File Photo

New water reservoir has large price tag

Council passed first reading of a bylaw to borrow up to $10-million to pay for a new reservoir

The Town of Sylvan Lake has been working towards a new water reservoir since 2015, and is now ready to move forward with the next step.

It has been decided the best location for the new reservoir, which will provide potable water the the Town, is a quarter section of land at NW3-39-1-W5, also known as Sandbar Estates, in Red Deer County. According to a report to Council at Monday night’s meeting, a letter of intent was completed at the end of November with the landowner.

A preliminary design for the “first phase” of the reservoir has been completed by Stantec. This design will support the town with a water capacity to support a population of 30,000 people.

The next step though is to come up with the money to pay for this investment.

The design will cost more than Council budgeted. Stantec estimates the project will cost upwards of $10-million, and Council budgeted for $6.5-million to be spent on the reservoir in 2018. An additional $4.6-million was planned for expansion in 2022.

Public Works asked Council for a budget adjustment to pay for the needed reservoir project, which was approved at the meeting on Feb. 26.

“The Town does not currently have these funds available, therefore it is recommended that a borrowing bylaw be put into place to support the construction of this infrastructure,” said David Kalham, project manager with Public Works.

Mayor and Council believe the project to be of the utmost importance.

The current reservoir will be able to supply clean water to the town up to a population of 18,000 people.

“This is absolutely vital for us. It is something our residents depend on, and something we have to be able to provide,” said Mayor Sean McIntyre.

The first reading of the bylaw for borrowing up to $10-million for the North Water Reservoir was also carried at the meeting.

According to the Municipal Government Act, the project cannot begin until there is a bylaw in place authorizing the borrowing.

“The electors of a municipality may, within 15 days from the date of the last publication of the notice, petition Council for a vote on the borrowing bylaw,” Darren Moore, director of finance with the Town, said.

If no petition is presented, the municipality may pass the borrowing bylaw. The process is expected to take two months before final reading is passed, and work can begin on the reservoir.

After the second and third reading of the bylaw, which is expected to be held on March 26, there will be a 30 day period where an application may be sent to have the bylaw declared invalid.

“If no application is made, Bylaw 1753/2018 becomes valid,” Moore explained.

Now is believed to be a good time for a loan, as interest rates are relatively low, Kalham says.

“We expect interest rates to rise in the next couple years, so now would be a good time,” said Kalham.

The plan is to have the majority of the project paid for by future developments. Moore says 51.4 per cent of the $10-million budget will be paid back by developments, while the Town will pay back 48.6 per cent of the cost.

The first reading of the bylaw does state the Town plans to borrow “up to” $10-million for the project. This is because administration plans to apply for a grant to supplement the cost.

“The project is eligible for funding under Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) and is a priority one, according to current program guidelines,” Moore said.

With the current population of Sylvan Lake, 14,816 according to the federal census, the Town is eligible for 30.18 per cent of the project costs under the grant.

“Construction can commence prior to grant approval for priority one projects and costs incurred before approval will be covered by the grant program,” Moore told Council.

Borrowing money for the reservoir will ultimately affect the residents of Sylvan Lake. The Town plans for the initial borrowing to take place in September, the first payment will be due in March.

This will require utility rates to be adjusted for 2019, depending on amount borrowed.

“Borrowing $7 million will result in each utility customer paying approximately $3 more on a monthly basis. If $10 million is the amount to be borrowed, either initially or when the project is complete, the resulting effect on each utility customer would be approximately $6 more per month,” Moore said.

Public works plans to open tenders for construction in March. The building of the new reservoir is expected to last 15 months, beginning in May and ending in autumn 2019.



megan.roth@sylvanlakenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Yettis marching towards playoff spot

The team is currently in second place in the league

WATCH: Sylvan Lake celebrates 1913 Days

Many lined the streets and participated in the many events around 1913 Days

Central Alberta Buccaneers pillage Vandals 64-19

Bucs’ notch second win of the season convincingly

Central Alberta Humane Society presents cat yoga

Proceeds will be used to care for the shelter animals

Exciting singing opportunities await with Choirs Red Deer

A new opportunity for those who love to sing will soon be available in Red Deer

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

National sports organizations have to report allegations of abuse immediately

Sporting organizations will lose federal funding if abuse goes unreported, says Kirsty Duncan

Former Somali child refugee fights to stay in Canada

Former child refugee Abdoul Abdi’s judicial review set for today in Halifax

U.S. border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Several Republicans to break from President Donald Trump amid boarder separation issues

AFN chief accused of being too close to Trudeau

Perry Bellegarde insists he is not that close to the Liberals as elections looms

Three injured after industrial explosion in Newfoundland

The roof of the warehouse was blown off in the explosion near St. John’s

Ottawa Senators trade Mike Hoffman, less than a week after allegations involving partner

Following the trade Senators make no mention of allegations against Hoffman’s partner

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Most Read