The City of Cranbrook is borrowing up to $2 million for upgrades and improvements to the Phillips Reservoir, Cranbrook’s primary source of drinking water.
The Phillips Reservoir was identified as needing improvements by staff at the City.
“We recently undertook a Dam Safety Report which is something that’s mandated through Dam Safety and something the City’s been very proactive in doing,” said Mike Matejka, Cranbrook’s Manager of Infrastructure, Planning, and Delivery. “We did discover that there’s a major component of the dam, a major valve in there that does need to be looked at as far as replacement and improving it just to make sure that in the future that it wouldn’t be a potential source of failure.”
Matejka said the Phillips Reservoir is Cranbrook’s main source of drinking water and it one of the larger reservoirs in the Province.
With the federal and provincial governments investing up to $150 million into the second intake of the ICIP Green – Environmental Quality Sub-Stream, the City felt it was the right opportunity to pursue the funding and secure a large sum of capital for the project.
More: ICIP Green – Environmental Quality Sub-Stream (B.C. Government)
The grant would cover up to 73.33% of the total project (40% federal, 33.33% provincial), while the City of Cranbrook would have a required minimum commitment of 26.67%. With the total project estimated to cost $7.24 million, Cranbrook City Council approved up to $2 million in borrowing for their portion of the project.
“If we were successful, it would probably be 2021 before we hear about it so we would be looking at 2022 or 2023 to make sure that we’d go in there and start getting the work done,” said Matejka.
The project would include the installation of a 2.5-kilometre bypass pipeline and the replacement of the intake valve which is nearing the end of its lifespan.
“The engineered products and materials that we’d put in here, we’d definitely be looking at a minimum of an 80-year lifespan as long as the proper upkeep and maintenance is done,” noted Matejka. “The bypass pipeline will allow us to continue to feed water into the City if there were something unfortunate to happen to the reservoir from any outside sources or uncontrollable sources. For us, it does provide a great backup system from a water quality standpoint as well, so there’s a lot of great benefits.”
Borrowing the $2 million, the City of Cranbrook’s debt servicing costs would be approximately $106,611 annually, pushing their liability servicing limit to about 33% of the total available limit. The City of Cranbrook would service the debt from their Water Fund, resulting in an increase to the water parcel taxes by $0.60 or $9 based on a 15.25-metre lot.
Cranbrook City Council unanimously approved first, second, and third readings of the Phillips Reservoir Bypass Loan Authorization Bylaw, forwarding it to the Inspector of Municipalities for final approval and adoption.