Mayor Linda Brown didn’t even wait for Charlie Henderson, City of Merritt’s Public Works Superintendent, to finish before asking council to make a motion to approve 600,000 dollars in the 2019 budget for a backup power generator. The motion was unanimously approved by council and will be presented to them again in the coming weeks for final adoption.
The current pump is 48 years-old and only has the capacity to pump 50 litres compared to the cities peak need of 196. Henderson spoke to council about the aging pump.
“In the event of emergency where power is lost the current back-up water supply motor is 48 years-old,” said Henderson. “Researching the motor identified that parts are now obsolete, repairs are still needed and the motor is currently not able to produce enough water.”
Along with obvious limitations to the city, it also would affect the Merritt Fire Department's ability to fight a fire during the power outage.
“If there is an emergency, like a wild fire, and the fire department requires water we don’t have enough water to supply that. With this $600,000 we will, we will be able to refill our reservoirs, power our UV project and we’ll also be able to power the civic centre to set up an EOC with power,” said Henderson.
“In the event of the emergency, if we have to bring a generator into town to run our water system, that is not a reimbursable expense, because we are required as a municipality to have a back-up plan in place,” said acting CAO Sheila Thiessen.
Henderson was relaying concern about the long timeline on the project when Mayor Brown asked for a motion to approve the generator.
While the project has not received final adoption yet, the motion will also Henderson to start moving forward on the lengthy project that he hopes will be completed by the end of the year.
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