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Discussion on Johnson’s Addition continues

Posted on February 27, 2019 by Taber Times

By Cole Parkinson
Taber Times

The Municipal District of Taber and Town of Taber are continuing to discuss sanitary servicing to Johnson’s Addition.

With multiple options being considered by both parties, no firm decision has been made on how to proceed.

During their regular meeting on Feb. 11, council had a chance to go over the different options and how they would want to proceed with the servicing to Johnson’s Addition.

“The initial study done in 2012 shows an estimated cost of $4.4 million. At that point, the capacity was 1.6 litres per second to tie into the Town of Taber’s system,” said Craig Pittman, director of infrastructure.

Following the initial estimate, M.D. council of the day had asked for more alternative options moving forward.

With four options in front of council, Pittman highlighted some of the different factors for each one.

The first option was a communal septic treatment system estimated to cost $1,201,000 depending on condition of existing septic tanks with it being around $12,000 per lot.

“SD Consulting was sought out and they produced a cost estimate and design for the communal septic system in Johnson’s Addition,” said Pittman.

In late 2017, the Town of Taber completed another study with MPE Engineering which garnered another three options the two municipalities could pursue.

“One of those options was a connection to the town at 50th Avenue as a force main. With that, each residence would have a grinder pump that would essentially do a low-pressure system into that existing infrastructure,” said Pittman.

From the report, the cost was set at $433,000 with a grinder pump requirement at each connection estimated at $12,000.
Option 2B from the report was around a gravity main connection at 56th Avenue.

“Another option that was looked at is a connection to town infrastructure at 56th Avenue which is a gravity main. The cost with that is approximately $784,000 plus an un-estimated additional cost for the pipeline to go the length,” continued Pittman.

This connection would also require grinder pumps for each connection at an estimated $12,000.

The third option stemming from the MPE report was another connection at 56th Avenue.

“Option 2C, as you can see there is a connection to the town at 56th Avenue which is a force main. It is estimated at $476,000 plus another cost on top of that which was un-estimated,” added Pittman.

Once again, each of the connections would need grinder pumps costing around $12,000.

With the reports in front of council, administration provided five options to move forward — do nothing, continue toward a more detailed design of system as per the MPE report options, investigate a traditional collection system and traditional lift station options, continue with SD Consulting is communal septic or have further public consultation of desire for the project.

In regard to the required grinder pumps for all MPE report options, administration stated their hesitation to move forward with those options.

“Administration had some concerns with the proposed grinder pumps and that system just because it seems like a risky system. It’s cost-effective, yet risky and that is why the recommended option is option five and option three which are further public consultation of desire for the project and investigate traditional collection system and traditional lift station options,” explained Pittman.

As far as the communal septic option was concerned, Pittman explained grinder pumps would not be needed but smaller pumps would be required to get a low-pressure system.

“It would go into a septic tank and from the septic tank it would be the fluids being pumped,” he said.

With rough financial estimates in place for the options, council inquired whether there would be additional avenues for funding.

“The only funding opportunity would be through MSI, that we are aware of,” answered Pittman. “Municipal Affairs considers Johnson’s Addition as a hamlet, however Alberta Transportation does not because the lot size is too big for that. The funding body is Alberta Transportation in this instance. Because of the lot sizes, there is no funding available.”

The last meeting with Johnson’s Addition residents was in 2015 and administration was in favour of consultation to gauge interest in the project moving forward.

“It may be wise to consult those residents to see if that desire is still there,” said Pittman, who also answered a council question on whether or not they had received any complaints in the past months. “I have heard no complaints.”

In the past, reaction to the project was split between wanting to move forward and not wanting to go forward.

“There were some who wanted to do it and some who wanted nothing to do with it. We had both extremes, some see it as a real benefit to their individual property values and others are not interested,” stated Reeve Merrill Harris. “I could start asking some of the residents if we should get back together.”

A motion was made to table discussions until Reeve Harris reaches out to the residents to gauge interest in the project and was carried.

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