Sylvan Lake preparing for future water needs

Town looking at spending $10 million on reservoir to supply water for 30,000 people

Town of Sylvan Lake is fast-tracking plans to build a much-needed water reservoir east of town.

The 8,500-cubic-metre water reservoir able to supply water to up to 30,000 people was to be built in two phases in 2018 and 2022, however council opted to tackle the whole project this year to take advantage of competitive construction pricing.

Council originally budgeted $6.5 million this year and $4.5 million to build the reservoir.

Instead, council voted to borrow up to $10 million to do all the work in one go. First reading of the borrowing bylaw was approved on Monday.

A report to council says it is a good time to take on major construction projects.

“Construction this year would be beneficial due to the fact that interest rates are lower and with the expected improvement in the economy, the general construction costs and interest rates will likely start to rise over the next year or two,” says the report.

Ensuring future water supply is a big priority because the fast-growing community’s current system can only meet the needs of 18,000 people. The 2016 federal census put the town’s population at 14,816.

During peak demand in the summer the town is already having trouble keeping enough water in its reservoir to meet needs.

Town communications officer Joanne Gaudet said the town has been preparing for years to ensure enough water will be ready to meet future growth, including drilling a new well. A mandatory water conservation program from May to September has been in place for many years.

“Certainly, we have adequate potable water available for our residents at this point,” said Gaudet. “We’re good until 18,000 but that doesn’t always consider a major development or something like that.”

The town hopes provincial funding will cover 30 per cent — $3 million — of the cost.

About half of the remaining $7 million would be covered through levies paid by developers as they build. The other half would be paid by taxpayers through increased utility rates. Residents would see their utility costs increase $3 to $6 per month depending on whether $7 million or $10 million needs to be borrowed.

Tenders are expected to go out this spring with construction underway in May. The reservoir will take about 18 months to complete.

Red Deer County has already agreed to sell the town the land needed for the reservoir, which will be located just northeast of Hwy 20 and Hwy 11A.

News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Canyon Ski Resort season wraps up Sunday

Central Alberta skiers and snowboarders only have a couple more days to… Continue reading

Future space crunch is feared, as no new schools for Red Deer are in the budget

Only local modernization will be at Father Lacombe Catholic School in Lacombe

A million dollars for Red Deer hospital is not nearly enough, says Mayor Veer

Mayor is concerned Red Deer hospital is still not on province’s five-year capital list

No drug treatment centre, or additional shelter beds for Red Deer

But Red Deer will get more affordable housing and sustained capital funding

Hit and run adjourned to April

Crash into Papa Baldy’s Pizza

WATCH: Hundreds come to Red Deer Rebels Fan Fest

The Red Deer Rebels met with legions of their of fans just… Continue reading

Supreme Court rules former Stephen Harper aide guilty of influence peddling

OTTAWA — Canada’s highest court has upheld an influence peddling conviction against… Continue reading

2 killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

PARIS — An armed man took hostages in a supermarket in southern… Continue reading

READER PHOTO: Red Deer students celebrate Canadian courage at Juno Beach

Teenagers from Red Deer’s Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School are learning about… Continue reading

UN report: Loss of plants, animals making a lonelier planet

WASHINGTON — New United Nations scientific reports diagnose that Earth is getting… Continue reading

Excavator frees dolphins trapped by pack ice in Newfoundland harbour

HEARTS DELIGHT, N.L. — A pod of dolphins trapped by pack ice… Continue reading

Structure fire destroys home in Mirror

A house in Mirror is completely damaged due to an overnight structure… Continue reading

Trudeau warns senators not to thwart will of Canadians on marijuana bill

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reminding senators that his government… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month