Sinkhole repair in Three Sisters gets approval

Canmore Town council has added a new capital project for this year that will permanently remediate a nearly five metre deep sinkhole in Three Sisters Mountain Village.

Late last year, Mayor John Borrowman announced the Town had received a $600,000 grant from the Province to fix the hole, located along a municipal pathway near Dyrgas Gate that formed in May 2010.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday (May 21), members of council voted unanimously to proceed with a capital project to fix the sinkhole, which was the result of an airshaft from Seam No. 4 in the No. 4 mine. The mine was closed in the 1940s.

In a presentation to council, Town manager of engineering services Andy Esarte indicated a significant amount of discussion had taken place regarding liability for potential sinkholes created from developing on undermined lands.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

School board stands firm on cell tower

Despite Telus claims the Town of Canmore is “running close to the limits in capacity,” the Canadian Rockies Public School division has reiterated its stance against placement of a permanent cellphone tower near a middle school.

With over 77 per cent of homes within town having access to Internet and 16 per cent strictly wireless service, a plan for the national telecommunications company to increase its capacity in certain areas could be delayed without new infrastructure.

Following up on its letter to members of Town council last year, CRPS has requested the temporary cellphone tower on Seventh Street, which Telus has proposed to make permanent, be relocated.

The tower’s current location is roughly a half block from Lawrence Grassi Middle School, an issue that has created concern for some parents and staff regarding the risk of adverse health effects.

Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Miners’ Union Hall granted renovation funds

The Canmore Miners’ Union Hall is one of the last remnants of the town’s coal mining history and over the next few months the building will be renovated to celebrate that history while also increasing its presence as a centre for the arts.

Last Friday (April 12), a matching provincial grant of $125,000 was presented to the Pine Tree Players, the theatre group that uses the hall, to complete exterior renovations.

Banff-Cochrane MLA Ron Casey presented the Community Facility Enhancement grant from the Ministry of Culture and congratulated the various volunteers who were part of preserving this piece of Canmore history.

“This is very much a representation of Canmore’s past, so it’s nice to see it being upgraded and brought back to at least its original look,” Casey said. “The Union Hall has always been the place where the community got together.” Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Council hears review of Environmental Impact Statement

*published in April 4 edition of the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

The Town of Canmore’s third party reviewer of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for proposed development in Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) has outlined three main issues for council to review before first reading of a new area structure plan (ASP) is presented at the end of the month.

Management and Solutions in Environmental Science (MSES), the reviewer, highlighted the functionality of wildlife corridors, mitigation options and cumulative impacts during Tuesday’s (April 2) regular council meeting.

A packed council chambers was present to hear the report, which was provided as information that, according to Town planner Steven de Keijzer, “forms a key foundation of the ASP policies and land use regulations,” as the Town considers a development that could increase the population by 9,000 at full build out.

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Council to weigh fencing, corridor on Three Sisters

Canmore Town council will face a tough decision next week as it evaluates a Sustainable Screening Report (SSR) concerning proposed development on land within Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV).

If approved, the development could, according to estimates, increase the town’s population by 10,000 people.

Over the last week and a half some residents, especially those already living in TSMV, have voiced their opposition to the proposal after the receiver in charge, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), laid out the draft plan for development.

Last Wednesday (Feb. 27), more than 90 residents gathered at St. Michael’s Hall in Canmore for a presentation from local conservation groups regarding what some local experts feel is a major issue with the proposed development having a significant impact on the wildlife corridor adjacent to TSMV. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Three Sisters residents rally for wildlife corridor

Public hearings regarding proposed development on Three Sisters lands are set to take place over the next few months and some residents from the area in question have joined together to ensure their voices and concerns are heard by both the receiver and members of Canmore council.

Following a Feb. 11 meeting hosted by Three Sisters receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which outlined plans for development and, according to witnesses, turned into a heated dispute, a subgroup of resident stakeholders has prepared a list of principles they feel should be adhered to before any development is considered.

The four principles are derived from the Town’s municipal development plan (MDP) and are as follows: preserve and protect the environment with viable wildlife corridors and habitat, actively involve the community with a “Made in Canmore” solution, mitigate and avoid undermining and preserve the integrity of adjacent lands. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Economists toy with sales tax idea for Alberta

Following an announcement by Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner that the Province’s projected deficit leading into the 2012/13 budget will be around $4 billion, the idea of implementing a sales tax as a way out has once again reared its way back into the conversation.

During an economic summit a few weeks ago in Calgary, which was set up by Premier Alison Redford and attended by members of all provincial parties, the topic of creating a sales tax was favoured by some of the province’s leading economists.

Todd Hirsch, a senior economist at ATB Financial, was one of the moderators at the summit and pointed out this option shouldn’t be very surprising despite the fact the province has never had a sales tax. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Paraglider crashes into Lady Mac

Public Safety specialists from Alberta Parks say several people are lucky to be alive after two crashes involving a paraglider in Canmore and a hot air balloon in Kananaskis Country occurred over the past week.

The first incident happened Thursday (Feb. 14), when Alberta Parks received a call at about 1:30 p.m. regarding a 38-year-old male paraglider who crashed after launching off Mount Lady Macdonald.

“He had crashed his paraglider a couple of hundred metres below the tea house,” said public safety specialist Jeremy Mackenzie.

Accompanied by a paramedic from Canmore Fire as well as two other Alberta Parks staff, the rescue team was slung into the site to assess and package the wounded man, now identified as Andrew Wexler of Canmore. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Canmore council turns down Stewart Creek development

After a lengthy debate between members of the public and councillors regarding a proposed development on Stewart Creek Golf Course, Canmore Town council did not approve a required Sustainability Screening Report (SSR) application due to the site’s location adjacent to a wildlife corridor and its lack of providing an overall benefit to the town.

Canmore council held a special meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 12), where it heard presentations from the applicant as well as members from the public concerning the plan to develop 20 cabins, or houses, near the golf clubhouse.

According to the agenda package given to council before the SSR hearing, the proposed land use development is in accordance with the existing Three Sisters Mountain Village Stewart Creek Area Structure Plan (ASP) from 2004. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Banff Centre partners with advanced research institute

A new partnership between two renowned institutions will explore ways in which both science and the arts are connected and further develop the skills people in each discipline face.

On Thursday (Feb. 7), The Banff Centre hosted a roundtable discussion to announce its partnership with The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), a move that began with an idea between the leaders of each organization.

Originally established in 1982, CIFAR is an independent research institute focused on bringing together internationally respected scholars/scientists and addressing major global questions and challenges. Read the full story at the Rocky Mountain Outlook.