March 2019 – In spite of the cold weather, the Community Well Systems Upgrade Project is moving along! We have received submissions from design consultants as a result of our public bid process and the next step is to evaluate each based on its merits. The evaluation committee consisting of Council members, Indigenous Services Canada and the project management team will review and evaluate the proposals to assess the proponents’ technical experience, First Nations’ experience and proposed methodology, in relation to design processes which will best address the shortcomings of Hiawatha’s current well systems. We anticipate the consultant contract will be awarded early in April upon Council approval. At that time the selected consultant will familiarize themselves with all of the existing information and background studies that Hiawatha has conducted to date.
Community consultations are being planned for the end of April and early May, so please continue to watch fro these information postings and fliers to learn more about the project and how you can participate. A minimum of two consultation sessions will be held, at which time the consultant will present some conceptual designs for the wells. In terms of project objectives, the priorities will be to upgrade, if required, Hiawatha owned facilities, build new communal decentralized water systems, and work with individual homeowners on improvements to their wells or water treatment systems. Engagement with homeowners will be an important component of the project, so we would encourage citizens’ cooperation in working with the design consultants to allow access to their property for well and water treatment assessment, as well as, provision of any available information on their existing wells. A site assessment schedule will be developed and efforts will be made to accommodate citizens’ schedules, so as to avoid unnecessary disruptions and to relieve any privacy concerns.
We understand that some citizens may feel comfortable with their current water supply, and may wish to opt out of the project, at which time the household will be removed from the project schedule.