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Church parishioners ask to let there be more light at highway turnoff

Highway turnoff to Lac La Biche church is a concern, say some of the congregation

LAC LA BICHE - Let there be (more) light. 

Community members and parishioners driving to Lac La Biche’s Evangelical Free Church have been impacted by a lack of lighting at the highway turnoff to the building, say congregation members.  

Church officials, who host regular services, ceremonies, and community events, including bible readings and programs for youth and adults, are now hoping that municipal officials can shed some light on the issue. 

A petition, outlining the issue and signed by several dozen of the parishioners was presented to Lac La Biche County councillors at the beginning of April. Last week, the petition — boosted by a letter of support from senior church officials — was addressed by council. The petition and letter call for the addition of an overhead street light at the corner of Highway 55 and Township Road 670, across from the entrance to Stanley Drive, just west of the Lac La Biche hamlet. The intersection, which is a little hidden to highway traffic approaching from the west due to a slight decline in the roadway, can be tricky to navigate for some motorists attending or leaving the church.

“This turn-off is especially hard to navigate when it gets dark and while still having to deal with the general traffic at highway speeds. The Church provides many programs a lot of which conclude well into the night. With a lot of youth attending these events there is a definite need to keep them safe during summer nights and icy winter evenings,” explained church’s congregation members in the petition. 

Lac La Biche County councillor John. Mondal says he has heard directly from some residents who go to the church and say something as simple as a yard light, just to illuminate the intersection, would meet their needs.

The municipality’s transportation and infrastructure department is aware of the request, and moving forward, county officials expect to shine some more light on the concern after speaking with electric services distributor FORTIS, and Alberta Transportation on the viability, future and approval of the request.