Red Deer County questions sewage line plan

County takes issue with cost breakdown on portion of regional sewer line

Red Deer County is balking paying for a portion of a regional sewage line that does not benefit the municipality.

A regional sewage line connecting the Town of Sylvan Lake and nearby summer villages to the City of Red Deer has been in the works for a decade.

The commission, comprised of representatives from municipalities that would use the line, is close to finalizing its business plan necessary to line up government funding.

The project is expected to cost about $61 million. A main line from Sylvan Lake would be completed by 2019 and cost around $41 million.

A north shore line would be completed the same year and a south shore line would be finished in 2021. Those make up a secondary transmission system and would cost about $20 million.

Under the proposed plan Red Deer County is expected to pay for a portion of the secondary system along with the five summer villages and Lacombe County. Sylvan Lake is exempt.

Red Deer County argues that the secondary line has little benefit to the county and it should not have to share its cost.

Council voted not to accept the proposed plan and to discuss revisions with the waste water commission.

Coun. Philip Massier was concerned that delaying the project too long could drive up costs.

“(County staff) share the concerns on the timing,” said county manager Curtis Herzberg.

The county recognizes Sylvan Lake is in “dire need” of a sewage treatment option and the intention is not to hold up the project, said Herzberg.

However, the county wants to ensure its views are reflected in the business plan.

“I think there is time in these discussions,” said Herzberg.

Mayor Jim Wood said the county has always co-operated with its neighbours.

“I think that it’s important that we continue to work well in this case.”

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