Local briefs – August 26

A Red Deer grain processing company charged with improperly disposing of waste was before the court for the first time Tuesday.

Grain processor makes first court appearance

A Red Deer grain processing company charged with improperly disposing of waste was before the court for the first time Tuesday.

A lawyer for the company waived reading of the charge under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and set Oct. 21 as a return date in Red Deer provincial court. No company officials were present during the brief court appearance.

Permolex is alleged to have improperly disposed of industrial waste water in July 2007.

The company produces 40 million litres of wheat-derived ethanol a year. It also produces flour, gluten and animal feed.

Permolex Ltd. is owned by Oakville, Ont.-based Permolex International LP. The Red Deer plant has been producing ethanol since 1998, but operated as API Grain Processors before Permolex assumed ownership in 2003.

Man accused of luring a child over the Internet

An Edmonton man accused of luring a child over the Internet was in Red Deer provincial court Tuesday.

Adrian August Lizotte, 25, is charged with sexual assault, sexual contact, sexual counsel of a child and and using the Internet to lure a child.

Lizotte, who has been released on bail, made a brief court appearance and is due back in court Sept. 23.

Weeks of noisy pounding scheduled for downtown

City residents who live or work in the downtown will hear the heavy pounding noise of pile-drivers at the downtown transit terminal and parkade over for the next four to six weeks.

City parking co-ordinator Fred Dieno is asking for the public’s patience during the pile-driving which will be intermittent but could last as long as six weeks.

“The pounding noise is a result of pile driving which is essential for establishing a solid foundation for the parkade,” said city parking co-ordinator Fred Dieno.

The original piles that were installed in 2000 are still being used, but design changes have required additional piles.

“We appreciate the public’s patience and consideration during this necessary part of construction,” Dieno said.

City of Red Deer employees to work in Professional Building

Some City of Red Deer staff will be making their home inside the Professional Building for another three years.

Human resources employees will move from the Alexander Way offices to being under one roof of the Professional Building located across the street from City Hall.

City council was told on Monday that the current lease at the Professional Building expires the end of September. City manager Craig Curtis was given the OK to seek a lease agreement and in doing so, be authorized to spend an additional $15,100 in the 2011 base budget and a further $17,800 in the 2012 base budget.

In February, council approved the lease and budget for office space in the Alexander Way building on 48th Street. Community Services is now in that building.

Tax and Assessment departments have since moved to the fourth floor of City Hall.

A number of departments are unable to work at City Hall because there isn’t enough room.

The city is looking to expand City Hall by building on the site of the current city RCMP detachment, across the street from the existing City Hall.

Second phase of housing proposed for Timberstone Park

Nearly 60 housing units are being considered for land in Timberstone Park, one of Red Deer’s newest neighbourhoods.

Laebon Developments is proposing to develop the second phase of the subdivision, which is found on the northeast corner of 30th Avenue and Hwy 11 (55th Street).

Red Deer city council gave first reading on Monday for rezoning 18 acres of phase two so that 39 low-density lots, 16 narrow lots, three public utility lots and one municipal reserve lot can go in. The affected land is at Talson Place and Thomas Place, along with a part of Timberstone Way.

When Timberstone Park is fully built out, approximately 700 homes will be in the area.

The area will also feature an innovative and energy-efficient condominium community in which 83 single-family condos will be built to a gold environmental standard. Each house will have the opportunity to have solar panels on the roof.

A public hearing on the land use bylaw amendment will be held on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. in council chambers.

Landscaping rule changes pass first reading

Civic leaders have paved the way for new landscaping rules as a way to conserve water.

City council gave first reading on Monday towards changing the land-use bylaw so that large-scale developers landscape property with water conservation in mind.

Anyone building larger commercial, industrial and multi-family sites will have to do more naturescaping, a type of landscaping which uses drought-resistant plants and other methods that save water.

At least 15 per cent of the landscaping area would have to be naturescaped.

This requirement wouldn’t affect single-family, semi-detached or small multi-family developments.

But those same places must have at least 25 per cent of their front yards landscaped, if the bylaw amendment is passed.

Currently, the city has no landscaping regulations which means an entire front yard can become a driveway.

Councillor Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer said she knows of two front yards that have become full driveways.

“Hopefully we can put a stop to this,” she said. “To look out your window and see cars directly beside . . . .”

Councillor Larry Pimm said he’s pleased the city is doing what it can to curb water use.

Growth will put demands on the Red Deer River, which he described as much smaller than the Athabasca or the Peace Rivers.

“It’s either prepare now or scramble later,” he said.

People will have the chance to speak to the bylaw change during a public hearing on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. in council chambers.

The municipal planning commission recently recommended the new landscaping changes.

City raising fees for dumping at landfill

Anyone hauling garbage to Red Deer’s landfill will face a slightly higher tipping fee in January.

The tipping fee will rise to $54.50 per tonne, up $1.50 from the $53 right now.

The increase was approved after Red Deer city council endorsed a new three-year contract with Maplethorpe Contractors Ltd.

The city had received two bids, with Maplethorpe coming in with a bid that was more than $600,000 cheaper than its competitor. The successful bid came in at nearly $1.6 million.

Maplethorpe is the current contractor.

Maplethorpe Contractors is responsible for various duties at the landfill, from collection of litter to site safety and traffic control.

The new contract will see summer hours extended by one month, from April 1 to Oct. 31 instead of starting in May.

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