Welcome back fellow residents of White City, as well as those reading from the surrounding area, for the September 2022 edition of the White City Councillor Blog. This month’s blog will focus on the 2021 Annual Report. In keeping with the corporate values of excellence and responsibility the Town of White City has been producing an annual report since 2017. As an organization, we are committed to transparent decision-making, engaging our residents, and measuring and reporting our goals to the public. The Annual Report is another way to demonstrate transparency and accountability to our residents about what our team has been working on and the financial performance of the previous year.
2021 was an opportunity for White City and the broader community to move forward through adversity. We faced challenges such as the continued impacts of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, development delays due to wastewater capacity deficits and the ever-present challenge of maintaining exceptional service provision and service to our residents in a fiscally conservative and cost-effective manner. Along with challenges, Council and administration were able to come together and find ways to move forward and capitalize on opportunities that came about in 2021. Many successes are highlighted in this year’s Annual Report and show how we are stronger when we work together.
In particular, one key challenge overcome in 2021 was the lack of Wastewater Capacity that impacted approval of Town Centre Developments. Following years of planning, development consultation and numerous serviceability engineering reviews and requirements, two subdivisions, Picasso Pathways (Caverhill Developments Inc.) and Royal Park (White City Investments Ltd.), were submitted to the Community Planning Branch of the Ministry of Government Relations for subdivision approval. This was four years ago in 2018 – however, the approval of these subdivisions was put on indefinite hold by Community Planning due to the lack of sufficient wastewater capacity. Had development been allowed to proceed at that time, we would likely be seeing phase two or three of Town Centre Development taking place this year.
Looking back on our work in 2021, and priorities for future years, the Town is focused on investing in infrastructure, resuming pre-COVID recreation programming and events, getting development back on track, and growing our community in an innovative, responsible and balanced manner. Council is looking forward to maintaining and expanding the high quality of life enjoyed in White City while taking steps forward to build a more inclusive and integrated full-service community.
Now is the time for White City to focus on strengthening our community connections and finding ways to bring people together again – socially, mentally, economically, and spiritually. This will be the year we reconnect and remind ourselves of why White City is such a great place to call home.
The 2021 Annual Report is now available for viewing online and includes: an overview of the strategic plan progress, the full 2021 Audited Financial Statements and the 2021 Statement of Accounts.
WCRM158 Wastewater Management Authority History:
White City’s wastewater treatment, collection and storage is managed by the WCRM158 Wastewater Management Authority (WMA). The WMA is a partnership between White City and the RM of Edenwold No. 158 (RM158) formed in 2010 to address wastewater concerns and jointly construct infrastructure that would service a catchment area for a combined population up to 15,000. The WMA is comprised of an administrator and six-member operational board. The board is made up of three elected officials from White City and three elected officials from RM158.
From 2010-2016 the WMA commissioned numerous studies to address capacity shortfalls and in 2016 the WMA accepted bids to begin construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. In recognition of the pending facility, the Water Security Agency issued a Parallel Growth Agreement to the WMA. The Parallel Growth agreement allowed development and growth in White City and RM158 to continue in tandem with the construction of the required wastewater infrastructure.
Construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant began in 2017 with a targeted completion for 2018. In 2019 the Wastewater Treatment Plant was deemed a failure as it was not able to treat sufficient effluent to provincial standards. As the treatment plant was not able to function as anticipated, the WMA no longer had the capacity to support the wastewater management of the catchment area utilizing the existing infrastructure. As a result, the Water Security Agency cancelled the Parallel Growth Agreement. Cancellation of the Parallel Growth Agreement resulted in significant delays to development in White City – specifically in the Town Centre Development where two subdivisions, Picasso Pathways and Royal Park, were delayed over two years.
After considerable work, the WMA’s Wastewater Expansion Project is now back on track. In December 2021 construction was completed that brought the WMA back into wastewater capacity compliance to meet the current population of the catchment area. Phase 1b of the project is targeted for completion in November 2022 which will bring wastewater capacity to a level for a population of 8,000.
- Read more about the WMA on page 40 of the 2021 Annual Report.
If you have any questions, have a comment, want more information or want to suggest a topic for a future blog please email or call 306-781-2355 – we look forward to hearing from you!
- Mayor Brian Fergusson