From Walking Trails to Waterlines
“By this time in 2018, we’ll be done the walking trail,” noted Elk Point CAO Ken Gwozdz at the town council meeting on February 13. This assurance came following a motion to apply the balance of $214,993 MSI Capital 2016 to cover costs for equipment purchased in the past two years. Equipment obtained in 2016 includes a 6’ Bobcat angle broom for sweeping the trail, a hydraulic breaker and rear pin grabber to break concrete, an auger and bits used to dig holes and plant trees, a mower for trimming grass, and a line painter to ensure safety on the trail. Adding to the equipment this year, a 7’ snow blade has been purchased for the Bobcat.
At the January meeting, council approved funding for waterline replacement on Circle Drive and 52nd St to 54th St on 52 Avenue, but following a breakage last weekend on 52nd St near Ravine Drive, finances were approved for repairs in that area as well. The cast iron lines under these streets are over 40 years old and are corroding. They will be replaced with PVC pipe. Deputy Mayor Lorne Young commented, “This latest waterline break definitely speaks to the reason why we’re spending money on waterlines…Waterline replacement has been on the books for a long time, and it’s good we’re moving on this now.”
On the topic of water, residents received notice in December about a utility rate increase to come into effect on January 1. The January bill included this increase. However, the January bill is based on December consumption. In adding the charge to the January bill, Young conceded, “We jumped the gun one month too early.” The town has corrected this error, and residents will notice credits of $7.80 for water and $2.20 for sewer on their February bills.
For people who missed the changes to the rates, as of January 1, 2017 they are: basic water (14m3) $50.00, with a $4.00 charge for each cubic metre over 14m3; basic sewer $15.00; garbage fee $15.00; garbage bin $3.00. A comparison of rates among nearby or similar sized municipalities shows that Elk Point’s total utility costs are very close to average. It was noted that rates for specific services in the comparable communities “are all over the map.”