Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
2 LETHBRIuGt luesaay, June n, 19.4 ByMICHAEL ROGERS Herald Staff Writer The gravel industry in Southern Alberta could run into a pretty rough stretch a few years down the road as supplies are running out and the cost of gravel going up. Lethbridge's chief engineer for the provincial department of highways says supplies of gravel in Southern Alberta, particularly the southeastern part of the province, are rapidly running out. Joe Plowach gravel supplies around Cardston, Warner, Milk River and near the Montana border are being depleted and in the future gravel may have to be brought to the areas by rail or truck. This will add to the cost. are land owners who have gravel supplies and there are also supplies on Indian reserves but the cost of getting the gravel from these sources has to be he said. He indicated as one travels east the sources become fewer but when travelling West the sources increase. "Foct Macleod has a tremendous supply of gravel because of the outwash and, of course the mountains have an almost endless supply of natural Mr. Glowach said. He said with the natural deposits in the mountains there is the question of the cost and time involved in blasting and crushing the gravel. "But in 20 years we may have a new way of road building and no need for gravel. We might not even need roads in 20 he suggested. Bob Grant, of the County of Lethbridge office, agreed with Mr. Glowach that Southern Alberta is running short of gravel supplies and said in some cases gravel has to be trucked 20 to 25 miles for road maintenance. He said there may be gravel" available on a farmer's land, but the farmer may want to Keep it. "The gravel could be expropriated but that's not a very popular way of doing Mr. Grant said. He said most of the gravel used for maintenance in the county is from pits leased from farm owners. Mr. Grant said another source of supply for gravel is at the river bottom but environmental regulations force the removal of gravel be done a certain way. "It has to be done right and each river bottom site will require a different method. The grave1 can't just be taken he said. A local sand and gravel company manager indicated the City of Lethbridge may have to more for gravel in the years to come. "THe city uses about one million yards a year for road maintenance, so each year the city workers will have to go farther and farther out to get the said Glenn Tollestrup, of Tollestrup Sand and Gravel. He said his company buys gravel from farmers at 15 cents a yard and 10 cents a yard from the Crown. Large plant nursery could help solve tree problems A large plant nursery is in the planning stages by city officials, the Lethbridge parks superintendant says. Bill Brown said the city has a small nursery near the Mountain View Cemetery on Scenic Drive, but almost all trees required for planting by the city are acquired from commercial nurseries all over the country. The present nursery is primarily used for storing trees after purchase until they are needed, he said. If an expanded nursery is developed, commercial purchases would still be made and the nursery would be used to grow plants that are not commercially available. Mr. Brown said. Some of the trees the city buys are too small for successful planting, but with the increased nursery space, trees could be purchased and planted until they reach the proper size. Mr. Brown said the new nursery, planned for a parcel of city owned land north of Lethbridge. could not economically compete with private operations in supplying all city needs. But if the project is approved, it would help the parks department solve one of its tree problems. Much of the stock bought from private companies is produced from seed instead of from grafts This means the city doesn't know exactly what variety of a certain tree it is buying. Plants that produce airborne seed every year, such as poplar, are a nuisance, he said, and in areas with overhead wiring, the city wants trees that will mature at a height lower than the wires. By WARREN CARAGATA Herald Staff Writer To meet these, and other, requirements, the city would have to buy trees produced from grafts and these are too expensive. But with a large nursery, the city could produce its own plants from this method for planting in certain areas, he said. This year, the parks department ordered about 3.000 trees, but poor climatic conditions resulted in v of oniv 600. Most of the trees planted are deciduous (they lose their leaves every although some evergreens are purchased. Evergreens are unsuitable for boulevard planting, he said, because they create blind spots for drivers. In addition, it is difficult to maintain grass under them. In older areas of Lethbridge. poplar is the most common variety but in new subdivisions, city crews are planting flowering crabapple. and some ash and elm. Poplars grow too large and are out of scale with modern one storey homes. They break sewer lines with their roots and produce airborne seed in the fall, he said. Mr. Brown said the department is interested in planting a variety of different species, not only for asethetic reasons, but to prevent a disease, such as Dutch Elm. from wiping out all trees in the city. The city spends quite a bit of time trying out new species to see if they will survive in our climate and suit certain needs. Pear trees have been planted along 5th Avenue in front of the parkade. and the few oak trees planted "seem to be reasonably successful." Mr. Brown said.