During his visit to Carmangay March 31, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was handed a sheet of paper detailing the Village’s northeast pump station and reservoir project.
Village officials say the two fires that broke out March 28 illustrate the need for the water project. On Sunday, March 28, a fire burnt down the Grange Hotel and a large fire grass fire forced village residents to evacuate until firefighters could safely contain the blaze. The Grange Hotel fire did touch nearby buildings, but they were saved.
“We were lucky to get the support of neighbouring fire crews, or the situation could have been devastating for the village,” said Stacey Hovde, Carmangay’s mayor, in a March 31 news release.
The Village of Carmangay currently produces 800 litres per minute, which the Village says is not sufficient to provide enough water flow for fire suppression.
“Even though the Village has invested in engineering and upgrades to the water system, a new water pumping station is now what is required to provide enough water pressure to handle fires locally,” said Hovde.
The water plant is on the opposite side of the CP rail tracks from where most village residents live, and the pipe that delivers water under the tracks has long been in need of replacement, says the Village. The new proposed water pumping station would be built near where most residents and businesses are.
The northeast pumping station and storage project would not only provide required suppression flows but would also support flow for a new small business and residential park on Village-owned property adjacent to the G3 grain terminals, says the Village. The project could begin immediately.
In November 2019, the Village submitted an Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) grant proposal for the project, but the Alberta government has not yet approved it.
The Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership provides cost-shared funding to eligible municipalities to help build municipal facilities for water supply and treatment, and wastewater treatment and disposal, reads the Alberta government’s website.
The Village’s budget for the project states the project would cost $1,965,000, with Carmanagay proposing the province provide 60 per cent of the cost – $1,172,000 – from the AMWWP grant.
Village officials are hopeful that the Alberta Municipal Water and Wastewater Partnership grant will be approved, bringing Carmangay water system to a level where it can provide fire suppression.
The project already has support from the province, and the federal government and Vulcan County are also providing funds towards the project.