AltaLink narrows in on CETO routes

Director of Corporate Services Tanya Meston, Chief Administrative Officer Michelle White, Coun. Ed Cole, Coun. Viki Soltermann, Mayor Rob Fehr, Coun. Barb Gilliat and Director of Public Works Terry Allan stand for a group photo inside the newly installed $1 million lift station on the north side of the Village of Alix. Although a high price point, it did come under budget by $200,000 and will provide the village at least 45 years of service. ECA Review/T.Huxley

 

John Grove, municipal relations manager at AltaLink, Sean Heffernan, senior right-of-way planner at AltaLink and Dr. Ramaiah Divi, lead engineer with AESO came to council chambers on Wed. June 19 with an update on the Central East Transfer Out (CETO) project and its portion surrounding Alix.

AltaLink and ATCO Electric have partnered together to make the project a reality.

In January, they did their first round of consultation with affected landowners and through this consultation, they proposed a number of routes which has since been reduced to three based on the feedback.

Landowners were concerned with the double circuit structure that carries six wires instead of a single circuit monopole structure with three so the project is focusing on the single circuit model for now.

The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), which determines what projects are needed and develops a 20-year future plan, has identified that the monopole structure must be installed by 2023 while the double structure will not be required until potentially 2027 if at all.

“We do have the option to address all of it now and do all of it now. A single circuit, in the event that the need goes out beyond 2027, then we would be basically doing a second new project for that second circuit,” said Heffernan.

Alix’s next open house is scheduled for Tues. July 16 at the Alix Hall where residents can share their concerns and questions with professionals working on the project.

The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) requires a second round of consultation where 100 per cent of affected parties have been notified and spoken with.

Individual landowners often give information on the characteristics of their land which is beneficial to Altalink and their decision in route choice as they don’t always understand what the soil holds.

“We are trying to identify areas where it might be more impactful to have a pole,” Heffernan.

Anyone within an 800 metre diameter of a potential route as well as adjacent landowners will be mailed and contacted directly for a one-on-one consultation.

Grove highlighted the benefits of having a new industrial business on the south end of the village as it would increase the village’s tax base.

He also encouraged everyone who is affected to stay involved all the way to the AUC decision as their voice will be heard at the hearing, giving the committee more to consider when addressing the CETO project application.

“My message here is to potentially impacted stakeholders,” said Grove.

“If you’re still impacted, stay involved right through to the hearing. Have your say at the public hearing and make sure you have consulted with all of that paperwork that is there. Let the AUC hear you and make its decision.”

The routes are still being refined at this time to make sure they are the least impactful.

One route will be selected out of the three to choose from.

The CETO project is located within the Counties of Red Deer, Lacombe, and Stettler. It stretches approximately 60 kilometres of new 240 kilovolt transmission line connecting the Gaetz Substation near Red Deer to a new ATCO line southeast of Alix.

Honorarium policy carried

Council approved the Emergency Services Policy with minimal changes including a slight increase in mileage to 50 cents per kilometre.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White conducted some research on the matter and found that all communities she looked into approached it differently, leaving council’s decision open-ended in terms of how they wanted to approach the policy.

This particular policy determines reimbursement rates for the director of emergency management and deputy director when they act on behalf of the village.

 

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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