Fogdog contract could put Sylvan Lake on the map

Economic Development Officer Vicki Kurz expects a contract with Fogdog Energy to promote investment

With a memorandum of understanding still in place between the Town of Sylvan Lake and Fogdog Energy, there are still a few hoops to jump through before a contract is signed.

The Town has a few more steps to go through before the contract is signed. The same goes for the company, who must have certain items and certificates in place.

Economic Development Officer for the Town of Sylvan Lake, Vicki Kurz, was one of the staff members who travelled to Italy to take in the technology and visit with officials who manufacture the machinery.

“Seeing is believing,” Kurz said, who had her doubts about the technology before seeing it in action. “You don’t really understand how it works until you see it in action. We were pretty impressed.”

While seeing it actually in the process of converting municipal waste into “fluff” was quite the sight, Kurz and the team had planned to visit a sight using the technology.

Unfortunately, while they were in Italy in June, the Genoa facility was closed down, and Sylvan Lake staff was unable to tour it nor talk with the facility owner and municipal officials.

Kurz said it was just a bit a bad timing.

“The facility was closed at the time, because it was being moved to a new location,” she said. “Nearby residents said it was too close to residential areas and was moved and is now back up and running.”

Because Sylvan Lake staff was unable to tour and discuss the facility, a Skype call will have to be made before a contract is signed with Fogdog Energy, Kurz said.

Town staff is still committed to speaking with the municipality of Genoa as well as with the owners of the waste facility.

“We will be looking into specifics as to why it was moved as well as site development and utility usage of the facility.”

Kurz also noted the setup for the Genoa facility is a bit different than what is planned for Sylvan Lake. For instance, Sylvan Lake will have a completely enclosed facility, while the one in Genoa was open to the elements.

She calls it doing their due diligence.

“We have to do our due diligence before a contract is signed, to make sure there sin’t anything unexpected,” Kurz said.

Before a contract is signed between the Town and Fogdog Energy, Kurz says a video is expected to be sent. This video will show the capability of the H-2,000 machinery in action.

It will show how the technology will handle some of the larger heavier items, like rocks or tires, that may end up in the converter.

Kurz calls the video “proof of concept.”

Along with the proof of concept video, Fogdog also has to secure a letter fro Alberta Environment and Parks.

“It will basically say it is safe to use, [the technology] won’t harm our environment. That Fogdog and the technology meets all provincial standards,” Kurz said.

Kurz says there is no issue with the technology, especially after seeing it in action. And being the first municipality in Canada, North America really, to use the technology will put the town on the map.

It will help the town become more environmentally friendly, help boost the economy while also saving money.

“We are willing to set ourselves apart and become a role model in sustainable, green practises,” said Kurz.

“We are going to be pioneering a technology that has been proven in Europe.”

It is the hope of Kurz and the Town that by bring the technology to Sylvan Lake, it will “breed investment” into the Town, investment which doesn’t put smoke stacks in the sky.

While a contract between Sylvan Lake and Fogdog Energy has not yet been signed, Kurz is confident it will be before summer is finished. The proposal is expected to come before Town Council at the next regular meeting on Aug. 27.

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