Thursday, 15 February 2018 06:28

Fort Macleod sells its electrical system

Written by  Demi Knight
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After one year and seven months of discussions,  Fort Macleod’s town council made the decision to approve the sale of the electricity system to FortisAlberta Inc. this January.

The discussion which officially began back in June of 2016 came to be after the town council approved to have Fortis come in to prepare an assessment of the town’s electrical system.
However, after completing the assessment, Fortis made an indicative offer to buy the electrical system off the town in May of 2017, with an expiry date of Jan. 31 this year.
“FortisAlberta have been providing electricity service in Alberta, including the area surrounding Fort Macleod for over a century,” says Brent Feyter, Mayor of Fort Macleod. “We are confident that this sale is in the interests of Fort Macleod. They have the expertise and resources to ensure the long-term reliability of our system and to provide the safe, cost-effective service our residents require.”
After making the initial offer last year, the town underwent a vigorous process of weighing the pro’s and cons before agreeing to the sale of this electrical system for $4.77 million this January.
This process including consultations, three public open houses, newspaper advertisements which detailed the sale and requesting feedback from the chamber of commerce, Mayor Feyter says this was a decision that was carefully calculated, involving all those that would be affected and ultimately made in the best interests of the town and all of its residents.
“After the municipal election in October 2017 Fortis Alberta also attended a council meeting to answer any questions council had. The new council also did the same with town administration.”
“Council then also gave the opportunity for citizens to speak for or against the sale at our first council meeting in January this year,” Feyter added. 
After offering public input and walking through the process of ensuring the transfer of this system would be beneficial to all parties, the decision to accept the offer was made on Jan. 22 this year by the Town council during their meeting and going forward is subject to regulatory approval by the Alberta Utilities Commission.
With the Fortis company already being owner and operator of more than sixty percent of the province’s total electricity distribution network, they too are excited to continue their work with Fort Macleod and help continue to give electricity to its three-thousand residents.
"We are excited to welcome the residents of Fort Macleod as FortisAlberta customers and we look forward to becoming a part of their community," says President and CEO of FortisAlberta, Karl Bomhof.
"We are pleased to have this opportunity to partner with the Town of Fort Macleod in this endeavour and we thank the Council and the residents for the time and energy they devoted to the consultation and community engagement process. Moving forward, our priority is to continue to work with the Town and residents to ensure a seamless transition of ownership.”
This transfer will also work to allow all resident of the vibrant community within Fort Macleod to receive the benefits of the FortisAlberta company’s twenty-four seven customer care centre, centralized operations control centre and robust storm and outage response services.
All of which are reasons both the council and the mayor hope that this sale will only help to elevate reliability of a system so vital to the public’s well-being.

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