Council weighs water boundary change | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 19 Apr 2024 5pm

Council weighs water boundary change

    Rocky View County is awaiting a decision from Drumheller Town Council as to whether it will be able to utilize water beyond prescribed boundaries drawn up in an agreement with the Kneehill Regional Water Services Commission, now Aqua 7 Regional Water Commission.
    Rocky View is a member of the commission and has an allocation of 2,200 cubic metres per day. Under the most recent agreement dating back to 2008, the agreement allows water services to the corporate boundaries of the Hamlet of Kathryn.
    The County would like to extend those boundaries.
    “It was a restrictive map,” said Rocky View County Reeve Rolly Ashdown in the Rocky View Weekly. “It turned out the map was more restrictive… than it was meant to be. (We are) trying to clarify and establish good future supplies of water.”
    The Mail erroneously reported in its November 23 edition there would be a further allocation of 5,020 cubic metres per day to Rocky View. This is not the case according to Mayor Terry Yemen, who was on council in 2007 when the town was asked to relax the borders in order to bring water to the Balzac development. In fact, this is the biggest difference between the two proposals.
    “They are completely different, they are not even apples and oranges,” said Yemen. “We are already under contract to Rocky View for 2,200 cubic metres per day… all they are saying is ‘ let us plan for the future and let us use it anywhere in the MD.’”
    “They're not asking for any more than they are allotted for.”
    “It (2007 negotiations) was completely different. They were asking for 7,500 cubic metres per day and no ceiling on it. With that and all the other allocations, we would have to put money into the plant to update it and they weren’t there with enough money.”
    Councillor Sharel Shoff was also on council during those negations for the Balzac development. She said council is pondering the change. She said the concern is whether the change would be worthwhile to the Town of Drumheller.
    “What we are trying to find out is what would be the liability on the town,” said Shoff.
    She said while the town would gain on the revenue side, council wants to make sure the additional costs associated such as liability and plant costs for producing more water would be in line.
    “If our insurance is going to go up a lot, and we are not going to bring in that much more, why would we do it?” said Shoff.
    Yemen said when he was initially approached by Rocky View, it appeared to be an urgent concern, however it now appears the water would not be needed for a least five years and is  part of a long term plan.
    “I wish they would use their allotment. If they used it, it would be about a 10 per cent reduction in our utility costs,” said Yemen.

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