Pitt Meadows pumps and culverts are aging faster than the City can replace them, and millions are needed to upgrade the antiquated drainage infrastructure.
According to a report circulated at Tuesday afternoon's council-in-committee meeting, the estimated replacement cost of the City's drainage infrastructure ranges between $49.5 and $52.4 million.
The report outlined the two biggest challenges.
First is how to spread those costs over the long-term to make it more manageable. The other challenge is to build up reserves to reduce the need for borrowing and grants.
In the meantime, City council was told the aging infrastructure is driving up operating costs, significantly.
The older the equipment, the more maintenance it requires, explained Kim Grout, the City's operations director.
"All of the pumps and major pump station electrical systems - in all of these catchments - are reaching the end of their useful life and need constant maintenance," she said, noting that 20 years is the appropriate lifespan for a pump and 25 years is the lifespan for major electrical components.
The oldest of the pump stations is in the Pitt Polder area. That one is between 72 and 82 years old. It's estimated it will cost between $4.9 and $7.4 million dollars to replace.
Grout warned that if the City defers this project in order to wait for a grant, then the City will need to immediately do $250,000 of maintenance to the pump station.
Councillor Tracy Miyashita said spending $250,000 on the pump "sounds like a Band-Aid solution."
"We would rather not spend the $250,000," added Grout. "[The pump] has been in there 82 years. It's a modern-day miracle."
Three other pump stations (there are six in total in four separate Pitt Meadows drainage areas: Alouette, Fenton, Kennedy, and Pitt Polder) have surpassed their expected lifespan by eight years. These are located at the Kennedy, Baynes, and McKechnie road pump stations.
Similarly, the Fenton pump station is 24 years old and had upgrades done 15 years ago. A pump station in the Alouette area is the newest. It's only two years old.
Further discussion on the drainage issue and infrastructure costs is expected at the council meeting on Dec. 4.
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