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Now accepting intake applications. Application closes July 31, 2022 for select projects for the 2023 construction season.

Note: an Infill Fire Protection Assessment (IFPA) is required to be considered for funding. This must be requested through the City of Edmonton by July 15, 2022.​

Program Information

Background

Historically, infill developers have provided all of the water infrastructure required to serve a new development and/or upgrade an existing area. However, upgrades that improve fire protection in core, mature, and established areas benefit the entire neighbourhood. An agreement has been reached on a methodology to share costs between infill developers, ratepayers, and the City's Fire Rescue Services department.

Following the success of a pilot project in 2020 and 2021, EPCOR has allocated $20.2 million to the cost share approach for 2022-2026.

Infill cost share approach

Workshops were held in 2018 between the City of Edmonton and the Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA) to discuss options for a cost share approach. Based on feedback from the workshops, the Infill Working Committee formed by the City, EPCOR, and IDEA developed an approach that would:

  • Be fair, easy to understand, transparent, and predictable
  • Provide incentives for targeted infill development in older neighbourhoods
  • Be relatively easy to administer
  • Recognize that limited public funding is available

With the proposed cost share approach, developers continue to pay for upgrades and installations that would primarily benefit a new development, including:

  • Extensions – the provisioning of a net-new water main as well as additional hydrants to bring water servicing and fire protection to an area that did not previously have water service
  • Relocations – moving existing water infrastructure to meet a developer's site-specific needs
  • Service installations – new service lines to new infill properties

For developments selected for the cost share project, upgrades that benefit all users will be funded by water ratepayers and Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, including:

  • Expansions – replacing an existing water main with a larger one, or adding hydrants to improve fire protection in an area
  • Realignments – moving of water mains and hydrants from an alley to a road

This cost share approach will allow some projects to proceed that otherwise may have been deemed unviable by the infill developer. Following the success of a pilot in 2020 and 2021, the project is now funded for 2022 through 2026.

Cost sharing of infill fire protection upgrades: 2022-2026

Eligibility

Only applicants / developers who have received responses for zoning applications, pre-application submissions, or development permit applications from the City of Edmonton are eligible to apply for funding consideration by the Infill Cost Share project. These applications must have obtained advisements or conditions of approval (that entail the construction of a public water distribution system, which involves water mains and associated appurtenances) from the City of Edmonton.

Infill project ranking criteria

To determine which projects will receive funding, developers must submit their applications to EPCOR at waterinfillcostshare@epcor.com. The submissions will be ranked based on the six criteria listed below. Projects with the highest ranking will receive funding to cover the cost of Expansions and Realignments until funding for the acceptance period is fully allocated. Infill developers would then be required to pay all remaining fire protection costs and upgrades.

1. System capabilities

This is defined as the current capability of the water distribution and transmission system to provide the required fire flows into the area in which the proposed development will be located.

An estimated system capability can be found in the EPCOR Hexagon Map (image) and Fire Hydrants Map​ are available as part of the City of Edmonton's Open Data portal. These system capabilities do not necessarily mean that there is sufficient fire flow adjacent to the​ specific proposed development.​​ ​

To assist in determining fire flow requirements for a specific development, a preliminary evaluation of the development site information provided by the applicant must be performed by EPCOR against the fire flow requirements specified​ in Volume 4 (Water) of the City of Edmonton Design and Construction Standards​.​



New for 2022-2026: An Infill Fire Protection Assessment (IFPA) must be completed for all projects once site-specific design and/or Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) information is made available by the applicant. The updated evaluation will be coordinated by the City of Edmonton Planner or Development Officer, as appropriate. Projects not completing an IFPA will not be included for consideration within the program. In the first two years since the creation of the IFPA, the program has allowed for a detailed risk assessment for projects, resulting in the deferment of approximately $70 million of water main upgrade costs and is a key step in project assessment to ensure that funding is appropriately targeted.

2. Neighbourhood renewals and Arterial Program

This is defined as coordination with proposed, ongoing, or completed water main renewal activities​ and coordination with the City of Edmonton’s Building Great Neighbourhoods - Neighbour​hood Renewal Program, which will allow for optimized capital spending and reduced resident disruption. To ensure coordination between infill development and neighbourhood renewals, EPCOR and the City of Edmonton will continue to facilitate meetings with IDEA to align planning efforts.

3. Location and use

The projects selected for consideration must comply with the current City Plan. The program will only consider funding for residential and mixed use developments with three or more units in established mature and core neighbourhoods (as defined within Map 3 of Bylaw 15100​). The location and use criteria will ensure that developments that meet the definition of "missing middle" are ranked higher. "Missing middle" housing forms include triplex homes, four-plexes, row-houses, stacked row-houses, low rise (four stories or less), and mid-rise (up to six stories) apartment buildings, including mixed-use developments. The missing middle is targeted for funding because it aligns with the City vision for infill development and recognizes that there has been limited mid-sized residential development in established, mature, and core neighbourhoods. High rise apartments will be considered for funding but are not given priority.

4. New for 2022-2026: Alignment with City Plan

This is defined as the distance of the development to current and future areas of development as defined by City Plan. These include the primary and secondary nodes and corridors and the city-wide mass transit corridors outlined within City Plan. Please see Map 1 from the City Plan Maps document​, available from the City of Edmonton. Proposed developments that are 200m away or less from these defined areas are ranked highest, with decreasing points given for developments which are within 400m and 800m in proximity. Developments not in proximity to a defined node or corridor will not be considered.

5. Readiness

This refers to how far along the project is in the development process. For example, a project that is in the development permit phase is further along than a project that still requires rezoning. Construction of the development should not proceed without sufficient fire protection in accordance with both the National Fire Code and Volume 4 of the City of Edmonton Design and Construction Standards.

New for 2022-2026: Developments that have progressed beyond the Building Permit Review stage will not be considered, except for projects which have permits issue for demolition and site grading. Previously, any project that had progressed to Building Permit Review would be removed from consideration.

6. Coordination

This refers to the extent to which the project is aligned with other projects on the same street so that efficiencies in project coordination can be realized. EPCOR will evaluate and score the level of coordination of each project based on other known projects in the area.

Ranking Process
The points awarded in each category will be used to derive a total score for the project's ranking. In the case of projects with identical total scores priority will be given to the project(s) that have the best project coordination and where the highest number of proposed developments benefit from the project. If a tie still exists, the project with the lowest required funding will be selected. The final selection criteria will be based on which project had the earliest application date.

Projects that do not receive funding in the first year of their application may be eligible for funding in a subsequent year. If the timelines or surety of the cost share program do not meet the developer's needs, they can contract EPCOR to complete the works at the developer's expense.

Alternatively, developers may complete the works themselves at their expense under a servicing agreement as long as the risks posed to public health and the integrity of the water distribution and transmission system by the required works are deemed acceptable by EPCOR. Another option is for the applicant to hire EPCOR at a full cost-of-service to complete the construction on their behalf under the Water Customer Infrastructure Requests program.​​​​​ For more information on this program, contact waterdtinfrastructure@epcor.com

Apply for the program

How to apply​

Complete the project submission form below to apply or provide updates on your project. The completed form is to be e-mailed to waterinfillfireprotection@epcor.com.
Download Application Form​​​

Application process

The information provided on the form will be reviewed by EPCOR and scores assigned for each of the criteria. Applicants will be informed of their project's total score. If the status of the project changes, the applicant will need to provide updated information to EPCOR to update the project's evaluation.

 

Projects for the 2022 project year have been selected for construction. Any projects that were not selected have been automatically rolled over for consideration in the next intake period.

For the 2023 construction season, there will be three acceptance periods, allotting one third of the available funding in each period: 

  • First acceptance cutoff date — July 31, 2022 (any projects not selected in this acceptance period will roll over to the next period)
  • Second acceptance cutoff date — October 31, 2022
  • Third acceptance cutoff date — January 31, 2023

Program evaluation

The Infill Fire Protection Program will be monitored by the EPCOR/IDEA/City of Edmonton Infill Working Committee with annual check-ins to refine criteria, monitor selected developments, and resolve issues. Data will be collected for the duration of the program and incorporated into subsequent program years.

Additional questions

Eligible applicants who require additional information can submit questions through waterinfillfireprotection@epcor.com.​​ ​​​​​​​