“I am pleased to advise your council of the Alberta government cost-shared grant funding that will be provided under the Water for Life Action Plan for the Cambria to East Coulee regional waterline extension,” states the correspondence.
Yemen was elated with the announcement.
“We’ve been lobbying and lobbying, so they have heard from us a number times,” said Yemen.
He adds what makes the grant even more attractive is that it is a 90-10 cost sharing grant, meaning the Town of Drumheller is responsible for 10 per cent of the costs.
“It’s a 90-10 split, which is awesome, that doesn’t happen very often,” said Yemen.
He said there is still quite a process before the shovel hits the ground. He says they have completed some preliminary engineering of the project, and the cost will have to be brought up to date.
He explains the funds will bring the water line to East Coulee, and hook ups will be covered by a local improvement tax.
“Once we get some updated costs, we will do first reading of the bylaw, and then the people of East Coulee will have an opportunity to look it all over,” said Yemen.
He said the Municipal Government Act allows those affected to petition against the project, and if they are able to garner 60 per cent of the residents, they can challenge the project.
Yemen asserts there is support for the project by residents of East Coulee.
“It is obvious there are some real benefits here; the good continuous supply of water, you don’t have to worry about sand points plugging up and wells running dry,” he said, adding that property values could rise.
“I have had a number of people talk to me about it. There are some people who live right along the river who say ‘I have a good well, we don’t need your water.’ But as soon as you move into East Coulee the question is ‘when are you bringing the water, we need it right way.’”
He says if the process goes smoothly they should be able to close tenders this summer and start on the project in the fall.
Mayor Yemen sees the project as unifying to the valley.
“It is just about the last piece of the puzzle until we're all one,” he said.