- Planning & Development
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- Zebra Mussels
The Summer Village of South Baptiste is a small municipality located approximately 170 KM north of Edmonton, Alberta on the South West shore of Baptiste Lake. Baptiste Lake is a medium-sized lake located within the County of Athabasca in central Alberta. South Baptiste is located approximately twenty kilometres west of the town of Athabasca.
Baptiste Lake has two basins joined by the Narrows. Both basins are similar in size; the deepest area of the south basin is approximately 28 m, whereas the north basin is shallow at about 16 m deep.
The lake was named after Baptiste Majeau, an early Metis settler in the area. The first permanent native settlement on Baptiste
Lake was established in the 1880's by a group of people from Saskatchewan. They lived on long, narrow lake-front lots.
In the early 1900's farming had begun in the area surrounding the Lake, and by 1930 most of the land that was not already settled was available for homesteaders.
Baptiste Lake is a good setting for power boating, water skiing, swimming, fishing and canoeing. Snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing are enjoyed during the winter months. The area around the Lake is a conservationists paradise, with rolling hills and forests filled with wildlife including deer, moose, and many other birds and animals.
The Summer Village of South Baptiste is a is a combination of full time residents and part time enthusiasts who all share their love for the lake. The residents are proud of the serenity of the lake, and encourage all residents and visitors to take care of the lake they love.
Website Revised 2016/05/21
Aerial Photo of Baptiste Lake taken in the Fall.
The decision making body for the Summer Village is a municipal Council consisting of three Councilors who were elected in 2013 for a four year term.
- A Council is responsible for
- developing and evaluating the policies and programs of the municipality;
- making sure that the powers, duties and functions of the municipality are appropriately carried out;
- carrying out the powers, duties and functions expressly given to it under the Municipal Government Act or Summer Village Bylaw.
- A Council must not exercise a power or function or perform a duty that is by this or another enactment or bylaw specifically assigned to the chief administrative officer or a designated officer.
Mayor Steve Hamilton
The Mayor is the chief elected official of the municipality and has duties of both councilor and chief elected official.
General duties of Chief Elected Official (Mayor):
Deputy Mayor Mike Isaac
General duties of the Deputy Mayor:
The Deputy Mayor, in addition to performing the duties of a councilor has the responsibility for presiding as the chief elected official in the absence of the Mayor.
Councilors have the following duties:
Chief Administrative Officer Ed Tomaszyk.
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Summer Village is appointed by, and reports to, Council. The CAO is responsible for the overall administration of the Summer Village.The responsibilities of the CAO include overseeing municipal operations and ensuring Council's priorities and strategic directions are achieved. In addition, the CAO is charged with keeping Council up to date on corporate matters and ensuring that Council policy is implemented and bylaws are enforced.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)
Telephone (780) 675-9270
Summer Village of South Baptiste-- Information for new residents is under development:
Summer Village Council Minutes Archive:
Council Minutes Download
Sewage Bylaw 1-07:
A Sewage Bylaw was enacted on July 7, 2007. This Bylaw states “On or before December 31, 2010, an approved system shall be installed and maintained on all properties which are being used for residential, recreational or commercial purposes within the Summer Village of South Baptiste.” In other words, all private sewage systems shall comply with the Albert Private Sewage Systems Standards of Practice 2009, effective December 31, 2010. Notices were sent to all property owners in the Summer Village.
During the summer of 2013, a suitably qualified contractor was hired to conduct an “Inventory of Private Sewage Systems”. The purpose of the inventory is to create a record of private sewage systems in the Summer Village and to obtain an opinion on whether installed systems conform to provincial standards as required by the Sewage Bylaw.
Property owners with non-conforming systems were notified on July 18, 2014, are are expected to take remedial action to bring respective systems into compliance.
Sewage Bylaw 1-07 Download
Spring 2015 Newsletter Download
Spring 2014 Newsletter Download
Spring 2013 Newsletter Download
Spring 2012 Summer Village Newsletter Download
Spring 2011 FireSmart Newsletter. Download
2010 Winter Newsletter. Download
Whispering Hills Transfer/Landfill Hours of Operation. Download
2014 Financial Statement Download
2013 Financial Statement Download
2012 Financial Statement Download
2011 Financial Statement. Download
2010 Financial Statement. Download
Land Use Zoning:
All Municipalities are required to enact a Land Use Bylaw providing for Land Use Zoning. This essentially classifies the type of development allowed on a parcel of land and contains rules for setback distances from property boundaries, total percentage of lot area covered by buildings, maximum height of buildings and other matters relative to development. Please consult the Summer Village of South Baptiste Land Use Bylaw for details.
This bylaw contains the rules and regulations for the development of land in the Summer Village.
Land Use Bylaw:
The Summer Village of South Baptiste issues Development Permits under the auspices of the Land Use Bylaw.
South Baptiste Land Use Bylaw: Download
Development Permit Application Form. Download
Permit Application Forms: (Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Gas & Sewage)
Permits for the foregoing disciplines are available from the Inspections Group in Edmonton who conduct inspections on behalf of the Summer Village which is accredited under the Alberta Safety Codes Act.
Download Application Forms from: http://www.inspectionsgroup.com/?p=permit_applications
Development Permits Issued:
For more information:
Summer Village of South Baptiste
724 Baptiste Drive,
West Baptiste, AB
The threat of wildfire is always imminent in communities if preventative measures are not taken into consideration, planned, and implemented in advance. As more new developments grow in forested areas and new dwellings are built in natural areas, the public should be aware of and united against the problems related to wildfire. There should be an awareness of preventative actions that can be taken in advance to supplement the efforts of organized firefighting services.
Forest and prairie wildfires are capable of spreading at an astonishing rate. Crowning wildfires often spread at rates of 7 kilometres per hour, and can potentially send embers as far as 2 kilometres ahead of the fire. Wind-blown prairie fires can travel at speeds in excess of 10 kilometres per hour.
In Alberta, 50 per cent of wildfires are caused by human activity. The remaining 50 per cent are sparked naturally by lightning.
Over the last 10 years, an average of 1,300 wildfires a year have burned 210,000 hectares of forest annually in Alberta. Wildfires have forced the evacuation of thousands of people from their communities, and have even destroyed homes.
If you live in or near a forested area, you may be more likely to encounter a wildfire. The best way to protect yourself against loss, damage or injury is to practice FireSmart principles on your property.
By following the FireSmart Home Owner’s Manual, you can help reduce that risk.
Download the Spring 2014 FireSmart Newsletter.
Download the Spring 2013 FireSmart Newsletter.
Download the Spring 2012 FireSmart Newsletter.
Regional FireSmart Plan
This FireSmart Plan identifies the potential risk of wildfire to the communities within the Forest Protection Area in the Athabasca County and provides recommendations to minimize that risk through the use of vegetation management, development control, legislation, public education, interagency cooperation, and emergency planning initiatives.
In 2003 supported by the Athabasca County, the Summer Villages, Hamlets and Country Residential Subdivisions Sustainable Resource Development completed a FireSmart Plan covering communities around Baptiste Lake, Crooked Lake, Island Lake, recreation areas and club facilities around Narrow and Long Lakes. This original 2003 FireSmart Plan also included the hamlets of Breynat and Wandering River.
The FireSmart plan will provide a working document to assist elected officials, municipal staff, emergency responders, land managers and local residents to plan and implement FireSmart initiatives within the communities around Baptiste Lake and in Athabasca County.
Baptiste Lake Wildfire Presuppression Plan for Baptiste Lake. Baptiste Lake Presuppression Plan 2012
FireSmart Flammable Fuel Reduction -- South Baptiste
In cooperation with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development South Baptiste is in the late stages of aFlammable Fuel Reduction project that begain in the fall of 2014. The proposed project is consistent with the Athabasca Regional FireSmart Plan 2011.
|The Weather Station at the following link is owned and operated by Chris & Donna Taylor who are permanent residents of the Summer Village of South Baptiste. The Weather station is located near the Burger Bar at the South West end of Baptiste Lake.|
|Local Weather at Baptiste Lake.|
Please contact the Summer Village Administrator at 780 675 9270 if you require any information on dates for meetings of Council.
The next meeting of Council will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at the West Baptiste Firehall and Recreation Center commencing at 10:00 AM.
Formation of Foam on Water Bodies.
The following article by Ron Zurawell provides information on the formation of foam on water bodies. Foam on Water Bodies.
Credit: Dr. Ron Zurawell, Ph.D., P.Biol. Limnologist/Water Quality Specialist, Alberta Environment
Health officials change public warnings about dangerous algae blooms in Alberta lakes
After four years and almost 100 blue-green algae advisories for Alberta lakes, the provincial health authority is changing the way it warns the public about the scummy, green growth that occurs in some of the province’s favourite swimming spots every year.
Lake users will be told if the toxin-producing organism is present — but they will only be cautioned to stay out of the water if a blue-green algae bloom is visible, often appearing as scum, fuzz or globs on the surface of water.
It’s a significant change from when Albertans were cautioned not to swim or wade in a lake where blue-green algae had been detected, no matter the size of the lake or the size of the bloom. The warning system had been in place since 2011 after the formation of Alberta Health Services, and advisories were widely disseminated through news outlets and social media.
“When people were getting these health advisories, they were getting the mental image that an entire lake was totally covered with algae and deadly to swim in,” said Mayor Don Davidson of the summer village Grandview on Pigeon Lake.
Davidson blames the media for misinterpreting the advisories, sometimes using photographs from an extreme blue-green algae bloom that plagued Pigeon Lake in 2006.
“People would be going to the lake and they’d hear on the radio that there are blooms at various lakes and they’d turn around to go home.”
Blue-green algae is actually a bacteria called cyanobacteria, which is present in all Alberta lakes. But the bacteria thrives with heat, light and nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen. Alberta’s nutrient-rich soils mean its lakes are prone to blue-green algae especially in hot summer months, while development and agriculture activities also introduce nutrients into a lake.
The blooms, and the toxins they produce, can make people or animals sick. Humans can experience skin irritation, rashes, sore throats, red eyes or swollen lips, among other symptoms. Drinking the water can lead to more serious illness, especially in pets or livestock that may drink a lot of lake water.
“It is AHS’s duty to protect health and to ensure the public is aware of potential risks to their health. This is why AHS issues blue-green algae advisories,” Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer of health with AHS, said in an email.
“Historically, we have placed less emphasis on the visibility of blooms as the measure of concern. This new messaging will better convey the importance of avoiding visible blooms, rather than whole lake avoidance ... Blooms can move rapidly from one location in a lake to another, and it is not possible for us to know where in a lake these may be, which is why we have further emphasized the importance of avoiding visible blooms.”
Many who live in lakeside communities or work closely with them say there’s no doubt the four-year-old advisory program was causing a degree of “panic.”
Alberta lakes may be experiencing more blooms because of increased development in local watersheds, but there has also been an increase in monitoring and how the public is informed.
“One of the problems was that people were saying, ‘We never had blooms before,’ ” said Bradley Peter, Lakewatch program manager with the Alberta Lake Management Society (ALMS).
“I think there was a misunderstanding with the advisory program and it took a lot of work to educate people that they weren’t monitoring it before; you’ve probably always had this and you just weren’t warned about the toxicity.”
The society does extensive data collection in Alberta lakes and Peter said the society was previously taking “the most cautious” route with its advisories, but that the position changed as more data was collected.
“From ALMS’s perspective, we’re really glad because the changes they’re making to the advisory system is based on the evidence they’ve collected with all of these samples over the years,” he said.
Arin MacFarlayne Dyer, the society’s executive director, hopes people won’t be unnecessarily avoiding Alberta lakes.
“With somewhere like Pigeon Lake, there’s sometimes the feeling that nothing can be done. But that should change with the message that you can swim in it, as long as you don’t see a green patch. And hopefully people understand that some green patches are completely natural.”
Invasive Invaders Invading!
- Gavin Berg & Kate Wilson
(Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development)
With warming temperatures and thawing lakes, there is more on our mind than peaceful weekends at the lake this summer! Aquatic invasive mussel species are knocking on Alberta’s door, threatening to show up at any given time and totally change the ecology of our local lakes and waterbodies.
Hitching a ride between lakes on boats, trailers and unwashed equipment, zebra and quagga mussels of the Dreissenid family are spreading throughout eastern Canada and the western United States at an almost unstoppable rate!
Originally from the Eurasian waters of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, it is believed that they spread to North America through the ballast water of large shipping vessels travelling down the St. Laurence Seaway. Once established in the Great Lakes region, boaters unknowingly helped move the species around the continent, infesting lakes and waterways from southern Ontario to Louisiana and west to Nevada and California. Many lakes and reservoirs across the southwestern United States is now home to quagga and/or zebra mussels.
So what’s the big deal? Imagine your beach having so many shells on it that you had to wear water shoes to prevent your feet from being cut when you go in the water (not to mention the smell of rotting shells). Imagine taking your dock out each year only to find it caked with mussels. Imagine your boat hoist being unusable because the mussels on the pipes prevent the hoist from going up and down. Imagine your potable water supply drying up because the intake pipes are too clogged with mussels. Imagine all of these things and then expand those thoughts to the larger picture. The Government of Alberta is responsible for approximately $8 billion worth of water infrastructure, including hydro electric and irrigation systems. Including the private sector, our water infrastructure is valued at over $14 billion – which does not include annual costs to replace and maintain facilities if mussels were to invade our lakes and rivers. Local industries also have a large stake in the issue. If these systems become fouled with invasive mussels, the amount of resources required to control the problem will be astronomical. These are real threats and one only has to look to our neighbours to the south to see the evidence and damage these species are causing.
To date, there has been no record of the species occurring in Alberta waterways, although there have been several mussel-fouled boats intercepted already this season! Most other jurisdictions have mandatory watercraft inspection stations with the same goal of thwarting a mussel invasion in mind. These inspections stations are incredibly valuable face-to-face educational opportunities as well as a mighty preventative tool. Ensuring that boats are CLEAN, DRAINED, and DRY prevent all kinds of other invasive species from taking up residence in our waters too, Eurasian watermilfoil, New Zealand mudsnails, and Didymo, to name a few. Due to the vast number of boat launches, it usually makes the most sense to set inspection stations up on major highways, which targets the highest risk boaters (who travel with their watercraft or buy them elsewhere) and provides the best safeguard to protecting our lakes.
Zebra and quagga mussels eat by filtering water and removing microscopic organisms. In a water body with a large outbreak of mussels, this filter-feeding can quickly deplete the lake of an important food source for native species in the lake, such as the larval and juvenile stages of sport fish. Additionally, by removing the microscopic organisms the water becomes much clearer. Less turbid water leads to much higher plant growth which wreaks havoc on boaters and changes the delicate balance of the natural ecosystem. Mussels have also been linked to exacerbating algae outbreaks and contributing to large scale bird die-offs due to botulism contamination up the food chain.
The Alberta Government is initiating a program to fortify our borders from the threat of these invasive species. In the summer of 2013, boat inspection stations will be set up at some of our most vulnerable border crossings and a monitoring program will be initiated to ensure that our lakes have not already been infested. In addition, we will have an emergency response in place that will enable us to respond to situations where mussel-fouled boats can be intercepted and properly decontaminated before launching in Alberta lakes.
There are a few simple steps that people can take to prevent aquatic hitchhikers when transferring equipment from one water body to another:
- CLEAN your equipment. Before you leave the access area or dock, remove any plants, mud or debris. When you get home, soak your gear in a 2% bleach solution (20 ml of bleach per 1L of water) for one minute. Wash your boat with warm soapy water.
- DRAIN all the water from your boat and equipment (coolers, live wells, bilges, buckets and ballasts) before leaving the boat launch area.
- DRY your gear completely between trips and allow the wet areas of your boat to air dry.
Spread the word, not the species. Informing water users of the issues surrounding these species and the steps to take to reduce the threat is a major step that we can take to get ahead of the problem. If you or someone you know is bringing a boat in from elsewhere or planning on traveling with their boat, help us spread the word and protect our waters!
Summer Village of South Baptiste
724 Baptiste Drive,
West baptiste, Alberta.
Telephone 780 675 9270