Lacombe County approves sewage plan

Lacombe County will go ahead with a plan to tie in four Sylvan Lake subdivisions to a communal sewage system despite concerns from residents about their share of costs.

Lacombe County will go ahead with a plan to tie in four Sylvan Lake subdivisions to a communal sewage system despite concerns from residents about their share of costs.

Council voted in favour on Thursday of providing $1.3 million to the project, which will also tap a $1.27-million Build Canada federal grant. A property owner connection fee of about $10,800 would make up the remaining $700,000 to $750,000 of the $3.2-million project’s cost.

Property owners in Blissful Beach, Yuill, Palm Bay and Kuusamo Krest will be given a period of time — council has not decided how much — to hook up the system, which will be a requirement.

The plan is to hook up houses in each neighbourhood so sewage goes to a communal holding tank.

Connecting to each house will boost total hook-up costs to around $14,000 to $22,000, including the connection fee, depending on what the property owner already has in place. Sixty-nine properties are affected.

Keith Boras, Lacombe County’s manager of environmental and protective services, said on Friday that the project is all about improving the lake and safeguarding water quality, which has always been the public’s prime concern when new developments are considered.

“I think it’s a really good thing for the lake,” he said of the project. “And I think over time the residents are going to see the benefits of it, too.”

Council considered but rejected a proposal to boost its contribution to $2.4 million, which would reduce property owner costs to a total of around $10,000 each. That was the figure that many residents suggested was palatable when asked to comment at an open house and through a survey.

Some will not like the additional cost, acknowledged Boras. However, the hook-up fee is about the same as what a new septic system would cost and will likely add value to the property.

The system is designed so when a regional sewage line extends around the lake it will be easy to hook up each of the communities.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com