January 4, 2019
GRANDE PRAIRIE – Aquatera’s three original shareholders - the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie No. 1 and Town of Sexsmith – as well as the Board of Directors of Aquatera and The Town of Wembley have all voted in favour of the Town of Wembley becoming a new shareholder. The Town of Wembley will become the company’s first new shareholder since Aquatera was formed 15 years ago.
“The growth and regional impact of Aquatera continues as we expand our service area and welcome the Town of Wembley as a valued shareholder,” stated Acting Aquatera Board Chair, Jim Smith. “The Board truly appreciates the effort of all those involved in the project and the support of the original shareholders.”
On January 1, 2019, the Town of Wembley transferred its water infrastructure assets in exchange for shares in Aquatera to become the organization’s fourth shareholder. Dividends will then be paid to the Town after two years which can be invested back into the community.
“We are very pleased to welcome the Town of Wembley to Aquatera’s family of services and provide the community with high quality, reliable drinking water for the long term,” stated CEO Bernd Manz at a meeting held with the Town Council of Wembley on Monday, December 10, 2018, where Town Councillors voted unanimously to approve the agreements set forth to formalize the partnership with Aquatera.
Currently, residents of the Town of Wembley receive their drinking water from aquifers and wells, which have led to water restrictions that have limited the Town’s ability to grow.
Beginning in the spring of 2019, a water transmission line extending a distance of 26 kilometres will join the City of Grande Prairie to the community of Wembley, providing high quality, and reliable drinking water to the Town from the Aquatera system.
“We are proud to work together with our neighbours to increase service for residents through water infrastructure,” said Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given. “Beyond increasing service, I am pleased to welcome the Town of Wembley as new shareholders in Aquatera. This represents a deepening of regional connections and demonstrates the strength of collaboration.”
In July of 2019, Aquatera will also assume the wastewater system and services in the Town, and be responsible for infrastructure upgrades and future improvements.
“To see the Town of Wembley join the group of progressive communities that Aquatera serves is exciting for us,” stated Mayor Chris Turnmire who has overseen the Water to Wembley project since its initial planning stages a decade ago. “With the Town no longer having to fund, maintain and operate water infrastructure, Council will have the peace of mind knowing we have a quality service provider, allowing us to invest our time and resources in other community needs. This is good news for our citizens,” he added.
“The Town of Sexsmith looks forward to welcoming the Town of Wembley to Aquatera,” said Mayor of Sexsmith, Kate Potter. “This collaboration will enhance the current network and help strengthen the region by providing a reliable source of water to the community.”
Aquatera is investing over $3M toward the cost of the $22M water transmission line, with the federal and provincial governments contributing to the remaining costs. Grants awarded from the Clean Water Wastewater Fund Federal Program and the Provincial Water for Life Program have covered a substantial portion of the project costs. The County of Grande Prairie is also investing in the transmission line and a new water reservoir in Dimsdale to facilitate growth in this area of the County.
“The County of Grande Prairie is proud to welcome the Town of Wembley to the list of communities serviced by Aquatera,” said Reeve Leanne Beaupre, who has overseen multiple capital projects in partnership with Aquatera during her time in office. “This partnership, along with investments in waterline infrastructure our Council has made in that area of the County, is great news for the development of the area and our region overall.”
Aquatera Utilities Inc. is the Grande Prairie region’s provider of water, wastewater and solid waste services. Its core purpose is helping grow healthy communities and aims to have the best people providing the best service for the best value.
Susan Hunter, Communications Manager
Aquatera Utilities Inc.