BONNYVILLE - The MD of Bonnyville is now the proud owner of two more gravel pits.
Following discussions with Alberta Transportation, the municipality will be taking over the Beaver River seven and three gravel pits.
Director of Infrastructure Services, Abid Malik, explained during council's May 12 meeting how it all started several years ago.
"There was a discussion with Alberta Transportation about the Beaver River Pit, we also call it Border Pit," he detailed. “Alberta Transportation gave us permission to mine 50,000 tons from the area, and then our guys went ahead and hired a company to mine and crush gravel."
In the end, they mined and crushed 250,000 tons of gravel.
At the time, Alberta Transportation told the municipality to simply go-ahead, but not agreement was put in place.
“When I came here last year, I saw and email from Alberta Transportation saying, ‘we gave you an extension, but there’s no agreement in place and you owe us $245,000 as a royalty,’” outlined Malik, adding the MD hadn't set aside any dollars in either last year's or this year's budgets for the cost.
“We had a couple of meetings with them and they’re saying that instead why (don't we) take over, because we have more than 250,000 tons sitting there," he continued.
If the MD took over, Alberta Transportation would waive the royalty, so long as the municipality reclaimed the lands once they were done.
“While this discussion was going on, there was another pit, Beaver River Pit number three,” Malik said.
The province had been using the pit and now were in the reclamation stage. Now, Malik noted, they're offering it to the MD.
Although the municipality isn't interested in the land for its previously intended purpose, they do have some ideas on what they can do with the site.
"It’s going to be a site they can put their canoes on, so it’s going to be very minimal impact on the waterway,” detailed Coun. Ben Fadeyiw.
Coun. Dana Swigart agreed.
“It’s a good location, a lot of residents have been using that location by the river for many years to swim in the Beaver River and gain access, but it wasn’t a good access because it was never developed into anything,” he said.
Malik described the arrangement with Alberta Transportation as a "win-win."
“This makes a lot of sense,” Fadeyiw concluded.