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Rowland Farms makes safety request with M.D.

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Taber Times

By Cole Parkinson
Taber Times

One of the larger businesses in the area has inquired to M.D. council about implementing potential security measures to their properties.

The problem though lies in the fact the roads leading into them are on M.D. road allowance which has made things a bit more challenging.

Despite that added hurdle, Rowland Farms hopes the M.D. sees the need to put up some extra security to a few of their locations.

“Essentially, what we would like to do is permit us to have lockable gates, signage, security cameras and lighting on two dead-end roads for safety and security reasons. In the original letter, we suggested we turn those into private roads, but we understand there are some limitations to that on the M.D. road allowance. What we’re looking for is to work with the M.D., there is actually three different locations that we would like to have lockable gates, signage, security cameras and lighting established on,” said Keith Jones, CFO and general manager of Rowland Farms at the M.D.’s regular meeting on Nov. 7.

The three locations that Jones mentioned are two spots along the eastern end of Township Road 11-4 and the other is located on Range Road 17-0, southbound from Township Road 12-0.

The need for additional surveillance on their premises comes from previous people accessing their property from these roads.

“The rationale for this, although these roads are on M.D. road allowances, is they are not through roads. They are all dead-end roads and terminate on private property. There have been safety and security issues at these locations over the past few years. One not long ago involved employees, but there are no well sites being serviced from these roads, so there is no need for public access to these roads. We would padlock these gates to prevent trespassers and unauthorized visitors, but we would be pleased to provide designated M.D. staff with key codes and our after-hours support number for whatever reason needed for the M.D. We are looking for a workable solution with the M.D,” said Jones.

“What we would like to do is put a lockable gate going southbound on Range Road 17-0. Going south, that is a M.D. road allowance that we built and had a road agreement with the M.D. and had a private contractor build the road to the M.D.’s specs. As soon as it comes off a bit to the east, it is then a private road that goes down to the irrigation pivots that are there and then down to a cabin along the Old Man River.”

The cost of adding these increased measures would be taken on directly by the company says Jones.

“We will establish the gates and maintain them at our expense as well as the roads inside the gates at our expense as well. The M.D. has established precedence for this in several locations around the M.D., so we felt it was a reasonable request and we look forward to working with the M.D. to work out the details for it.”

Another issue they have run into is people thinking the roads lead to the Town of Vauxhall, even though they just lead to private property.

They have had a recent issue where someone came through the property which has led them to try to expedite the process for the safety of everyone involved.

“One of the reasons there have been problems on this road in particular is from time to time members of the public feel that it is an alternative road to Vauxhall or short cut. In fact, the one instance where a young fella came in and had obviously been drinking a little too much. So he tried to drive down and through and up over the hill. He nearly killed himself, police came out and there was a bit of a high speed chase cross some of our land,” said Jones.

“The police apprehended him and dealt with it, but unfortunately this is one of the challenges we’ve had at this location. Another big issue for us is Roy’s daughter lives here and she lives by herself so it’s a heightened issue of safety and security from the Brewin family’s perspective.”

Council didn’t make any decisions on allowing the added gates and security but decided to continue discussing the matter moving forward.

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