ESTEVAN - Estevan city council awarded the tender for the refurbishment of the city’s water tower at its meeting on Nov. 1.
Commercial Sand Blasting and Painting of Saskatoon received the tender, worth $1.4 million, plus tax, for the work. The company had the lowest bid of the three companies vying for the project.
It will take 120 days before work can start, and another 180 days to complete.
As has been documented previously, the tower was built in the 1950s, and has served as Estevan’s primary water storage, but it is beginning to show heavy fatigue.
The city has $2 million from the federal gas tax set aside for the project.
“Commercial Sand Blasting had fulfilled all bid details as required. Their schedule was aggressive but realistic,” said Shane Bucsis, the manager of the city’s water and wastewater treatment plants.
Bucsis noted the bid was within budget for the project.
Mayor Roy Ludwig added there is some other work that needs to be completed on the tower, such as electrical motors, that weren’t included in the tender package. Those will also eat into the gas tax money.
When the water tower is down, Bucsis said people shouldn’t notice a decrease in water pressure, unless there is a power failure.
Council had a video a presentation from Christina Zardo from Food Cycle Science. Zardo explained her company’s Food Cycler product, which she said carries environmental benefits and allows municipalities to reduce waste.
The Food Cycler is similar to a small kitchen appliance. People insert food waste, including certain bones, push a button and in a matter of hours, the cycler creates a nutrient-rich soil. Each cycle takes four to eight hours.
“The by-product that comes out is a sterile biomass that can be used in gardening and landscaping applications,” said Zardo. “It can be used by local farmers.”
Food Cycle Science has partnered with 18 municipalities across Canada.
Through a partnership with Food Cycle Science and municipalities, residents would purchase a Food Cycler at a subsidized rate, use the unit, track the number of cycles in a given week, complete a survey and keep the Food Cycler after a 12-week trial period. She recommended 250 households to be involved.
The Food Cycler retails for a about $500, but through the partnership between Food Cycle Science and the municipality, it costs each participating household about $150 and the municipality provides $100 per unit. Food Cycle Science and a federal investment cover the rest of the cost.
“These are recommendations based on a model that has been well received in other municipalities,” said Zador.
Council did not make a decision after the presentation.
Access points for the Sigma Place commercial-residential property on Kensington Avenue were once again addressed. Council had previously considered allowing Sigma Place residents to access a neighbouring laneway behind the building, but tabled that concept.
Council instead supported a “right turn in, right turn out” access for the building, which would prevent people from turning left and heading north onto Kensington Avenue.
The developer would be responsible for all costs associated with access improvements, and it would need to be completed by Aug. 31, 2022.
Land development services manager Richard Neufeld suggested some form of an access management program for arterial roads such as Kensington.
Councillor Shelly Veroba wanted to know why this particular property would have a right turn in, right turn out access, when no others on Kensington have such restrictions.
Mayor Roy Ludwig noted it’s a tight parking lot. Once the apartments in the building fill up, there will be a lot more traffic flow, and the parking lot could be three-quarters full.
There is currently just one access point at the north end of the property from Kensington Avenue.
Ludwig said the city would continue to monitor the situation.
Council gave first reading for a bylaw regarding the Estevan board of police commissioners.
As part of the bylaw, the members at large for the board would serve a two-year term, as opposed to the current one-year term. It would take effect for those elected to the board by council for 2022, so the two members at large for 2021 – Bernadette Wright and Geoff Thiessen – would still have a one-year term that ends on Dec. 31 of this year.
Also, Councillors Shelly Veroba and Lindsay Clark, who are the council appointees for 2021, will be on the board for next year.
Mayor Roy Ludwig rounds out the board.