Rocky View County (RVC) council authorized the administration to enter into a Master Servicing Agreement with the City of Calgary for wastewater services to the Elbow Valley West development at a regular meeting July 10.
Stuart Jewison, manager of Utility Services, said the City of Calgary approved the extension of wastewater to the area May 28, on the condition the development be included in a Master Servicing Agreement between the municipalities.
“Prior to this approval, the City and County administrations had been working on completing a Master Servicing Agreement to replace a number of existing servicing agreements currently in place that are considered to be a bit outdated and not reflective of current operating environments,” he said.
The new agreement would include the Bearspaw School, the Bearspaw/Glendale Community Centre and the Elbow Valley/Pinebrook area, which currently receive services from the City of Calgary. With the council’s decision, Elbow Valley West will also be added to the agreement.
Jewison said the agreement resolves a persistent servicing hardship for Elbow Valley West and will lead to cost savings for RVC. According to his report, the County has made several requests since 2005 to Calgary for an extension of the Elbow Valley service area to include the adjacent Elbow Valley West development. Those requests were repeatedly denied, he said, until the City came around in May.
Currently, according to Jewison, Elbow Valley West is serviced through a wastewater collection system that discharges into holding tanks that are hauled away and disposed of at an approved wastewater treatment facility. The County owns the facility and charges the Elbow Valley West Condominium Corporation a fee to recover expenses related to the collection system. Homeowners in Elbow Valley West accrue a cost of approximately $500 to $600 per home per month as a result.
Reeve Greg Boehlke called the agreement with Calgary a “good news story.”
“I’m really happy to see this come forward,” he said. “This is a longstanding issue for folks out there, and hopefully this puts an end to it and they get some relief.”
Prior to making a motion to enter into the Master Servicing Agreement, Coun. Kevin Hanson said Elbow Valley West serves as a reminder that council’s decisions do have tangible consequences.
“This community of 118 people have spent over $2 million on hauling sewage, approaching $2.5 million, and, related to that, over $600,000 in civil suit legal fees,” he said. “When we are approving subdivisions and looking for interesting ways to solve problems, this is the kind of bad news story that can result when things don’t turn out exactly as planned.”
Hanson’s motion was carried unanimously. Coun. Mark Kamachi was absent from the meeting.