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Lac Ste. Anne County Council has given first reading to a borrowing Bylaw, which will, upon approval, authorize the County to borrow $1.2 million for a period of up to 25 years from the Government of Alberta as a debenture to help pay for the next phase of a wastewater transmission system to service the County and its partner regions.

The process for borrowing funds for capital projects requires approval of a borrowing bylaw at the Council level. Prior to being approved, borrowing bylaws require three readings by County Council. In advance of second and third reading of the proposed borrowing bylaw, the County has advertised the bylaw in two consecutive editions of the Lac Ste. Anne Bulletin, along with its intention to undertake Phase B of its Regional Wastewater Transmission Line. These notices were published March 6 and March 13, 2023.

A third and final reading of the proposed borrowing bylaw is scheduled to take place during the April 13, 2023 County Council meeting. Once the bylaw has passed, an application will be submitted to the Province to request the funds.

About the Wastewater Transmission Line Project

LSAC Wastewater Transmission Line Project

The project for which funds are being borrowed is a sub-phase of a more comprehensive regional wastewater transmission system. It involves construction of a wastewater transmission line between lagoon facilities in the County’s southeast quadrant. When complete, this line will connect the Hamlet of Darwell lagoon facility to the Tri-Village Regional Sewer Commission lagoon facility in Alberta Beach.

By installing a wastewater transmission line to connect the Darwell, West Cove and Alberta Beach sewage lagoons, and by placing a discharge line east of the Tri-Village communities, the heavily-used Darwell Lagoon can continue to operate for many years to come.

Subsequent phases of the County's regional wastewater transmission system will be planned and undertaken in alignment with regional growth; capacity of existing lagoon facilities; and federal and provincial funding programs.

Federal and Provincial Infrastructure Grant Funding

Under the guidance of the Darwell Lagoon Commission, the County has secured close to $23 million in federal and provincial grant dollars for this system over two years, representing 90% of the cost of this critical wastewater infrastructure project to date. In March 0f 2019, Alberta’s Transportation Minister approved $11,272,500 in Water for Life Strategy grant funding for Phase A of this project, which included construction of a regional wastewater transmission line from the Summer Village of Sandy Beach to the Town of Onoway lagoon facility.

In June of 2020, grant funding for Phase B of the transmission line was approved through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The County received the maximum federal funding under ICIP, which represents 40% of the total eligible costs up to $4,720,000. The County received additional grant funding under the Water for Life Strategy that covers 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $5,900,000.

The chart below shows federal and provincial grant funding amounts to date for this project.

Darwell Regional Wastewater Transmission Line

Federal Funding

Provincial Funding

Municipal (or other) Funding

Total

Phase A
(Sandy Beach / Sunrise Beach to Onoway)

$0

$11,272,500

$1,252,500

$12,525,000

Phase B
(Darwell to Tri-Village)

$4,720,000

$5,900,000

$1,180,000

$11,800,000

$24,325,000


Project Background

For years, Lac Ste. Anne County and its municipal neighbours have sought ways to decrease nutrient loading caused by wastewater inefficiencies, and thus improve the water quality of the region’s lakes. A study was conducted to determine the feasibility of a wastewater transmission system to service the northwestern portion of Parkland County; the south of Lac Ste. Anne County; the west of Sturgeon County; and various localities within or adjacent to this area. The outcome of this study was the Regional Wastewater Transmission Line Conceptual Design Report.

This document outlined a long-term plan for a wastewater transmission system to service the area, but also recommended that critical priority be given to Phase I of this system; further divided into two sub-phases: a transmission line from the Summer Village of Sandy Beach to the Town of Onoway lagoon facility, and another line from the Hamlet of Darwell lagoon facility to the Tri-Village Regional Sewer Commission lagoon facility in Alberta Beach.

Pending approval of the borrowing bylaw, Phase B of the master wastewater project is slated to begin construction in the Fall of 2023. Future phases hinge on growth; utilization of existing lagoon facilities; and the availability of funding from senior levels of government. If variables continue at the anticipated pace, the total build-out of the system as provided in the Darwell Lagoon Commission’s conceptual design may be completed over the next 10 to 20 years.

Visit the Water & Wastewater section of the County website for information about the Regional Wastewater Transmission Line project.

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