By Cal Braid
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
When Town council met on Dec. 18, the projected operating budget for 2024 and the three years following was examined. The meeting agenda was 109 pages, and the summary for the operating budget and the capital projects were both noteworthy inclusions. Capital projects ranged from $7,500 on the low end to almost $7.5 million on the high end.
The big-dollar projects included:
East industrial storm system-wetlands, with an approved budget of $7,499,200. The stormwater project was assigned to the capital year of 2015 and 90 per cent grant funded. The update showed that the system is 90 per cent complete, and is expected to be finished by the spring of 2024.
The wastewater treatment department was approved $3 million for rehab on the secondary clarifier in the 2023 capital year, The rehab is 36 per cent grant funded and 40 per cent complete. Equipment has been ordered and the department is waiting for the contractor to install it.
Facilities management was allotted $1,606,316 in the capital year 2021 for the installation of a solar PV system at the wastewater lagoons and the project is 95 per cent complete. No grant funding was given and the PV system needs minor electrical and commissioning from the contractor before completion in January.
Other projects have been completed at or under budget. Those were:
The Aquafun Centre locker replacement, 100 per cent grant funded at $104,521.20. Completed at budget.
The Prairie Lake Estates playground was completed for $20,000 without grant funding.
A water meter replacement program was completed for $30,000 without grant funding.
The downtown sanitary pipe relining was allotted $160,000 through grant funding and was completed under budget for $116,055.
The lower lagoon sludge removal project was given $70,000 in the capital year 2023 and was completed under budget at $53,789.70.
Coun. McLean double-checked with CAO Derrin Thibault about where the saved money from the two under-budget projects ends up. “The funds get rolled back into the capital reserves,” he said.