Family strikes deal with wastewater commission over sewer line

A Red Deer dairy farmer says most of his family’s concerns with a proposed regional sewer line have been addressed.

A Red Deer dairy farmer says most of his family’s concerns with a proposed regional sewer line have been addressed.

Representatives for Tom Wyntjes and the South Red Deer Regional Wastewater Commission hashed out an agreement in principle on outstanding issues last week, two days prior to a planned hearing before the Alberta Land Compensation Board.

After the commission earlier failed to reach an agreement with the Wyntjeses, the commission served notice it intended to expropriate required rights-of-way for the sewage line.

Tom Wyntjes said on Wednesday that it appears most of their concerns about the line’s impact on quarter sections they own or lease just south of Red Deer have been addressed. The family has been guaranteed at least one access will remain open on each quarter section as the line is dug in. Directional drilling will be used to avoid trenching across the front yard of his parent’s house. The trench would also put a row of 40-year-old trees at risk.

The family has also been given assurances that protocols will be followed by pipeline equipment and vehicle operators to prevent the spread of noxious weeds or harmful crop diseases such as clubroot.

Compensation for the rights-of-way and anticipated additional transportation costs associated with disruptions to the dairy operation remain to be settled.

While the pipeline work will remain a headache, Wyntjes said he is reasonably satisfied with the commission’s concessions.

“It didn’t have to go this far (but) I’m somewhat happy.”

Commission chairman Dennis Cooper said several other landowners have been served expropriation notices to allow for rights-of-way. He hopes those can be resolved through further negotiation as well.

Cooper said the commission has tried to pick a route that will have the least impact on landowners.

The regional sewer line will link Olds to Red Deer and is nearing completion. The section affecting the Wyntjes family connects Springbrook to Red Deer’s wastewater treatment plant.

The line is expected to be fully operational in spring 2015.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com