Camrose County approves Ervick waterline
The Ervick Industrial Park is about to grow substantially after a waterline was approved from Armena to Ervick at a Camrose County council meeting on May 9. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian
Camrose County has approved the construction of a $6.8 million waterline from Armena to the Ervick Industrial Park west of Camrose.
The land the industrial park will be expanding to is owned by Samson Cree Nation within the county, and the water line would allow for a large-scale expansion of the industrial park. This would increase the tax base considerably for the long term from what is now generated from the property, currently agriculture.
The project was approved at a Camrose County council meeting on May 9.
“With the oil industry changing dramatically and effecting the amount of tax money Camrose County gets, we need to attract industry that will pick up the slack,” said Reeve Don Gregorwich. “We are protecting our residents from tax increases that might be occurring if we didn’t go in search of industry in combination of the oil industry going downhill.”
The project would include upgrading the current Armena reservoir, the construction of a new reservoir by Ervick and 11.2 kilometres of 100 mm transmission line to connect the two reservoirs. The total estimate on the project, including easment and engineering costs is $6,877,200. The county plans to borrow this amount to pay for the construction of the project and recoup the investment through property taxes. The feasibility study was completed by WSP.
The County has a debt limit of $31,983,848, and currently carries a debt load of $10,118,815, leaving the $21,865,033 of borrowing room. They have a debt servicing limit of $5,330,641 with current servicing of $1,036,238, leaving $4,294,403. This leaves plenty of room to take on the project.
“It is a big step for us but at the same time our staff has done an excellent job of due diligence and research on all of the details that will go into this waterline,” said Gregorwich. “We are confident that the numbers will all work and that the costs will be taken care of by that development.”
The Ervick Industrial park is located north of the traffic circle that connects Highway 13 and Highway 21. It is one of three industrial parks in the county — including Millang Industrial Park and Legacy Junction — but this expansion would make it the largest.
Of key note is the cooperation with the Samson band.
“Samson owns the land and they have told us ‘If you bring a waterline into it, we will develop that property as an industrial park,’” said Gregorwich. “Our role in this is to bring water to that area, their role is to develop it. We need to bring the waterline in, then they create lots and pipe into our waterline. When they create lots then that becomes a property Camrose County will tax on an industrial basis.”
As an industrial property, the taxes that accrue are much higher than from an agricultural property.
“It’s tough to put a number on that right now because it depends on the number of lots that are created,” said Gregorwich.
The Reeve could not elaborate on companies looking to put roots down in the park, but he did say they are “very positive about this development.”
Engineering and feasibility studies have been completed and the next step for the County is to ensure engineering is lined up.