Sturgeon County should look to build a west-side fire hall to help homeowners extinguish burning hot insurance prices, says a county council candidate.
Wayne Bokenfohr confirmed Sept. 10 he will seek re-election this fall as Division 3 (Villeneuve, Calahoo) councillor for Sturgeon County.
First elected in 2013, Bokenfohr is a land developer and lifelong county resident who has served two consecutive terms on county council.
Bokenfohr said he is running again to see through the county’s efforts to improve rural broadband — a cause he has championed for eight years and that is now coming to fruition through the $7.3-million broadband pilot project set to roll out this year in the Villeneuve, Calahoo, and Rivière Qui Barre regions.
“Nothing [has made] it more evident that [broadband] is a necessity than this pandemic,” Bokenfohr said.
Bokenfohr expressed pride in being Sturgeon County’s representative to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for the last five years, through which he has promoted the county across the nation and drawn significant grant dollars to this region.
“I have a clear vision for the future of what Sturgeon County can be,” he said, and plenty of items he hopes to address if re-elected.
Bokenfohr said he wants to create more water sources so the entire county can receive superior tanker shuttle service accreditation — an enhanced level of fire protection currently available to homes within eight kilometres of a fire hall and five kilometres of a recognized water source (such as a river).
“There are some people [in the county] who are paying more for home insurance than they are for taxes,” he said, and this certification could help lower their costs.
Bokenfohr also wants to explore construction of a new fire hall west of Highway 2 to improve response times in that region.
If re-elected, Bokenfohr said he hopes to change the county’s land-use bylaw to allow for more flexibility when subdividing farmland.
“A lot of land in Calahoo is non-farmable,” he said as an example.
“If it’s not [farmable], why not allow two or three more acreages off those pieces [of land] so our county can grow and our youth have the ability to stay in the county?”
As a board member with the River Valley Alliance, Bokenfohr said he hopes to expand trails in the Sturgeon Valley regions and link them to St. Albert and Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park, if re-elected. He also hopes to officially designate the bridge on Meadowview Drive near the Sandpiper Golf and Country Club west of St. Albert as the Cunningham Bridge (as it has been unofficially known for more than a century).
Visit www.sturgeoncounty.ca/Election for details on the 2021 Sturgeon County election.