Crystal Springs wastewater system will offer ‘opt out’

Pigeon Lake resident points out deficiencies on both sides of wastewater issue

Dear editor,

I recently attended a meeting of the Crystal Springs council where the Lakewise group made another presentation expressing concern with the wastewater initiative.

Various points were raised and the Crystal Springs mayor had a thoughtful response for each of the concerns. In quoting from the recent Municipal Affairs inspection of his council, Mayor Churchill’s responses to Lakewise group’s concerns included: “Repeated council resolutions for additional reports appear to be an answer-shopping effort and an excessive attempt to appease one councilor in hopes of achieving consensus on the council decision” and “Council acted in an improvident manner by engaging duplicate contractors to complete the same task.” And finally, “Council engaged engineering experts to assist them in making reasoned, evidence-based decisions, and then second-guessed the expert advice they received.”

When the presenters then asked for information as to cost and homeowner subsidies, there were still no definitive answers. The mayor’s concluding quote was that the inspection thought that council did okay, “In spite of contrary opinions and a lack of wastewater consensus in the community and on the Crystal Springs council, leadership did occur and decisions were made in an appropriate public forum, following limited public consultation and after considering expert advice.”

All that being said, the truth is that Lakewise is correct that, unfortunately, most of the public remains in the dark about three key questions. The first question is whether or not the “low pressure” system will work adequately. The engineers who designed the Crystal Springs system are experts in this field. As a trained engineer myself, albeit in a different industry, I have asked many tough technical questions. The responses I received were complete and satisfied my own personal bias and concerns. But the broad public is still not aware that the engineering reports recommend a low-pressure system.

The second question is cost. The majority of council has assured us that resident costs will be nominal. Reserves have been established over the past few years with Municipal Affairs indicating that “Crystal Springs officials demonstrated good stewardship by planning ahead for capital works and approving budgets that contained transfers to reserves in order to fund anticipated projects such as sewer line installation and road work.” Of course, those who have to replace their entire system may have a larger bill, but faulty systems would have to be replaced anyway – at the homeowner’s full cost.

The third question is “opting out.” For the sake of lake health, I hope people don’t, but it is council’s plan to make connections voluntary. However, a compulsory by-law is still in place and council needs to formalize the decision to rescind it.

In conclusion, in the interests of avoiding further divisions within the community, I would have to say that while it is time for those opposed to the sewer to “let it go,” it is also past time for council to make all the necessary decisions and to communicate fully with residents.

Arnold Moerth, Crystal Springs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wetaskiwin shelter will close early after assaults, other problems

Mayor Tyler Gandam said mental health, addictions overshadowing shelter’s purpose

Ephraim Girling Brings The Law To Wetaskiwin

No-nonsense police officer didn’t mess around with law-breakers

New intersection coming for Hwy. #2A near grain terminal

G3 Canada will begin new intersection in 2020

Franchises a great option for business-minded

BMO expert gives brief look at 2020

County of Wetaskiwin transfer donated land to Scouts Canada body

A.L. Siler originally asked county to hold land in trust in 1972

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

Those who were cleared to travel are to be screened again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Portrait of the Coastal GasLink, a pipeline to divide a nation

In mid-February, 46 per cent of the pipeline route had been cleared

Alberta ends master agreement with doctors, new rules to be in place April 1

The current master agreement with physicians ends March 31

Alberta rail conductor fired for social media posts awarded money, but not reinstatement

Arbitrator Richard Hornung says that he agreed with the Teamsters union

Most Read