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Hydrants on private land could come with cost

Fee for private hydrant inspections City staff in St. Albert are suggesting council create a maintenance and inspection fee for property owners who have fire hydrants on their land.

Fee for private hydrant inspections

City staff in St. Albert are suggesting council create a maintenance and inspection fee for property owners who have fire hydrants on their land.

The suggestion came to Tuesday's governance, priorities and finance committee meeting.

The Alberta fire code requires hydrants to be tested annually. Currently, the utility department provides the same level of service for all hydrants in the city.

The proposed fee is $105 and there are 317 private hydrants in the city. The city plans on saving $20,000 annually from the introduction of this fee.

Kevin Cole, director of utilities, said the fee is being proposed for cost recovery and is comparable to other municipalities in the region.

Owners of the private hydrants would be able to get an outside agency to conduct the inspection, but would be required to provide the fire department with the proper inspection documentation.

Railway fencing

City staff say the upcoming fencing for the train tracks that run through the city will only be placed in targeted areas with higher levels of trespassing.

“We are not talking about fencing the entire 8.3 (kilometre) corridor?” Coun. Ken MacKay asked transportation manager Dean Schick Tuesday.

“The priority right now is priority areas that have evidence of trespassing,” Schick replied.

“In terms of the actual project itself it is not looking like an full 8.3 kilometres of fencing on both sides of the corridor in any way, shape or form."

Planning for the fencing is already underway and the city hopes to have it installed by 2019.

The estimated cost of the design and construction of the fence is $964,500. The city will throw in $464,500 to supplement a $500,000 federal grant. It will cost around $330,000 for an engineering design and survey work, with $630,000 estimated for construction.

Bike and skateboard safety signs proceeding 

Point, pause proceed pedestrian signs and directional signage for bikers will not be installed city-wide but instead will appear at a few targeted intersections.

Schick presented the governance, priorities and finance committee Tuesday with the new plan for rolling out safety signs for bikers and skateboarders.

Rather than roll the signs out across the city, Schick said the signs will go up at key intersections where there have been incidents. Once St. Albert's 2017 collision report comes out, the city will have more information about where to place the safety signs.

Right now, the city plans to focus 10 or fewer signs in the Grandin corridor and at intersections near Boudreau and Giroux.

The signs remind pedestrians to use the point, pause and proceed method while crossing the street, and instruct cyclists and skateboarders to dismount before entering the roadway.


Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Newspapers based in St. Albert, Alta.
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