By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
Town of Castor Public Works employees are having trouble locating a water leak around 54th Ave.
While the leak has been narrowed to around a one block area, every hole that has been made so far has come up dry, something that Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee attributes to the fact that the waterline lays on a coal seam.
“We’ve done everything we can,” said Robblee.
“The waterline lays on top of a coal seam, and the water is going straight into (it).”
Administration plans to direct the Public Works department to dig a few more holes, but if they keep coming up dry the Town could be forced to start tearing up the road along that section of pipe to find the leak.
“We’ve done everything we can possibly think of but tear up the street,” said Robblee.
A company specializing in leak locating has been called out to the Town a couple of times to assist with the leak locating, however, it too has been unsuccessful in further narrowing down the location of the leak.
An already tight 2021 capital budget has had some extra pressure placed on it.
The truck used by the Town for the servicing of the gas system sustained unrepairable mechanical damage, and it needs to be replaced.
“It is no longer usable,” said Robblee.
Complicating the purchase of the vehicle is the Town’s association with the Alberta Gas Federation, which has restrictions in place on what types and ages of vehicles can be used.
Robblee was directed by council to see if Gas Tax Fund money, which normally is used for summer sidewalk repair, can be redirected for the vehicle purchase.
If allowed to proceed, there will be potentially one less sidewalk replaced this summer. If not allowed, council will have to look at pushing other items on the capital budget into future years, or funding the purchase from reserves.
The cost for the replacement of the gas-truck will be for just a cab and chassis, with the body of the existing gas truck being mounted to the new frame, which will reduce some costs.
An estimated budget for the replacement will be around $30,000.
Already in the 2021 capital budget is money to replace the Town’s on-call truck, and after a review of the Town’s vehicle fleet, several more trucks will need to be replaced in the coming years.
Budgeted funds for the on-call truck were set at $35,000; however, during the March 8th meeting administration was directed to reduce that budget to $25,000 for a new-to-the-Town used pickup truck.
Per policy, any vehicles being replaced will be ‘newer used’ vehicles to minimize expenses and maximize lifespan.
Due to the current health restrictions still in place by the Province, the decision has been made to postpone the start of the ball hockey program announced in February.
The equipment for the program was purchased by the Town at a cost of $869, and intentions are for the program to run when restrictions allow.