January 13, 2021

In 2019 Municipal Affairs hired ISL Engineering to undertake an Infrastructure Assessment as part of the Dissolution Study.  The Assessment included an evaluation of the sanitary system, water distribution system, roads and sidewalks, public buildings, open spaces and vehicles.   The report revealed $14,700,000 in required capital expenditures to restore the infrastructure to an acceptable municipal standard. 

The M.D. of Willow Creek Council determined that the required work would be undertaken over an extended period of time in a manner which would ensure that priority projects are addressed first but in such a way as the expenditures would not be financially burdensome to either local or provincial taxpayers, and as such a ‘special tax’ was implemented in 2020.  

The “Special Tax’ rate is based upon the difference between the MD of Willow Creek mill rate and the 2019 mill rate for the Town of Granum. These funds are used exclusively for infrastructure improvement. Essentially the funds designated as ‘Special Tax’ were previously used to improve infrastructure within the Hamlet were to fund administrative and legislative costs incurred by the Town. The total property tax revenues levied by the M.D. of Willow Creek are planned to be no higher than they were previously under the Town of Granum: there may be exceptions where assessment values for individual properties have increase either through assessment growth, construction of new improvements or re-assessment.

The Special Tax raised $235,000 and was used to fund the following projects:

  1. Water Plant – Throughout the season
    • Reservoir inspection/cleaning
    • Meter vault and control building repairs
  2. Minto Street west of 1st Avenue – Leak repair – April 6th
  3. 2nd Avenue Lift Station – Electrical repairs – June 1st
  4. Lansdowne Street west of 1st Avenue – Curb stop replacement – July 17th
  5. Dufferin Street east of 1st Avenue – Curb stop replacement – August 18th
  6. Grey Street and 2nd Avenue – August 31st
    • Leak repair
    • Valve repair
  7. Aberdeen Street and 1st Ave – September 1st and October 6th
    • Leak repair
    • Curb stop replacement
  8. 3rd Avenue and Minto Street – Valve installation – September 2nd
  9. 3rd Avenue and Grey Street – Valve replacement – September 2nd
  10. Minto Street west of 2nd Avenue – Leak repair – September 3rd 
  11. Argyle Street west of 1st Avenue – Hydrant repair – September 4th
  12. Bright Street east of 1st Avenue East – September 4th 
    • Hydrant replacement
    • Valve installation
  13. Railway Avenue south of Grey Street – September 30th
    • Leak repair
    • Valve replacement
  14. Bright Street – Curb stop replacement – October 1st 
  15. Aberdeen Street west of Railway Avenue – Valve installation – October 1st
  16. Minto Street east of 2nd Avenue – Valve installation – October 6th
  17. 1st Avenue north of Grey Street – Leak repair – October 1st
  18. Raw water intake – October 2nd and 7th
    • Valve replacement
    • Multiple valve rod, handle, and support replacements
  19. 2nd Avenue south of Aberdeen – Curb stop replacement – October 5th
  20. Aberdeen Street and 2nd Avenue – October 5th
    • Valve replacement
    • Valve repair
  21. Throughout Hamlet – Valve cleaning – October 7th and 8th
  22. Lansdowne Street east of 2nd Avenue – Curb stop replacement – November 6th
  23. Boulevard Tree Maintenance – Year 1 of 3 – November 19th
  24. Dufferin Street east of 3rd Avenue – Curb stop replacement – November 28th
  25. 2nd Avenue south – December 9th
    • Valve installation (2)
    • Hydrant installation

The majority of the above noted projects are considered maintenance and operational in nature and were deemed critical for the integrity of the systems.

The above noted project locations are shown on the attached map by the corresponding number. Construction photos are also attached to this document.

Grant funds were used to fund the following projects:

  • Granum Main Lift Station upgrades        $442,000.00
  • Granum Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) $97,500
    1. This project provides a remote sensing capability for all 3 lift stations as well as the water treatment plant allowing for immediate notification to MD Willow Creek staff should an equipment failure occur. 

Transition Grant funds were not used in the 2020 year. 2021 will see these funds used for improvements to roads and sidewalks as well as sanitary sewer replacements.

Work to complete the Granum stormwater management project is planned for 2021 and 2022.  A total of $1,452,240 in funding has been provided by Alberta Environment and Parks grants, and as such will require significantly less local taxpayer financial support.  

Additionally, the water meter project was completed in December 2020.   COVID 19 and the availability of meters have delayed the project.  Use of the data collected as a result of having accurate meter reads include the detection of water leaks as well as ensuring that accurate water rates that provide for cost recovery are established. 

Drinking water and waste water infrastructure is critical for our community of Granum.  Work on these systems will continue for a number of years in order to ensure the systems operate reliably and efficiently.  

We thank the residents of the Hamlet of Granum for their patience and understanding while we work to improve our infrastructure, service delivery and reliability to this community.

Granum Special Tax 2020 Photos