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Fort Macleod town council to invite public to gravel mining meeting

Council’s plans to mine gravel as a source of revenue for the Town of Fort Macleod will be presented at an open house.
Council will host an open house at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25.
“I think it’s important we have this open house,” Mayor Rene Gendre said. “There’s a lot of money to be made for the town by gravel extraction.”
Council earlier this year discussed allowing gravel extraction within the Town of Fort Macleod’s limits.
Fort Macleod and district is well-known as an area rich in the natural resource.
“In our by-laws right now there is technically no mining allowed right now,” chief administrative officer David Connauton said.
In order to permit gravel extraction within Fort Macleod, the town’s land use by-law would have to be amended.
Before getting too far into any planning to do that, council wants to hear from the public.
Council in September received a report from then-development officer Rhonda Day, who met with gravel pit operators.
Day reported the three gravel pit operators supported the idea.
Day told council the gravel pit operators listed several reasons for the Town of Fort Macleod getting into the gravel business.
Those reasons included the large amount of high quality gravel in the Town of Fort Macleod, easy access to provincial highways, so trucks will not have to travel through town and disturb residents, and cleaner, less invasive mining practices now.
Council was also told the gravel pits can be reclaimed to grade level to allow for development for industrial or residential use.
The gravel pit operators proposed starting with a test pit that did not require provincial approval.
Initial areas being considered for a gravel pit include the industrial business park land and the town-owned horse pastures.
The gravel pit operators also recommended looking at land above the Fort Macleod Golf Club and a 10-acre parcel between Vanee Livestock and the soccer field.
Dredging gravel from the Oldman River was suggested as a way to mine gravel while mitigating flooding.
Day in her written report in September noted that the gravel would be mined in Fort Macleod but processed — including crushing and screening — at another location away from town.

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