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Bashaw council talks impellers and overruns

Town equipment repairs lead to additional costs
Bashaw Council held a special meeting to discuss price escalation on town-owned equipment. (Photo Courtesy of Town of Bashaw)

By Carson Ellis

For the Bashaw Star

Bashaw Town council held a special meeting on Wednesday, Nov 22.

The meeting was to discuss unforeseen increases to repair costs that had been previously approved. Repairs to one of the three lift pumps was the main focus of the meeting. The repair of the pump on one of the town’s fire trucks was also discussed.

The Bashaw water treatment facility sent a pump for repairs earlier this year. The repair had been budgeted at $14,300 with funds to come from a government grant. Once the pump supplier disassembled the unit, they found that the repairs were more extensive than originally thought. They also found that parts had been customized, meaning they needed to be machined as they were not available off the shelf.

One of the pump’s impellers needed replacement, while another needed repairs. Additionally, the pump shaft was needing to be repaired. The concern for the Water Treatment facility is that they could not be given a definitive assurance on the lifespan of the repaired impeller. It was suggested that the unit be replaced entirely, to ensure a long lifespan.

The cost of a new pump is $62,000. Mayor Rob McDonald addressed the option of finding a similar pump from another supplier for possibly a better price, however, it was noted by administration that the town has a long history with the current supplier and that they had a stronger position for pricing and customer support if they stayed.

There was also the concern that the pump has been out since September and looking for other options would prolong getting one back into service. Coun. Jackie Northey motioned to have $62,000 taken from the unrestricted surplus account, for the purchase of a new pump unit. The motion carried.

Recent repairs to one of the town’s fire trucks was next on the agenda.

The truck had been taken in for repairs in October, with an approved budget of $22,000 based on estimates given to the town.

The fire department was later contacted and told that once the pump had been disassembled, there were more internal issues than thought that required attention. During the conversation, the fire department was told that the increased cost would be minimal. However, when the unit was returned to the department, a final work order was issued at $34,692.

The town reached out to the company responsible for the repairs, and after negotiations between the two parties, the repair cost was reduced to $29,697. This repair bill did include the complete teardown of the pump unit, rebuilding, testing, and service. The fire department has also used the unit for training exercises and reports that it is in working order.

Coun. Kyle McIntosh’s motion to approve the additional $7,000 of the invoice with funds from the accumulated surplus account was approved.