Forestburg sewer line replacement requires $20,000 worth of additional work

Written by Terri Huxley

In preparation for the 46th Avenue West reconstruction project in this years’ Capital Budget, camera work has been undertaken to evaluate the condition of the sewer line running underneath the asphalt.

This camera scope has found sagging and blockage in a significant portion of the sewer line necessitating a segment of the sewer line being replaced.

CAO Dibben explained the spot was riddled with tree roots but the rest of the line was ‘not pristine’ but overall in good shape and wouldn’t need attention for a long time.

The most cost efficient opportunity to address subsurface infrastructure needs is during the preparatory work for road reconstruction where applicable.

The cost estimate of the length of the sewer line needing replacement has been placed at $20,000 from engineers.

Given the tender award price of $526,625, these additional costs would result in the entire reconstruction project cost remaining under the original budgeted estimate of $630,000 approved by council in the 2021 Capital Budget.

Administration asked council to pass a motion to accept this $20,000 quote and up the $526,625 budget to $550,000 with contingency added in which council agreed.

As this is line replacement and not rehabilitation it would be an eligible project element and costs for use of provincial and federal grant funding.

Operating plan

Administration asked for approval of the Village of Forestburg 2021-2023 (3-year) Operating Plan.

Significant changes from last years’ Operating Plan are the projected costs and corresponding tax rate increases resulting from escalating policing costs overall years of this plan, continued increases in carbon tax levies and anticipated revenue and expense profile changes resulting from fire and emergency services moving to a regional approach and delivery model.

At present, the anticipated general tax increases required to fund these cost drivers, factoring in no reduction to existing services or service levels, are projected at a 2.5 per cent general tax increase in 2022 and a two per cent general tax increase in 2023.

Council approved the operating plan as presented.

Library outdoor gathering

Coun. Elaine Fossen approached the rest of council with a request from the local library asking for permission to have a summer outdoor market while following AHS guidelines and provide some dollars for promotion.

She explained that the library committee plans on having a sidewalk sale at one end of Main Street which will be closed off from parking after 5 p.m. coming June 28.

Council agreed to allow them to block off this portion of the street and provide some money for promotional purposes as included in the budget.

Donut machine to be purchased

Forestburg village council received a letter from the chair of the Forestburg Community Development and Promotion Committee inquiring about funding availability for planned fundraising activities and the need for financial support in undertaking these activities.

The committee outlined their plans to expand on past fundraising activities at local events by purchasing a mini donut machine and the initial supplies needed to make the product.

The financial request is $1,200 for the purchase of the mini donut machine and $400 for the initial supplies needed totally $1,600.

The request of the Forestburg Community Development and Promotion Committee is consistent with the Forestburg Community Promotion Grant which has a budget of $2,500 in the current year with no monies being requested or allocated so far.

This grant has a cap of $1,000 per requesting organization per year.

CAO Dibben shared the remaining $600 would come from the village’s annual support resources, different general ledger account.

Council asked what would happen to the machine if, for example, the committee were to dissolve.

The CAO explained that the unit would come back to the village in this case.

Council passed a motion to provide $1,600 for the intent to purchase the mini donut machine and initial supplies at their regular meeting held Thurs. June 17.

Incentive policy updates

Village council has established the Community Improvement and Consolidation (CIC) Program and the Community Growth Incentive Policy as parts of a comprehensive economic development and community regeneration strategy in support of the long-term viability and continued prosperity of the village.

These two programs offer a differing mix of property tax and utility incentives for prospective and current property owners as well as for other citizens who participate in economic development activities such as business and resident attraction.

Economic development activities of the village have secured notable results in the past year and the CIC program has incentivized two residential building projects currently underway on vacant privately held lots.

At the last meeting, council reviewed the existing policies and considered potential changes.

The changes that council endorsed included village owned lots being eligible for the CIC program and change of original use of the property being allowable for the CIC Program.

It also included amending the CIC Program to allow for the possible extension of construction beyond one year if the development and/or building permit is extended; enhancing the program to make significant upgrading and/or expansion of an existing residence eligible for a partial one-year tax exemption for those improvements on that property and eliminating the provision that administration must budget for the community.

Council reviewed the changes and felt they would suffice, passing two separate motions to pass the Community Improvement and Consolidation (CIC) Program – Policy #H.6.1-2014 and Community Growth Incentive Policy – Policy #H.6.2-2019.

RCMP support letter

At the June 3 regular meeting, CAO Dibben was directed to draft a letter of support for continuation of the contract with the RCMP as the provincial police force consistent with past council discussion of this issue as the province contemplates the potential establishment of a provincial police service.

Council reviewed the letter at the latest meeting, passing a motion to send the letter to Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.