Hay River approves $13-million capital budget

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Judy Goucher, the senior administrative officer with the Town of Hay River, says there will be a significant increase in capital spending this year because funding is available. NNSL file photo
Judy Goucher, the senior administrative officer with the Town of Hay River, says there will be a significant increase in capital spending this year because funding is available.
NNSL file photo

If all goes well – meaning if all funding that has been applied for is received – just over $13 million will be spent on various projects this year by the Town of Hay River.

Town council passed its 2019 capital budget on March 4.

The total expenditure, if all funding applications are approved, will be $13,116,755.

The largest single expenditure would be $6.1 million for a one-year project to build a new lift station near the planned new fish plant.

“It’s a brand-new lift station that we’re building to improve the efficiency of the entire system,” said Judy Goucher, the town’s senior administrative officer.

Mayor Kandis Jameson also said the new lift station will impact other areas of town.

“We just don’t have capacity and we need to develop land,” she said. “So if we want to develop any future infrastructure, we need this lift station first and foremost. So that was a priority in this budget.”

The budget includes $4.6 million for the lift station from the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, which is administered in the NWT by the territorial government.

“It has not been approved,” Goucher said of the funding. “These applications are submitted. We don’t expect to hear for at least a couple of months on the applications.”

The lift station project and several others have been approved by council pending funding from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Both Jameson and Goucher are very hopeful the funding will be approved.

Another expenditure which will be supported by the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is water, sewer and drainage replacement on Caribou Crescent.

The town has applied for $1 million from the program to help pay for the $1.4-million project.

“That’s part of a three-part project,” Goucher explained. “So there’s Caribou Crescent, Beaver Crescent and Riverview Drive. So we’re starting with Caribou Crescent. We’ll do the in-ground infrastructure in year one, pave in year two.

“In year two, we’ll start Beaver Crescent in-ground infrastructure, pave in year three. And in year three, we’ll start the Riverview Drive in-ground infrastructure, and pave in year four.”

In all, of the $13.1 million allocated to various projects in the capital budget, $6.2 million has been applied for from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Among the other highlights in the capital budget is $195,000 to continue the move towards demolishing the old fire hall/town hall, although no actual demolition will take place this year.

“It is the start of it,” said Goucher. “So we’ve done our studies. We’ve identified our hazardous materials. Now we need to get a structural review to ensure that there are no issues with people going in and actually removing the hazardous materials, and proceed with the demolition.”

Other highlights in the capital budget are $555,000 for the Fisherman’s Wharf pavilion, $135,000 for a portable stage, $380,000 for a grader replacement, and $892,000 for water, sewer and road upgrades on Mansell, Dessy and Morin Crescents.

There has also been an allocation of $500,000 for a tire recycling program at the landfill.

“We have 500 tonnes of tires out there we are looking to remove,” said Goucher. “That’s another one where we’ve applied for funding under Investing in Canada infrastructure, as well.”

The town has applied for $375,000 from the infrastructure program to help cover the cost of the recycling project. The plan is to remove the tires for recycling in the South.

Jameson said that would extend the life of the landfill.

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