Stettler County council has, at least temporarily, denied a water hookup request for a residence near Buffalo Lake.
Council received the request during its Nov. 15 meeting, where it was notified that a ratepayer south of an existing waterline has requested a connection due to the ongoing drought conditions in the region.
According to Sharon Larsen, one of the County of Stettler administrative staff, there are two options to run the line, a 130-metre run of waterline or a 165-metre waterline run.
Under existing Stettler County policies, water connections are charged $15,000 to cover costs, with additional costs, if approved, coming from other revenue sources.
The longer run, getting the waterline closer to the acreage that needs it, would cost nearly $36,000. To do the shorter run, the total would be around $23,500, still in excess of the $15,000 charge.
Coun. James Nibourg noted that with a second property being in the area, if a second connection could be made the cost would be nearly “a wash.”
Larsen notes that the applicant is currently hauling water to the property as they have lost the use of the well on the property due to the drought conditions.
Coun. Les Stulberg put forward a carried motion directing administration to connect with the landowner and outline all the available options, including getting a second connection on the proposed line.
Stettler County has approved a new joint fire agreement with the Town of Stettler.
According to Andrew Brysiuk, the county’s director of municipal services who presented the request for council decision (RCD), a renewed joint fire agreement had been on the county’s radar since at least 2020; however, the county’s hand was forced earlier in 2023 when the Town of Stettler announced its intention to withdraw from the agreement.
However, the town and county, through a process of mediation, did ultimately end up returning to the negotiating table which resulted in the signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two municipalities in June.
“I think this is a proud moment for the county and the town,” said Coun. Les Stulburg.
With the MOU signed, the parties resumed the negotiating process ending up with the agreement before council on Nov. 15.
Brysiuk notes that the new agreement has a “clear definition of roles and responsibilities” between the two parties, while also decentralizing command roles and establishing the position of town and county fire chiefs.
The carried motion to approve the agreement was put forward by Niboourg. The Town of Stettler will review the agreement Nov. 21.