The City of Prince George will be asking the public for its opinion on a new stormwater management plan starting the week of September 20th.
A 330-page report to City Council said the city currently spends $1.35 per metre annually on the maintenance of its stormwater system which is less than half of the national median ($2.85/m) when compared to other Canadian cities that participate in the National Water and Wastewater Benchmarking Initiative.
The report also mentions that the average age of the city’s storm sewers and culverts is 40 years and most pipes are expected to last 30-80 years, depending on the materials used.
In a previous city council discussion, it was estimated that a tax levy for the stormwater management plan would raise taxes by about 4%.
Councillor Cori Ramsay listed off all the infrastructure in the city:
- 385 km storm sewers
- 690 km of ditches
- over 962 culverts
- 5,789 catch basins
- 6 stormwater pump stations
- 4,087 manholes
- 21,227 lateral lines
- 73 subsurface infiltration facilities
- 26 engineered ponds
- 293 outlets for receiving water
“That is a ton of infrastructure, and when you look at it all stacked up like that, it kind of makes sense why we’re spending $4 million on that,” said Ramsay.
The report also showed that Prince George has a relatively small population compared to the size of the stormwater system.
In the report, city staff recommend either a dedicated stormwater tax levy or an Equivalent Residential Unit based variable stormwater rate to pay for the project, but Director of Finance Kris Dalio said that decision was still a ways away.
“I wouldn’t say the next calendar year is a realistic period. The big focus right now is about education and engagement and the financial options will take time to develop, and see how we get there, how fast we can get there. All of that still needs to be worked out,” said Dalio.
After the city engages with residents about the stormwater system, another report will be brought to council in November.