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Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP)



Grant Procedures Manual

INDEX



Objective

To assist eligible Alberta municipalities with the construction of priority water supply and treatment and wastewater treatment and disposal facilities.

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Time Frame

This is an ongoing initiative implemented on April 1, 1991. This program replaces the previous Alberta Municipal Water Supply and Sewage Treatment Grant Program which was in place from April 1, 1979 to March 31, 1991.

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Project Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Municipalities

This program is available to the following municipalities in the province of Alberta:

  1. Cities with an official population under 45,000.
  2. Towns.
  3. Villages.
  4. Summer villages.
  5. Counties, municipal districts, Metis Settlements, special areas and improvement districts responsible for making applications on behalf of communities within its jurisdiction that meet the following criteria:
  1. Inclusion as an eligible hamlet as determined by Alberta Transportation, prior approval under other water/wastewater programs

or

  1. Deemed to be an eligible hamlet by consisting of a group of 10 or more occupied dwellings, a majority of which are on titled parcels of less than 1,850 square meters, with a defined boundary, a distinct name, and the existence of provision for non-residential uses.

Eligible hamlets are not intended to include country residential subdivisions, condominia associations or private developments.

Rural municipalities should inquire whether a specific hamlet is included as an eligible hamlet prior to project implementation.

Rural municipalities may apply to the department to include communities on the official list of eligible hamlets by forwarding a plan showing parcel size, land use designations, population and community boundary.

  1. Regional commissions

Regional commissions are eligible to receive funding for multi-municipal commission-owned facilities related to water supply and treatment and wastewater treatment as outlined in the project eligibility criteria.

Municipalities which are part of a regional commission but require their own facilities may apply on an individual basis for program funding.

Eligible Projects:

All services, material and equipment engaged on projects eligible for funding must be from the private sector. Municipalities are encouraged to support Alberta companies supplying goods and services to the waterworks and wastewater industry.

Funding may be available for the following projects, subject to a detailed assessment of eligibility by the department:

  1. Water Supply and Treatment
  • Raw-water intakes and wells.
  • Raw-water supply lines to storage facilities.
  • Raw-water storage facilities.
  • Raw-water supply lines from storage facilities to treatment facilities.
  • Water treatment facilities.
  • Treated-water supply line from the treatment plant to the first connection point on the distribution system.
  • Treated-water storage facilities and related works.
   b.  Wastewater Treatment
  • Outfall sewer from last connection point on the collection system to the wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Outfall sewers from the wastewater treatment facilities to the point of discharge or disposal and related works.
  • Septage receiving stations at wastewater treatment plants, up to a limit of 20 per cent of the cost of the facility and 20 per cent of the capacity of the facility.
   c.   Miscellaneous
  • Small projects "at the plant" which would enhance the treatment process, such as chlorination or fluoridation.
  • Planning and/or design studies directly related to an eligible project.
  • General municipal infrastructure planning studies for eligible municipalities under 10,000 population. Updates to these studies are not funded and are the municipal responsibility.

Eligible Associated Costs

Funding may be available for associated project costs which can include:

  1. Right-of-way acquisition and/or land costs, including expropriation costs.
  2. Relocation and adjustment of associated utilities.
  3. Engineering costs.
  4. Survey fees.
  5. Legal fees.
  6. Advertising for tenders.
  7. Other costs (such as audit fees).

Municipal officials should contact the department regarding the eligibility of any other related costs.

Non-Eligible Costs

The following will not be considered eligible for funding:

  1. Municipal labour and equipment.
  2. Administration costs (i.e. all municipal employee salaries or council member salaries, office administration costs, etc.).
  3. Goods and Services Tax.
  4. Water license costs. 

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Funding Availability

Projects approved for funding will receive grants as a percentage (rounded to two decimal places) of project costs calculated by formulas based upon the municipal population:

The official population is based on the current Municipal Affairs official population list at the time of the approval for cities, towns, villages and summer villages.

In the case of hamlets, the population will be based on a statutory declaration from the municipality on the hamlet's behalf.

Populations and subsequent grant percentages are determined at the time of approval and do not change during the life of the project.

a. Official population: less than 1,000
                     

Grant =

  75 per cent of project costs    
         
                     
b. Official population: 1,001 to 3,000
                     

% Grant =

 

(0.5 X Population) + 250

  X 100
   
   
   

Population

   
                     

e.g.

  Municipal population = 2,300  
         

60.87 =

 

(0.5 X 2,300) + 250

  X 100
   
   
   

2,300

   
                     

Grant =

  60.87 per cent of the project costs    
                     
                     
c. Official population: 3,001 to 10,000
                     

% Grant =

 

(0.25 X Population) + 1000

  X 100
   
   
   

Population

   
                     

e.g.

  Municipal population = 5,300  
                     

43.87 =

 

(0.25 X 5,300) + 1000

X 100
   
 
   

5,300

   
                     

Grant =

  43.87 per cent of the project costs  
                     
d. Official population: 10,001 to 45,000
                     

% Grant =

  35 - .001 (Population - 10,000)
                     

e.g.

  Municipal population = 15,300
    35 - ( .001 X (15,300 - 10,000) ) = 29.70
    Grant = 29.70 per cent of the projected costs
                     
                     

Funding for a particular municipality may be impacted by three initiatives under this Program:

  1. Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership Water Conservation Initiative: This initiative encourages water conservation and consumption-based water rate schedules.
  2. Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership Water/Wastewater Studies Initiative: This initiative provides financial assistance to eligible municipalities reviewing and/or identifying their water/wastewater needs.
  3. Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership Regional Systems Initiative (Water for Life): This initiative provides financial assistance for the construction of regional water and wastewater systems which are more cost-effective and/or environmentally desirable than independent facilities.

More information on these particular initiatives is included in the various chapters within this manual.

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Procedures

There is no formal application form however, to access funding municipalities must apply directly to the Department and follow the procedures as outlined herein.

Select Suitable Project

The municipality is responsible for selecting a project suitable for AMWWP funding.

Municipalities should contact department officials at an early date to discuss the eligibility of proposed projects. Formal applications for assistance should be submitted to the department by November 30 to ensure consideration for the next fiscal year budget.

Decision To Apply For AMWWP

The municipal council must make a motion to this effect. A letter of intent to proceed and an application for funding should be submitted to the department.

Prepare Project Proposal

The project proposal on the project submission form submitted to the Department should include the following:

  1. Project description.
  2. Project rationale, (design criteria) .
  3. Proposed implementation schedule.
  4. Detailed cost estimates.
  5. Outline of how the local share of the costs will be raised.
  6. Rate base for water and wastewater service and the extent of metering.

Department staff will work closely with each municipality in reviewing the scope of the work, the cost-effectiveness and to assist them in ensuring that economical and practical solutions are proposed.

The Regional Director and Infrastructure Manager in the area are available to provide advice to the municipality during the preparation of the project proposal.

In addition to the foregoing, the municipality must enter the appropriate information for the project in the online Municipal Grants Management Application (MGMA).

Send Submission To Alberta Transportation

An authorized representative of the municipality should submit a letter of application to the Regional Director.

The application should include the following:

  1. Request for funding.
  2. One copy of the project plan.

Determination Of Funding Availability:

Approval under this program is conditional upon the availability of funding and the suitability of the project. In addition, the following matters may be considered:

  1. Date of application.
  2. Type of project prioritized as follows:
  • Priority 1 Health related improvements involving upgrading water treatment facilities and/or water supply and water treatment facilities.
  • Priority 2 Environmental Protection Improvements - usually related to wastewater treatment projects affecting the environment.
  • Priority 3 System and development related improvements such as safety, fire protection and operational improvements.

The department will advise the municipality of the project's eligibility for funding. The final funding approval will be made when funding is available and all required information is received.  The selection will be made on the basis of project size, design, staging, need, cost-effectiveness and municipal population (actual and projected).

The department, in consultation with the municipality, will select a payment method for each approved project.  Larger, more complex projects will require a formal agreement with the municipality.

Sign Memorandum Of Agreement

The department will draw up a Memorandum of Agreement outlining the responsibilities of both the department and the municipality. The agreement will include a grant calculation chart and schedule of grant payments.

On behalf of the municipality, two copies of the Agreement must be signed by the Mayor or Reeve and chief administrative officer and either witnessed or sealed before being returned to the department for execution.

Select Construction Basis

The municipality is required to undertake construction on a Contract basis. For smaller projects, it may be more feasible to undertake the project on a day labour basis. This option can be considered subject to prior approval by the department. Work undertaken with municipal forces will not be considered eligible under the program.

Day Labour

When renting equipment for construction on a Day Labour basis, the rental rates for equipment shall not exceed the current year rental rates as published in the "Equipment Rental Rates and Membership Roster" by the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association.

Contract

The municipality must advertise for tenders for projects undertaken on a contract basis.

Accept Low Bid

The department follows the principle of awarding work to the lowest bona-fide bidder. The same is required of municipalities when tendering projects funded by the department. 

If the municipality accepts other than the low bid without prior approval from the department, the municipality will jeopardize grant funding for its project.

If the municipality feels that there are exceptional circumstances where the low bid is considered unacceptable, the municipality must submit a written report requesting approval of an award to other than the low bidder. The report must clearly substantiate their reasons for the recommendation and provide details of all tenders received. The department will then review and advise the municipality respecting the impact on the grant funding.

Indicate Project Status To Alberta Transportation

Before any payment is made by the department, the following information may be requested:

  1. Copy of the summary of tenders.
  2. Price schedule of the selected tender.
  3. Estimated date of construction start and/or information on what costs have been incurred to date.

Conduct Work

The municipality has responsibility for the following:

  1. Financing the entire cost of the project.
  2. Acquiring all necessary permits, licenses, authorities, property easements and lands.

Municipal water and wastewater projects are subject to the provisions of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. Prior to receiving any funding, municipalities must contact Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to obtain appropriate approvals.

  1. Retaining competent engineering expertise as required to meet provincially acceptable design, construction and environmental standards.
  2. Constructing the project at sole risk in accordance with the project's plans and specifications.
  3. Assuming all liability for damage claims in relation to the project.

Receive Advance Payment(s)

After the department has reviewed the project status, the municipality may be given an advance payment representing a portion of the estimated grant. Depending on the programs cash flow and the status of project, the amounts and timing may vary. The timing of the payments can be structured to flow with the construction of the project as determined during the approval process.

The final payment is then issued upon completion and verification of costs.

Deposit Funds In Separate Account

Funds received from the department in excess of current expenditures must be managed in a separate account and funds appropriately invested. The interest earned from these funds shall be applied to reduce the total project costs, excluding G.S.T.

Notify Alberta Transportation When Project Is 80 Per Cent Complete

For cash flow reasons, the department must be kept informed of projects' progress. Before receiving further payment, the municipality must give written notice to the department, with costs incurred to date, when the project is nearing approximately 80 per cent completion.

Other advance payments may be available during the course of the project, depending on its size and the availability of program funds. Therefore, the municipality should periodically advise the department of the status of the project, especially if additional grant advances are required.

Complete Work

Once the project is completed to the municipality's satisfaction, the municipality must notify the department and prepare its submissions for final payment. The department may either inspect the project work or ask that the municipality provide evidence of an inspection by a professional engineer.

Submit Final Payment Claim Form

To process the final grant payment after the project is complete, the following information is needed:

  1. A final payment claim form with invoices and revenues received with respect to the project. Construction and engineering costs must be itemized separately.
  2. Summary of details of interim financing charges, if applicable.
  3. Details of interest earned with respect to the project.
  4. Confirmation under municipal letterhead that the project has been completed.

The municipality should advise the department of any cost changes which may have occurred.

Receive Final Payment

The department will review the final claim before making the final payment to the municipality.

All projects receiving grant funding are potentially subject to audit by the department.

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Interim Financing

Interim financing costs are not considered to be an eligible expense under this program. As of March 2013 interim financing costs on unpaid grants from the time of project completion until the grant is paid are eligible.

Credit Item

Investment revenue

Funds received from the department, in excess of current expenditures, must be invested in a separate account.

Project revenue earned through the investment of these funds shall be deducted from project costs before the grant calculation is made. Municipalities requiring more information on the interest policy should contact the Department.

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Revisions

The municipality must notify the department of any changes to the project cost or scope as soon as possible.

The department will review the situation and may approve funding and scope changes depending upon the circumstances of each case within the limits of eligibility. Scope changes and cost increases will be considered new projects and will be able to receive future grants; when budgets allow.

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Updated November 2013