Natural gas was not always as available to us as it is today. In the early 1970's, many rural Albertan's were unable to access natural gas services. As the need for a safe, sustainable and dependable fuel service product grew throughout the province, rural Albertan's were encouraged by the government to form co-ops, apply for franchise areas, and construct their own natural gas distribution systems.
Many community-minded individuals became the directors of the co-ops to create policy, plan and construct the pipeline systems and set up local offices and management for the ongoing operations. Credit for today’s successful Alberta’s Rural Natural Gas co-op program belongs in large part to those individuals who devoted their time to canvas and sell the idea to their communities. Because of these initiatives, now many rural Albertan's are receiving natural gas service, all thanks to the hard work of the farmers and community members more than 40 years ago.
Today, Alberta's rural utilities collectively operate the worlds largest rural natural gas distribution system.
A group of 25 interested local farmers met with government officials at the home of Ron Bergseth to discuss rural gas installation. A general meeting was called for November 23, 1973 at the Kinsella Community Hall.
Interested farmers met with 3 government officials whom discussed rural gas co-ops and answered questions.
Tom Mattenson moved to form a Natural Gas Co-op in the proposed area. Don Dagg seconded.
Mrs. Della Ash moved to call the loop "Iron Creek Gas Co-op". Oswald Koehli seconded.
November 7, 1973
The election of the board of directors occurred on November 23, 1973 at the first official general meeting.
Mr. Harry Christian - Director for Holden South Mr. Bill Lawson - Director of Wainwright North
Mr. Ole Lundle - Director for Sedgewick North Mr. Paul Mazure - Director of Hardisty Nort
Mr. Rusty McLean - Director for Viking North Mr. Henry Lien - Director of Lougheed North
Mr. Tom Mattinson - Director for Viking South Mr. Rick Davidson - Director of Sedgewick South
Mr. Allan Darling - Director for Kinsella North Mr. Ole Lundle - Director for Sedgewick North
Mr. Geo Rawluk - Director for Kinsella South Mr. Leo Slavik - Director of Killma North
Mr. Jerry Mark - Director of Jarrow North Mr. Oswald Koehli - Director of Strome North
Mr. Keith Currie - Director of Irma North Mr. Ron Bergseth - Director at large
Mr. Erling Nilson - Director of Irma South
Henry Lien served as Iron Creek Gas Co-ops first Chairman from November 23, 1973 to March 20, 1978
Len Berg served as Iron Creek Gas Co-ops first Secretary / Treasurer from November 23, 1973 to July 1, 1975
ORIGINAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Iron Creek Gas Co-op was officially incorporated.
The "Cameron Building" was purchased in Sedgewick for $2000
Algas Engineering Services Ltd was chosen as consultant
Tom Mattinson moved that Iron Creek Gas Co-op join the Federated Gas Co-op Ltd. Erling Nilson seconded.
The cost for farmers to establish natural gas service was $1700. The minimum service charge was $4, which also included 2 MCF of gas. The rate was $0.60/MCF thereafter.
The next general meeting was held April 8, 1974, with approximately 200 people in attendance.
October 23, 1974 - The approved starting point of the new natural gas distribution system was determined to begin at NE 6-46-13-W4
In the following 17 days, 100 meters of pipeline had been ploughed in and 95 customers were connected.
The provincial government was surprised that any construction had occurred in the first year. The Board of Directors were praised for their progress.
There were 150 to 175 members present at the first Annual General Meeting on March 3, 1975
By June 16, 1975, 700 - 750 miles of pipe were in the ground. A total of 578 customers would be serviced by Iron Creek Gas Co-ops first natural gas distribution pipeline.
By November 1975, construction of the pipelines was complete. The pipeline was to be fully operational and filled with gas by December 15, 1975.
The next Annual General Meeting was attended by 80 - 102 members