In the October 26, 2017 edition of the Selkirk Record, it appears that some inaccurate statements may have been made in relation to the City of Selkirk’s desire to allow the Rural Municipality (RM) of St. Andrews to connect to the City sewer system.
The City of Selkirk is both willing and able to provide sewer services to the RM of St. Andrews, in particular, to the region identified within the RM’s “Phase Two” project. In recent weeks, City and RM administrations worked closely to identify the potential for this service opportunity. Within that effort, the City of Selkirk engaged an engineering firm to undertake an analysis of the potential project. This analysis, complete with high-level cost estimates, were provided in full to the RM for their consideration.
Recommendation of the City’s engineer
Based on the recommendation of the City’s engineers, the City indicated that the RM would need to connect to the City’s lagoon system rather than connecting to the City’s collection system, which takes the City’s sewage directly to the treatment plant. This connection plan is a requirement due to the differences in the quality of the sewage created by the type of system being constructed by the RM. While a slightly different connection, it is still a connection to the system.
Message from Mayor Johannson:
“Let there be no misunderstanding, the City of Selkirk most definitely welcomes the RM of St. Andrews to connect to our system. In fact, we already provide sewer services for some RM residents. I am very proud of the work done by our Administrative team who, on short notice, put together an extremely cost-effective proposal for the RM.
We believe that our proposal offered a real potential for long-term cost savings for St. Andrews residents. Historically our sewer rates are significantly lower than Winnipeg’s – the RM’s own analysis shows that connecting to Selkirk could save the average St. Andrews family around $145 per year. We offer lots of price assurance as well because our rates are governed by the Public Utilities Board where Winnipeg’s are not, and we have already priced the cost of our new plant into the rates we’ve shared. There will be no rate surprises coming in Selkirk.
We did not have an opportunity to review the final information provided to St. Andrew’s council prior to their meeting, however, we have since reviewed the public information provided on their website. We fully respect that St. Andrews Council has made a decision on this matter, and we respect that it is their decision to make. That said however, after reviewing the information provided to council, we believe that there may be further opportunities to make the City’s proposal even more cost-effective for St. Andrews residents. Should the RM ever want to discuss those options, we are always willing to work with our neighbours.”