Welcome to Mountain View County
Mountain View County is a rural municipality in Alberta located north of the City of Calgary in the heart of the vibrant Queen Elizabeth II Highway corridor.
Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee Wants Your Input
Posted: 2015 July 30th
The county's Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee is seeking community input for new economic development initiatives.
To share your thoughts, find a committee member at one of these local events during the summer:
- July 14 - Carstairs Farmers Market
- July 17 - Sundre Farmers Market
- July 22 - Didsbury Farmers Market
- July 25 - Bergen Farmers Market
- July 30 - Olds Farmers Market
Or visit this link: bit.ly/mvcecdevinput to provide your input online
Providing your ideas will help to shape the future of economic initiatives in Mountain View County.
New Ag Shop: FAQs (Updated July 28)
Posted: 2015 July 27th
Mountain View County has enlisted Scott Builders Inc., to design and build a 7,000 square foot Agricultural, Lands and Parks Services Shop. The shop is proposed to be built on County property just northeast of the County administration building (referred to as the Greenfield site) and has a Council-approved maximum budget of $2.11 million.
Q: Why is the budget $2.11 million when the average on-farm shop can be built for much less?
A (Part 1): The answer to this will be broken into two parts; the first being this week and the second being next week.
First thing to clarify is the figure quoted above is a maximum budget, meaning Council's direction and expectation is once the keys are turned over to the County the project must have come under the maximum budget. This means the contractors plans for contingencies and over-runs will have to be handled under that number. This is part of the reason why Council opted for the design-build concept.
The proposal accepted by Council is for project completion (turn-key) at an estimated cost of $1.8 million plus GST. This will include all the amenities approved by the County in the original request for proposal.
Right out of the gate this facility has to meet a higher quality and standard than the typical farm shop because of services and needs that are different. As a facility that is dedicated to municipal services and servicing the public, the shop will have meet the requirements of the Alberta Building Code, many of which do not apply to typical farm accessory buildings. The shop also falls within the County's Commercial and Industrial Design Guideline standards and as such must adhere to the Safety Codes Act.
This means that blueprints and engineered drawings are required to meet these standards. Preliminary studies are also needed to initiate the development, such as environmental phase 1 ESA (environmentally significant area), a biophysical impact assessment, a geotechnical study, and a site survey.
There will also be costs, included in the total project cost, with developing the Greenfield site. Lot preparation (1.5 acre site), access road construction, parking lot for fleet and staff, loading area, security gate, perimeter fencing, and servicing are all examples of some of those costs (up to 25 per cent of total costs) associated with meeting standards. It is also possible that the existing septic system and water well at the County office will not be suitable to handle the additional capacity presented by the Ag, Lands and Parks Services shop; a cost that must be factored in to the overall cost estimate.
Additionally, provisions have to be built in to allow for future expansion and development on the site.
For the most part, these are the standards and guidelines that must be adhered to just to develop the site. These standards are much stricter than the rules and regulations governing the construction of agricultural facilities for the typical producer. Ag standards are set up to be cost effective for the average producer. The County shop is more in line with the industrial or commercial outlets where producers will purchase their mechanical and herbicide needs.
Next Week: Part 2! We'll outline some of the specific needs in the building itself that pertain to storage of pesticides, Occupational Health and Safety regulations, the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and more that add to the overall cost of construction.
Q: What does design-build mean and what's the next step in the process?
A: Essentially design-build means enlisting one firm to develop the site and building plan, and actual designs based on the features asked for by the County within the budget proposed. Additionally, the same firm is then in charge of overseeing construction of the project.
The next step in the process now that Council has directed administration to enter into a contract with Scott Builders, is for the company to prepare their site plan and designs for the actual shop. Currently, that schedule calls for those plans to be presented to Council for review at their next regularly scheduled meeting on August 12. Once the plans for the shop are approved a schedule for construction can be set.
Q: Why was the County Office chosen as new shop location?
A: There are a few reasons why the Greenfield site at the County office has been chosen.
Firstly, the County already owns the land at the office location so there is no need to acquire land through purchase or lease to locate the shop, keeping those additional costs at a minimum. Secondly, the land is already appropriately zoned (Institutional), serviced, and with road access to handle the growth presented by the ag shop project.
Also, as mentioned in last week's FAQ's, the shop also brings the Agricultural Services administrative and field staff to a central location, promoting improved efficiency and quality of service to the public. It also centralizes public access to pick-up rental equipment and other products offered by Ag Services along with access to administrative functions like payments.
Q: Why is the County wanting to build a new Ag Shop?
A: There are several practical reasons for a new shop. Currently the administrative functions for the department are located at the County office while the field staff is located at the Didsbury shop location. Allowing a more cohesive environment should build efficiencies and improve quality of service due to a centralized location.
The Didsbury Agriculture Shop is used for work space and chemical storage, however, there is a limited space for any other storage in the main building as well as demonstrated logistical problems with the shop layout. The other buildings at this location are only available for storage and work needs on a part-time basis. They are either shared with other departments or rented out to other organizations.
Additionally, there is not enough room at the Didsbury location to store the larger pieces of equipment that the Agricultural Services department utilizes.
Chemical storage is also a major consideration. While the current shop does meet legislated requirements for chemical storage, it has an overall impact on what other activities can occur in these areas.
Other questions? Contact our Ag Services Department at 403-335-3311 for more information.
Partner Selected for Solar Power Pilot Project
Posted: 2015 July 22nd
Mountain View County Council recently approved the selection of Sky Fire Energy to develop and install a solar power system at the County administration building for the Solar Power Pilot Project.
The Calgary-based firm will provide the solar panels and other system requirements, along with a display kiosk for the foyer to help demonstrate the power being generated by the project. The 10 kW system will be used as a demonstration model to local producers.
As part of the two-year pilot project to promote alternative energy projects for agricultural producers, the installation is designed to demonstrate the cost-savings potential of a solar energy project to producers while also promoting one of the alternative energy solutions on the market.
Hopes are to enlist between five and 10 agricultural producers in year two of the pilot project to install similar 10 kW systems at their operations. The pilot project also includes a potential installation grant from the County of up to $5,000 per installation to a maximum of 10 total installations.
A total of 14 submissions were received for the pilot project installation at the County office. The maximum budget for the project in year one is $30,000.
The installation at the County office is expected to generate enough power to cover approximately one-third of the average monthly power consumption. The installation is expected to commence later this summer or early autumn once all permits for the construction have been secured.
The two-year pilot project was approved by Council in the 2015 budget.
For more information on the solar energy pilot project contact Economic Development Officer Adena Cheverie at 403-335-3311 ext 161.
Limited Development in Designated Floodway Now Possible with LUB Changes
Posted: 2015 July 20th
Mountain View County Council approved a series of amendments to the Land Use Bylaw that will allow for a limited amount of development in McDougal Flats in the areas defined as floodway by recently released provincial flood hazard maps.
Council finalized the changes at their July 8th regular meeting in response to feedback from the community during a June 24 public hearing into the proposed changes to planning and development regulations for the area southwest of the Town of Sundre.
Approving the changes to the Land Use Bylaw was the final piece in the updating planning and development statutory plans to reflect the new reality for the area following the finalized flood hazard maps from the provincial environment ministry. At their last meeting council approved changes to the Municipal Development Plan and two directly affected Area Structure Plans.
Final passage of the updated Land use Bylaw also repeals the development moratorium that had been in effect for the area since November 2014.
The changes allow landowners within the designated floodway to develop on their properties to a flood fringe standard provided their property redesignation or subdivision was approved prior to July 1, 2015.
Final approval of the amendments - followed by second and third reading of the bylaw - was given after clarifying some of the wording in the updated document. Council wanted to ensure the intent of their amendments - and the wishes of the community - were accurately reflected in the changes.
The updated bylaw outlines the standards for flood fringe development that will have to be adhered to for new builds, and for any additions or replacements on existing developments. The updates also provide clarified regulations for development on recreational lots like those at Coyote Creek - a development that falls completely within the identified floodway.
Also included in the changes was provision that prevents landowners from building structures - such as private berms or other diversionary structures on their property - that might have a serious effect on water flows in the event of a flood. This was included to prevent individual landowners from negatively impacting other property owners in the area with diverted flood water.
Structures for flood mitigation purposes built by the municipality are allowed under the updated regulations.
Councillors unanimously agreed that the intent of the updates was to allow landowners to follow through on development plans for their property with the added knowledge that the Land Use Bylaw will need to be revisited should the provincial government introduce floodway development rules and regulations in the future.
The province has recently begun finalizing maps for flood prone areas but has yet to introduce firm regulations on what type of development can happen in areas designated as floodways. Should the province introduce such regulations, the County will be obligated to meet the minimum standards; a provision outlined in the Municipal Government Act (MGA).
Until those standards are introduced, Council decided that building to a flood fringe standard will allow for development of these properties, but also provide some built-in protections to the effects of a flood event on houses and other buildings.
Residents of the area with questions on the updated regulations or more details on how to proceed with development on their property, are asked to contact Planning and Development Services at 403-335-3311 during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday to Friday).
Ag Shop Design-Build Contract Awarded
Posted: 2015 July 13th
The contract for design-build consulting services to construct an Agricultural
Services shop on land adjacent to the Mountain View County office has been
awarded to Scott Builders Inc., pending final review and signatures.
At its regular meeting on July 8th, Council approved the recommendation of the review committee to enter into an agreement with Scott Builders to design and build the proposed shop to a maximum cost of $2.11 million, to be funded from the working capital reserve.
A total of six firms submitted proposals to the review committee for the project. The current schedule calls for final designs to be available for Council approval on August 12th. Construction is tentatively scheduled to commence in September with completion planned for spring 2016.
In addition to approving the design-build agreement, Council also directed administration to draft a 30-year lease agreement to present to Olds Search and Rescue for construction of a new facility for their needs on the same site as the new shop. The agreement would include a clause where the County could terminate the lease within three years if OS&R does not build in that time frame and also allows the County to review the building design before construction begins.
Councillors believe the addition of the Olds Search and Rescue facility to the site provides support to a local group that serves an important role in the community, while also opening the potential for shared services between the
Overall, the project calls for a 7,000 square foot facility that will feature
vehicle bays, storage facilities, working space and other amenities to house the growing department that oversees agricultural services, parks services and land management services for the County.
Locating the new facility at the Greenfield site just north of the County office is designed to consolidate the Ag Services field staff with the department's administrative staff already located at the office and improve efficiency.
There are currently no plans to bring additional facilities to the site, although Council has requested the shop be designed to protect future expansion needs.
Council Notes: June 24 Meeting
Posted: 2015 July 3rd
In addition to the McDougal Flats development issue (see article below), there was further action from Council's June 24th regular meeting:
- Council approved the 2nd and 3rd reading for both the amended Bearberry - Red Deer River Area Structure Plan, and the amended Bergen Area Structure Plan. These statutory documents will help guide development practices in both ASP areas.
- The county highway sign design concepts were approved by Council for the project which will see 22 updated signs installed on primary and secondary highways running through Mountain View County. The project has a proposed budget of $95,000.
- Council directed administration to bring back information on a utility rate bylaw and options regarding amendments to the development and subdivision agreement with Netook Crossing Business Park. The direction was provided following a presentation from Terry Johnston of Prodev, the business park developers.
- Support was provided by Council to administrative enforcement of signage rules and regulations in Mountain View County. The enforcement will target all unauthorized and prohibited signs in the County.
- Council approved the selection of Waste-Co Disposal Systems to undertake the $25,000 removal of the old County shop located in the Town of Sundre. The project is expected to be done by the end of summer.