September 12th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 37
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Council updates
Electrical utility, Sawback, cannabis, Coleman revitalization
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina 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.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
Electrical Utility Reserve

Two years following the sale of the community-owned electrical distribution system to FortisAlberta, the municipality has received a payment of approximately $4 million.

Council passed a motion to proceed with the sale of the community-owned electrical distribution system in April 2016, but was waiting for the Alberta Utilities Commission to approve the sale prior to being able to receive payment.

At Tuesday’s meeting, council passed a motion to transfer the funds to a Restricted Investment Reserve and to invest for a period of 12 months. At the end of the year, council will discuss what to do with the money.

Sawback Ridge gets 18-month extension

In June 2018, the developers of the Sawback Ridge development project asked council to consider three options: an extension on the subdivision, a joint venture with the municipality or waiving the minimum tax if construction proceeds immediately.

The developers said that while they are still willing and financially able to proceed with the development project, now is not an opportune time to go ahead. They pointed to the importance of having a green light on the Grassy Mountain Coal Project, anticipating a huge demand in housing once the mine is approved and moves forward.
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At Tuesdays’ meeting, council passed a motion to extend the subdivision application by an additional 18 months, enough time that a decision to approve or deny the mine would be made.

Cannabis

Council passed third reading of an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw that defines cannabis-related uses, creates a new C-4 district where retail cannabis facilities would be permitted and designates the Sentinel Industrial Park as a district for permitted cannabis production facilities. Rezoning to a C-4 district would always need to be approved by Council.
During second reading of the bylaw in May 2018, Councillor Gord Lundy moved to include the definition of “public parks”, separating passive and active parks. Passive parks are green spaces with no children's equipment, such as the Gazebo Park in Blairmore, while active parks include playground equipment.

However, Administration advised that since the public hearing for this bylaw has been closed, Council is unable to make significant changes in accordance with the Municipal Government Act. They would need to rescind second reading and reopen the public hearing if they insisted on having this change made at this stage of the process.
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Council decided to proceed with the bylaw without the “public parks” definition considering that interested operators would be required to apply for a C-4 rezoning bylaw to open a cannabis facility and Council would still have the authority to implement specific restrictions at that stage of the bylaw.

Recognizing that the entire province is struggling with bringing forth the proper regulations for an entirely new industry in the country, Council conceded that this initial bylaw would be in a test phase and requested that the bylaw come back in 12 months.

Coleman revitalization suspended

In a statement released on September 10, the municipality announced that the downtown Coleman revitalization project would not be completed this year as originally planned.

“We are unable to award the Coleman Downtown Upgrade project due to quotations received from contractors exceeding the available project budget,” indicated the statement.

The municipality will be revising the project scope and releasing a new Request for Quotation at a later date.
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September 12th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 37
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