May 29th, 2024

Members voting on merger of irrigation districts

By Tim Kalinowski on October 15, 2021.


Today is the last day mail-in ballots on a proposed amalgamation will be accepted by the Taber Irrigation District and the St. Mary River Irrigation District.
Ballots were mailed out on Sept. 15, and must be mailed in and postmarked no later than today in order for members of the irrigation districts to register their votes for or against bringing the TID and SMRID together to form a whole new, larger irrigation district.
The districts will begin counting the votes the last week in October, and will formally advertise the results when that count is completed and certified.
If a majority of members in each district vote to approve the amalgamation, that will kick off the formal petition process to the provincial government, says SMRID general manager and TID designated spokesperson for this issue, David Westwood.
“If there is an in-favour vote by each district, we will then put together an information package we would need to provide in the form of a petition to the (Alberta) Minister of Agriculture that the two districts amalgamate,” he confirms.
And while Westwood says they have to await the result of the final vote count, his reading of the room during the information sessions held back in August were trending toward members’ approval.
“We had information sessions we held back in August,” he confirms. “One for the Taber Irrigation District members and one for the SMRID members. And the consensus we had from the irrigators that did attend those was they were generally in favour of wanting to vote, ‘Yes,’ for the amalgamation.”
Back in June both the boards of the TID and SMRID approved the merger in principle, but had to await the final approval of their members in the general vote before proceeding further.
If the merger goes through, the new combined single entity irrigation district would provide irrigation to 480,000 acres and have nearly 2,000 members.
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter

Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter

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And the reason the irrigation districts are voting to amalgamate? So they can borrow money, and the UCP government can hide another debt.