NORTH BATTLEFORD ‑ North Battleford council has reaffirmed their commitment to keeping the water tower lights.
“Yes, the city is committed to this project and we’re going to find the best solutions and spend as little as possible to get the best solution,” said Mayor David Gillan at Monday’s council meeting.
Gillan’s comments were in response to a presentation at Monday’s meeting from Yvonne Nyholt, who had co-chaired a campaign in 2008-09 to replace the water tower lights. In her presentation Nyholt called for the water tower to stay lighted.
“We must not let this icon go dark again, our jewel of the north,” said Nyholt. “Not only is it a great tourism site but it is a beacon of hope and joy to all of us.”
The future of the water tower lights had been a discussion point during the 2022 budget deliberations, when council was informed by City Manager Randy Patrick that the existing LEDs on the tower were near the end of their life.
The main stumbling block was the cost of replacing them, which was estimated to have gone up considerably to $200,000.
But council expressed a willingness to try to find a solution. By the time the budget was approved, council agreed to include $200,000 in the budget towards replacement of the lights.
It was also indicated during deliberations that a private donor had expressed interest in funding replacement, but nothing has been announced as of yet.
Director of Operations Stewart Schafer told council he had discussed the project with Calgary firm LED World again, who had supplied the present lights, and to the engineering firm AECOM, who indicated a willingness to participate as a donation to the city.
The indication from council is they are looking at the most cost-effective way to replace the lights.
“We are looking at all options, whether it is LED or whatever type of lights are out there,” said Councillor Greg Lightfoot.
“There may be a way to do it for under the $200,000, but we’ll have to wait to get some quotes."