MD OF BIGHORN – As the Dead Man’s Flats community rink moves closer to reality, MD of Bighorn council adjusted some previously approved conditions.
With approval of the outdoor community rink and shed in June, there were various development permit conditions for the Dead Man’s Flats Community Association to accomplish, but the volunteer-driven community association has indicated at least five were problematic.
Council agreed to the group's request for the MD to take on responsibility for maintaining and operating the water service connection and manhole chamber at the facility.
“I don’t understand how maintaining a manhole chamber became part of the community association’s responsibilities,” said Reeve Lisa Rosvold. “I don’t think it would have ever been a condition presented by administration. I am glad we are striking it.”
“I think the MD should be responsible,” said Coun. Joss Elford.
“I think it is best for safety that it is,” said Coun. Alice James.
The MD will also be responsible for electrical and gas utility charges to service the rink facility as well as for solid waste collection at the rink facility and disposal.
In addition, the water charges will be waived for the association and charges applied to the Dead Man’s Flats' water utility and shared by the residents of the hamlet.
Another condition was the waiving of the requirement for the reimbursement of third party legal and engineering review costs.
Several members of council worried that this would set a precedent for other developers looking to save costs.
“Would we be setting a precedent where developers could be coming back to ask for those costs back,” said Coun. Rick Tuza. “Have we in the past taken on the costs of those in the past?”
CAO Robert Ellis said requests for refunds or waiving of costs has happened before.
“We have had some developers try that, and people who have had SDDAB hearings who wanted their money back,” Ellis said. “Council has always declined those requests.”
Elford raised the point that this was a rink, and not the same as a larger development project.
“This is something the MD should be providing to our ratepayers," he said. "I don’t feel it is the same as a development. It is for the community. It is not-for-profit.”