File photo

File photo

City of Wetaskiwin Council approves creation of Peace Hills Utilities Inc.

At the regular Feb. 14, 2022 City of Wetaskiwin Council meeting, council approved the business plan for the creation of Peace Hills Utilities Inc.

The city stated that Peace Hills Utilities Inc. will function as a Municipally Controlled Corporation (MCC). An MCC is a business or organization that is created and controlled by a municipality. With approval from council Peace Hills Utilities Inc., will operate the city’s water and wastewater services.

The MCC structure minimizes the financial implications this mandated upgrade has on local ratepayers and allows the city to retain ownership of the infrastructure.

“It’s important to our residents and business owners that we continue to explore funding options for this project,” said Mayor Tyler Gandam.

“Federal, Provincial and Municipal orders of Government all share a responsibility when it comes to protecting the environment.”

The city said it continues to lobby the other orders of government for additional grand funding as well as reduced effluent discharge limits to offset the costs of the projects.

Thus far the only funding the city has received for this project is a &12.9 million grant provided by the Government of Alberta.

The City of Wetaskiwin began exploring wastewater treatment options after being mandated by the other orders of government to upgrade its wastewater systems to meet current effluent regulations.

In 2020 the city conducted a tendering process in the form of an expression of interest and received three submission. Following this process, administration selected the Graham Aquatera consortium as a business partner to provide the design, build, finance, and operations for the facility which will operate as a MCC.

The city also said it will continue to lobby for an equitable approach to the management of the Battle River Watershed.

“Being responsible stewards of the environment is a priority for the City,” stated Kathy Lewin, General Manager of Municipal Services. “The health of the Battle River Watershed is a shared responsibility, and we continue to negotiate for the equitable division of that responsibility among all watershed users.”

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