The $4.3 million Water Reservoir Project being built was funded by a 1/3 Federal Government, 1/3 Provincial Government and the City covered the last third. This is the way I prefer projects be done. Humboldt's portion of these types of projects should be covered by a specific levy to pay for those projects and then go away after completion. I prefer special levies rather then raising taxes because they are earmarked for a project and transparent, not hidden anywhere. The wate...r reservoir project was undertaken to keep a longer supply of safe, treated water on hand, this will reduce the number of boil water advisories as well as prepare us for future growth.
Boil water advisories are usually caused by a pressure breach or power outage in Sask Water's supply line from Wakaw to Humboldt and are out of our control. The advisories are lifted only when the test samples are cleared by the provincial lab. The example of the water reservoir project can be applied to other future projects like the lagoon upgrades to increase capacity and address odor issues and recreational facilities etc. etc.
While we are talking about water I should address the water price you and I pay. A reliable source of clean water is always a top priority. In the 90's Humboldt's water supply was deemed inadequate for future growth and the council of the day signed on to the regional pipeline system. Sask Water is a crown corporation like Sask Power and they set the rates we pay. Over the years they have been increasing the rates about 4% per year to cover the costs of operations, infrastructure and to pay off the original capital costs. The rates will temporarily increase even more to pay for the power generating system and other upgrades they are installing. Over the years mayor, council and management continually lobbied Sask Water on behalf of taxpayers to be more reasonable with their increases. We have just signed a new agreement that I think is more favourable to the city and surrounding towns and will help address the boil water advisories.
To end on a bright note, City staff have been working diligently to bring under control the amount of water lost through leaky underground pipes. In 2015 we lost around $350,000 worth of water, that was a direct cost to taxpayers! The latest numbers I have available show that in September of this year the amount of water we purchased from Sask Water and the amount consumed by residents were nearly equal. Fingers crossed, this money will be better spent on improving infrastructure or put back into taxpayer's pockets instead of running down the drain.
I would like to introduce myself to those who are new to the community or don't know me. I was born in Humboldt and have lived here for over 50 years. My wife Donna and I have raised our three children here; daughter Hayley (married to husband Chad and daughter Stella), sons Josh and Zach.