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Century-old sewer tops replacement list

Fort Erie capital budget spending sources pie.

Funding sources for Fort Erie's $8.7 million capital spending program for 2013 are shown as a percentage of spending.

The replacement of a 100-year-old sewer on Lewis Street is among the big ticket items in Fort Erie’s proposed $8.7 million capital budget.

The project will replace an 800-metre section of vitrified clay pipe from Bowden Avenue to the Niagara Boulevard that is in poor condition and allows groundwater infiltration into the sewer system.

The $1.4 million cost of the project is funded from water and sewer revenues collected last year and deposited in reserves for spending this year and the future. All water and wastewater spending is funded from water bills and grants, none from property taxes.

Council approved the 64 projects on this year’s capital list in December and is expected to give final approval in February after the general operations budget is struck late this month.

Approximately $3.2 million is slated for water and sewer projects — $533,000 for water [more than two-thirds for water meter replacement] and $2.6 million for sewer works.

All told, property tax funded spending amounts to $2.8 million for roads, storm sewers, drains, parks and more which are funded from reserves accumulated in previous years.

Other revenue sources and spending

Federal gas tax revenue accounts for nearly $1.5 million of local spending.

Gas tax revenue will pay for storm sewer and road reconstruction of High Street while $900,000 will come from sewer reserves to replace the 1920s-era sewer line under the street for a total value of $1.4 million for the project.

Another large source of revenue to be spent on capital projects is $575,000 in landowner contributions for more than $1 million of work on municipal drains.

Development charges account for $540,000 in spending on projects designated as “growth related”. More than $400,000 in development charge revenue is slated for another phase of the Thunder Bay drainage program – a $785,000 storm sewer on Cook Avenue.

Development charges will also fund a small portion of the $500,000 cost to build lights and an irrigation system for the soccer field at Optimist Park.

The federal government recently approved a $165,000 grant for the Optimist project from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund. With a $75,000 contribution from the local soccer club and $28,000 from development charges, property taxpayers will foot the rest of the bill, approximately $260,000.

Aside from High Street, no major road project is planned except for Prospect Point Road from Thunder Bay Road to Rochelle Crescent. That $704,000 project is funded mainly by the developer of Ridgeway By The Lake subdivision to upgrade the street to an urban cross-section (i.e. with curbs, gutters and sidewalk) with the Town paying $173,000 from development charges and general reserves.

Road resurfacing throughout town will cost $400,000. A list of affected streets will be prepared later in the year. The funds are split approximately 50-50 between urban and rural roads.

And to help take care of the roads in winter, a combination plow and sander will be purchased at a cost of $225,000 to top the list of vehicle purchases worth $380,000 in 2013.

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