Council met for a Workshop on October 4, 2013 with Urban System to review their analysis of water servicing options for Ashmont/Lottie Lake. This analysis looked at three different options for water supply to Ashmont and Lottie Lake.
Historically the project started with the Water Study that was completed in 2009 by Associated Engineering. Based on the information in that Study a Water For Life Grant Application was submitted to Alberta Transportation to take the approval for the Lottie Lake WTP Upgrade (under the Water/Wastewater Program) and roll it into an upgraded Ashmont Water Treatment Plant and Water Transmission Line to Lottie Lake. This Water For Life Grant was approved in 2010 and the Transmission line was constructed in 2012 followed by the detailed design and tendering of the Ashmont Water Treatment Plant.
When the Province announced in their 2013/14 Budget that there was a reduction to the Water For Life Funding, the approved project was put in jeopardy. It was then realized that the original grant application sent in by the Consultants was for a stand alone plant rather than a Regional Water Treatment Plant that would service other communities. The County was told that in order to complete the project that was approved, they would have to borrow funds that may be covered by the Province at a later unconfirmed date. In addition the tender came in higher than expected leaving the County with a shortfall of funding in excess of $2 Million.
Council felt at this point, that there were several other projects in the area that were not expected to proceed as quickly as they had, so this would be a good time to step back and review options for water supply to Ashmont. This review was supported by Alberta Transportation's Water for Life Specialist Mike Yakemchuk. As a result, Urban Systems provided a multiple account evaluation of three different options that looked at Capital Costs and Financial Considerations, Environmental Considerations, Governance, Grant Availability, Risk Considerations, Contractibility, and Future Expansions. The options examined included a connection to the water line at Spedden - which is from the Hwy 28/63 Water Commission; connection to the potable water network at the Town of St. Paul (provided that they are approved for an upgrade to their Water Treatment Plant); or the building of the Regional Water Treatment Plant in Ashmont.
Council's main priority was to choose the option that would provide the lowest costs of water to the residents of Ashmont and Lottie Lake. Based on the analysis provided, Council determined that the option to pursue a connect from the Town of St. Paul's potable water network to Ashmont was in the best interest of the County.