GN to unveil Resolute utilidor plans early next year

“We’re committed to a full investigation of all the options”

By CHRIS WINDEYER

Resolute Bay will know the future of its ultilidor early in the new year.

The department of Community and Government Services wrapped up a round of community consultations in the hamlet earlier this month.

And they’ve back away from earlier plans to replace pipes with a trucked water system.

“Our main focus was to assure the community we’re committed to a full investigation of all the options for the future supply of water and sewage (services) for the community,” said Roy Green, the director of community infrastructure at CGS.

That’s a change in course for the Government of Nunavut. This time last year, CGS was presenting the switch to trucked water as inevitable, telling the hamlet the current utilidor system — installed in the mid-1970s —was on the verge of “catastrophe.”

Green now says the department is mulling three options: repairs to the existing system, a complete replacement of the system, or a switch to trucked water. And he said it’s too soon to talk about what any of those options might cost.

“No matter what option you [choose] it’s going to be a very expensive project,” he said.

Last year, a consultant’s report pegged the cost of switching to trucked service — the norm in most Nunavut communities — was around $15 million, while the cost of placing the utilidor could approach $35 million.

The existing system leaks, causing ice buildup in the winter, and requires high level of heating to prevent the pipes from freezing. That heating costs the hamlet thousands of dollars per year.

But Resolute Bay mayor Ludy Pudluk said the system would work fine if the government just fixed the pipes.

Pudluk said most people in the hamlet have no interest in switching to a trucked water and sewage system.

“The village would like to stay on the piped system because they’re used to it,” Pudluk said.

Green said nothing is for certain. A consultant will soon begin examining the utilidor system to see what can be salvaged, what parts need replacing, and whether a trucked system with sewage lagoon would even be feasible.

There’s also an advisory committee overseeing the project that includes hamlet politicians and representatives from CGS, Health and Social Services and other departments.

Green said the goal is to have a final decision ready by next January or February. It would then have to go to cabinet and the financial management board for final approval.

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