November 21st, 2017

Grid tie-in could be done in June


By Collin Gallant on March 21, 2017.


cgallant@medicinehatnews.com
@CollinGallant

A new tie-in to the provincial power grid could be completed in June, according to documents presented to council Monday.

A bid to complete the construction of Substation MHS-7, in the city’s northwest, was awarded to CANA Construction’s High Voltage division by city administrators in late January.

That station will enable the connection point with regional transmission lines to be moved from the main power plant in the river valley to higher ground in the Brier Park area.

Seven bids were received to design and construct the station, though only CANA’s low bid of $1.05 million had a value attached in city documents.

The entire project, which includes line capacity expansion and the purchase of an Altalink line, is estimated to cost $13. 9 million.

Borrowing for building

Workers with the city gas and electric utilities could soon be the on move after council approved $5.5 million in borrowing to refurbish city-owned buildings in a move to conglomerate office space.

The project, approved in the 2017-18 utility business plans last December, would eventually see gas and power distribution workers stationed at Kipling Street offices moved to Brier Park offices where renovation will take place.

Gas and oil exploration administrators would take over the Kipling Street offices, thereby vacating leased space in the Chinook Building on Fourth Street downtown.

The net result is a 13,600-square-foot reduction in operating space.

Coun. Les Pearson called the move “a good example of Financially Fit (budget review) being put to good use,” but questioned how the swap would proceed.

CAO Merete Heggelund said the space plan was being fine-tuned as there were dispatch garages at both sites.

“The reason we’re doing it is there is a sound business case for proceeding,” said Heggelund, who estimated cost savings would eclipse the expenditure in eight years.

Council also approved budgeted borrowing of $500,000 to replace the 50-year-old McCoy radio communication tower used by the city for radio and other wireless communication.

As well, $500,000 will go toward ventilation and upgrades of a city-owned building on South Railway Street used by contracted pound service provider APARC.

Mitzel remembered

Council opened on a point of privilege to note the passing of former Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Len Mitzel over the weekend of cancer.

Coun. Julie Friesen said Mitzel had served constituents in southeast Alberta well, from his hometown of Etzikom to Medicine Hat.

“He has rural roots that were so well established that he helped everything around him grow,” she said, adding that he continued to work on several economic development issues after leaving government in 2012.


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