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Generator will power municipal building during times of power outages

Posted: April 16, 2018

Generator will power municipal building
during times of power outages

An emergency back up generator installed at the RM of
East St. Paul municipal building last month will ensure the building doesn't go dark when power in the area goes out.

A second generator was installed at the arena as well.

"Having emergency power for our critical infrastructure was a must have," said Mayor Shelley Hart.

"Council recognized that without it, our ability to conduct basic operations, communications and policing would have been at risk.  With $40,000 in provincial and federal grants towards these two generators, it was money well spent."

Dennis Wiwcharyk, the RM's Emergency Coordinator, said council has been working towards the purchase of a generator for a few years because the municipal office is designated the RM's operations centre in the event of an emergency.

"This building is basically the hub of the municipality at all times and in the case of an emergency situation it is where we would operate from.  If the power goes out, without a generator, this building can't function because everything requires power," Wiwcharyk said.

"Any type of messaging, emergency or non-emergency messaging had to come and go out from this building we could no longer do.  It has come to a point where that's no longer an option.  A generator is required."

The RCMP also operate out of the municipal building, and as emergency responders it's vital they have power at all times.

The generator - a 350 KW Blue Star - has the ability to completely power up the entire building as it is now and can accommodate any future expansions.  It's powered by diesel fuel and will operate as long as necessary, Wiwcharyk said.

The East St. Paul Fire Hall already has a back up generator.  

A second 200 KW generator was also installed at the East St. Paul Arena.

Wiwcharyk said the back up generator will keep the
RM office, and RCMP, operational during
times of power outages.

"The arena becomes our emergency evacuation centre and it could become our emergency operations centre in the event that the fire hall or this building become, for whatever reason, unusable, due to the nature of an incident or an accident," Wiwcharyk said.

There have been several power outages in recent years and Wiwcharyk said it's not just local.  Climate change and changing weather patterns are affecting everyone.

"With the increase of severe weather and the frequency of severe weather, power outages unfortunately could start to happen more often," Wiwcharyk said.

"We are seeing what's happening with severe weather all over, in Canada, North America and around the world, in terms of the severity of the storms we're encountering.  Severe weather is not expected to decline as we move forward, it's expected to get worse."

"The municipal office serves as our communication centre for all messaging that comes in and all emergency messaging that goes out so if we can't get that messaging out to our residents it puts the municipality at a huge disadvantage," Wiwcharyk said.


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