The purchase includes the unprocessed raw sand and gravel, a scale, 10 acres of land, a security fence, two neighbouring lots and a shop. The existing stockpiles of processed materials will also be purchased.
The aggregate will be used for road construction and water and sewer main projects, but the City says it has no interest in competing with private gravel supply businesses. Instead, Mayor Lori Ackerman argues that this will improve the city’s ability to plan for future maintenance as the community grows, and decrease spending.
“We’re looking for ways to reduce costs, and this is one way that we can ensure that our residents will be able to have the quality of life that they need.”
It’s expected the pit, which holds between 600,000 and 1,100,000 cubic metres of material, will last between 24 and 44 years. A study by an independent engineering firm earlier this year found that if the City had owned this gravel pit over the last seven years, the community would have saved $1.8 million.
Currently, the City trucks in the gravel it needs for construction, paying market costs. It will continue to purchase from other suppliers to ensure the pit isn’t depleted too quickly.
Ackerman also argues that this is a proactive move should the Site C dam be approved, as access to three gravel pits in the area would be impacted by the reservoir.