By Cole Parkinson
With encroachment continuing to hamper the Municipal District of Taber council, a few infractions have been reviewed.
A committee of three council members, Tamara Miyanaga, Merrill Harris and Leavitt Howg, went over six outstanding enforcement orders which required them to review the orders, tour the sites and meet with the landowners, all of which were completed.
“We tried to get some common ground between the M.D. and the landowners,” said Merrill Harris, Deputy Reeve for the M.D.
Enforcement order #06-2016 for an encroaching pivot has been deemed complete after review.
For enforcement order #05-2016, the landowner elected to enter into a road license agreement with the M.D. of Taber in order to permit the already existing gate while the overhead portion cannot be re-established.
Enforcement order #03-2015 which is unauthorized road development along Range Road 17-0, south of TWPR 12-0 which requires a review of the state of the grass in the right of way located in the disturbed area.
Enforcement order #02-2015 for a Texas gate on TWPR 12-0 and Range Road 17-0 and a water trough.
After a review of the location, they confirmed it was no longer located in the right of way and the gate had been approved along with proper signage, deeming it complete.
Enforcement #02-2012 for unauthorized removal of roadside grass and farming the burrow pit appears to be incomplete as of yet.
Next steps include a review of the orders and more information will be provided to the committee.
The final enforcement order, #03-2012 for unauthorized removal of grass and filling in the burrow pit will present some challenges moving forward.
“He (Craig Pittman, director of planning and infrastructure) will be doing a drone flight down those four miles of road so the committee can review the comparisons between the affected side and unaffected side and come to a conclusion. He figured that would be the best way to look at it,” said Derrick Krizsan, CAO for the M.D. of Taber.
Council agreed they foresaw the most troubles coming with #03-2012.
“Number five will be the most difficult one to deal with,” said Harris.
The property owner had to contact St. Mary River Irrigation District and the adjacent landowner to see if any runoff would be directed east of the 9-4 / 14-2 intersection.
The M.D. would want to complete the rehabilitation of TWP Rd 9-4 from 14-3 to 14-5 to ensure all constructed drainage has been rendered ineffective in order to have a plan to mitigate any runoff from adjacent lands into an effective roadside drainage.
A future review will happen when more information is provided to the three committee members.
As far as why they see so many issues stemming from this particular enforcement order, a big reason is due to a removal of a drainage ditch which could have alleviated some concerns.
“The other issues there are from when they removed the ditch,” said Coun. John Turcato. “SMRID removed an irrigation ditch that used to be drainage that took a lot of that water, it now runs down that burrow pit. It’s always been an issue there, even when the irrigation ditch was there just because of the elevation difference between the field and the road.”
With the incomplete enforcement orders, further reviews will be done to ensure they know what future works remain on the projects.
“There is a genuine desire from these individuals to get these taken care of and get the enforcement orders against them off. They want to move forward, we want to move forward and I think that’s where we left it. Craig was going to do some followup work for us and have a meeting some point in the future to sign off on all these. At the end of the day, we will recommend to council that the enforcement orders are signed off on,” added Harris.
Reeve Brian Brewin declared a conflict and excused himself from discussion.