Village of Alix awards important sewer system tender

Written by Stu Salkeld

Alix village council awarded a tender to install an important sewer system lift station with one councillor noting the risk of the old apparatus’ failure this winter was too high. The decision was made at the July 5 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White presented councillors with the results of a tender released for the replacement of the 54 Street lift station replacement project, with White noting the tender was handled by Tagish Engineering.

Tagish noted in a memo the tender was closed July 4, just a day before the council meeting, and attracted three bids. The bidders included Urban Dirtworks ($770,570.14), 640 Earthworks ($871,840.64) and Nova Mechanical Systems ($1,164,822.75).

The Tagish memo also noted those engineers had worked with the low bidder, Urban Dirtworks, before, “…and have found them both capable and experienced in lift station installations.”

Apparently, Urban Dirtworks informed the engineers the contractor would be able to begin work on the Alix lift station sometime in October with a completion date of Nov. 21. Tagish recommended awarding the job to Urban Dirtworks.

During her report to council the CAO noted the tenders came in higher than expected, roughly $100,000 more than estimates. White stated this project was earmarked for next year’s budget for a total cost of about $885,000 but was moved up to this year.

The CAO stated one problem with moving the project to 2023 rather than 2024 is the Village of Alix can’t rely on grants to help pay for the lift station replacement.

However, referring to Tagish’s estimate of the entire project cost including Urban Dirtwork’s bid, the project can be completed under budget.

During her presentation, White noted the village has been paying a bit of overtime to Public Works staff who’ve been dealing with “reliability issues” with the 54 Street lift station.

White stated the Village of Alix can fund this project itself but reserves will take a hit, although she added the reserves were set aside for projects such as this. However, after the lift station project, there won’t be much left over.

“They will be very close to wiped out,” said White.

Mayor Rob Fehr stated the station has reached the end of its life and must be replaced. “We’re not in a position to stall,” said the mayor.

The CAO did note the building itself can be salvaged even though the station is being replaced.

Coun. Tim Besuijen agreed with the mayor that even if reserves are needed for the project, it must go ahead noting he didn’t want to see the wastewater lift station fail in the middle of winter.

The CAO further noted that the Village of Alix is involved in about $5 million in capital projects this year, with Besuijen adding he felt that to do that without borrowing money is “awesome.”

Councillors unanimously approved awarding the 54 Street lift station project to the low bidder Urban Dirtworks.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.