Peter Fleck and Bev Finlay stand on Range Road 275 in front of the one-kilometre stretch of trees FortisAlberta plans to remove in order to upgrade the electrical distribution line in the area.

County residents upset over tree-cutting plan

Landowners want to save the trees on a one-kilometre stretch of road along Range Road 275 in Red Deer County. FortisAlberta is currently upgrading a regional electrical distribution line to bring power to the Gasoline Alley area.

Landowners want to save the trees on a one-kilometre stretch of road along Range Road 275 in Red Deer County.

FortisAlberta is currently upgrading a regional electrical distribution line to bring power to the Gasoline Alley area.

But county residents such as Peter Fleck and Bev Finlay are upset that hundreds of mature trees will need to be removed in order for the project to go ahead.

The land in question is along the border between the country residential communities of Woodland Hills and Broderson.

Finlay, who lives across the road from the trees, said there are route options that would make more sense. She also owns a five-acre parcel on the corner of Range Road 275 and Township Road 380.

‘They want to clear cut trees from the corner,” said Finlay, 80.

“Some of them are very old Spruce trees and they are very high. Some of them I have actually planted. They just want to go in with one of those big machines … and clear cut the whole thing.”

Fleck said the clear cutting of trees is just required because of the chosen method of constructing the new line.

He said it would not be required for the maintenance or safe operation of the line once it is in place.

“I have also been informed that alternate methods of construction would be available,” said Fleck in an email.

“They would just be a little more time-consuming and costly.”

FortisAlberta is working with the concerned landowners in the area to come up with a solution.

Finlay hired a lawyer and submitted a complaint to the Alberta Utilities Commission in August.

The Alberta Utilities Commission does not regulate distribution line routing and construction, except on a complaint basis.

The AUC is encouraging landowners and Fortis to discuss concerns including different routes and construction methods.

No formal hearing process has been set at this point.

The AUC will consider holding a hearing, if a mutually-agreeable solution cannot be reached.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Alberta woman receives North American award for leading Red Deer Regional Health Foundation

Manon Therriault at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has always embraced… Continue reading

Families displaced after Red Deer fire Sunday

A structure fire displaced two families in north Red Deer Sunday morning.… Continue reading

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

In its place is employment insurance, which the government says the majority of people will go on

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 27

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00… Continue reading

WE Charity controversy prompts examination of group’s overseas footprint

On Sept. 9, WE Charity said it would wind down its Canadian operations

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment

The nearly 1 million people around the world who have lost their… Continue reading

Toronto health officer closes 3 restaurants as result of COVID contact tracing

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three downtown… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

CALGARY — Canadian ski resort operators planning for a season that begins… Continue reading

Tenille Townes, Dean Brody and Brett Kissel top nominees at tonight’s CCMA Awards

OTTAWA — Tenille Townes could be lined up for some major wins… Continue reading

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

TERRACE, B.C. — Health care in the era of COVID-19 took centre… Continue reading

Watchdog to investigate fatal Winnipeg crash that sent two kids to hospital

Winnipeg police say a woman has died and five others — including… Continue reading

The ‘relentless underdog’: Green Leader Sonia Furstenau ready for uphill battle

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau was driving Monday when she turned on the… Continue reading

Mi’kmaq power, inside and beyond Ottawa, stronger than in past fishery battles

HALIFAX — When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news… Continue reading

Most Read