By COLLIN GALLANT on April 18, 2019.
Heavy interest in obtaining contracts to reclaim City of Medicine Hat gas wells this year has driven the cost down by about 20 per cent, officials told council on Monday.
A total of 19 companies submitted bids for portions of the city gas division’s 2019 well-reclamation program throughout the region and southwest Saskatchewan, according to tendering documents.
As per usual practice, the five pre-qualified companies were awarded work in specific locations to bundle the work and decrease costs.
They were Summitt ($775,000), Trace ($650,000), Bowron ($625,000), and Ridgeline ($300,000). The total of $2.35 million is $550,000 less than was budgeted to carry out the 2019 program.
Councillors asked if that difference could be put toward accelerating the abandonment of uneconomic wells.
“We retire wells on a schedule, so this is savings,” commissioner Cal Lenz told Coun. Jamie McIntosh. “There was a very competitive bidding process that attracted more than expected attention.”
The levy collected on downtown business operators will rise slightly, according to documents presented and approved at Monday night’s council meeting.
The city collects the levy for the City Centre Development Agency, a provincially regulated business improvement district. That calculation doesn’t consider property value, but only square footage in operation.
Documents show that over the course of last year, the number of businesses that pay the levy fell by six to 190, while the assessment fell about 1 per cent.
Since the levy request by the City Centre Development Agency budget is unchanged at $123,420, the levy rate will increase 0.65 per cent to make up the difference.
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