Town of Bashaw getting closer to water use answer with new meters

·3 min read

The Town of Bashaw is getting closer to tracking down the answer to the puzzling water loss question as water meter replacement is progressing.

Councillors heard a report on the issue at their regular meeting March 18.

The report was submitted by Chief Administrative Officer(CAO) Theresa Fuller.

Fuller noted that when comparing how much water Bashaw acquires every year compared to how much is recorded as used, the numbers still don’t add up.

The CAO stated staff feel a significant amount of water loss can be attributed to old water meters.

The town is in the process of replacing old meters, a job that turned out to be bigger than originally thought. It turned out 125 meters needed replacement.

Fuller noted water meters can range in price from $1,500 to $5,000 and their lifespan varies, some lasting up to 15 years. After the meter project is complete Fuller stated it will be revealed to what level they were responsible for lost water.

The next step will be investigating water line leaks.

Councillors passed a motion to boost the project budget using federal gas tax grant money.

Water users

Councillors approved staff start billing two community groups for their water usage. The groups include the community hall and curling club.

Fuller explained the two groups did not currently pay directly for the water utility and the town felt all groups should be treated in a similar fashion.

Councillors passed a resolution that the town begin billing the community hall for water service and that the town do likewise for the curling club when the club’s lease comes up for renewal.

Residential land

The CAO presented councillors with a report on unsold residential lots in town. Fuller asked councillors how they wanted to proceed.

Councillors directed Fuller to post the lots for sale online with the current pricing.

Revised strategic plan

Fuller presented councillors with a copy of the revised strategic plan and also noted town staff recently took training related to strategic plans.

The CAO noted councillors examined the plan and gave their comments on each subsection.

Councillors noted the town vision was still applicable, that they definitely still wanted to promote Bashaw as a business and tourism hub for the region while focusing on essential services, make business attraction and retention a priority, wanted to ensure Bashaw is an affordable place to work and live. Investments on new infrastructure may have to be put on hold for now and the age and condition of the arena may require consultation with the public.

Councillors accepted the revised plan for information.

Editor's note: after this story was published the ECA Review received this information from the Town of Bashaw: "Just a note about water meter costs. Typical residential water meter is around $500, we get them for around $480. The company we deal with provides us with a bit of a discount. The quote: 'Fuller noted water meters can range in price from $1,500 to $5,000 and their lifespan varies, some lasting up to 15 years'. The $1500 to $5,000 is reflecting the price on a commercial sized water meter.We plan to keep some of them (commercial sites), as they can be very expensive and due to details on the various sites; may not be practical; or require negotiation with business owners."

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review