Wheatland Regional Corporation cuts ribbon on water project
The Wheatland Regional Corporation celebrated a milestone on Wednesday, September 19 at the grand opening of the latest phase of its East Wheatland Water Project.
Phase 2 of the project came in “on time and under budget.” This phase included a major upgrade to its water treatment plant at Standard and a treated water line to supply the Village of Rockyford.
“I can say certainly in the east side of Wheatland County this project shows the true meaning of partnership,” said Rockyford Mayor and Chair of the Wheatland Regional Corporation Darcy Burke.
“The funding that came forward from the Province of Alberta, the Government of Canada and Wheatland County, without these partners we wouldn’t be here today. They certainly see the value in supplying equitable and sustainable water to our residents in the region.”
He explained to those gathered to mark the occasion that about a dozen years ago, they began looking at how to bring a reliable potable water supply to the region, and came up with this model. They were able to partner with the Western Irrigation District to supply water and also lease land for its raw water reservoir. The Wheatland Regional Corporation was formed. MPE Engineering was the prime consultant.
Rockyford was able to secure grants from the provincial and federal level to undertake the first phase. This was to up- grade the Water Treatment Plant at Standard, and put in its first line to Gleichen.
This initial phase came in well below its estimates, realizing a saving of more than $9 million. By the time the first phase of the construction was complete, they had received approval for funding for Phase 2.
Phase 2 was complete and water was flowing to Rockyford in the spring of 2018, and this phase also came in under cost projections, with a savings of about $2.3 million.
Wheatland Reeve Glenn Koester outlined the County’s contribution. They invested the savings realized from not building a treatment plant in Gleichen into this project, about $3.5 million. The County also financed the project while the grants were outstanding.
“We each did our part here and I think it is something we can all be really proud of. We have secure water for this region, not only for the communities but for the farmers and the school,” he said.
Burke said they are not done yet. There is an application for Phase 3 which would construct a waterline from Rockyford to Redland and then Rosebud. He says there is plenty of opportunity for strong buy-in from agricultural producers along this line.
“When that funding is made available then Phase 3 will happen and the folks in the Rosebud and Redland Area will be part of this,” said Burke.
Members of the Wheatland Regional Corporation cut the ribbon on Phase Two of the regional water project. At the ceremony are, from left, board members Rex Harwood, Martin Gauthier, Chair Darcy Burke, Tim Frank and Wheatland Reeve Glenn Koester.