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October 4, 2022 October 4, 2022

Assessment base in County of 40 Mile exceeds $1 billion

Posted on March 31, 2022 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Samantha Johnson

Stewart Payne, municipal enforcement officer in Foremost, presented to council the estimated costs of providing a raw water distribution system to the hamlet of Winnifred. Payne was also at a meeting with residents of the hamlet the night before council met. The meeting was well attended, with 16 of the 22 residents showing up. 

Both the main line coming into the hamlet and the distribution lines will be shallow, Water will only be available for outdoor use as it is not potable. The main lines coming in will be 3″ and the service lines will be ¾”.

Estimated capital costs for Phase 1, Project 1 are $232,000. Payne presented some capital replacement cost options to the community. He stated that if the County provided the distribution system to the hamlet without taking any growth into account it will cost approximately $15,000 per service. However, if the system was designed and built, with the County putting out the investment and waiting for the capital returns, the cost could be reduced to about $7,000 per service. All numbers are estimates, the actual calculation was $7,333 but it could be slightly more or less. Actual costs won’t be known until the bids come in but first, the County needed to make a motion to approve the commissioning of an engineering firm to design the system, which was done at the close of the presentation.

County operators will need to turn on the water in the spring, make sure it is working and not leaking, operate the valves, do weekly checks on the system, and flush it out at the end of the season. Annual operating costs are estimated at $446 per service per year. 

At the end of the meeting with the community, Payne asked the residents if they were comfortable paying something upfront and the rest over time. All but one of the residents present voted yes, with some willing to pay the full amount upfront. It was acknowledged that some members of the community, along with the undeveloped properties, weren’t represented at the meeting. 

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