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Beaverlodge looks to borrow $3M for water plant, firehall

August 16, 2021   by Jesse Boily

The Town of Beaverlodge made the first step Monday toward securing loans totalling approximately $3 million for water treatment plant upgrades and the new firehall.

Included in the total is $1.3 million from ATB for financing operating expenditures.

Council gave the first reading to bylaw 1005 at its regular meeting of council that requests $1,110,252 from Alberta Capital Finance Authority for water treatment plants upgrades.

The total cost of the water treatment plant is $3,640,000, with the additional funds coming from a provincial grant of $2,204,748 and $325,000 will come from the town’s own capital reserves.

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“The water treatment plant is over 40 years old now, and things just wear out,” said Beaverlodge mayor Gary Rycroft.

Planned upgrades include new equipment, including plumbing, pumps as well as cleaning and servicing.

“Some of the equipment is starting to get dilapidated and rundown, and we’re just trying to stay on top of it,” said Rycroft.

He noted that the maintenance also ensures that the plant is kept at higher standards.

Also included in this week’s council meeting was a first reading given to a debenture of $630,000 for a new firehall. Those funds will also be coming from the Alberta Capital Finance Authority.

Total cost of the new firehall is $2 million. The County of Grande Prairie will be contributing $1 million with $250,000 coming from the Beaverlodge Firefighters Association and $120,000 from the town’s capital reserves.

The new facility will be located at the former UFA location and will allow for better access to the highway and the town’s residential and industrial areas.

The town purchased the former UFA site for $86,000, which Rycroft told the News was approximately half its market value.

Mayor Rycroft noted this will be the first firehall the town has built; previously, the fire department had retrofitted other buildings to suit their needs.

He said that the town has “grown out” of the current fire station, as it needs more trucks. In addition, Rycroft said the county wants a water tanker in Beaverlodge, and the present hall has no space.

The current firehall was built in 1971, the News reported earlier this year.

The mayor also noted that training areas at the current hall are cramped, and the new hall will help relieve that.

The final piece of the ambitious set of borrowing the town plans to undertake includes $1.3 million from the ATB. This serves to finance operating expenditures required in the first half of the year before property taxes roll in mid-summer, said Beaverlodge chief administration officer Jeff Johnston.
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By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TOWN & COUNTRY NEWS


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