Water, sewer bill $30-million

The total bill will be about $30 million to supply water and sewer services to a 1,450-acre area in Lacombe County earmarked for commercial development.

The total bill will be about $30 million to supply water and sewer services to a 1,450-acre area in Lacombe County earmarked for commercial development.

West of Hwy 2 near Blackfalds, the area is covered by a joint economic area agreement between the county and Town of Blackfalds

The agreement includes a revenue-sharing formula and annexation strategy to promote economic development that benefits both municipalities.

Stantec Consulting Inc. recently completed an updated review of the work entailed to supply services to the area, which is expected to be developed over the next 30 to 40 years.

Supply water will cost about $17.5 million at full build-out at today’s prices and a sanitary network will cost about $8.4 million. Various other costs add about $4 million.

County commissioner Terry Hager said while the county will be required to cover some costs up front, those bills will be recouped through levies paid by developers as businesses set up shop in the commercial and industrial area.

“We do need some seed money, but eventually it will pay for itself,” Hager told council.

Coun. Rod McDermand was concerned about spending money that could take decades to recoup through levies.

Council was told it will take about $1 million to cross Hwy 2 with underground water and sewer lines and about $6.5 million will be needed to get services up and running.

Other money will be spent as the area develops.

Stantec has proposed the crossing work be tendered this fall and built over the winter.

Administration is expected to come back with more information to move the project forward later this year.