By Cole Parkinson
The Municipal District of Taber is being asked to pitch in for a recently held municipalities and irrigation district meeting around how to further improve the relationships between the two.
The meeting was held in Lethbridge in late March with the M.D. in attendance and was organized by the County of Lethbridge.
During their regular meeting on April 9, council discussed what exactly was being asked of them from the request made by the County of Lethbridge.
“Basically, they called this meeting but they wanted to know if municipalities and irrigation districts would pay half of the cost of the mediator/facilitator for the meeting. The way I understand it, if municipalities only fund it, it would be between $1,900 and $2,000. If municipalities and irrigation districts chipped in, it would be about $1,100 per municipality and irrigation district,” explained Reeve Merrill Harris.
Funding for this project is partly covered by an Alberta Community Partnership grant of $25,000 and the County of Lethbridge estimates total costs will be near $50,000.
In order to cover some of those costs, they have requested each organization contribute $2,000 of additional funding for the project.
If council were in favour of providing funding for the meeting, it would be drawn from the municipal operating budget.
“Right off the bat, a few said this doesn’t pertain to us. So I just thought instead of me just saying we’re in or we’re out, I would bring it here first. The meeting was good but to me, it is just a matter of the counties and irrigation districts sitting down to have a conversation rather than fighting over projects,” continued Harris.
Councillors questioned what the project’s endgame would be and how it would benefit each party involved.
“The outcome is hopefully everyone starts getting along and to work together. The next meeting is on May 10,” explained Harris.
It was also explained that with irrigation districts present in many different municipalities and counties, they wanted a more uniform set of guidelines instead of a different one for each area.
“The best outcome of this would be one policy for all municipalities and I think that is what the irrigation districts are looking for,” added Coun. Brian Brewin.
A motion was made to provide funding up to $2,000 and to bring more information forward at a future council meeting, and was carried unanimously.
Coun. Leavitt Howg was absent from the meeting.