Council gives early budget approval for 2020 projects

A block of budget items were given early approval at the December 16 regular council meeting

Town Council voted to give early budget approval for a number of projects outlined in the 2020 budget at the December 16 council meeting.

Water and Sewer

The Town will spend $140,000 on activated carbon odour control for the waste water treatment plant. The Edgewood water meter will be replaced at a cost of $50,000. The waste water treatment plant requires a screener replacement for $100,000. The Town will install marine signage for the waste water treatment plant outfall line to warn boaters of the outfall line’s location for $30,000.

$100,000 will be invested in soil storage. A requirement for the waste water treatment plant is that the Town must dispose of bio-solids. The Town has chosen to use the bio-solids as compost. The final product of waste water bio-solids is a Class A topsoil fertilizer. The Town will use this for their own landscaping, which saves a considerable amount of money that would be spent purchasing topsoil from other sources. This will also ensure the Town has a sustainable bio-solid disposal method.

There will be a UV pilot testing study for $60,000, and $50,000 for sodium hypochlorite at the Arbutus Treatment Plant. The Town will purchase a spare influent wet well pump for $30,000 – this purchase will ensure the Town has a speedy replacement if any lift station pumps fail.

Transfer Beach

A fence is required for dangerous areas around Transfer Beach to protect park users. The fence will cost $15,000. Transfer Beach will also receive a $10,000 water service replacement, and a $50,000 lift station. The lift station is part of Ladysmith’s sewer infrastructure.

The Transfer Beach Spray Park will receive a $25,000 upgrade – this will ensure the spray park remains safely operational. Upgrades will include work on the spray park ground surface, as well as upgrade sensors so users can have a consistent supply of water.

Town Vehicles

Town pickup trucks #69 and #78 need to be replaced. The trucks are aging and are no longer suitable to meet the needs of Town employees. New trucks will be purchased for $45,000 per vehicle. These trucks will be capable of accessing all areas in town, including areas that require four-by-four capability, such as the Ladysmith water shed. A $30,000 utility box will be purchased to outfit a town work truck. The Town is also purchasing a single axle plow dump truck for $230,000 – the single axle truck was chosen because it will fit better through narrow areas of town, and is easier to drive.

Other Projects

Other projects include a wood chipper for $62,000. The wood chipper is necessary because the Town uses wood chips as organic material to help filter the bio-solid compost at the waste water treatment plant. The Town currently purchases wood chips from a third party. Without the wood chipper, the Town has to send wood waste out of the area, and pay for the disposal of it. The purchase of the wood chipper will be a cost saving in the long term as it will allow the Town to use that wood waste to make its own chips.

As part of a cost share with ICBC, the Town will purchase new road signage for $24,000. This new signage will improve road safety on 4th Avenue around the Ladysmith Intermediate School.

The Town will purchase a mower brush cutter for $15,000, and a shop press for $7,500.

Cost Savings

The Town found a cost savings through funding for the RCMP. Council directed staff to reduce the amount budgeted in 2020 for RCMP members from eight members to seven-and-a-half members. This resulted in a cost savings of $68,821. The Ladysmith RCMP has operated under budget in previous years. If an eighth member was hired on to the Ladysmith RCMP, the Town has money in reserve to fund that position. The Town funds 70 percent of the local detachment.

The Vote

Council voted in favour of granting early budget approval to these projects. Councillor Rob Johnson voted against the motion. Johnson attempted a motion to remove the Transfer Beach fence, the wood chipper, and the truck replacements from the project list. His motion was defeated.

All information on the Town of Ladysmith’s financial plan, including all 2020 Budget Workshops are available online at: ladysmith.ca/discover-ladysmith/community-plans/our-financial-plan

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