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Council seeks info on Didsbury Golf Club's water diversion

Power for the Butte water well pumps is provided by the Town of Didsbury
The Didsbury Golf Club draws water from the Butte water wells.

DIDSBURY - Council has instructed administration to bring back information regarding future water well usage by the Didsbury Golf Club and related costs.

In his monthly report to council during the May 28 meeting, chief administrative officer Ethan Gorner updated council on the Butte water wells, located near the club.

“Alberta Environment (AE) recently approved a temporary diversion licence for the municipality,” said Gorner. “AE required the municipality to install a water meter and complete annual reporting on the diverted water volumes.

“The water meter has been installed and the operators of the golf course have been advised of the new protocol. Municipal operations staff will train the golf course staff on how to use the system safely, prior to granting access to the controls.

“During the investigation it was determined the power for the well pumps is provided by the municipality. There is currently no transfer of operating costs for the water wells.”

During discussion of the matter, Coun. Bill Windsor asked about costs to taxpayers.

“There’s certainly some expenses to the taxpayer that should probably be borne by the golf club for using the water, whether it’s on a per-metre basis or whatever the basis is. Seems to me that that needs to come forward at some point,” said Windsor.

“Having my own water well, I know what it costs to run the power to get water into a facility. This is going to be drawing water and pumping it into the golf course reservoir for distribution for their irrigation. I don’t think that should be burden on the taxpayer; it should be a burden on the golf club. Maybe the golf club should be paying instead of our taxpayers.”

Deputy mayor Curt Engel said, “Until the costs come back I don’t know that we should be trying to download them onto anyone. They may come back very minimal, so I would rather see what those costs are and explore that option of recovering if we find those costs are exorbitant.”

Mayor Rhonda Hunter said, “I would support that too.”

Put forward by Wilson, council carried a motion that “administration provide a financial overview of a cost to date and the provision of water from the Butte water wells to the golf club and options for financial recovery of those costs.”

Coun. Ethan Williams voted against the motion.

Council carried a second motion accepting Gorner’s report as information.

Dan Singleton

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