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County has to decide on Suffield water supply plan ‘very soon’

Posted on February 14, 2019 by 40 Mile Commentator
Commentator/Courier File Photo Coun. Robin Kurpjuweit.

Justin Seward

Cypress County has a decision on building a regional water line to Suffield after the water agreement expires in April 2020 with CFB Suffield.
Council was informed at their Feb. 5 regular meeting the base wants the county to secure a water supply and in addition will be looking for a concrete action plan to move towards the objective.
“The base has given us an expiry date of when they’ll stop supplying us with water,” said county Coun. Robin Kurpjuweit.
“The province has put us under some pressure to have a plan on how this is going to work. Right now we have pushed forward for this RFP (request for proposal) process that will go out to a number of engineering firms that will work with the county to come up with proposed plan and price to get this water line.
“It could be a water line that runs from the City of Medicine Hat or Redcliff. Maybe there is an opportunity to utilize existing infrastructure and set up some partnerships.”
The proposed Suffield plan could be a part of a bigger focus of getting water to all the nearby county residence.
“Along the highway going out to Suffield, there’s alot of farms, ranches, acreages that would be very interested in getting access to water lines,” said Kurpjuweit.
“It would be advantageous for businesses in the commercial sector and future development possibilities. Having that water go out there is key. But I think something we talked about at council yeaterday (Feb. 5) is recognizing how projects we do today fit into the bigger plan of how the county wants to go down the road.”
A design could come as quickly as three to six months and a project completion in the next couple of years, he added.
The county’s requirements will be to choose a supplier for short and long term based pricing this month, make applications for purchase and transfer (approximately a two year process), issue a request for proposal detailed design with a response by March 2020 and issue an RFP for construction of the Suffield water line per the approved design through an engineering firm that will provide project management.
An extension can be requested to CFB Suffield to go past April 2020 for the project’s completion.
“We have an agreement to supply raw water to Cypress County to support residents of the Hamlet of Suffield,” said Natalie Finnemore, the base’s public affairs officer.
“This agreement expires in 2020, but may be extended while Cypress County sources other means to supply water to its residents. It is not our intent to discontinue the supply of raw water to Cypress County while the county explores other options.”
Council approved Kurpjuweit’s motion to have administration issue an engineering request for proposal detailed design and project management for the Suffield regional water supply line.

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