Environment M.D. waiting for more information on energy from waste initiative

The Municipal District of Willow Creek will wait for more information before it decides whether to consider re-joining an initiative that would see garbage incinerated with electricity generated in the process.
At its Jan. 8 meeting, M.D. council heard reports from Coun. John Kroetsch and Reeve Maryanne Sandberg who attended the most recent meeting of the Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association on Dec. 20.
Kroetsch said he asked what it would take to become a member again, other than the $0.53 per capita membership fee, but got no real response.
He noted the association will not be determining a site for the facility until the end of January, when it was supposed to be announced in January.
Three municipalities have qualified with four viable sites short-listed.
However, because one municipality provided more information than required, the engineer must obtain that information from the others to ensure fairness.
Sandberg added that one municipality asked why this had been missed in the process and was told a test of fairness is needed. That means obtaining all the same information from all parties to avoid potential lawsuits.
She said when she asked about becoming a member, she was told by the former chair of the association new members will only be considered if there is capacity.
Sandberg said if the M.D. considers becoming a member, it wants a copy of the association’s bylaws, and that it is up to the association’s board to accept back the M.D. who had been a member in the past.
She also observed the size and capacity of the facility have not been determined and that will affect the eventual cost. The benefit of being a member was also not decided, nor the amount member municipalities would contribute in capital funding. That is the funding to build the facility.
Essentially, Sandberg added, it will be a two-month wait to announce the site, and the association is looking for a grant for siting it.
She concluded the ball was left in the M.D.’s court.
The association also said they were willing to come to M.D. council as a delegation.
Kroetsch said representatives of the association are meeting with the provincial minister of environment and parks on Jan. 15. If he does not agree with the association’s data, the project will be cancelled.
However, one association member said they have received more response from this government than in four years under the previous one.
Derrick Krizsan, the M.D.’s chief administrative officer, said in addition to a membership fee municipalities will also make a capital contribution for construction of the facility.
If the cost is $3 million, $2 million of that is expected from municipalities.
It was decided to leave the subject until more information is received.