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2018 Bulletins


Rural Transportation Pilot Program Announcement

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On June 28, 2018, the Province of Alberta’s Ministry of Transportation awarded the County of Grande Prairie in partnership with the City of Grande Prairie, towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, Wembley and the Village of Hythe with a Rural Transportation Pilot Program Grant.


This $640,000 grant will help us provide public transportation between the City of Grande Prairie and the surrounding communities of Clairmont, Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, Wembley and Hythe over two years. It will provide a means of transportation to those who cannot drive or want to reduce their environmental footprint, it will enhance local economic development opportunities, and it will make our communities more accessible and connected. Read the provincial government media release Transportation projects connect rural Albertans for further information.


Project details


The County is working with partners to develop an implementation plan, which will identify routes, stops, project phases, precise timelines that service will begin in each participating community and more to ensure success of the program.


The first phase of the project will connect the Town of Sexsmith and the Hamlet of Clairmont to the City of Grande Prairie, with a projected operational date of fall 2018. The second phase of the service will rollout to the towns of Beaverlodge and Wembley and the Village of Hythe shortly after Phase One is complete.


The County of Grande Prairie has been working to bring public transit to the Hamlet of Clairmont since 2016, and has now been able to move this forward with the launch of the Rural Transportation Pilot Program.


The $640,000 grant will provide operational funding to help run the pilot program for two years. The program proposes the City of Grande Prairie to provide the drivers, maintenance, buses, fuel, insurance and scheduling for the rural transportation system. The purchase of one of the transit buses will be funded through a $276,666 GreenTrip grant provided by the Province of Alberta and $138,333 from the County of Grande Prairie.


During the two-year rural transportation project, the County along with partners will monitor the program and determine how to best meet the needs of the communities during the pilot project and determine whether to continue to provide the service after provincial funding has ended.


More information about the program and service will be made available when further details are finalized and confirmed.




News Release – For Immediate Release Wednesday, May 16, 2012 

Fire ban remains in effect; no open fires in the County including all parks. 

A County wide fire ban remains in effect due to the dry conditions and extreme fire hazard. The fire ban includes the Towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, Wembley, Village of Hythe, and all parks including Saskatoon Island Provincial Park. 

All outstanding burning permits are revoked and no new permits will be issued until the ban is lifted. No outdoor fires are permitted until further notice, including burning barrels and fireworks, nor are recreational fire pits or charcoal barbecues allowed. The use of propane appliances, such as barbecues, is permitted. 

 “We always try to emphasize compliance over enforcement during a fire ban, however, to protect residents and their property, the County is conducting daily aerial and road patrols looking for smoke,” explained Fire Marshall Mark Whelpton. 

Anyone caught violating the fire ban could face fines up to $5000 as well as significant charges for the cost of responses if their activity leads to a wildfire. To report a fire, or unauthorized burning, call 9-1-1. 

Due to the potential for accidental ignitions, the use of motorized equipment such as ATVs and dirt bikes is not suggested during times of high wildfire risk. For industries, open pit flaring is suspended and fires contained in facilities or on sites must be approved by a fire guardian. 

The fire ban will remain in effect until weather conditions change and the area receives a significant amount of precipitation. Please check www.countygp.ab.ca for updates or call the Fire Services office at 780-532-9727.

For more information contact: Mark Whelpton Fire Marshall 780-532-9727 mwhelpton@countygp.ab.ca


GPREP   MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release at 1 p.m., April 28, 2018
Flooding Down In Sexsmith and Hythe
Flooding has receded in two area communities and Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) personnel continue to monitor water levels and municipality needs for support.
Pumping activity continues in Hythe and Sexsmith today to alleviate flooding.Extensive flooding in in the West Industrial Area and the Willowgrove mobile home subdivision in Hythe resulted in a State of Local Emergency being declared by Village Council on Friday.
Parents are asked to keep their children away from high-pressure hoses being used for pumping, from creeks and other areas where water has amassed.
Rapidly melting snow is causing flooding in Hythe and Sexsmith, resulting in the closure of several local roads. Motorists are urged to obey road closure signage and follow the direction of local authorities.
Crews are on site in both communities and the GPREP Emergency Operations Centre has been active around the clock since Thursday evening when waters began rising in Sexsmith.
Sand bags are available for residents at the Sexsmith Public Works location at 10530-95 Ave.
The bridge on Township 722 west of Happy Trails RV has been closed.
Township 722 will be closed between 116 St. and RR70 to local traffic only.
The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) is an emergency management partnership between the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, Wembley and the Village of Hythe.  Through this formal partnership, the municipalities work together to respond to large-scale emergencies and disasters.

Media enquires may be directed to:
David Olinger
Information Officer
Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership
780-567-1210 – EOC/780-882-1580 (cell)



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March 26, 2018

Joint Media Release – For Immediate Release Monday, March 26, 2018

Grande Prairie Area Communities Partner on Rural Transportation Pilot Program Application

The County of Grande Prairie, City of Grande Prairie, the towns of Beaverlodge, Wembley and Sexsmith and Village of Hythe are working together to apply for a provincial grant.

Successful applicants of the Alberta Transportation Rural Transportation Pilot Program will receive operational funding to provide public transportation services between urban centres and their surrounding communities over two years. The amount of funding the community partners could receive will depend on the size and scope of the project.

“The County of Grande Prairie is pleased to collaborate with our neighbouring municipalities on this project. If our application is successful, it will benefit everyone as it will provide a means of transportation to those who cannot drive or want to reduce their environmental footprint, it will enhance local economic development opportunities, and it will make our communities more accessible and connected.” – Leanne Beaupre, County of Grande Prairie Reeve

"The need for rural transportation solutions highlights just how connected the communities in our region are. The

Rural Transportation Pilot Project is another example of how we can improve the quality of life for residents across the region by working together.” – Bill Given, City of Grande Prairie Mayor

“Council looks forward to the pilot program since it would positively impact the residents of the area providing much needed access and availability to alternative transportation. The Town looks forward to working with all partners on this initiative.” –Gary Rycroft, Town of Beaverlodge Mayor

In order to build communities that provide access to opportunity for all people; there must be quality transportation options that connect people to jobs and resources as well as seniors to appointments and social gatherings. The Rural Transportation Pilot Program will help us achieve this goal and discover possibilities for longer term services.” – Claude Lagace, Town of Sexsmith Mayor

“The Town of Wembley supports the concept of a Rural Transportation Pilot Program. In a large geographic region, it is essential for the residents to have access to a regional transportation system.” – Chris Turnmire, Town of Wembley Mayor

The Village of Hythe Council has passed a resolution to support the application for a pilot program. We know there are challenges with seniors and other residents who are unable to drive to the city, but still need the services it provides. We look forward to working with our regional partners in overcoming this challenge. – Brian Peterson, Village of Hythe Mayor

The partner municipalities are compiling information for the grant application, which included a City transit bus driving through Clairmont, Beaverlodge, Hythe, Sexsmith and Wembley earlier this month to time out the routes.

If the municipalities’ application is successful and they agree to proceed with the service, they will monitor the program during the two-year period, to determine how to best meet the needs of the communities during the pilot project and determine whether to continue to provide the service after provincial funding has ended.

- Media queries can be directed to:

Reeve Leanne Beaupre, County of Grande Prairie; 780-814-3121

Mayor Bill Given, City of Grande Prairie; 780-538-0311

Mayor Bill Rycroft; Town of Beaverlodge; 780-933-4954


Mayor Claude Lagace; Town of Sexsmith; 780-512-4904 780-356-2538

Mayor Chris Turnmire; Town of Wembley; 780-766-3820

Mayor Brian Peterson; Village of Hythe; 780-356-2538


MARCH 24, 2018

 Joint Media Release – For Immediate Release March 19, 2018

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Input Encouraged On Handibus Options

Area residents can help shape the future of handibus service in the region.


An upcoming series of open houses and a survey launching April 3 are part of a feasibility study being undertaken by Watt Consulting Group, hired by six area municipalities to determine the feasibility of a regional handibus service.


The City of Grande Prairie, the County of Grande Prairie, the Towns of Wembley, Beaverlodge and Sexsmith, and the Village of Hythe initiated the project to improve mobility options primarily for seniors and disabled residents to attend to basic needs such as medical and dental appointments, shopping, and social outings.


Grande Prairie Regional Handibus Feasibility Study Open Houses

Tuesday, April 10

9:00am – 10:30am

Grande Prairie

Montrose Cultural Centre, 9839 103 Ave.

11:30am – 1:00pm

Wembley

Silver & Gold Pioneer Club, 9816 101 St.

1:30pm – 3:00pm

Beaverlodge

Neighbourhood Resource Centre, 400-10th St.

3:30pm – 5:00pm

Hythe

Hythe & District Pioneer Home, 10103 100 St.

Wednesday, April 11

9:00am – 10:30am

Grande Prairie

Grande Prairie & District Golden Age Centre,10222 101 Ave.

11:30am – 1:00pm

Sexsmith

Sexsmith & District Seniors Association, 9702 97 Ave.

2:00pm – 3:30pm

Clairmont

Clairmont Senior Citizens Centre, 9801 100 Ave.



The consultant project team visited communities involved in the project in February, interviewed stakeholder groups and examined existing services. Interviews by phone were also conducted. Results of information gathering was used to develop a preliminary summary of transportation needs and opportunities in the region as well as draft options for service. Input collected at the open houses and through the survey will be added to what has already been heard from area stakeholders. This commentary will be used to refine final service proposals.


The consultancy will provide its recommendation to the project steering committee which, in turn, will share findings with respective Councils for consideration. The project is due for completion by June. It is being funded by a $67,500 Alberta Community Partnership grant obtained by the Town of Wembley.


Residents or stakeholders with enquiries about the study can contact the project team at HandibusStudy@wattconsultinggroup.com or 780-800-2957, Ext. 434.



Media enquiries can be directed to:

Kathleen Turner, Acting Community Services Director    Tania Wegwitz, Sr. Transportation Planner &

County of Grande Prairie                Transit Lead  - Watt Consulting Group

780-532-9727 Ext. 2401                         780-800-2957, Ext. 434

kturner@countygp.ab.ca          twegwitz@wattconsultinggroup.com





Intermunicipal Development Plans Project

The County of Grande Prairie, in partnership with the towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley, and the Village of Hythe, has engaged ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd. to prepare Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDPs) between the County and each of the partner municipalities.

The Province of Alberta is implementing new changes to the Municipal Government Act which now requires all municipalities that share a boundary with another municipality prepare a joint IDP by April 2020. These plans are intended to address future growth opportunities and other development-related matters of joint interest between the municipalities.  

Community engagement will occur at major milestones during the development of the four IDPs. Plan Area landowners, residents and other stakeholders will have key roles in the preparation of the IDPs. Your participation and feedback is important to help inform and shape the creation of the visions, land use policies and land use concepts for the four Intermunicipal Development Plans. There will be multiple opportunities for you to participate. Visit engagecountygp.ab.ca for more information.

What is an Intermunicipal Development Plan?

An Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) is a long-term and strategic plan between two or more municipalities that is required by the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The IDP’s purpose is to provide a coordinated and collaborative framework respecting land use, servicing and transportation on lands adjacent to the boundaries of the respective municipalities.

The MGA requires that the IDP address:

• future land use;#

• the manner of and the proposals for future development;

• transportation systems;

• proposals for the financing and programming of intermunicipal infrastructure;

• the co-ordination of intermunicipal programs related to physical, social and economic development; and environmental matters.

The MGA also requires that the IDP address matters relating to the administration of the plan, including a process to resolve intermunicipal disputes.

What is this project about?

This project involves the preparation of four separate IDPs between the County of Grande Prairie and the towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley and the Village of Hythe.

The Province now requires that all municipalities in Alberta prepare IDPs with their neighbours. Currently there are no IDPs in place for these municipalities. These IDPs are required by legislation to be completed between the partner municipalities by April 2020.

What land is affected?

The County’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) identifies a 2 mile (3.2 km) wide fringe area around each of the partner municipalities as shown in the maps below. This fringe area will serve as the study area for each of the IDPs.

Beaverlodge Sexsmith Wembley Hythe

View an enlarged version of these maps.

How will the IDPs affect area landowners?

IDPs are long-term land use and servicing plans that address how the participating municipalities and the County are to address the future growth needs of these communities. The IDPs also include framework for annexation should it be necessary in the future. As these plans address long-term future land-use and development opportunities for these areas, it is important that landowners be involved in the process and provide input on the future use of these lands.

Existing land uses and development rights are not affected by the IDP.

Visit the participating municipalities’ websites to learn more about existing Land Use Bylaws, Area Structure Plans and Municipal Development Plans.

County of Grande Prairie: www.countygp.ab.ca

Town of Beaverlodge: www.beaverlodge.ca

Town of Sexsmith: www.sexsmith.ca

Town of Wembley: www.wembley.ca

Village of Hythe: www.hythe.ca

Are there any existing IDPs involving the County of Grande Prairie?

The County of Grande Prairie and the City of Grande Prairie have had an IDP since 1982. However, this Plan (Bylaw 2896) does not have any impact on the current IDPs Project as the study areas are not within the Bylaw 2896 referral area.

What is the process and how do I get involved?

Public consultation is critical to the success of the project and in ensuring the IDPs are prepared to reflect the individual needs of the partner municipalities and the interests of landowners. Based on this understanding, the municipalities have placed an emphasis on community engagement throughout the project.

Over the next few months, we will be asking each municipal council and administration, residents, business owners, and community stakeholder groups to share how each municipality should grow. There will be many opportunities for you to learn more, provide feedback throughout the process through various public engagement opportunities including open houses and through an online engagement website. Each of the IDPs will be prepared independently and will include policies that are unique to the needs and opportunities of each urban area and their partnership with the County.

What are the stages of this project?

The following is the proposed timeline for the development of IDPs:

• In Phase 1, the process begins with the review of background information, preparation of population and land requirement projections, the initial round of community engagement, and the preparation of a background report.

• In Phase 2, building on the information received in Phase 1, we will prepare preliminary land use concepts for each of the IDP areas, and the first draft of the IDPs.

• In Phase 3, we will gather feedback on the draft IDPs and make revisions as required.

• Finally, in Phase 4, we will finalize the plans and present them to the respective Councils for consideration.

View the detailed timeline here.


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