Original Published 15:46 May 12, 2022

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For the next 16 months, the Strathmore MunicipWheatland County Council is seeking more information regarding the logistics of potentially providing a grant to help fund a waterline for Redland residents. 

Councillor Glenn Koester spoke at the May 3 regular council meeting on behalf of a delegation of residents from Redland.

“The residents of Redland are asking the County to grant the Wheatland Regional Corporation (WRC) $75,000 … Wheatland County has granted WRC approximately $4 million in the past,” said Koester. “WRC is experienced in putting in (water) lines and maintaining them. WRC would own this line and maintain it. This is a one-time grant, so the residents can enjoy water.”

A letter written to County Council was included in the public agenda, it detailed that the requested waterline would be installed within the Hamlet of Redland on 1st Ave and 1st St E, which would provide equal access to residents.

Koester added during his presentation that the installation of the water line would do well to mitigate or solve water quality and quantity problems that the hamlet has been experiencing.

“Currently, Redland and area residents have experienced their wells going dry and there have been deeper wells dug in the area with poor water and supply problems,” said Koester. “We have talked about this for three years. These residents, their wells are dry, residents in the area can’t get water.”

According to Koester’s report, residents of Redland would be paying $5.13 per cubic metre to the WRC for their water, post installation. The County rate is currently $2.22 per cubic metre. The charge for Redland residents would be due to ownership and operation of the line by the WRC instead of the County. 

If the line is installed by the WRC, the County will not be responsible for upgrading and maintaining it. Instead, that will fall to the WRC.

“There’s not water in the (Rosebud) valley except this pipeline. WRC doesn’t have the money to put in the pipeline, but the government has granted $60,000 to get the main line there. All they are asking for is the $75,000 to get it done,” said Koester. “When it’s done, WRC will oversee the hookups and they will be in charge of how the hookups are done. That is WRC’s business and the homeowner’s business.”

Council defeated a motion to immediately approve the grant funding to the WRC, however, the discussion remains on the table. 

Instead, Council has directed administration to bring a report back in June to discuss the options further and thoroughly explore the process before a grant is officially approved. 

The letter that was received by council requesting the grant, had requested a timeline of seeing the water line completed in Redland by June.

This item reprinted with permission from Strathmore Times, Strathmore, Alberta