Lac Ste. Anne County Activity Report ActivityLSAC_QTLY_2018-19_WINTER_FINAL_SM - Page 2

LAC STE. ANNE COUNTY Message from your Reeve A Year in Review To be elected Reeve by my peers is an honour that continues to inspire me to deliver my best to the ratepayers of Lac Ste. Anne County. I am equally inspired to work with an exceptional Council that brings such a deep and diverse background in agriculture, business and industry to the table. This diversity of knowledge is definitely an asset to the decision-making process. In addition to attending Council and Municipal Planning Commission meetings, my fellow Councillors and I also sit on a variety of committees — a list of which you will find further in this report. At the tail end of a busy, interesting and seemingly quick first year on Council, I’d like to use this opportunity to highlight some key accomplishments. Council has spent a lot of effort building relationships with the municipalities within our borders, and getting a feel for what is expected in the provincial mandate of Inter-municipal Development Plans and Inter-municipal Collaboration Frameworks that need to be signed and sealed with each of our neighbours. For this to happen, we need willing dance partners. The freeze-thaw cycle of winter 2017/18 definitely reared its ugly head on our roads last spring, resulting in two months of pure hell to deal with. I give credit to our public works staff for a job well done. We are currently reviewing our Land Use Bylaw, as it definitely needed tweaking. One of the most contentious aspects was of course the RV issue on residential subdivisions of all classes. With the diversity of our subdivisions, dealing with this issue has been a real chore. But in the end the people spoke, and the decisions were made. Another issue WINTER 2018/19 COMMUNITY REPORT REEVE JOE BLAKEMAN, COUNCILLOR Division 5 780.918.1916 jblakeman@LSAC.ca that consumed our time and resources last year (and will likely require more) is the legalization of marijuana, and the subsequent bylaws we’ve had to discuss and implement to correspond with this new reality. County administrators will continue to carefully watch how the situation develops to see what may need to be changed with time. It’s always great when industry moves into the County. I’m pleased to welcome Atlas Growers, the medical marijuana operation in the Rich Valley area; and Wayfinder Proppants, the frac sand operation in the Cherhill-Glenevis areas. Council continues to enhance agricultural services, from providing rental equipment and seasonal spraying services to the introduction of Stem Mining Weevils as an environmentally-friendly herbicide. The restructuring of our Ag Service Board to include a variety of respected local producers has also been a huge asset that helps Council understand what direction needs to be taken. Council has aggressively lobbied both provincial and federal government to supply more funding and take responsibility for maintaining infrastructure such as bridges and intersections. Both levels of government have clearly 780.785.3411 www. LSAC .ca dropped the ball here. I believe this will be an ongoing discussion as the County has many bridges to maintain. Additionally, we have underscored the importance of dealing with environmental issues such as the flowering rush epidemic in Lake Isle and the need to control it from spreading further down the Sturgeon Watershed. I commend County Council and staff for the progress they achieved during 2018. Some of the noteworthy milestones include the completion of the regional water line; the installation of two fill stations; the commissioning and operation start of the North 43 Lagoon Force main; paving and upgrades to Township Road 544 (the highest traffic volume road in the County); and the addition and training of CPOs to help with the bylaw and traffic throughout the County. The County also added more campsites at the Paddle River Dam Campground to help even more people enjoy one of our many natural assets. In closing, I thank the community members who continue to provide their support, ideas, and comments both positive and critical. We listen to it all, we discuss it at Council, and it informs many of the decisions we make. — Reeve Joe Blakeman