‘What guarantees do we have?’ – Chalifoux

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A parcel of land in Grouard recently bought in the Big Lakes County auction in June moved another step forward to allow a trucking company to set up shop.
At its regular meeting Aug. 10, council gave second reading to bylaw 13-2022 to redistrict part of Lesser Slave Lake Settlement River Lot 34 to hamlet industrial from urban reserve.
BN Dulay Trux Ltd. applied to the county to redistrict the lot east of Mission St. with plans to locate a business, says Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.
“The transportation and logistics company based in B.C. wants to expand into Alberta,” Olansky says.
She says the developer also advised the county that the site may include a mobile or constructed office building.
The parcel is 5.68 and meets requirements of the land-use bylaw that states that hamlet industrial lots be a minimum of .2 hectares (.5 aces) in size.
Council gave second reading after a public hearing where no comments of opposition or concern were submitted to the county.
“No comments were received,” Olansky says.
Big Lakes did not receive any comments about the application from adjacent landowners, Alberta Environment and Parks, ATCO, Prairie River Gas Co-op and county departments.
However, Grouard Councillor Jeff Chalifoux and High Prairie – Banana Belt Councillor Tyler Airth voted against second reading and proceeding to third and final reading.
The Grouard councillor wants to know more details about the business before the plans proceed.
“I’m not in favour until I know exactly what they’re going to do,” says Chalifoux, serving on council since October 2021.
“We need to know exactly what they want to do before we redistrict the land.
“What guarantees do we have?”
He says residents also oppose the plan.
“I got lots of concerns from Grouard residents,” Chalifoux says.
“Residents say they don’t want truck traffic in their community.
“We’re not sure if this is going to be a 24-hour operation.”
CAO Jordan Panasiuk says residents had opportunity to express their concerns at the hearing or by letters.
He says the county is following standard procedures to amend the land-use bylaw that are required for municipalities. The county can also place conditions on the operations during the development permit application.
“Conditions are at the discretion of council,” Panasiuk says.
Kinuso Councillor Roberta Hunt and South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart assured Chalifoux that council can place conditions on truck traffic.
According to the Grouard Area Structure Plan, this parcel is located within the old town area, Olansky says.
The specific area consists primarily of the lands in the core where people live, lands with access to municipal services and home to much of the employment and heritage of Grouard.
“This area will focus on bringing back local commercial services to residents, providing better trail connections and highlighting the hamlet’s rich heritage,” Olansky says in her report to council.

Share this post