MD council taking serious look at Beaver Mines standpipe

·2 min read

Frustrated that some residents in Beaver Mines are being forced to truck in their own water, council for the MD of Pincher Creek is moving forward with installing a temporary standpipe in the hamlet.

The Beaver Mines Regional Water Supply Project has been on hold since September as Alberta Environment and Parks reviews submitted statements of concern from a handful of residents who oppose the proposed location of the wastewater treatment plant.

The MD requested feedback from the public regarding the standpipe through a survey that closed March 8.

The results indicated 57.8 per cent of respondents did not need to haul water while 42.2 per cent did. Responses to installing a standpipe were close as 51.5 per cent voted in favour, with 48.5 per cent voting no.

Of those who voted yes, only 40.6 per cent of respondents said they wanted a permanent standpipe.

The Beaver Mines Community Association was also consulted on the issue during its Feb. 27 meeting, with no firm consensus being reached — though members supporting a standpipe said a temporary installation would be better than permanent.

In its deliberations, MD council members recognized a temporary standpipe would cost more in labour to remove once the water supply project is eventually completed. Having the equipment on hand, however, would allow for future use of the standpipe at a different location when needed.

Estimated costs for a temporary standpipe are about $110,000. Installing the standpipe at the metering station in Beaver Mines would also require some adjustments to the fire hall design.

Rather than relying on coins, the standpipe would require an access code to operate that would then bill residents’ accounts.

As a separate but related issue, Coun. Rick Lemire said similar upgrades to the standpipe in Pincher Creek should be considered to save residents from lugging around coins in their pockets.

“Even a place to put a Visa card in that standpipe would be a great benefit,” Coun. Lemire said. “I understand they’re not that much money — $5,000 to $6,000 for a card reader, we have the Internet right close to our buildings — even that would be a huge upgrade, and it’s not a big investment.”

Council decided to delay making a decision on installing a temporary standpipe at Beaver Mines until administration could gather more information on actual costs for purchase and installation.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze