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Willow Creek MPC concerned with feedlot approval

The MD of Willow Creek will write the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) expressing concerns the board’s approvals do not take into consideration matters beyond its scope such as roads and bridges.

At its June 10 meeting, the Municipal Planning Commission discussed an application to the NRCB by the Granum Hutterian Brethren Colony for a 4,500-head confined feeding operation south of Claresholm.

Approval of the feedlot lies with the NRCB, and the MD of Willow Creek can only provide comment.

Coun. Glen Alm said the development was outside council’s jurisdiction, beyond the impact the facility will have on the municipal district’s roads.

Alm also suggested the municipal district meet with the colony to discuss what future plans they have.

MD of Willow Creek chief administrative officer Derrick Krizsan expressed concern trucks running to and from the feedlot will use three bridges and 20 miles of municipal district roads including range roads 261 and 272 and township roads 100 and 112.

Krizsan said considering transportation — and the impact the facility will have on it — has to be part of the decision-making.

Alm agreed, noting the bridge on Secondary Highway 520 has been scheduled for replacement by the provincial government for 20 years, and pointed out that is why there are weight restrictions on now.

It was noted by the MPC that the NRCB is an arm’s length entity of the provincial government, yet it was not taking into consideration the impact of this development on the three bridges which are also under provincial government jurisdiction.

The MPC discussed the matter further in closed session.

Upon reverting to open session, the MPC agreed to send a letter to the NRCB expressing concerns there is a disconnection between provincial government departments and the board is not considering the consequences of its approvals on other departments.

Copies of that letter will also be sent to the colony, and Alberta Agriculture, Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Transportation, and Alberta Municipal Affairs.

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