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Proposed Water Valley rodeo grounds lease under scrutiny

During recent discussion with Mountain View County, the Water Valley Stampede Association has requested changes to its lease agreement
Troy Dell of Cochrane winces with pain after getting caught up during his run in the bull riding event of the Water Valley Rodeo on Saturday June 2. For more photos see the
Troy Dell of Cochrane winces with pain after getting caught up during his run in the bull riding event of the Water Valley Rodeo in 2018. File photo/MVP Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has discussed a proposed updated lease agreement with the Water Valley Stampede Association for the county-owned 160-acre property where the annual rodeo is held.

The review came during recent council meeting, held in person and online.

The past lease allowed the association to use the rodeo grounds for one event a year, the annual three-day rodeo.

During recent discussion with the county, the association had requested changes to the lease agreement that would permit the association to lease the land year-round with the intention of hosting additional rodeo events and related activities with long-term certainty of operations, Chris Atchison, director of legislative and community services.

The proposed updated lease would include a 25-year term, the ability to host additional public events in accordance with the county’s public event bylaw, and allowance for camping to be permitted during the rodeo and additional events.

During the May 24 council meeting, Coun. Jennifer Lutz said she has questions about the proposed changes.

“I felt that I didn’t have enough information to make a sound decision,” said Lutz. “I don’t see where administration has outlined public benefit. There’s no financial statements. I’d like to know the value of the donation and the recognition of the county on that donation. The length of the lease is quite concerning. That’s a super long commitment when situations can change.”

Deputy reeve Greg Harris, whose Division 2 includes Water Valley, says the annual rodeo is important for the county.

“I don’t see a reason that the county wouldn’t support a long-standing traditional rodeo like the Water Valley Stampede,” said Harris.

Council passed a motion requesting administration bring back further information, including financial details and society status of the Water Valley Stampede Association, details on financial support for other rodeo events in the county, a public benefits analysis, and information on donations and recognition that Mountain View County receives.

Council carried a second motion instructing administration to bring back detailed photographs of the site, information on parking and how the land is used in general, including public access during events.


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