Village of Alix will work on 49th street water mains this summer

Alix council unanimously approved awarding parts A and C of the 49th Street project to UG Excavating for their bid of $522,982.92 and decided to leave Part B out of the project. ECA Review/Submitted
Written by Stu Salkeld

Alix village council will replace one block of water and sewer mains this summer along with installing three other service connections. 

The decision was made at the April 7 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White submitted to councillors the results of a tender for the 49th Street infrastructure upgrade project, a project shelved last year because only two bids were received with one at almost $700,000 and the other over $1 million. 

“This is good news,” she said, stating the village got quite a few bids and several were much lower.

White also stated she felt the residents would be happy to see this project moving ahead, a project that some felt would cost in the $1.4 million range.

A summary of bids for the work was provided in a letter from MPE Engineering, and ranged from a low of $522,982.92 from UG Excavating to a high of $906,609.42 from Northside Construction Partnership.

White stated the project was presented to councillors in three parts, A, B and C, with A being the primary work, including the replacement of one block of water and sewer mains plus redirecting the new sewer main to Lake Street which was necessary because of the change in depth. 

She explained a 2017 engineering study noted, “The existing sanitary main is shallow at 49 street and 49 Avenue and is prone to freezing. 

“There is also a servicing issue near the church where multiple lots are serviced off of the same service…the water main is undersized at a diameter of 100 mm.”

She noted in her report part B, optional, included replacing the 100 mm main line around the curve of 49th Street to where it meets 49th Avenue and upgrading it to 150 mm. 

Part C includes installing three service connections from the main line to inside the property lines.

Council set aside $437,882 in their capital budget for this project, with White noting $132,163 is grant money while the balance comes from reserves. 

Part B would add $72,703 for replacing the water line which could climb up to $130,000 for a new sewer main while Part C was a much smaller amount, listed in the memo at $3,600.

White added the low bid was still over the budget but noted the village has money to cover it set aside in the water and sewer reserves.

Coun. Vicki Soltermann stated two of the lots in Part B are so low she couldn’t see a builder being interested in them and felt it wasn’t wise to install services to them as they could sit unsold for a long time.

Coun. Barb Gilliat stated she recalled someone voicing interest in renting those lots for a garden.

Coun. Tim Besuijen stated those lots were a playground when he was in school.

Mayor Rob Fehr stated he felt council should move forward with the project because he couldn’t see the bids getting any lower. 

He agreed with Soltermann that the Part B work should be left alone for now.

Coun. Ed Cole asked that, if the Part B lots were left and in six months someone voiced interest in purchasing them, would it be expensive to install the services? 

White answered, “Yes.”

Councillors unanimously approved awarding the project to UG Excavating for their bid of $522,982.92 and decided to leave Part B out of the project.


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.