Brandon City Council voted to approve approximately half a million dollars in improvements and repairs to the city’s water system on Monday.
Under the contract, contractor Allen & Bolack Excavating will abandon the wet well and associated pumping a the Hilton Lift Station, install a water service to the Biogas Building at the Water Reclamation Facility and install knife gate valves at the Kirkcaldy Lift Station for a price of $489,672.26.
Those items were included in the 2021 financial plan. Not included was the additional replacement of water main valves at the intersection of 25th Street and Victoria Avenue, which Allen & Bolack will also complete.
According to Mark Allard of the city’s engineering services, the values are stuck in the closed position and are inoperable. He said the project’s non-inclusion in the financial plan was an oversight and that the valves’ repair is needed to ensure reliable water flow and pressure to nearby businesses and residents.
To complete that work, council voted to spend $270,000 from the Water Distribution Reserve.
Patrick Pulak, the city’s general manager of development services, told Coun. Jeff Fawcett (Assiniboine) that the installation of knife gate valves at the Kirkcaldy Lift Station was intended to be completed earlier, but the item wasn’t included on the last contract for work at the station.
"Because of the timelines with funding, we had to proceed with completing that project prior to the installation of that valve," Pulak said. "It’s really just an oversight from that lift station contract and something we’ll correct this year."
Council again voted to double the size of the city’s flood protection program.
Originally brought up during this year’s budget progress, the program to help subsidize residents’ installations of sump pump and backwater values to protect their properties in the wake of last year’s severe rains has been very popular thus far.
The original $100,000 set aside for the program was almost entirely claimed by mid-April, so council added an additional $100,000 to it at the April 19 meeting.
According to the agenda for Monday’s council meeting, demand has continued and approximately $150,000 has been claimed so far.
To head off any further demand, the size of the program was doubled again, and the total size of the fund will now be $400,000. This increase will be the last council approved and is expected to last until the end of the fiscal year.
Any applications made once all the money has been claimed will be deferred to next year.
Council voted unanimously on Monday to grant Coun. Ron Brown (Richmond) a medical leave of absence as he deals with some health issues.
"I think Coun. Brown is going to do his best to get 100 per cent again and we’ll assess things as we move forward," Fawcett said.
Mayor Rick Chrest said changes to memberships to municipal committees will likely be addressed after the May 5 byelection in the Meadows-Waverly ward so the new councillor will be included in the committee assignments.
Coun. Jan Chaboyer (Green Acres) wished Brown well and said she could help residents of his ward with some issues as her ward and Brown’s are neighbours.
Though he didn’t want to get into specifics, Brown had told the Sun last week that he currently requires dialysis three times a week.
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