January 13, 2016 - 6:30 PM
PENTICTON - The city has decided which project it hopes to get support from the federal government on, and water meters for irrigation systems were the winner.
Penticton City Council prioritized the projects put forward by staff as candidates for funding through the Building Canada Fund Small Communities grant during a council meeting, Jan. 11.
General Manager of Infrastructure Mitch Moroziuk explained options for projects eligible for the funding at a Committee of the Whole Meeting back in December. At that meeting council selected agricultural irrigation water meters, Carmi Reservoir fire storage and drinking water and an onsite chlorine generation system for the city’s drinking water as projects most immediately desired for the city, in addition to being most likely to attract funding attention. The committee requested staff provide more information on the three options, which was provided in a staff report to council this week.
A $1.4-million plan to install water meters on irrigation services would allow the city to proactively manage water use by providing customers with water use information and by using water consumption data to assess areas of over use or leakage. Staff argued the project could help mitigate damage arising from future drought conditions in the city.The project would involve 392 irrigation customers within city boundaries.
A 2010 master water plan revealed insufficient water storage within one of the pressure zones. The city currently can overcome this shortfall because it has surplus pumping capacity, but with future development a risk arises of not being able to maintain fire storage. The pressures zone consists of two areas: the first area bounded by Columbia Street on the west, Ridgedale Avenue on the north, the city boundary on the east and Carmi Avenue on the south. The second area is bounded by Westview Drive to the north, Evergreen Drive to the east, Balsam Avenue on the south and an irregular line just east of the Carmi School on the west.
A $1.2-million project is proposed to construct 1,200 cubic metres of additional water storage at the Carmi reservoir to address storage deficiencies in the pressure zone.
The third project shortlisted by council involved the construction of an on-site hypochlorite facility at the city’s water treatment plant. The $1.25-million project would replace aging chlorinating equipment and eliminate transportation hazards associated with the handling of gaseous chlorine.
Council was split on the application decision, with Mayor Andrew Jakubeit favouring the on-site chlorine generation system, noting the city’s present chlorinating system was coming to the end of its service life. He added drinking water was one of the city’s most important provisions to its residents.
Several councillors preferred to focus on agricultural irrigation water meters, noting the potential environmental consequences of an inadequate water supply. Staff also recommended the option as the one most likely to be accepted in a review of grant applications.
In the end, council voted 4-3 in favour of an application to the fund requesting funding for irrigation water meter installation.
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