SUNDRE - Chief administrative officer Linda Nelson was pleased to inform council that the municipality received an all but flawless operations and maintenance audit on Sundre’s gas utility from the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops Ltd.
“We’re very lucky that we have such qualified staff,” said Nelson, adding two minor deficiencies were identified and subsequently addressed.
A letter summarizing the audit that was signed by Delbert Beazer, an evaluator for the federation, concluded with, “You and your staff are to be commended for their hard work and commitment to ensuring that the gas utility is being operated safely for the general public.”
“That speaks volumes,” said Nelson, passing the floor over to operations manager Jim Hall.
These audits used to be conducted every four to five years, said Hall, but that has since changed and the process can now be expected to happen every three years.
“So every three years, we’ll have to get prepared for this,” said Hall.
The federation’s decision in this regard stems from a number of co-ops across the province that have struggled with successfully completing audits, he said.
One of the minor deficiencies identified in Sundre’s gas utility audit, he said, was a matter of meter recertification.
“They were wanting to have clarification on why we were not caught up,” he told council.
“There are only two accredited shops in Alberta, and we’re using both of them and there’s just a backlog,” he explained.
Otherwise, the audit was good, and the operations manager said, “We’re pleased with the comments we got back.”
Coun. Richard Warnock wondered whether conducting the audit every three years instead of four or five would represent an increased cost.
“No,” said Hall, adding the process is largely a matter of “cracking the whip to ensure paperwork is taken care of” and that daily checks for numbers are kept up.
“It’s just part of our job."
Council carried a motion to accept the correspondence as information.