Staff and Council reports / discussion included:

  • Received thanks from a business person regarding installation of the tourist signs at the entrance to the Sunnyside business area (Murray Point road).
  • Public Works has completed the majority of the tree removal related to the July storm, and are now beginning work on dying and diseased trees.
  • Drainage work is completed at Bells Beach, and work has begun on Hynes Avenue (Guise Beach). Widening of an area of Neis Drive to facilitate underground power lines is underway.
  • McPhee Lake landfill is closed until spring.
  • High visibility night patrols have been initiated by Protective Services staff in an effort to prevent or deter some of the current criminal activity.
  • Staff and Council are attending a variety of training and conferences related to areas such as: control of cannabis, light vehicle equipment, waste reduction, emergency planning, asset management, marketing, Provincial Association of Resort Communities of SK and SARM (SK Association of Rural Municipalities).
  • Reports were received with respect to the Christopher Lake Library, Lakeland Recreation Board (Citizen of the Year), North Central Lakeland Planning District Commission, Wapiti Regional Library, Environmental Advisory Committee, North West Central Waste Management Corporation (multi-material recycling), and North SK River Basin Council.
  • Received notification from Xplornet regarding placement of a 45 meter cell tower to improve internet service for the Emma Lake area.

Ratepayer concerns related primarily to trees, garbage pickup (note:  Greenland Waste Disposal equipment broke down so garbage collection was delayed for a day in some areas), and skunks.  Where applicable, ratepayers are contacted directly if they can be reached by District staff to deal with the matter raised.

Council also received two pieces of correspondence in addition to a few others during the summer related to bears and garbage containers.  In response to some of the questions and based on discussions at the Council meetings:

  • The District has had individual garbage pickup in excess of 40 years. Prior to the current containers provided by our disposal company, people supplied their own metal or plastic cans collected manually over the course of 2 – 3 days each week.  Often residents didn’t know when their garbage would be picked up.  Not only did the bears, ravens, raccoons, dogs, etc., knock over and spread garbage but the collection trucks regularly spread garbage on the main roads during transport to the landfill.  The current method prevents a lot of these past problems and as is the case with all systems, it isn’t perfect.  However, many residents like the roll out containers, and we are reluctant to remove a long-standing benefit to ratepayers.  The forest surrounding us becomes a convenient dumping ground if people aren’t provided with a convenient form of collection.  The alternative provided in the form of large bear proof containers for household garbage is heavily used especially during the summer season when there is bear activity in the area.  So, the answer to the question as to why we don’t have bear proof containers is – but we do!
  • The bear proof containers are located throughout the District in the same areas as the recycle bins so that garbage and recycling drop off can happen with one stop. The District plans to set up at least two more sites on the west side of Christopher Lake and the east side of Emma Lake in the spring.  These sites require monitoring because unfortunately the down side of the large bins is that people deposit not only their household garbage but construction material, compost items such as trees and leaves, and old furniture and appliances which are meant to be taken to the Emma Lake transfer station.  As mentioned above, no system is perfect.
  • With a decrease of activity in the area during the non-summer months, we could move to bi-weekly or monthly pick up. However, the District maintains a weekly schedule of pick up throughout the year to provide regular service to residents especially those who occupy their homes on a periodic or weekends only basis.
  • A question was asked about safety of young children and pets. As is the case in any setting, be it urban or rural, children need to have appropriate supervision, and pets should not run at large.  While urban settings may consist of dangers such as traffic, playground accidents, and exposure to strangers; rural resort settings like Lakeland have dangers in the form of ‘the lake’, boats, water devices/toys, and wild animals.

Bears and other animals are a reality of life in a rural setting.  It’s unfortunate that human behaviours result in animals being encouraged to stay in an area because of easy access to food – not only garbage but bird seed, pet food, peanuts, and bbqs that aren’t cleaned after each use.  We don’t like to see these animals destroyed or moved because they’ve lost their fear of people due to easy food access or being deliberately feed.  Council and Staff will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as required.  Safety is a concern for all of us!

As mentioned in every update, while the contact information for Council Members is on the website and/or available through the District office, we encourage you to contact the District office if you have a concern or require municipal services so that it can be addressed in a timely manner.  Saying thank you is always a good reason for a phone call as well, and greatly appreciated by our Staff and Council.

Cheryl Bauer Hyde