On November 8, 2010, a motion came before St. Albert City Council to reconsider the relocation of the Altalink high powerline. It was initially put forward by a member of the previous council, Coucillor Watamaniuk, at the end of her term, and now again by newly-elected councillor Wes Broadhead. It was supported by Councillors Cathy Heron and Cam MacKay. Amongst others, the motion was briefly reported in the Saint City News:
November 12, 2010
St. Albert city councillors debated the merits of motions put forward on the last day of the preceding council on Monday.
Councillors could vote for turning the suggest motions into new business cases if they chose. The five included on council’s agenda included investigating the costs of outdoor exercise equipment for seniors, burying a contentious overhead power line near Big Lake, looking at plastic bag use in local businesses and improving communication between council and the public.
Next, Coun. Wes Brodhead moved to put a motion to add a project to bury an existing Altalink power line that runs near the east side of Big Lake, which was defeated in a subsequent vote.
“As I drive past this wonderful body of water, there are lots of birds and ducks and herons and cranes there,” Brodhead said. “The location of this power line causes mortality to these birds that we need to take a look at.”
Council debated the potential motion for a few minutes, and chose not to go ahead as similar motions had been defeated by previous councils, as the project was determined to be too costly and difficult to complete.
“It might have to go alongside soccer, rugby fields. We have lagoons and waste areas and we also have a river [to go under],” Crouse said. “I don’t have a belief that there’s an easy solution for it when it is re-addressed, so I won’t be supporting re-addressing it.”
This seemingly definitive rejection of reconsideration of the powerline relocation makes me question a new unfunded capital budget item (budget 2011-2013) which implies the issue is not as dead as suggested by council.
Why, I ask, is the item even on the agenda? I have not been able to get an answer from City Hall…