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WHEREAS the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) provides cost-shared funding to eligible municipalities to assist in the construction of municipal water supply and treatment and wastewater treatment and disposal facilities;AND WHEREAS funding is only provided to eligible hamlets within rural municipalities;AND WHEREAS the AMWWP is not intended to include county residential developments, does not recognize the development of business and industrial parks nor does it include water distribution and/or sewage collection systems;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Government of Alberta review the AMWWP eligibility criteria to include Business-Industrial Parks and country residential developments.
The Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) is available to the following municipalities in the province of Alberta:a. Cities with an official population under 45,000. b. Towns. c. Villages. d. Summer villages. e. Counties, municipal districts, Mtis Settlements, special areas and improvement districts responsible for making applications on behalf of communities within its jurisdiction that meet the following criteria: i. Inclusion on an official list of eligible hamlets as determined by Alberta Transportation, orii. Deemed to be an eligible hamlet by consisting of a group of 10 or more occupied dwellings, a majority of which are on titled parcels of less than 1,850 square meters, with a defined boundary, a distinct name, and the existence of provision for non-residential uses. Eligible hamlets are not intended to include country residential subdivisions, condominia associations or private developments. Rural municipalities should inquire whether a specific hamlet is included on the official list of eligible hamlets prior to project implementation. Rural municipalities may apply to the department to include communities on the official list of eligible hamlets by forwarding a plan showing parcel size, land use designations, population and community boundary. Funding is provided as a percentage and is population based as a criteria.This criteria is clearly restrictive to rural municipalities and has not recognized the growing developments of Business-Industrial parks and county residential sub-divisions. Part of the problem for funding water & sewer distribution systems in Industrial Parks, especially in AB with our large lots required for oilfield related businesses, is the large amount of linear water & sewer line required adjacent for each individual property. This is different that installing lines in a hamlet or an urban community that will have a connection, or two face to face. What this means is your costs may be 10 times more expensive than a residential application with 50′ frontage if the average industrial lot frontage is 500′. And to compound this, the actual water usage is usually not that high so as to not enable one to collect back the capital costs via the water/sewage rate structure. Rural municipalities can not afford the expenses alone to fund these projects.With regards to hamlets, part of the problem is that hamlets are usually old and have private well/field systems that would not be permitted today due to environmental & health regulations. As they age and fail there is pressure on the municipality to provide services. This is a unique rural circumstance that most urbanized villages & towns do not have. Changing provincial regulations/standards are requiring the changes which supports the cause & effect argument for provincial monetary assistance.The need to install water lines in industrial parks is a requirement of the province of Alberta Building Code to have fire suppression/sprinkler applications for certain types of industrial applications. Business companies may leave municipalities because they can not expand on their existing site because of this. Businesses may be charged higher insurance rates if the municipality is unable to provide adequate protection. Changes to provincial regulations over time have caused the requirement for municipal water systems.As well, the current AMWWP policy does not include funding for Regional initiatives. The province through various studies have encouraged or recommended regional systems (most lately the Small Water Systems study) but has no monetary incentives to do so.Additionally, the current AMWWP policy does not recognize the recommendations for rural sustainability and economic growth from the Rural Development Strategy.It is not envisioned that this revised eligibility criteria be taken from the current funding levels, additional/new funding would be required.
Resolutions 2-07F, 8-07F and 8-07S also deal with funding for water/wastewater projects. This issue was submitted to Minister Ouellette at an October 23, 2007 meeting and to Minister Renner at a June 18, 2008 meeting. The AAMDC will continue to include this issue in formal ministerial meetings with Alberta Environment and Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation.