April showers: preparing for farm flooding

Spring brings with it some warmer, but wetter weather. With increased precipitation in the mix, flooding is always a concern. And the best way to prepare for floods is to take action before there is a problem.

The Government of Alberta website has outlined some flood preparation tips, specific to rural homeowners and residents. Here’s the steps you should take:

• Locate potential hazards in relation to water sources
• Secure potable water if there is a flood warning
• Identify high elevation areas for relocation
• Inspect dams and canals annually
• Have an Emergency Plan

It’s also always important to stay informed on weather alerts and trends for your area, so you can have time to prepare for when disaster hits. For weather alerts, check here.

And more the complete list of tips for farm flooding preparedness, read the post on the Government of Alberta website here.

Increasing your home’s value for the spring market

We’re heading into the Spring real estate market in Calgary, so before you list your home, here are some great tips for increasing resale value.

Renovations: now would be a great time to get those upgrades and renovations done on your home. There are lots of easy DIY solutions, or you can always hire a professional you trust.

Home staging: prospective buyers want to imagine your home as theirs. This can be hard to do if you have a lot of clutter in your home, or very dark or bright colours. The plainer, the better. Make sure your home is clean and clutter-free too! If you want some extra help doing it right, you can hire a home stager as well.

Curb appeal: this refers to the exterior appearance of your home. You want your home to be appealing at first impression, and the first place they will see it is from the curb. Ensure the outside of your home is up-to-date including landscaping, driveway, outdoor fixtures, etc.

These are just some tips, but don’t worry, I’ll always help you get your home ready for sale if you list with me. If you have any question, please feel free to ask!

Spring Cleaning: Garbage & Recycling Locations

If you’re planning on doing some spring cleaning anytime soon, there’s a number of depots and centres available for Springbank and Bearspaw residents.

Springbank Recycling Depot
67 Commercial Court (Wild Wild West Events Centre)
Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm

Accepting the following materials

  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Mixed papers
  • Glass
  • Small metal items

Bearspaw CHUCKwagon
*CHUCKwagons are mobile recycling bins that act as small-scale transfer sites.
253220 Bearspaw Road NW (Bearspaw Lifestyles Centre)
Open Wednesdays 10 am to 7 pm

Accepting the following materials

  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Mixed papers
  • Clear glass
  • Small metal items

Springhill CHUCKwagon
*CHUCKwagons are mobile recycling bins that act as small-scale transfer sites.
SpringHill RV Park on Highway 22
Open Sundays 9 am to 3 pm

Accepting the following materials

  • Household garbage
  • Newspaper
  • Mixed papers
  • Clear glass
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic

Fees for recycling and garbage locations in Rocky View County can be found online here.

 

Adjustments to Rocky View Master Rates

Rocky View County recently passed its annual adjustments to the Master Rates Bylaw, which outlines what residents pay for County services (building permits, utilities, licenses, etc.).

Most of the rates will remain unchanged for this year, and actually some will even be decreasing. In some categories, rates are rising 1-2% to cover inflation.

Increases include:

  • Bragg Creek sewer services are moving from a fixed rate of $125. per month to a rate of $25 plus $3.70 per cubic metre of water consumption to better reflect each homeowner’s individual use.
  • The costs of monuments, burial sites, and other cemetery-related services are increasing to move towards true cost recovery.

The new rates come into effect on April 1, 2015.

The Master Rates Bylaw reflects the County’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, which identifies fiscal sustainability as one of its pillars. The County is moving towards more user-based fee structures for programs and services that benefit only some residents. Currently fewer than 12,000 of the County’s 38,000 residents receive water, sewer, or curbside waste and recycling services provided by the County.

More information on the Master Rates Bylaw and its 2015 amendments can be found on the Rocky View County website here.

The Sustainable Future of Springbank Park For All Seasons

The Springbank Park For All Seasons (SPFAS) and their board of directors is committed to continued sustainability, and is currently focused on planning for the future of this goal.

A top priority for the Springbank Park For All Seasons’ Board of Directors and Staff Members is to provide safe and sustainable facilities where kids and adults play, families and friends come together, people meet socially, and individuals learn.

Just a few examples of how SPFAS is already going this:

  • An ongoing review of the long-term capital life cycle replacement plan
  • Maintaining a financial plan that assists with advancing long-term financial sustainability
  • Implementation of a plan to improve storm water drainage

In the most recent SPFAS newsletter, the group outlines some of the highlights of their comprehensive plan to see this goal into the future, including:

  •  Assessment of current facilities and services
  • Valuation of future facility and service needs
  • Cycle replacement sustainability
  • Evaluate the impact of population growth, related aging demographic and residency forecasts
  • Align objectives and plans with those of other recreation and culture service providers.

If you’re interested in joining the SPFAS Long-Term Planning Committee, contact SPFAS (send an email to jrop@springbankpark.com) to express your interest in helping to plan for the future of SPFAS and our Springbank Community.

Find out more about the SPFAS and their plan for sustainability on their website here.

Tips for Organizing Your Home Office

Today is “Organize Your Home Office Day”, and it’s the perfect time to get around to the office organization you’ve been putting off. Here are five tips for organizing your home office space:

1. Take advantage of storage boxes, and try going with ones made from luxurious materials for some extra flair.

2. Experts from Style at Home recommend using glass vases, jars and canisters to store things as it makes things easy to find.

3. While you want to keep your home office tidy and organized, add some accessories or flowers to keep it a cozy space you want to spend time in.

4. Seek inspiration from new places: social media sites like Pinterest or Houzz, a colour palette you see, etc.

5. Upcycle materials and turn trash into treasure. Your desk doesn’t need to be top-of-the-line or brand new.

If you find any great articles on home office organization, please feel free to share them with me on Twitter.

Glenbow Ranch Area Structure Plan one step closer

The new Glenbow Ranch Area Structure Plan (GBRASP) is another step closer after Rocky View County adopted the new Terms of Reference last month.

The terms provide direction for the review of a portion of Bearspaw Area Structure Plan, facilitating the development of the new GBRASP. The terms establish the scope, timeline and goals of the GBRASP.

The Terms of Reference include an approximate study area of 7,671 acres of land located south of Highway 1A, north of the Bow River, and between the Town of Cochrane and the City of Calgary. The GBRASP will replace a portion of the Bearspaw ASP, as the land is located within the Bearspaw ASP’s boundaries.

One of the objectives of GBRASP is to provide sensitive integration of natural features and historical areas of the park into the surrounding areas. Development in the area can now protect park values and support park operations as well.

Clearly stated within the proposed Terms of Reference, development will be integrated to enhance the experience of living in proximity to a provincial park, while minimizing the adverse impacts of development and park users.

This is an exciting development for Bearspaw and Rocky View residents, and you can find out more about these recent actions in this article by Rocky View Weekly.

Preparing for Severe Weather, of any Kind

While we’ve lucked out on severe weather in Calgary and surrounding area (fingers-crossed), weather has been a trending problem in other parts of Canada lately.

I found an article in Acreage Life Magazine, that provided some useful tips at the right time, on preparing your home for extreme weather. In the wake of the extreme weather we’ve seen so far this summer in Calgary: flooding, hail storms, etc., this information can really help you.

Have a plan in place:

• Establish meeting places in the home and neighbourhood
• Discuss your communication details: phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
• Keep a copy of emergency plans from schools, community centres, city centres, etc.
• Keep a list of emergency contacts: family members, physicians, etc.

Keep supplies on-hand:

• Keep enough non-perishable food, water and pet food to feed your family for up to 3 days
• Extra cash and copies of personal documents
• Battery-powered radio
• Medications
• Supplies such as: plastic sheets, dust masks, duct tape, etc.
• Extra clothing and hygiene items

Interested in reading more on this topic? Read the full Acreage Life article here.

What amenities do you want to see at ‘Bingham Crossing’?

The Bingham Crossing development will be located just west of Calgary in Springbank, a retail and lifestyle centre development.

The development is a partnered initiative by Rencor Developments and United Communities, and the two groups are looking for feedback from Springbank residents as to what types of amenities they would like to see in the development.

Over the next couple of weeks, Springbank residents will be getting phone calls where they will be asked to share input on retail, services and other amenities for Bingham Crossing.

Those community members not included in the survey are invited to contact Ron (403-263-4449 or renaudr@rencor.ca) or Paul (403-265-6180 orPDouglas@unitedcommunities.com) to pass on their thoughts.

You can find out more information about the Bingham Crossing development on their website here.

Springbank Park For All Seasons: Learn a Little More

Being a long-time resident of Springbank, I know how important the Springbank Park For All Seasons (SPFAS) is to the community. Springbank residents have a great opportunity with this facility to take advantage of recreation and social gatherings.

Here’s a quick look at the great facility and park:

Where is SPFAS?

It is located at 32224A Springbank Road in Rocky View County.

What is SPFAS?


The SPFAS provides recreation facilities and space for special events and meetings, and has partnered with many partners to provide sports programs and social activities to the community as well.

What’s at SPFAS?

• Indoor arenas
• Curling rink
• Outdoor arena
• Weight room
• Dryland training
• Lounge
• Indoor ball facility
• Baseball diamond
• Soccer field/football field
• Playground and green spaces

It’s a great place and I suggest you check it out if you haven’t already. You can find out more information on their website here. For other great things about Springbank, contact me (or tweet me).