M.D. expresses concerns over process surrounding feedlot approval

The Municipal District of Willow Creek will write a letter to the Natural Resources Conservation Board expressing its concerns that the board’s approvals do not take into consideration matters beyond its scope such as roads and bridges.
At its June 10 meeting, the M.D.’s Municipal Planning Commission discussed an application to the Natural Resources Conservation Board by the Granum Hutterian Brethren Colony for a 4,500-head confined feeding operation south of Claresholm.
The final approval of the feedlot lies with the Natural Resources Conservation Board, and the M.D. can only provide comment.
Coun. Glen Alm said the development was not in the M.D.’s hands and outside its jurisdiction, beyond the impact the facility will have on the M.D.’s roads.
He also suggested the M.D. meet with the colony to discuss what future plans they have.
Derrick Krizsan, the M.D.’s chief administrative officer, expressed concern trucks running to and from the feedlot will use three bridges and 20 miles of M.D. roads including Range Roads 261 and 272 and Township Roads 100 and 112.
He 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 commission that the Natural Resources Conservation Board 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 commission discussed the matter further in closed session.
Upon reverting to open session, the commission agreed to send a letter to the Natural Resources Conservation Board, 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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