Strathmore renews contract with WID

By Miriam Ostermann, Associate Editor

Following amendments to better suit Strathmore’s present-day policies and needs, town council agreed to renew its Stormwater Discharge agreement with the Western Irrigation District (WID) to span over the next decade.
Administration shed light on the modifications to the original 2007 agreement, which sets out an annual payment from the town to the WID for issuing a licence to discharge water. The changes included minor adjustments, clarifications about the Cooperative Stormwater Management Initiative (CSMI) agreement – in the event it’s successful – and clean-up of some of the document’s wording.
“The WID Stormwater Agreement is very important to the town, and with our partner the WID, it enables us to discharge our storm water from the original town boundaries,” said Mark Ruault, director of infrastructure and development services for the Town of Strathmore.
The agreement outlines the discharge parameters the town must meet, with described discharged rates to Eagle Lake Ditch, the North A Canal and the Secondary A Canal. Furthermore, it provides direction to protect drainage courses necessary to the town to manage its storm water. By entering into the agreement, Strathmore will dole out $31,000 in 2017 in addition to consumer price index adjustment every year. The money will be taken out of the Storm Operating budget.
Councillor Jason Montgomery was concerned about strong language in regards to the water discharge quality and the implications of a development agreement levy. However, Ruault put council’s mind at ease, stating the town has had positive experiences in dealing with the WID in the past and that the levy is an off-site levy collected by the WID to build facilities in order to help with storm water.
“They take irrigation very serious and wanted some very serious language in there, and we’ve always had that language in there in our agreement,” said Ruault.
“We’ve always managed to work with the WID to resolve any issues around our water quality. I’m not concerned about that because of our strong working relationship and how we’ve been able to deal with it in the past.”
The levy is said to be utilized by the WID for paying for the cost of completing or rehabilitating existing or new storm water facilities exclusively, as well as for structures beneficial to the town within Strathmore’s boundaries or for purposes that were previously agreed upon between the partners in writing.
The Stormwater Discharge agreement grants Strathmore the ability to discharge at a peak rate that cannot exceed 50 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the Secondary A Canal, 60 cfs at Eagle Lake Ditch, and 5 cfs in the case of North A Canal.
The draft agreement was presented to council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Nov. 8. The agreement is valid from Nov. 1, 2017 until Oct. 31, 2027.
Council unanimously approved the mayor and chief administrative officer to sign the Stormwater Discharge agreement between the Town of Strathmore and the Western Irrigation District on Nov. 15.