Rocky View County (RVC) has signed an agreement with the Alberta government to receive compensation for any lost revenue should the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project (SR1) be completed.
According to an RVC press release, the County will receive $10 million from the provincial government to address any future loss of municipal property taxes on the 3,870 acres of land that would be impacted if SR1 proceeds,.
“The Alberta government is also committed to deal with certain road or infrastructure issues that may arise from the construction and operation of SR1,” the release stated.
The Province has announced its financial commitment for a number of transportation projects in the County that are not tied to SR1. Those commitments include $2.5 million for upgrading the intersection at Highway 560 and Garden Road – west of Langdon near the Calgary boundary – as well as $8 million for a new roundabout at Highway 566 and Range Road 11 in east Balzac.
The Government of Alberta has also committed to undertake improvements on Hwy 22 at Bragg Creek, according to RVC, and will “work closely with the County and the Tsuut’ina Nation to implement safety and congestion solutions,” and enable further development in the area to occur.
“Proper flood protection for Bragg Creek has long been a concern of the County with the SR1 approach, and an additional announcement has helped mitigate that issue,” the release stated.
To fund flood mitigation in Bragg Creek, according to RVC, the provincial government will commit $9.4 million, on top of the $32.8 million already dedicated by it and federal government.
RVC council voted May 12 to withdraw its objections to seeing SR1 proceed through the provincial and federal regulatory review processes. The County had originally opposed moving forward unless other flood mitigation options were subjected to a full analysis.
“For our part of the agreement, we have essentially agreed to trust in the federal and provincial processes,” Reeve Greg Boehlke said in a statement. “The Province will have to meet very high standards to pass environmental and regulatory reviews for SR1. If the standards are met, they can move forward.”
Since the 2013 floods in southern Alberta, RVC has supported the need for flood mitigation measures for the region, according to the release.
“However, the County was repeatedly blindsided by surprise announcements on SR1 from the previous provincial government, and had difficulty obtaining any meaningful information on the project and its impacts,” the release stated.
According to Boehlke, communication between RVC and the provincial government has improved since then.
“That has led to mutual understanding and co-operation for a number of long-standing issues, opportunities, and concerns, including SR1,” he said.
“We’re all committed to building the right flood mitigation projects for the people of this region. By working together, we’re ensuring that the goals of public safety, enhanced quality of life, and economic wellbeing can be met, while respecting the environmental and regulatory processes that are in place to protect everyone.”