Moose Jaw dealing with unexpected, unwelcome storm sewer repair bill
The City of Moose Jaw is dealing with an unexpected infrastructure repair bill.
Earlier in May, a storm sewer on 1st Avenue Southeast collapsed and left the city with a $600,000 repair bill. The storm sewer is approximately 100-years-old.
“It was unexpected,” Manager of Engineering Colin Prang said. “There is a lot of old infrastructure in Moose Jaw and this was just another case where it failed and we had to react and quickly close the street to protect the public.”
The incident comes following an already tough budget year for the city.
“It’s very tough this year because our budget has been squeezed dry,” City Coun. Don Mitchell said.
“We have less to work with, a loss of $2.7 million from provincial cuts, so it’s a tough decision to relocate funds from other infrastructure but we really had no choice.”
On Monday, city council unanimously voted to reallocate $600,000 in the budget. The top priority in this year’s budget was upgrading water mains, so it resulted in sacrificing much-needed road upgrades, like repaving Elizabeth Street.
“It makes sense, you only have so much money when you’re running a city and you live within your means as best you can,” resident Richard Dowson said.
The city said storm sewers haven’t been a high priority.
“Moose Jaw is blessed with a lot of creeks and rivers and a fair amount of hills, so our storm sewer has been neglected more because during storms typically there’s not a lot of property damage and flooding,” Prang said.
“If the storm sewer doesn’t work, it just naturally follows the roads and ends up in these creeks and drainage ways, so it has been a lower priority.”
The project is expected to be complete this October.
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