January is almost behind us and with it we have had some very strange weather from bitter cold, to spring thaw temperatures, to incredible winds that caused all sorts of problems for Warman. Once again power interruptions that caused havoc for residents and businesses alike.
Warman Administration and Council met with representatives from SaskPower in late 2013 to discuss our concerns with the outages and disruptions to power in Warman through 2013. We were advised at that time that some of the disruptions had been caused by accidents, whether it be contractors hitting lines, or accidents taking out facilities. We were advised that SaskPower is taking steps to make our power supply more reliable with a couple of large projects.
The Saskatoon Reinforcement Project; This project is being undertaken to address the electrical capacity and reliability issues in and around Saskatoon. A new substation is being constructed just south of Martensville and a new switching station at Aberdeen with a transmission line connecting the two stations. The Main purpose is to reinforce SaskPowers' transmission system in order to accommodate forecasted residential and commercial electrical load, growth in the City of Saskatoon and surrounding areas, improve reliability and reduce technical losses.
The benefit to Warman is we will have two power sources once this is complete instead of the one we currently have. Meaning if one is disrupted power can still be fed through the second source. Furthermore, all switching will be automated so if power is disrupted the system can switch without having to have personnel on the scene manually doing it. This saves time and is instantaneous.
We have been told to expect an April 2014 completion date. With these upgrades Warman should see positive changes to our power supply and service should be greatly improved.
Other Issues of Note:
We recently had some concerns brought to our attention in regard to water rate increases in the last billing statement. We thought clarification is needed here so our residents fully understand.
Water Rate History:
In 2012 the City increased the water rate from $11.00 to $12.00 per thousand gallons. In 2013 we increased the rate from $12.00 to $13.00 per thousand gallons.
SaskWater has announced a 7% water increase effective April 1st which will likely mean another $1.00 increase per thousand gallons being passed along to consumers.
Recycling Rate History:
Recycling fees for blue carts has increased ten cents (2.0%) from $5.00 to $5.10 per month effective January 1, 2014. Recycling fee for multi-units has increased five cents from $2.50 to $2.55 per month effective January 1, 2014. Recycling fees are added to the quarterly utility billings and reflect increases in Loraas’ fees.
These increases in Water utilities only are applied to our residents if the municipality experiences a rate increase from the supplier. In both these situations that has been the case.
Representatives from Council, Administration, Fire Department, RCMP and neighbouring communities will be meeting with CN officials to discuss conveyance of dangerous goods along our rail lines. After all the recent attention this topic has brought throughout the country we as community leaders want to be fully aware of what is traveling through our community and further to that being prepared for any incidents that could occur.
The spring Business Breakfast will be hosted by Great Plains College and the City of Warman. Come join us for an update from some of our community partners February 19th at 8:00 a.m. upstairs in the conference room at Warman High School.
We continue to work with our neighbouring communities to discuss regional partnerships and look for opportunities that build stronger communities, therefore, a stronger province.
As always do not hesitate to call your Mayor or Council if you have questions, suggestions or just want to chat. We always welcome conversation with the residents of this great city.
A Town with a past. A City with a Future
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
- Edith Sitwell