Bonnyville Mayor Gene Sobolewski has been meeting with leaders and members of the Lakeland’s indigenous communities regarding a planned water line from Cold Lake, and says it’s going well.
Provincial law requires municipalities to consult with First Nations affected by infrastructure projects and Sobolewski says these talks have been very productive over the past few months. Several of the nearby communities have expressed interest in hooking the water line up to their jurisdiction as well.
The most recent meeting he reported to council was with members of the Elizabeth Metis Settlement on September 19th.
“[They were] mostly contractors and things like that and looking for partnerships with the town,” Sobolewski told council. “I’m pleased to say we’re taking some of them up on their offer with some of the issues they brought to the table and some of the things they can bring to the town.”
Getting a water line from Cold Lake to Bonnyville has been a major priority for the town since at least 2012. The quality of tap water in the town is a longstanding complaint among residents and Moose Lake – where the town gets their water from – is not a sustainable source. Cold Lake’s tap water meanwhile is considered among the best in Alberta. The province announced that they would help fund the project last year after the previous PC government pulled funding for it in 2015.
Bonnyvillers will have to tough it out a while yet though, the project’s completion is estimated as between four and six years away.