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Changes proposed for some Picture Butte raw water users

Posted on March 31, 2022 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

The Town of Picture Butte will be hosting an open house for raw water users on 3rd Street.

Picture Butte has existing infrastructure that provides raw water from the Picture Butte reservoir to the Lions Park, Harry Watson Memorial Park, Dorothy Dalgleish school, two residents located north of Dorothy Dalgleish school, 3rd Street South residents and to Green Acres, with the town currently sending one-year contracts to these users.

Raw water users have the ability to choose whether or not to use the raw water according to the contract, with this method being decided on following the meeting with predominately the 3rd Street South residents.

Town administration has proposed a series of changes in regards to how the raw water is governed, which includes:

•Eliminating the practice of sending out raw water user agreements each year. The resident would instead sign one user agreement that would last as long as they were the owner of the property.

•Bill raw water users monthly instead of yearly.

•Make the service compulsory for all residents of 3rd Street, who currently have the option of opting out of the service.

•Change some aspects of the contract, such as sections which pertain to who is responsible for doing repairs and who pays for them. These sections

•Increase the yearly amount that 3rd Street Users pay for the raw water service. This information will be presented at the COW meeting.

During their regular March 14 meeting, council was asked if the town should hold an open house in regards to raw water on 3rd Street in town.

Mayor Cathy Moore voiced support for an open house, saying “everyone on (3rd Street) put a big investment into it)”, and should have a say.

Coun. Teresa Feist also voiced support, noting she lived in the area and thought the suggestions was a good idea, as there have been cases in the past when people got raw water despite not being signed up for it. She also liked the idea of moving to monthly billing for it.

Coun. Scott Thompson asked how many residents living there do not sign up for the raw water, which CAO Keith Davis said was only a couple of residents historically. When asked why they would compel them to do so, Davis said that there have been cases when people who haven’t signed up for the service have been using it for free. As the service is on a yearly contract, Davis said they don’t want anyone cut off from it, because they may want it next year.

Coun. Cynthia Papworth asked whether the town would be responsible for covering repairs, noting there was a co-op, to which Davis said the town has been paying for repairs, and Moore added it was “always understood” that if there was a major repair, the town would come to the users about the cost. Feist pointed when the service first began, there was a major repair and all the users shared the cost of that. Since then, the town has done repairs without alerting residents.

Papworth said it would be good to show the residents how much it has cost the town, and if there was something big, the users might have to share in the cost to repair it.

Council passed a motion to put on an open house for raw water users on 3rd Street.

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