Fate of marina fuel tank deferred

Duane Hicks

As council waits for tenders to come in on major projects and the province to approve new tax ratios, before it can make any decisions regarding levy increases in the 2009 budget, some discussion continued at yesterday’s budget meeting around the in-ground fuel tank at the Sorting Gap Marina here.
Community Services manager George Bell said he’s gotten a few quotes from Northwest Petroleum either to fix the tank or replace it, noting it would cost about $35,000 to fix the current in-ground tank (which must be repaired) or $21,000 to remove the tank (with Public Works doing the excavation) and another $35,700 to install a 2,200 litre above-ground tank.
He added a 2,200 litre tank would have to be refilled every 10 days-two weeks, depending on use, and that council might consider a larger one if they decide to go with that option.
The current in-ground tank holds 10,000 litres.
Bell stressed that something has to be done about the current tank, which is more than 20 years old. And while it can be fixed now, it inevitably will continue to pose problems down the road.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown explained the problem is that there is a steel plate with two holes in it above the containment pit where the current tank is, and that boaters think it is a catch basin into which they dump water from their boats.
The containment pit then freezes, splits the pump, and then water gets into the tank.
“We’ve been through this, since I have been here, three times,” Brown said. “I don’t think the tank containment system was put in properly because we are getting water from the underground leaking in there, too.”
Brown noted that whether council decides to go above-ground or even opts to do nothing, the in-ground tank then will have to be removed within two years.
While a few councillors said they weren’t sure how well an above-ground tank would look on the waterfront, Coun. Paul Ryan suggested a fence with ivy on it as a possible solution.
After deciding the price quotes they got might be a little high, council agreed to defer the matter until they could get more quotes from suppliers in Manitoba.
But Brown noted council should keep in mind that in order to be able to sell gas at the Sorting Gap this summer, the town has to have the fuel tank up to certain standards by May 30.
The next committee of the whole budget meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 16.