Province must help Town with interim water plan
By: Wheel Staff
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 10:58 am
Okotoks’ growth rate may have dipped slightly in the last year, but the town’s population continues to climb making a solution to its water woes ever more important.
The 2013 municipal census shows Okotoks is home to 27,331 people, 1,012 more than last year.
According to Mayor Bill Robertson, the Town has enough water-licence capacity for another 2,000 people. At current growth rates, Okotoks could hit this number in two years if an interim solution can’t be found.
According to a proposed 10-year infrastructure priority list presented to town council on Monday evening, construction on a $40 million water pipeline from Calgary could begin as early as 2016, with construction of a second $40 million wastewater project starting within five years.
The provincial government is expected to foot the lion’s share of the bill, but the Town still needs to have an agreement signed with Calgary before it can ask the Province for any money.
In the meantime, Okotoks still needs enough water before the taps are turned on a pipeline.
Something needs to be done in the interim and this is where the provincial government can lend a big hand.
Robertson said the Town is planning to apply for temporary water transfers from other unnamed municipalities.
The Province needs to expedite this application to ensure Okotoks is able to keep growing until a long-term solution is in place.