M.D. of Smoky River notebook

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Council lends its voice in support

At its Feb. 10 meeting, The M.D. of Smoky River council supported a request from the Town of High Level regarding the possible closure of the its Flight Service Station.
There was little discussion in supporting the request. High Level is worried that service will be cut or eliminated, thus negatively affecting pilots and passengers.
The High Level Airport is also a designated air ambulance site. About 1,150 Medevac flights leave the airport each year with another 960 departing the Fort Vermilion Airport.
If the Flight Service Station closes, pilots will have to rely on weather information from Edmonton which has proven to be unreliable.
“The Town of High Level is of the opinion that eliminating FSS staff and their expertise and services. . .would not be in the best interest of pilots and aviation safety,” they wrote.

VSI program agreement passed

Council endorsed the VSI program for another year at a cost of $8,000.
VSI offers some services to farmers at subsidized rates.
To participate in the VSI program, the M.D. gives money in advance for the anticipated VSI budget in 2021. This year, the VSI budget is expected to be $21,500 but given that the M.D. has a surplus of $13,900 council decided to give a total of $8,000 to meet the anticipated costs.
No other money will be forwarded in 2021.

Fire guardians appointed

As it does each year, council appointed fire guardians for the region.
M.D. regional fire chief Marcel Maure, Kevin Rey and Phillippe Fournier will serve this season.
Fire guardians are appointed with enforcing the Forest and Prairie Protection Act, and are responsible for issuing fire permits to ratepayers and ensuring the permits are being followed.

Washer for the fire hall

Firemen at the M.D. of Smoky River will now be washing their own coveralls, and saving money at the same time.
Council heard fire chief Marcel Maure was looking for a bigger machine to wash coveralls. He found one which is now being used.
CAO Rita Therriault says savings will be $500 per month.

Fusarium bylaw nearly passes

A proposed Fusarium Graminearum bylaw was given first and second readings, but failed to proceed to third reading after one councillor opposed.
The proposed bylaw would deal with fusarium, which is a dangerous disease to canola crops. Any inspector who discovers fusarium within the M.D. may require steps be taken as outlined in the M.D.’s policy to deal with the disease.
Potential penalties are outlined in council’s Rates and Fees Bylaw.

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