Whitecourt Town Council has served Woodlands County with two years notice to terminate the intermunicipal Water and Wastewater Agreement.
In March 2013, the Town of Whitecourt and Woodlands County entered into the Agreement for Whitecourt to provide water and wastewater services to the Woodlands within an agreed upon service area. This master Water and Wastewater Agreement was signed in conjunction with, and philosophically linked, to the amendment to the Cost Sharing Agreement on March 11, 2013 where the county agreed to annually transfer 10.4 per cent of its total linear revenue to the town. From a regional planning perspective, the expansion of the water system allowed the two municipalities to work together to attract investment, maximize the highest and best use of land, provide investors more options and flexibility for development on an equitable basis, and defer annexation of land.
Woodlands recently expressed publicly that it will not be allocating a portion of its linear revenue assessment to Whitecourt. The removal of the revenue sharing creates inequities to the service model, and it is for this reason that Whitecourt’s Town Council has provided two years notice to terminate the agreement.
“While Whitecourt Town Council recognizes the value and benefits of this agreement to our region, the county’s decision to cancel the linear revenue sharing ultimately made continuing the agreement inequitable and unfair to Whitecourt ratepayers,” stated Whitecourt Mayor Maryann Chichak. “It was a difficult decision to make, as we know we thrive as a region when we work together, but it was one that had to be made to protect Whitecourt’s continued viability and sustainability. If we did not terminate the agreement, the county would continue to see the benefits of increased assessment and investment at a cost to Whitecourt taxpayers.”
Further, the Town of Whitecourt has submitted a request to Woodlands County Council to schedule a meeting of the Intermunicipal Collaboration Committee so that both municipalities can proceed with intermunicipal agreement negotiations for the communities.
Information on the Water and Wastewater Agreement, and other intermunicipal agreements between Whitecourt and Woodlands County are available here.