County of Stettler approves two water line hook-ups, defers two others

Written by Stu Salkeld

Stettler county council approved two water line hook-up requests but deferred two others to possibly in the future. The four decisions were made at the March 8 regular meeting of council.

Councillors read four separate memos detailing property owners’ requests to hook up to the municipal water system. The requests were presented by Utility Clerk Sharon Larson.

The first requests came from a county resident who owns property north of Stettler. “A resident, north of Stettler, has requested to connect to the north-phase county waterline,” stated Larson in her first memo which noted the applicant’s legal land description as NE-6-40-19 -W4.

“With the location of the house from county water line, we have two options. One choice would be run south to the property from the existing north phase waterline, which is approximately 1,700 metres which some would be on undeveloped road allowance.

“There could be up to five possible connections on this route. The second option would be run it north from Highway #601 to the property, with the approximate distance 1,400 metres, with the possibility of three other connections.”

Larson noted the county, if it approved the request, had two options: a south-running three-inch line for $161,500 or a three-inch line south of the property line for $133,000. She noted the county’s Rural Water Services initial connection fee of $15,000 from the applicant could be applied to this project.

Coun. Justin Stevens stated he was hesitant to move forward on some of these water line hook-up requests because of the substantial cost to the county while not knowing for certain if other property owners would use that line in the future.

Director of Municipal Services Andrew Brysiuk stated “one-off” requests like this one are usually deferred or set aside by the County of Stettler to be looked at again in the event many users were interested.

Coun. James Nibourg, examining the maps provided, mused that there must be around 14 county residents living in that area which would make this project feasible.
Nibourg also made the motion to defer this application.

Coun. Paul McKay, who represents the division in question, understood why the deferral was necessary.

“I totally agree with that,” said McKay.

Coun. Ernie Gendre asked if the applicant was the lone land owner involved with this request and Larson stated it appeared that way. Gendre stated there didn’t appear to be anything threatening the applicant’s current water supply, so he supported deferral.

Councillors unanimously approved deferring this application to future development.

Larson stated the second request came from a county resident who lives near the Village of Big Valley and was requesting to tie into the Shirley McClellan Water Commission system.

“With the location of the house from the waterline, we would have to cross a large body of water,” stated Larson’s memo. “We would run the line from the north headed south to the property, the approximate distance would be 1,200 metres.

“Utilities received some approximate costs depending on pipe size. This price includes labour, equipment and materials; 6 inch ($175 per metre), 4 inch ($105 per metre), 3 inch ($95 per metre).” Estimates for the entire project were about $114,000 for the largest line.

Nibourg felt it would be tough to approve this request because no other county resident was nearby to possibly contribute.

Coun. Stevens disagreed, adding there were other residences nearby.

Coun. Dave Grover noted the length of the line as a problem. “Long ways to go for one hook-up,” said Grover, observing that the county charges $15,000 for a municipal hook-up and drilling a well costs around $20,000.

Councillors unanimously approved deferring this application to future construction.

The third application came from a property owner located at NE 22-38-19-W4 with Larson noting the applicant is very close to the central phase water line. It was estimated the hook-up would cost around $11,000, less than the $15,000 applicant fee. Councillors unanimously approved this request.

The last application came from a property owner located at SW 11-40-17-W4, which was described as directly off the Gadsby line. The tie-in costs for this application were also estimated to be less than the $15,000 hookup fee.

Councillors unanimously approved this request.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.