Cypress County funding fire suppression study for Dunmore

By Scott Roblin
November 20, 2018 - 5:18pm Updated: November 20, 2018 - 6:59pm


DUNMORE, AB – Major upgrades could be on the way for the community of Dunmore, as Cypress County is considering improvements to its water infrastructure.

Earlier this month, Cypress County voted to earmark $50,000 from their 2019 budget to conduct a study into their water supply used for fire fighting in Dunmore.

Over the years, Director of Municipal Services Jeffrey Dowling said Dunmore’s water volume and water pressure numbers haven’t lived up to the provincial standard.

“From a water perspective, it's having enough volume and the correct pressure,” said Dowling. “So, that's what's lacking here in Dunmore and that's what essentially needs to be upgraded.”

The study will look at how efficient Dunmore’s water system is for fire fighting, as well as the potential costs of upgrades.

Dowling said water line replacements could be on the table if upgrades are needed, but said there’s no word on how costly they would be.

“In most cases, it would be up-sizing lines and replacing existing lines with larger capacity, so that we could get more water flow,” he said.

This study comes after a proposal from Weddingstar to expand their Dunmore location, however Cypress County came back to say they couldn’t provide enough water pressure for fire suppression.

The county has been looking for solutions to their water supply problems, especially since Weddingstar’s proposed expansion could mean up to $30,000 per year extra in property tax revenues.

“We recognize that our tax revenue is declining and we have to find ways of bringing in new sources, just like every other municipality has to,” said Dowling.

Businesses in Dunmore who aren’t completely covered by the hamlet’s limited fire suppression capabilities must have their own water storage on-site.

According to Dowling, improving the community’s water volume and pressure could be good for attracting new development.

“Businesses may not want to spend the money to provide their own on-site water volumes,” he said. “So, this certainly goes a long way to attracting new businesses.”

Fire chief Kelly Meyer said increased capacity and pressure could make a big difference during emergency calls.

“We can contain, extinguish fires quicker,” said Meyer. “We don't have to stop, fill our trucks, then attack again, we can just continue to hit it hard and fast.”

Meyer added fire crews are hoping to see future community growth as well, just as long as they have the tools in place to protect it.

“Everybody wants to feel safe, everybody wants their property to be protected,” he said. “So, this is just one step closer to promoting future growth for Cypress County.”

The study will take place in early 2019 with a full report expected to be presented before Cypress County council in the spring.

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