City of Grand Forks is in for an overhaul

By Contributor
October 20th, 2010

By: City Councillor Christine Thompson Aging water mains, 60-year-old sewers, roads with pot holes and sidewalks with hazards are some of the many items the City of Grand Forks needs to fix, and soon. The upgrades required for the ageing infrastructure were identified in a report prepared for the city by Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Limited (KWL) consulting engineers last year that says almost $37 million will be needed to complete the retrofit.   On Wednesday, Oct. 27 starting at 7:00 p.m., the city will be hosting a public information meeting in the auditorium at Grand Forks Secondary School. At the meeting there will be visual information that shows the inspection results, infrastructure age and upgrade priorities according to the latest available information. Mr. Neil McDonald, P. Eng. from KWL will be in attendance to assist in the presentation and to answer any questions.   Some of the underground water mains are very old and need of replacement. In addition to our desire to upgrade those watermains, concern has been expressed about our ability to provide adequate fire protection, especially in the summer when lawns and gardens are being watered. The reservoir is monitored daily, and at times the water level has been reduced to an unacceptable level. Fortunately, no major fires have happened during these low periods. It has been known for many years that a secondary reservoir to service the west end is required to balance the system and provide adequate fire flow protection. As well, the reservoir is necessary for future growth potential.   The sanitary sewer system was built in the 1950’s, which makes it almost 60-years-old. Many of the underground pipes are at a high risk of failure and require replacement. As mentioned above, the current system will not handle any significant growth in the west end of the city. The City Park lift station, identified in the report, was replaced this year. The report had said there was a high risk of failure potentially resulting in raw sewage flowing into the Kettle River.   Many of the streets and roads need to be resurfaced, and some sidewalks might be considered trip hazards and require refurbishing. These have been identified in the report and prioritized.   Council wants to be proactive in addressing these very serious issues, and to do so is going to require the expenditure of significant sums of money over several years. Planning these upgrades in a responsible way over time will require the support of the residents. We do not want to wait until something fails and have to react. That could prove to be very costly. 

Please mark Oct. 27 on your calendars and come to the information meeting so that when we ask for your support you can make an informed decision 

Categories: Politics