City of Powell River councillors were provided an overview of the consolidated wastewater treatment plant project, including an update on running pipe through Willingdon Beach campground, into Millennium Park.
At the April 28 finance committee meeting, manager of engineering services Nagi Rizk provided his monthly report, which indicated the total construction cost to date remains marginally below the $89 million budget.
Rizk said four teams are working on linear work to run piping for the project and work on the treatment plant in Townsite is “ticking like a clock.”
In terms of the drilling from Willingdon Avenue through the campground, Rizk said the conveyancing is going well. He said there is one team there and another team on Marine Avenue, one team at the far end of the treatment plant, and now, a decision has to be made about the campsite.
“We, a number of stakeholders, and mainly, Tla’amin Nation, finally decided on one alignment,” said Rizk. “With our archaeological consultants, we designated one profile that is more agreeable to everyone. It is missing by far the archaeologically sensitive zone, but it is also requiring some clearing.
“We are nowhere near excavating as in the original plan. The original plan was a series of open cuts – wide open trenches like you see on Marine and Willingdon. Some sections were horizontal directional drilling (HDD), from the campsite to the treatment plant. What you will be seeing now, instead of excavating to the depths, we are going to be almost at the surface. We are going to install it almost flush with the ground and we are going to build a trail on top so when it is all said and done, you are not going to see anything.”
Rizk said the alignment has changed. Some trees, he added, will need to be logged, the stumps cleared and grubbed. This was done with the permission and blessing from Tla’amin, according to Rizk. He said the nation has right of first refusal for any of the trees.
Mayor Dave Formosa said it appeared the pipeline is going from Westview through lower Millennium Park about halfway between the highway and Willingdon Beach Trail. He asked if that was correct and Rizk said it was.
Trees important to Tla'amin, says Rizk
Formosa said Rizk’s report indicated that the number of trees coming down is minimal. Rizk said it is anticipated that two logging truck loads will be removed.
Formosa asked why the city is not selling the trees.
Rizk said some of the trees are of cultural importance to Tla’amin.
“Once that is taken care of, then we can sell them,” he added.
City chief administrative officer Russell Brewer said as part of the referral for the new alignment, the request was for any cedar trees that may have potential.
“It’s not all of the trees,” added Brewer.
Councillor Cindy Elliott asked if there were any archaeological resources being impacted by the chosen route, and if this was the route of least impact.
Rizk said there was no impact from the route that has been chosen.
“We had the archaeological consultant review the route and run it by Tla’amin Nation,” said Rizk. “That’s when we got the green light.”
Finance committee chair George Doubt said the geology of the route had been examined, and in cooperation with Tla’amin, the archaeological sites have been looked at, and this is the best possible route. He said it had been agreed with after full consultation and added that it takes care of the issue of any culturally significant trees.
“The important thing you said with this new route is that it remains within budget and doesn’t increase the cost,” said Doubt. “Is it going to create any delay in the progress of the project, and if there is, how much would that be?”
Rizk said there will be no delays as far as matters are known.
“Right now, it’s on schedule and hopefully, we can make it on time,” he added.
Elliott asked if there was any news about Tla’amin connecting with the treatment plant.
Brewer said not as of yet.
“They are still analyzing the pros and cons from their perspective,” added Brewer.
Rizk said work is proceeding with the outfall from the plant and there had been hiring notice for marine work.
“They are in town,” he added, “and we’ve just met with them.”