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Posted: February 11, 2020

City considers borrowing for reservoir projects

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The City of Cranbrook is considering borrowing up to $2 million in order to help fund a Phillips Reservoir Bypass Pipeline and Intake Valve Replacement project.

City council last night (Feb. 10) unanimously approved a Public Works request to proceed with an application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: Green Infrastructure – Environmental Quality Sub-Stream. It also directed city staff to bring forward a borrowing bylaw to authorize the municipality’s cost share up to $2 million.

Some of the outcomes for the proposed program include: Increased capacity to treat and/or manage wastewater and/or stormwater; Increased access to potable water; and Increased capacity to reduce and/or remediate soil and/or air pollutants, a city staff report explained.

Local governments are eligible for up to 73.33% funding from senior government (40% federal and 33.33% province); therefore the city would need to fund a minimum of 26.67% of the eligible costs.

“The Bypass Pipeline involves the installation of a 2.5 km pipeline that will allow the city to bypass the Phillips Reservoir without interrupting water supply to the city’s water distribution network. This will enable the city to take the Phillips Reservoir offline for maintenance (ex: dam maintenance and sediment removal), or unplanned events, while maintaining secure and reliable water supply to the city,” the city staff report outlined.

Phillips Reservoir

Additionally, the intake valve controls the city’s main water supply from the Phillips Reservoir, and requires replacement as it is nearing end-of-life. The project’s total estimated cost is approximately $7.24 million.

“With the city portion being approximately $1,931,280, it is recommended that the city’s portion of the cost be covered through borrowing,” the staff report concluded.

“We have to do it, without a doubt,” said Mayor Lee Pratt.

A bylaw covering the city borrowing the funds will come before council Feb. 24, along with information about the city’s debt servicing.

Lead image: Phillips Reservoir sluiceway. e-KNOW file photos

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