Water issue divides Okotoks council

By: Wheel staff

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 08:28 am

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On Monday Okotoks town council made a decision many residents have long been waiting for, but the decision was far from unanimous.

Water has always been a contentious issue in Okotoks, but a proposal to pipe treated water from Calgary has clearly divided council into two factions —one preaching action, the other preaching patience.

In a tight 4-3 vote council agreed to proceed with pursuing a water pipeline to access treated water from the City of Calgary.

The four councillors in support of the motion (Matt Rockley, Tanya Thorn, Carrie Fischer and Ray Watrin) stated the issue had been studied long enough and it was time to move forward.

Meanwhile, the two longest serving members of council, Mayor Bill Robertson and Ed Sands, along with newcomer Ken Heemeryck, argued for more time to study additional water resolutions.

It is clear, the new regime on council is not about to sit by while the water issue is unresolved.

The style of the new council may not be sitting well with their long-standing counterparts, but during the October election the demand from residents was they wanted council to stop doing studies and take action.

For Sands and Robertson, they are concerned council is diving into an agreement without thoroughly considering the consequences or options. They may be right, there may be consequences and there may be other options, but council is not committed to an agreement only to proceed with developing one.

For them and others who are concerned about what a Calgary pipeline could mean council can still back out if it turns out to be unpalatable. However, a decision needs to be made and council did the right thing by getting the process moving.


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