No mail-in ballot option for RM of Buckland

Buckland Fire & Rescue /Herald File Photo

Unlike the nearby RM of Prince Albert, the RM of Buckland decided not to bring in a mail-in ballot option. At their regular meeting on Monday, June 13 the RM Council decided against a similar measure because of the cost, according to Reeve Don Fyrk.

“It was a really good discussion but what you would have to do is you have to print up your ballots and you have to print up your envelopes and there is about six or seven steps to go through to make sure the ballots can’t be misconstrued or forged on anything like that.

“There is so much administration time involved with that. It is ridiculous, so we are not going to do that. We have advanced polls and they can go to the advanced poll,” Fyrk said.

The council believes that advanced polls will be all that is needed for the upcoming election.

“What happens is we have got some snowbirds in our area so they like to vote before they go. Our last turnout for advanced polls was really good,” Fyrk said.

The council also worked with the Buckland Fire Department. The Buckland Fire and Rescue is currently owed over $75,000 in unpaid bills.

“They were asking us if we could put some overdue bills on taxes but we don’t know if we can do that so we have got to check with our lawyer on that and get legal advice on that. That is what we told them once we get legal advice we will get back to them and let them know,” Fyrk explained.

The matter will be discussed at next month’s council meeting.

There was also a public hearing for the Zoning Amendment.

“Nobody showed up. What that has got to do is increase in size of outbuildings on all our properties but nobody showed up so,” Fyrk explained.

Council also watched a PowerPoint presentation to help them with their issues of flooding in Shell River Heights.

According to Fyrk, they are looking to using Municipal Economic Enhancement Program (MEEP) funding from the province.

“We got a little bit of money to put towards replacing the bridge for next year, maybe,” Fyrk said.

The RM experienced a washout of the Buckland Bridge and flooding in the Shell River Heights area and a washout of the Buckland Bridge.

The flooding exposed a problem with a berm in Shell River Heights. The RM will now have to rebuild and enhance the berm so the flooding stops in the area and protect the ratepayers.

Several ratepayers attended the meeting as a delegation in June to discuss the problems arising from the flood.

“But we couldn’t get any money to build the berm up so we are trying to think of something else we can do for the berm.”

“The berm has got to go up about four feet to bring it in line with that one in 500 year (flood) that they always talk about. So we are looking for some money around there if push comes to shove I guess the residents will have to kick in. But we are trying to make it as cheap as we can for them and cheap as we can for the RM too,” Fyrk said.

Council was also updated on the completion of a project in Park Meadows that created a moratorium on construction.

“We opened that up again. There was a halt on all selling of future lots until the water problems were resolved.”
“When it was designed the engineer that designed it thought all of the water should go to the northwest where in fact all of the water from the northwest came into there with no outlet so they have gone and re-dug everything so now it is flowing to the east so we are going to lift some of the building moratoriums on there,” Fyrk explained.

Overall, Fyrk was happy with the meeting and the discussions.

“It was good meeting and everyone went home happy. We have our heated discussions but at the end of the day we are in there doing the best we can for the RM so nobody holds any grudges,” he said.