By Adam Eisenbarth
An open house at the Lacombe County Office May 1 enabled residents and users of Gull Lake to voice their opinions on future plans for the area.
The Gull Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan would replace the 2000 Gull Lake Management Plan. The plan will outline the future of Gull Lake, addressing issues such as water level, water quality and lake access.
“I thought it was a great open house and we got a lot of good information out of it,” says Frank Kurta, a user of the lake.
Like most participants in the open house, Kurta had his opinion of what needs to be done.
“I think they need more trees around the Gull Lake area. I think that if every family around the Gull Lake area would plant two spruce trees or pine trees I think they’d have a lot of good results around there.” The trees could improve water quality by preventing runoff from fertilized fields, he added.
The Gull Lake Management Plan Committee consists of representatives from Ponoka County, Lacombe County and the summer villages of Gull Lake and Parkland Beach. Williams Engineering was hired to facilitate in the planning process.
The committee listened to the concerns of landowners and while Ward Yurystowski of Williams Engineering says the committee had a good understanding of the issues, it was important to hear input from the public.
“It’s good to know the ideas that were emphasized by people. We can do our best to emphasize them in the report. As far as steering it in a different direction, I don’t think it did that.”
The plan will begin to take shape now that the public has commented. A presentation will be set for the middle of July when the committee will present its report and give the public a final say.
Jennifer Kasprowicz, a planner from Williams Engineering, was pleased with the event.
“The event was really just to create awareness about the plan and now that we have the input from the public we’ll (be able to build the plan.)”
The committee may look into a bigger venue for the mid-July event as the Lacombe County Office overflowed with participants. Kasprowicz says it was a good problem to have.
“We were really happy with the turnout. We got a lot of surveys back.”
Meeting notes on line
Official details of the mid-July event have not been determined. The PowerPoint presentation from the open house may be viewed at lacombecounty.com.
While the answers to many questions are still being drawn up, the committee has compiled a list of questions and statements that were made at the open house, along with preliminary answers that were posted on the lacombecounty.com website as meeting notes.
Concerns ranged from controlling quad use to garbage dumping and seemingly the most common concern of water level and pumping water into the lake, to which the committee answered: “According to Alberta Environment, there is water pumping occurring right now into Gull Lake. This is a provincial government responsibility therefore the IDP cannot address when pumping should or should not occur.”