Mapleton planning new path forward on water/wastewater infrastructure

MAPLETON – Council will go back to its previous consulting engineers, but not back to the drawing board, as its seeks a new path forward to upgrade local water and wastewater systems.

In a motion approved on Aug. 11, council directed staff to “begin where we left off” and work directly with CIMA+ to address water and wastewater needs in Drayton and Moorefield.

A proposal that would have seen the township outsource construction and operation of municipal water and wastewater infrastructure was discontinued at a special meeting of council on July 30.

At that time council agreed instead to look at borrowing against its own reserves to finance the project.

An internal financial analysis indicated self-financing was more advantageous to the township than proceeding with the RFP process launched in 2019.

The infrastructure project, expected to cost between $15 million and $30 million, includes a new water tower, upgrading the existing water pumping station, a wastewater treatment project, and a gravity sanitary collection system.

A staff report from CAO Manny Baron and public works director Sam Mattina notes Mapleton had engaged CIMA+ as consulting engineer prior to beginning the RFP process.

“They were the lead on the water/wastewater project since early 2018,” the report states.

“In fact, it was the township who put a hold on CIMA+ so that we could further explore the regulated utility model being proposed.”

Up to that point, the report notes, CIMA+ had:

  • performed a peer review of the water/wastewater upgrade and re-rating process initiated by EXP Engineering Ltd., which resulted in the newly constructed alum building and dosing system;
  • provided a detailed overview and proposal of water tower options that would best fit the current and long-term needs of Mapleton;
  • provided a proposal for water pollution control plant upgrades;
  • played a lead role in completing funding applications; and
  • led the implementation, completion and reporting of a successful moving bed biofilm reactor pilot project.

“With the accumulated technical knowledge CIMA+ has of our water/wastewater system and based on the work already completed by their highly qualified technical team, staff recommends that CIMA+ continue to be the consulting engineer to address the current and growth related water/wastewater needs of Mapleton Township,” the report states.

Councillor Michael Martin agreed with the move to contract CIMA+ due to its history on the project and the need to proceed swiftly.

“We always kind of raise an eyebrow a little bit when we’re sole sourcing something, but I think in this case it makes perfect sense,” said Martin.

“So what’s the next step?” asked councillor Marlene Ottens.

“We’ll ask them to come up with an action plan,” said Baron.

CIMA+ will be asked to attend a council meeting or education session to recap its findings and recommend a path forward, along with associated timelines and a financial recap, the report states.