The City of Lacombe’s Operation and Planning department recently received a first-of-its-kind award in Alberta.
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision Award recently awarded the City with their Silver Award for the efforts during their Main Street Program, which has only been handed out to five municipalities in Canada.
“The Lacombe Main Street Program is an excellent example of turning an urgent, negative situation — in this case a degraded sanitary sewer system — into a sustainable, vibrant, community- and business-oriented project,” said ISI President and CEO John Stanton.
“ISI is pleased to present this project with an Envision Silver award for sustainable infrastructure. Congratulations to the City of Lacombe and the entire project team on this tremendous achievement.”
Jordan Thompson, director of operations and planning for the City of Lacombe, said the award represents, “The culmination of a lot of hard work and a lot of collaboration that has occurred over the life-cycle of this project”.
“We are very excited particularly because it is the first Envision Award in Alberta and only the fifth in Canada, so we are in good company,” Thompson said. “The City was faced with a unique challenge with its downtown where it needed to replace the sanitary sewer main because it had collapsed.
“We needed to put together in relatively short order a project that reduced the impact of construction for this type of project to the downtown.”
The City proceeded to collaborate with Lacombe downtown business owners, along with their design team which included work from Pidherneys and Stantec.
“We also utilized a unique procurement methodology, which means we hired a contractor early on in the process to be involved in making decisions and helping us form a construction plan — which ultimately resulted in a better outcome for this project,” Thompson said.
Dan Willis, Pidherneys project manager, said the collaboration allowed businesses to have a say in construction, which helped mitigate disruption.
“We were able to competitively bid and put together a proposal knowing the sensitivities and the availability to work through the design,” Willis said. “That allowed us to work as a team to identify some risks and talk with the business owners and the community to find a way to reduce the impact.”
Thompson said he had spoke with the owner of Home Hardware in Lacombe, who was impressed with the process.
“He has been involved with the City on a number of fronts and this project was certainly one of the most successful projects he has been involved with,” Thompson said. “It is something we are proud of and something we want to work towards doing again when we are working in the downtown.”
He added the City originally applied to be considered for this award after realizing they had achieved a lot during the project.
“We said, ‘Jeez, we did a lot of things that makes us eligible for this type of award’,” Thompson said.
Mayor Grant Creasey said this award shows that Lacombe can be a leader in sustainability, community leadership and stakeholder engagement.
“On behalf of Council, I commend the Main Street Program team for developing several innovative approaches to address the full range of environmental, social and economic impacts associated with this project,” he said.
Infrastructure projects that apply the Envision® Sustainable Infrastructure Framework may be submitted for review by an independent third-party to confirm a level of achievement. The framework examines the impact of sustainable infrastructure projects as a whole, through five distinct categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, Climate and Resilience.