A significant number of calls have been received regarding bears throughout the District. As residents and visitors to this natural area that we enjoy, we also need to be aware of how our actions impact the animals who share this space. Things we can do to minimize our impact:
- Realize it is unacceptable to attract bears and other animals to your property to improperly stored garbage (the garbage bins are not for storing garbage, but instead so that garbage can be collected each Monday morning);
- If you aren’t able to put your garbage out for collection on Monday morning for a 7am pickup, there are other alternatives available to you such as storing your garbage inside until the next week, taking it to the bear proof bins that are available throughout the District, or if applicable, taking it back to your primary residence for disposal;
- Don’t feed birds and squirrels during the spring/summer/fall seasons and store bird food outside;
- Feed your pets inside and don’t store pet food of any kind outside (bird, squirrel and pet food attracts foxes, coyotes, deer, bears, and other animals); and
- Drive carefully and watching for deer, fox, coyotes, rabbits, bears, etc., crossing the road or feeding beside the roads.
At the time of writing and due to extremely dry conditions, the District and most of the province have fire bans in place. In the District, this means no open fires, including fire pits, and the use of fire works. The minimum fine for violation of the ban is $500 and can extend to $250,000 depending on the degree of the violation.
Staff reports included:
- The SK Environment Fire Smart assessment findings will be shared with Council in June.
- Dust control began starting with the high traffic areas. If there is no rain, regular watering of the roads will be done.
- Work continues on the Emma Lake waste management transfer station, including the addition of an office building.
- Note to residents of Anglin and McPhee Lakes and Elk Ridge only: the McPhee Lake landfill will be open from 12noon – 4pm on the last Saturday of each month from May to August, and then again on September 8 to receive compostable material. Please be prepared to provide proof of District of Lakeland residency as it may be required.
- Note to all District of Lakeland residents: compostable material is accepted free of charge at the Emma Lake landfill during open hours. Please bring your material to the landfill; don’t put it in your individual or bear proof containers as it cannot be separated and ends up with the household garbage increasing the size of landfills. Responsible environmental recycling and disposal practices are a benefit to the entire community.
- Protective Services (LDPS) has assisted the Ministry of Environment with several bear calls, participated in operational planning for the Victoria Day weekend with staff from the RCMP, Ministry of Environment, and the Great Blue Heron Provincial Park, and has been interviewing applications for the term employee position.
- The SAMA property tax appeal deadline was May 2, and 39 appeals were received from 30 applicants.
- Two summer student employees were approved: David Moericke and Bailey Rennie. Two additional summer students will begin at the end of June.
- Effective June 4, Jolene Brown will begin as Development Clerk, and Jennifer Bergstrom as Development Officer.
Council updates included:
- – Cheryl Bauer Hyde has been re-elected as chair of the Wapiti Regional Library.
- – The Environmental Advisory Committee is preparing an information brochure with three topic areas: Water Quality, Off-road trails in the Great Blue Heron Provincial Park, and Responsible Pleasure Craft Operations. The brochure will be included with the June mailout of property tax notices, and available on the Environmental table in the District office foyer.
- – Mussel (Zebra and Quagga) monitors will be installed on docks at Anglin, Christopher, Emma and McPhee Lakes. This is part of a provincial initiative related to identification and control of this invasive species.
- – The Emma Lake Nutrient Study, a partnership between the District, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the North Sask River Basin Council, received a grant from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan). Ken Benmerrouche, a student with Saskatchewan Polytechnic, has accepted this 26 – 28 week position.
- – John Stauffer has been re-elected to the North Central Saskatchewan Waste Management Corp. Board.
The discretionary use application for a vehicle repair operation from Nicole and Derrick Allan was approved, subject to notification of surrounding ratepayers and a public hearing at the June Council meeting.
Following a tender process, Administration was directed to enter into negotiations for garbage hauling services provided by Greenland Waste.
Support for the Christopher Lake Nature Area will be provided in the form of grass mowing, pathway material replacement, provision of sand/gravel, and communication with the Ministry of Highways regarding signage.
Ratepayer concerns related primarily to drainage and trees.
As I mention in each update, while the contact information for myself and all councillors 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