By Chris Drost
On the morning of Nov. 23, Highlands East council was presented with capital plans for 2022. Shannon Hunter, CAO/treasurer, also advised that the five-year capital forecast has been updated to 2026, but currently, the focus is on 2022.
Brett Charboneau, operations supervisor with Public Works, highlighted the capital budget priorities for 2022. These include: $80,000 for roof repair and the addition of a layer of insulation and membrane to go over the top.
Work will also be carried out on the Glamorgan equipment shelter so that it will be able to be used to store equipment out of the weather, including a grader.
Funds will be transferred to reserve for the planned future purchase of a new grader in 2023 to replace the one that is currently 20 years old and is showing its age.
There are plans to replace the New Holland tractor with something larger that could also be used as a brusher. The current brusher is 40 years old. The new one could also be used for snow plowing parking lots. Ideally, they will be able to purchase one that has a side boom mount to cut grass or small brush.
They are still waiting for engineering for the Earl’s Road bridge. This had been budgeted for in 2021 and so the monies in reserve will be brought forward to 2022.
Upper Paudash Road and Labrador Road to Paudash will receive surface treatment. Also Gem Road and Inlet Bay Road and West Eels Lake Road just needs surface treatment in the spring. Dyno Road will receive a second layer of surface treatment.
Funds will be put back in reserve for the ditching project in Cardiff.
A number of guide rails need to have cables and lines replaced.
They are waiting for the fuel card system to be set up and ready to go.
South Wilberforce bridge is expected to be completed in 2022.
Under the Waste capital budget, there were two items: setting aside funds to enhance landfill sites on an “in case” basis and second, transferring funds to reserve towards the future replacement of the bulldozer that is also shared with the Roads Department.
Laurie Devolin, CBO and bylaw enforcement officer, presented the capital plans for the Building Department for 2022.
Transfer funds to reserve for future vehicle replacement: Devolin will be looking at replacing one in 2022 with a hybrid vehicle. While she suggested they might be able to get away with having the lowest cost EV charging station, she will investigate further.
It was noted that the Building Department had received substantial funds this year from the increase in building and septic permits sold. Significant funds have been put into reserve, which will help pay for vehicle replacements.
Building renovations in 2022 will be based on assessments from the consultant. They will continue with LED upgrades, trying to make the buildings more energy efficient. No major renovations are planned but instead, they will continue what could not be done last year because of COVID-19.
“It does not surprise me that we need a new vehicle with the increase in building inspections etc. this year. I would also support a charging station,” said Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall.
Jim Alden, property supervisor, informed council that the capital plans for 2022 include:
Renovations to the Cardiff pool change room. They will be getting tenders out shortly and it is his hope that there will be more interest from contractors this year. The job has been broken down into separate categories to help generate more interest. The initial cost of the project has increased since it was discovered that there is no foundation under the building. This has increased the cost by $30,000 to $50,000.
The Keith Tallman Memorial Arena will receive $6,000 in work on its oil compressor.
The Highland Grove Community Centre will finally receive the industrial refrigerator that had been held back due to COVID-19.
The municipality has received $100,000 in funding towards the plans for Herlihey Park. Hunter informed council that as part of this project an Indigenous consultation was required with Curve Lake, an environmental assessment was completed, and an archaeological phase two report has just been done. According to Hunter, they should be able to conclude the consultations and proceed with the trails and parking lots in 2022.
$9,000 was transferred to reserves for a Zamboni replacement planned for 2023.
Additional funds have been transferred to reserves for future replacement of vehicles.
Chris Baughman, fire chief, provided a list of capital projects for the coming year. These included:
$10,000 towards hydrant maintenance.
$13,000 for bunker gear. Five sets are replaced annually.
Work will be done on several firehalls, including the Highway 28 firehall, as well as those in Highland Grove, Monck Road, Spruce Street, Wilberforce and Glamorgan.
Environmental supervisor Megan Lockwood presented the following capital projects to council.
A truck replacement with funds transferred from reserve. Lockwood will investigate a hybrid model of truck.
The Cardiff water main and service connections.
Replacement of the water lines to Lloyd Watson Community Centre.
Two new sewage pumphouses in Cardiff to be used as a backup station during high water flows.
Under the Bylaw Department, Hunter noted that a transfer to reserves will be made for future vehicle replacement.
Administration capital plans include budgeting for municipal office replacement by transferring funds to reserve. This has been ongoing for four or five years. Hunter explained that the plan was to have an architect do drawings but the location must be determined first.
Other capital budget funds will be set aside in case of the need for an Integrity Commissioner review or a classification review. A total of $60,000 is required for the municipal election in the fall of 2023, but only $12,000 is required for next year as funds have been put away each year since the last election for this purpose. Other funds have been put in reserve for an Asset Management Plan Review, Service Delivery Review and Climate Change Initiative, software upgrades, a folding machine, digitizing property and buildings, live streaming equipment, virtual city hall, cemetery digitizing and booking software for the Recreation Department.
“We are diligently working on budgets for the first presentation in January,” said Hunter in conclusion of the presentation.