Moving to Saddle Hills County
So, you’ve bought a property and are looking to move to the County. Congratulations! We’re all really proud of our community and we’re happy to welcome you here!
Moving to a new home always has its challenges. There are a few things that you’re going to need to get ready before you can properly settle in. This handy guide is here to help you make sure you have everything set up and ready to go!
Before we get into it, there are two things to keep in mind no matter what your situation is:
First, ask your neighbors for help. We all take pride in helping others here in Saddle Hills, and as a new member of the community, people are going to be more than happy to help you get established and comfortable. In rare cases like floods or power outages, a friendly neighbor can literally save your life. Ask the people who live around you out to coffee and learn a bit about County life. Lifetime residents will not only know plenty about the community, but they’ll also probably know a fair bit of the history of your property, which can be incredibly useful information.
Second, there’s a lot of work that will need doing to get moved in. If there is any work that you need to contract out, you can always check our Business Directory to find local workers who know how to get the job done.
Moving to a Rural Property
First and foremost, if you’re buying an empty acreage, the County will put in one access point to your land from the road. Other than that, if you want more road access from your property, you’ll need to get in touch with our Public Works Department. Make sure your vehicle is good on gas because you’ll be driving a lot up here. We have gas stations at the Blueberry and Bay Tree General Stores, but you should definitely have a few jerry cans of gas at home just in case. If your lot doesn’t have direct access to the highway, figuring out the shortest route to paved road is going to help a lot. During the wet season, the gravel roads can turn to mud, and snow piles high in the winter, so be sure your vehicle has four-wheel drive. You’ll need it.
The two closest large centers are Dawson Creek in BC and Grande Prairie. Any services and amenities that are not available in the County will be available in one of these two centers. Dawson Creek is significantly closer to the communities of Bay Tree, Bonanza, Silver Valley, and Gordondale, while Blueberry Mountain, Fourth Creek, and Savanna are about the same distance to either. Woking is quite a bit closer to Grande Prairie, and many of the people in the Hamlet commute to the city for work.
If you’re not building your own house from the ground up, it’s best to get an inspection done on your new home. Many of the houses in the County are older buildings. Deterioration over time and changing standards mean that many of these houses could need renovations. Make sure you know that your house is safe and up to code.
The previous owners of the property may have left some things behind. Before dealing with any of it, make sure there are no environmental risks like dead livestock, dangerous chemicals, or anything else that may be dangerous to dispose of. If the previous owners left behind brush piles or any other materials that are safe to burn, be sure to submit a Controlled Burn Notification to the county before you start burning. Find someone with a skid steer to haul anything else off the property you don’t want.
Once your property is clear, you can get your gas and electricity going. Most County residents use ATCO and Central Peace Gas. They may need to put lines in, so be sure to contact them to get that work done. Sometimes, environmental conditions cause power outages. There are cases where your utilities might not work, so you should have a generator and a wood-burning stove in your home. Spare parts for the generator (and any other equipment you have) is a must. If your generator fails during a power outage, you’re hooped! The knowhow to repair your own equipment is also key. Paying to get an electrician out from Dawson Creek or Grande Prairie is going to be expensive.
For getting water into your home, you’ll have the option to hook directly into the County’s Rural Waterline completely free of charge. Contact us to get set up! You can also get funding through our Water Cistern Subsidy Program to build a cistern to collect water from. Many people in the County draw their water from a dugout, or get water hauled in by truck.
To set up a lagoon set up for wastewater, you’ll need to contact Alberta Environment for permissions to get started. Once the paperwork is done, you can hire out a backhoe to get the lagoon dug. You’ll want to get two tanks installed: one for black water, and one to separate out solid waste. Depending on who you get to pump the waste out, it’ll run you around $500.00.
TELUS is the only provider that does landline phones in the County. Cell service is constantly improving as our modern communications projects grow and evolve. There are several internet service providers (ISPs) for you to pick from in the County. Learn more about Internet and Cell Services in the County.
If you have any other questions, you can contact us at the County office, and our team can help you work through any problem you might have!
Moving to The Hamlet of Woking
So, you’ve bought your property in Woking and you have the keys to your new home. All of the infrastructure should be in place, so you’ll just need to call us to get your water hooked up. For phone, internet, and utilities, contacting private providers is the same as in any urban center. Again, see our Business Directory to see all your options. If you have a dog, you’ll need to register for a dog licence and tag.
For anything else, you can always contact us, or come to the County office and we will be happy to help you!
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