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  • Writer's pictureSamanntha Wright

Cochrane Ag lands, Master servicing agreement on wastewater, Off-site levies come for public input..






Councillors Crystal Kissel and Kevin Hanson brought forward a motion to have the Cochrane & District Ag Society Lands removed from the disposal list to provide time for this Council to become educated as to the best use of the land. The Councillors had asked for a number of studies and for some background on the process and how the lands had come to be where they are.

In 2016, the Cochrane Ag Society approached the County for a 50-year extension to their lease which is due to expire in 2025. Shortly after having received that request, the County issued a Request for Proposals seeking potential purchasers for the land.

The goal of the Councillors’ motion was to remove the lands from the disposal list. However, staff made it clear that the lands were not on the list, even though the last Council had tried to sell the land. Rather they were on a review list which is intended to be used to decide whether specific properties should be on the disposal list. This is where the confusion started.

Throughout the years, there have been numerous studies done on the lands to determine whether they should be sold and whether and how the Ag Society could optimally expand its operations on that site. Kissel and Hanson’s motion had asked to see these studies. However, Administration decided that, since their motion was to remove the lands from a list they were not on, the studies were not relevant to the motion. At this time, I suggested that for Council to fully understand what’s best for these lands, that the motion be tabled while Council be permitted to review the studies.

After much debate as to how to best proceed, Kissel directed Administration to come back with a report to be presented to Council on September 11th. With some friendly amendments from fellow Councillors, her final motion outlined 10 key points that would provide sufficient information for Council to gain better understanding of the options available for this land and for the Cochrane Ag Society’s future. It was supported 7-1 with all in favour, other than Reeve Boehlke. Councillor Mark Kamachi was absent.

MASTER SERVICING AGREEMENT ON WASTEWATER WITH CITY OF CALGARY Elbow Valley West received conditional approval from Calgary’s Council to tie into the city’s wastewater servicing. The condition hinges on the County/City creating a master servicing agreement on wastewater that reflects current operating environments and will apply to all wastewater agreements provided by the City to Rocky View.

This has been a long-standing issue. To date, residents of Elbow Valley West have spent close to $2.5 million hauling their waste. They have also spent over $600,000 on civil suit legal fees. Meaning the tie-in to City infrastructure cannot come soon enough. Council supported the motion unanimously.

OFF-SITE LEVIES TO COME TO PUBLIC FOR INPUT This September, the County will be holding public engagement sessions on the transportation, wastewater, and stormwater off-site levies. These levies’ revisions have been in the works for some time and Administration is finally ready to bring them to the public for input before coming to Council for approval.

Transportation Off-site levy (TOL): the base TOL was originally based on close to 600,000 acres of land. This has been reduced to 127,360 acres as it eliminates local roads which should be funded by tax dollars. However, it introduces a new split approach for ASPs: Rural ASPs- those with properties averaging > 2 acres will pay $4,595 per acre Urban ASPs – those with properties averaging < 2 acres will pay $14,701 per acre Special areas – the County has identified 8 special areas, the newest inclusion being for the McKnight/Stoney Trail interchange. Residential parcel size – currently the TOL is applied to land >9.88 acres – proposed change is to have the TOL applies to lands >7.41 acres. Exemption: parcels zoned R1 or R2 will not pay the TOL on the original home parcel.

Waste water levy: the water and waste water off -site levy structure will continue to be based on service commitment rather than development area. The most significant change in this bylaw is the addition of Bragg Creek’s system.

Stormwater off-site levy: these levies are imposed in respect of the development area of all lands which are to be developed or subdivided within the County and which will require or will benefit from the construction or upgrade of regional stormwater infrastructure (currently this focuses on the east side of the County). The County has created better construction figures and added final design costs to the levy. The levies also include regions that will be serviced by the Co-operative Stormwater Management Initiative (CSMI) - including Conrich, Langdon, Omni and Janet.

I asked that we have a firm date added to the motion, as the off-site levy bylaws have been a work in progress for far too long. However, Administration was reluctant to include a date. They stated that they weren’t sure what kind of feedback they would get or how long it would take to process.

The bylaw received unanimous support to come before the public for engagement.


In February 2017, Rocky View County (County) entered into a Contribution Agreement with the Government of Alberta to plan, design, and construct the Bragg Creek Flood Mitigation Project.

The agreement included a budget of $15.6 Million to acquire the lands required for the flood carrier structures. These lands are to be under the ownership of Rocky View County and designated as Public Utility Lot(s).

It was advised by the County’s legal department that this be done through a bylaw which Council supported unanimously.

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