Hello, Diamond Valley. Well, summer has officially begun. It seemed like the seasons are a bit off this year, a bit late. The lilacs took their time blooming and the rain seemed to come later than usual. Not surprising that the world is off kilter. So far Alberta is not doing too bad with flattening that curve, let’s keep up the good work and not let our guards down yet. It still feels odd to run into someone at the grocery store and feel you can’t just stand there and gab like normal. Of course, you don’t want to hold up the whole social distancing thing and block the aisles while you catch up with friends. Also, I noticed as polite Canadians we would hold the doors open for others, but now it’s too close to do so. But it does feel as though we are getting back to a more normalness, take a deep breath that we have survived so far.
Normally the Foothills would be in full summer mode by now, with festivals, motorcycle rides, car shows, and concerts. It started with our Diamond Valley Parade being cancelled, and then our July 1st Music Fest, the Black Diamond Car Show, Little New York Days, and of course the Calgary Stampede. I did find one ride this year, according to their Facebook, is the Ride for Sight. This is the longest running motorcycle charity in Canada. They are set to go on July 19 from 9-5. Kickstands up at the Bragg Creek Community Association and the ride has stops in Cochrane and Stoney Nakoda, and ends up in Canmore. There will be a poker run, door prizes, show and shine, and all the usual Ride fun, with social distancing in place of course. To find out more, go to Facebook and check out Ride for Sight.
Hopefully most of us will not have to travel far in the near future, and any holidays should thoughtfully be taken close to home in our own province. As things start opening up again, let’s explore our backyard while keeping our health precautions up. There’s so much history to explore in the Foothills. The historic Bar U Ranch just south of Longview is open again. Your admission will get you access to site grounds, and a new walking trail offer from the historic core through the entire site. Some staff will be working on traditional ranching tasks throughout the site. They have closed the buildings for now but public washrooms are open and maybe more by now. To find out more about this historic ranch, visit pc.gc.ca/baru.
Our own Turner Valley Legion has been open for takeout for quite some time, and now they are open inside as well. Their Saturday breakfast looks divine, they offer Eggs Benedict and a Mimosa special, or cinnamon bun French toast with bacon and hash browns, along with other breakfasts, and that’s every Saturday from 8-3. Check out their wing night on Thursdays, $5 for a wing order, dine in only, and check out the new bar as well. You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the Legion, kids are welcome too, just sign the guest book at the top of the stairs. The Legion is located at 121 Sunset Boulevard East and for more information, visit them on Facebook or call 403-933- 4600 or 4564.
The Turner Valley Golf Course is open as well, and they are starting to get into the swing of things. As of right now, they offer business ladies and AM ladies leagues on Wednesdays, and Tuesdays it is senior men’s and sandbaggers leagues, according to their calendar. Public washrooms are available, as well as carts. The Royalite Grill is open with two patios from 8:30am- 9pm, back with the popular Fish Fridays. The restaurant’s number for more info or takeout is 403-933-9239, and to find out more or book a tee time on the course, call 403-933-4721.
The Millarville Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays from 9-2. Their campground is open as well starting July 1st, but your unit must be self contained with a washroom and water, and your own power source, and a minimum of a 3 day stay. The Market is one of the most famous markets around, and a nice way to spend a morning. One thing I’ve noticed about social distancing, is there are more line-ups for things, which is another instance of learning patience. There will be of course social distancing measures at the Market, but for those who would rather avoid the crowds and the line- ups, Millarville Market has implemented a shopping hub online with all your favorite vendors, so check them out online at millarvilleracetrack.com.
While researching the Market, I discovered that the Millarville Racetrack is also home to the High Country Carriage Club. They are a group of driving enthusiasts promoting the history, sport, and fun of carriage driving, and are celebrating over 25 years of the heritage of carriage driving. The club welcomes all equines and all ages and skill levels of drivers. They may offer financial support for youth members wishing to participate in clinics and at driving events. For more information on this unique club, visit hccdc.ca.
Back in town, Black Diamond has most businesses open. I heard the BD Hotel has been refinishing their floors and expect to open the first part of July. Playgrounds are open but not too busy as it is rather difficult to self sanitize all the equipment. The arenas remain closed for now. Our garbage pickup is now everyone on Thursdays, until the pilot project of Okotoks picking up our bins ends on November 30, and then we will see what happens then. I would like to give a big shout out to all my friends in our health care system and first responders, who have been to work diligently during this pandemic. Thank goodness for all of you.
Property taxes are normally due by the end of July, but Black Diamond has implemented a deferral program, due to the pandemic. Property taxes will be due by September 30, with no penalties until October 1st. The same goes for unpaid utility (town bills) accounts, no penalties will be applied until September 16. However! If you can pay your taxes now, or pay monthly as I do, please do so, this will help. In Alberta, residential and most commercial property is assessed using the market value approach. Market value is defined as the price a property might reasonably sell for after adequate time and exposure to an open market when sold by a willing seller to a willing buyer. Agricultural properties are assessed differently. If you disagree with your property assessment, you can appeal by contacting Alberta Municipal Affairs at toll free 310-0000, then 780-422-1377.
Black Diamond’s Town Council has been meeting via teleconference during the pandemic. Agendas are generally published 5 days before a regular meeting, and the next one is July 15 at 9am. You can hear the meeting by participating in the call using the phone number 1-833- 353-8610 and using the participant code 7463112# in the address section. You can pre-submit a question to be heard during question period by following instructions under Section 5 in the Council Meeting Agenda. All this information is online at town.blackdiamond.ab.ca., or call the Town at 403-933-4348.
Turner Valley’s Town Council’s next meeting is July 15 as well, at 9:30am. This is a Municipal Planning Commission meeting and is open to the public. You can find the agenda for this meeting at the Town’s Civic Web portal, which also enables you to learn about meetings, search for documents, look up bylaws, view reports, subscribe for meetings using E-updates, and more. All information can be found at turnervalley. ca, or the Town’s phone number is 403- 933-4944.
Turner Valley has most businesses open as well. I see the Royal Bank may be shutting down their ATM at some point, which we all knew would happen eventually. The Pool, ball diamonds, Sheep River Library, and Flare and Derrick are closed for now. The Transfer Station is open for your grass clippings, leaves, and branches, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10-4. The Oilfields Recycle Centre is opening up again, but I read they are not accepting plastics at this time. What can be done about plastics in today’s world? We can all try to buy less packaging and try to reuse plastics, such as bags, and I look forward to researching more about plastic recycling or different packaging in another issue. The Oilfields Recycle Centre is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:30-4:30, they ask that you pre-sort your recyclables and if it looks busy come back later!
Foothills County has an early warning system which is part of a regional alert system called Safe Communities Alert Network. Residences and businesses can sign up to receive alerts on their phone, email, or text. Sign up online at mdfoothills.com/emergencymanagement. They suggest taking 20 minutes or so to prepare your personalized Emergency Preparedness Plan. This plan will help you and your family in case of
emergency, such as meeting places, location of fire extinguishers and water valves, emergency contacts, what to do with the pets, etc. Also, a good idea is an Emergency Kit, make it easy to carry and locate, and it should contain items such as food and water, a flashlight, wind up radio, first aid kit, etc. Visit the above website for details on your Plan and your Kit.
If you plan on camping and/or having a backyard fire, PLEASE pretty please remember to watch your fire carefully and make sure it is out. Slowly add water or loose dirt and stir. Lots of water will speed the cooling process. Disturb the firepit rim to expose burning material. Continue adding loose dirt or water as necessary. When you feel the campfire is completely out, touch it to test. Your campfire is not out until you can touch it. To find out about fire bans and restrictions, visit albertafirebans.ca. And also, please be aware of water safety on our rivers, streams, and lakes this summer. Slippery rocks can cause falls and feet can become trapped. Rivers in the Foothills can contain debris like logs and overhanging trees. Swimmers and rafters can easily get caught in these hazards and the current can cause them to become trapped. It is important to scout the river and assess dangers. Go with a buddy, wear a lifejacket, closely supervise children, don’t drink, check the forecast, and never dive into shallow water if unsure of hazards underneath.
That being said, July 4-5 is Alberta Free Family Fishing Weekend. This is the perfect time to get hooked on fishing, as you and your family can fish without a license this weekend. Waters must be open for fishing season and cannot be in a national park. Fishing regulations apply such as size of fish and number of catch. There is nothing like a fresh fish fry up, something different after being stuck inside for so long, and this year I would like to try smoking my trout in the smoker, can hardly wait. For more information on where to fish and regulations, visit mywildalberta.ca.
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Happy Summer and Stay Safe!!!