The Town of Maple Creek is to increase its line of credit with the BMO from $500,000 to $1m to ensure it has enough funds to cover potential expenditures over the coming months.
Town Council agreed to the increase during a special meeting on Friday, Jan. 29.
On Monday, Michelle McKenzie, the Mayor, told the News-Times the move was a contingency measure.
One of the primary reasons for it, she said, was the $6m lagoon improvements project.
The costs are being borne equally by the Town, and the provincial and federal governments.
However, provincial and federal grants often take about 60 days to come through after receipts have been submitted.
Meantime, the Town has paid for the project, except for $440,000, which will be handed over once a final inspection takes place in the spring.
“The upgrades have mostly been completed, although there is still a little work to be done,” said McKenzie.
Medicine Hat’s BYZ Enterprises Inc. was chosen for the project, while Associated Engineering won the tender for design engineers. Manitoba-based Nexom, which designs Submerged Attached Growth Reactor (SAGR) systems has also been involved and is responsible for the aeration components.
SAGR, a process designed to provide nitrification (ammonia removal) in colder temperatures, is a clean gravel bed, with evenly distributed wastewater flow across the width of the cell, and a horizontal collection chamber at the end of the treatment zone. Aeration is provided throughout the floor of the system to provide the aerobic conditions required for nitrification.
The work is aimed at expanding the capacity of the lagoon and solving the problem of effluence going into a creek and dam, which is “fish-bearing body of water”.
On March 26, 2019, it was announced that the Town would receive $3,960,000 from the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan for the upgrades. The Town’s portion will be $1.9 million.
Another reason for the line of credit increase, said McKenzie, was to ensure the Town had sufficient money until the receipt of taxes in June.
McKenzie said a line of credit should not be referred to as a loan.
“Any business should have a back-up plan,” she said, pointing out the Town had to be financially prepared if faced with unexpected expenditures before government grants and taxes came in.
McKenzie said revenue from water bills should be funneled into services like the water treatment plant, lagoon and landfill, making them self-sufficient.