This morning Edmonton City Council voted to move its drainage utility from city administration to EPCOR Utilities Inc. The transfer date is set for September 1, 2017.
“We will be putting a transition team into place in the next few days,” said city manager Linda Cochrane. “We will work closely with EPCOR to ensure that the transition is seamless for Edmontonians and our affected staff. All services will continue as usual and all planned construction programs will continue moving ahead.”
Oversight and ownership of assets will remain with City Council. Drainage utility rates will continue to be set by Council’s utility committee. EPCOR is 100 per cent owned by the City of Edmonton.
City of Edmonton drainage staff will transfer to EPCOR. The company has committed that the transfer will not result in layoffs.
EPCOR first presented its proposal to transfer the City’s drainage assets and operations to EPCOR (excluding certain components of drainage planning) to City Council in June of 2016. Council asked Administration complete an independent assessment of the proposal and for a public hearing to be held. Representatives of Grant Thornton LLP provided their assessment on November 8, 2016 and a public hearing was held on January 24, 2017.
The City’s Drainage Services Utility plans for and operates a total of nearly 6,000 km of storm, sanitary, and combined drainage pipes; 240 stormwater management facilities; and 85 pump stations. In support of the Utility, the Design and Construction section designs and constructs sanitary and stormwater drainage infrastructure.
EPCOR builds, owns and operates electrical transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure in North America. Its subsidiaries also provide electricity, natural gas, and water products and services to residential and commercial customers.
For more background information on the decision, read our story on a report that challenged the anticipated efficiencies of the drainage utility transfer.