Thirty-one people attended the Smoky River Water Co-op AGM meeting Club des Pionniers in Donnelly on April 24.
The Water Co-op currently has 319 members connected and 154 members waiting for service.
This includes one connection done outside the construction phase where the customer paid the cost.
In his Chairperson’s report, Gerry Noel said that he has met with the M.D. of Smoky River Council to request funding to do a construction phase but at that time of the AGM he was still waiting for a response as the MD was working on its budget.
Noel also emphasized the need for ratepayers to speak to their MD councillors, their MLA and MP to press the case to have the Smoky River Water Co-op funded annually as a vital service.
With every new house connection, an average of 240 cubic meters of water is added to annual consumption and because there is relatively little extra cost to supply the 240 M3 it generates revenue that helps with the overhead of the plants in Falher and McLennan.
The plants are capable of supplying a population of 5000 so they are operating below capacity.
To fund connections, the Water Co-op has previously done only major projects with Federal and Provincial grants that are approximately 1/3 federal, 1/3 provincial and 1/3 Water Co-op shares.
However, there have been few announcements of the type of grants for which water co-op’s would qualify.
The Water Co-op did apply in 2015 but was unsuccessful.
Funded by the MD of Smoky River, the Water Co-op did undertake a retrofit of the North of Falher booster station, upgrading it to an above ground building.
This project, completed in 2016 with only some landscaping left to attend to was an important project as that booster station had flooded twice in 2015.
At the AGM, the Smoky River Water Co-op also elected its new board with Gerry Noel as Chairperson – Richard Veraart, Vice-Chair – Tracy Prellwitz, Treasurer – Rita Maure, Secretary.
The directors are Andre Trudeau (MD Representative,) Gilbert Valiquette, Claude Sirois, Marcus Sheane and Darcy Boisvert.