St. Albert’s Place On The Web
Quoted by Don Sinclair
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Environmentalists wanted bird-killing line moved away from Big Lake
by Hanneke Brooymans, edmontonjournal.com
EDMONTON – St. Albert city council may have derailed a plan to move a transmission line near Big Lake that has killed numerous waterfowl, says a local activist.
AltaLink and the provincial government had agreed to work with the city and contribute money to the project that would have moved part of a transmission line near Big Lake. The line has killed countless ducks, geese and other birds flying to and from the lake and a nearby marsh and pool. The lake is part of Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park and is an important staging area for migrant waterfowls.
But St. Albert councillors voted 5-2 this week to ask the province to bury a large section of the power line instead of relocating it.
That pushes the estimated project cost from $900,000 to $8 million. The city wants the province to pay for all of it, because it involves�Crown land, Councillor James Burrows said.
“I’m slightly peeved to say the least,” said Elke Blodgett, a St. Albert environmentalist who has argued to have the line moved. “This will get rejected by the province.”
Blodgett said many city councillors have never wanted to pay a cent to have the line moved and this is their way to kill the plan.
“I think she should try to be a little more optimistic,” he said, about their funding request to the province. “We won’t know unless we ask them.”
The provincial government reacted negatively.
“It’s not great news,” said Dand Huang, a spokesman with Alberta Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture.
It’s news to us as to why it has to go like this,” he said. “We feel the (original relocation) agreement is still in place.”
Burying the line would be expensive, Huang said.
Mayor Nolan Crouse said council decided not to pay to move the power line because it didn’t want to assume the environmental and financial risks. It also didn’t want an above-ground move that would bring the line closer to a sports park.
Don’t readers find it odd that St. Albert council can subsidize $ervu$ Place to the tune of millions in any given year to give service to the barely 51% who wanted that monster built? Yet when asked to participate in a plan to save wildlife who have been placed in danger by our own bad road, a paltry $350,000.00 is more than they can swallow. Are our priorities in St. Albert screwed up? You be the judge. Did we learn nothing from the embarrassment of the naming of the hockey arena fiasco?
In response to Councillor Burrow’s comments in the Edmonton Journal article re Elke Blodgett:
“I think she should try to be a little more optimistic”,
let me just say that if she were not so optimistic, she would have given up on St. Albert city council a long time ago.
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