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City of Powell River covets liquid-waste grant

Program to cover first two treatment plant project phases

City of Powell River council voted to support an application for a federal grant program to pay for the first two phases of the city’s consolidated wastewater treatment plant.

City director of infrastructure Tor Birtig asked for council’s endorsement for a grant up to $13 million at the city’s committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, November 15, and then councillors voted to support it at their council meeting on Thursday, November 17.

“This is part of the liquid-waste management project that has been ongoing for years,” said councillor Karen Skadsheim. “It’s been a long time coming and we’re ready to break some ground.”

The grant will cover the first two phases of the project. Phase one will be for the design and conveyancing of the plant, while phase two will include laying sewer mains and constructing pump stations from the city’s boundary, just north of the Wildwood sewer lagoon, to Cedar Street in Townsite.

The city is currently in negotiations with Tla’amin Nation to connect Teeshoshum (formerly Sliammon) to the consolidated plant.

If approved for the grant, the city would be required to contribute 17 per cent of the first two phases of the project, about $2.2 million, funds that Birtig said are available in the city’s sewer reserve fund.

Total cost of the entire project is estimated at approximately $30 million.

Deadline for applications to the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund program closed on Wednesday, November 23.

City chief administrative officer Mac Fraser told council that Birtig and his department have been working with tight timelines in order to be able to make the federal government’s closing date.

Birtig said results of the grant approval process will be released in March 2017.