PARTNERSHIP - City of Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie and Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law mark this historic occasion between the two municipalities with recognition certificates. photo submitted

City of Lacombe, Lacombe County sign historic joint agreement

Municipalities work together in partnership

The City of Lacombe and Lacombe County today celebrated a historic milestone with the signing of two significant joint agreements, which lead the way for the servicing and future development of lands near the interchange of QEII Hwy. and Hwy. 12 at the western edge of Lacombe.

“The agreements we are signing today mark a significant step forward, and should be regarded as a historic moment for our two communities,” said Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law. “We are honoured to stand here with the City of Lacombe to set in motion the development of the Lacombe West Area Servicing Project, which will provide for future growth and development in both Lacombe County and the City of Lacombe.”

Today’s signing is in response to a Joint Economic Area Agreement signed between the City of Lacombe and Lacombe County in 2007, and includes two important documents – the Joint Economic Area Servicing Agreement which details how services will be provided and the costs associated with them and the Capital Project Contribution Agreement which details how the shares of the project will be paid and how construction will move forward.

“We would not be where we are today without the strong relationship between the City of Lacombe and Lacombe County,” said City of Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie. “We are honoured to be a part of a great partnership that has led to many great things for the region, and we will continue to work together to ensure that growth and development along our borders is beneficial to both municipalities.”

In addition to these agreements, the City and County also created a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the North Red Deer River Water Services Commission. The MOA will ensure that the necessary County water allocation will flow through the City’s infrastructure to the Lacombe West Area, without affecting the City’s water allocation.

“This project highlights how rural and urban municipalities can work together in providing new opportunities that will benefit all our communities, and strengthen our partnership with the City,” said Lacombe County Commissioner Terry Hager. “The shared vision of extending services to the west side of Lacombe and QEII will provide long term benefits to our communities.”

For the City of Lacombe, the West Area Servicing project will facilitate the development of the Midway Centre Outline Plan – which includes major commercial development, along with a high-density residential and trail system development, on the QEII Hwy. corridor that will provide diverse employment opportunities and promote both new and existing business in the City.

For Lacombe County, the servicing will lead to the creation of 258 hectares of serviced land on the west side of QEII. The County’s long-range planning also includes an additional 212 serviced hectares for future use. Because this is a phased development plan, the County will not move ahead with west servicing until the pipes are in place under the QEII.

“When completed, the joint economic area will open the doors for long-term economic development, which will help diversify and strengthen the region’s economy,” said City of Lacombe Chief Administrative Officer Dion Pollard. “Subject to final adoption of the project borrowing bylaw, development of the Lacombe West Area will kick off later this fall with the creation of detailed designs for the water and sewer systems, and construction of these systems is anticipated in spring 2018.”

The West Area Servicing Project, which includes a $3.5 million intersection upgrade of 76th St. and Hwy. 12, is expected to cost $15,175,600. The cost of the water and wastewater portion of the project will be funded primarily through off-site levies, and the proposed funding for the project includes $3,988,000 in long-term City debt funded from future developer off-site levies, $5,834,400 in Lacombe County funding from developer and property owner off-site levies, $520,000 from City’s Water and Wastewater Capital Reserves, $2,631,000 in taxpayer supported debt for the intersection upgrades and $2,202,200 from developer off-site and existing off-site levy reserves.

– Fawcett