The City of Swift Current has approved funding for an irrigation project to make the Windscape Kite Festival site more useable for other events, including as a cricket pitch.
Councillors approved two motions to fund this project during a regular council meeting, Nov. 18.
The one motion approved an additional $43,524 to complete the work on the Windscape irrigation project. This amount will be funded through development levies on future land sales in the city.
The second motion awarded the contract for the completion of the irrigation work to Riverside Electric. The total cost of this contract is $165,360 (PST included, GST excluded).
This site, which is located on the city’s southwest side, is used annually for the Windscape Kite Festival and the Long Day’s Night Music Festival.
“We’re actually looking for the field to be more multipurpose,” City General Manager for Community Services Jim Jones said after the meeting. “We’re trying to make the space a little more useable for open-air space, and as well we’ve had a real boom with cricket and the cricket has been practising in outdoor rinks or whatever, bowling in there. So we’re trying to get them a space here within the next two years where they can actually hold a competition here too, and they just fit real nice together.”
The project has been planned and designed by the City’s Community Services department in cooperation with the Infrastructure and Operations department. The capital budget for the project is $220,000, and $83,000 has already been spent on a new shed, piping for the rural water pipeline, the main irrigation line from the South Hill reservoir, the design of the pump in the reservoir, and the excavation earthwork.
An initial design and set of drawings for the project were created by Site One, a landscape and irrigation company. Three contractors provided quotes for the completion of the irrigation work, and the lowest quote was $201,753.
The project was therefore redesigned to reduce costs. The outside perimeter sprinklers were eliminated from the design parameters for the project, and it will be added at a later date. The landscaping, including the grass seeding, will now be done internally by City Parks staff.
Three companies provided bids on the revised project design and the lowest bid of $165,360 was submitted by Riverside Electric.
The additional amount of $43,524 is required to complete work that is not covered under the tender awarded to Riverside Electric. This includes irrigation work and the seeding of the area with grass, and a 10 per cent contingency is also part of this amount. According to Jones an area of 600 feet by 1,150 feet will be irrigated.
“By not putting the night sprinklers on, we reduce the scope of the work a little bit just to try to keep the cost down,” he said. “If we need more, we can add to it later. That’s actually a really nice spot for cricket, for having a big area like that as well too.”
The project will create a grassed space that will not only be beneficial to the existing festivals, but can accommodate other uses and the emerging sport of cricket in the community. The intention is to have the area ready for next summer.
“Our plan is to get out there as early as we possibly can, and of course we aren’t going to know until the snow is gone, but as long as we can overseed it and do it,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of the excavation work now, and it may not be as pristine as we want it for the first year, but by the second year definitely will be, and moving forward as well too. We look at other events that we could have out there if the grass is better, like weddings or anything in the open air with tents and the rest of the stuff too.”
Change to landfill disposal rates:
Councillors approved a new landfill disposal rate structure that will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. There will be an increase to the fee for regular waste from the current $90 per tonne to $100 per tonne. All the other disposal rates will remain the same, including the fee for small loads of regular residential waste.
The increased fee will apply to larger loads of resident waste as well as commercial, construction and demolition waste.
“The solid waste is a utility,” General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations Mitch Minken said. “We run it like a utility. Effectively it’s a non-profit centre. So we just endeavour to collect enough revenue to cover our costs to run the utility.”
The landfill accepts a wide range of materials, but over 90 per cent of revenues are generated from residential or commercial waste.