City of Powell River was awarded $30,400,000 from the government of Canada and $25,330,800 from the province of British Columbia for a total of $55,730,800 in funding to build a new wastewater treatment plant.
“This is the result of a lot of hard work,” said city director of infrastructure Tor Birtig, who has been the lead on what will be the largest infrastructure project in Powell River history. “We received a large portion of our funding. We got everything we asked for.”
The grants will amount to approximately 73 per cent of the project. The city’s investment is $24,069,200.
“This is great news for Powell River,” said mayor Dave Formosa. “It’s been a long time coming, since before I was elected 13 years ago, and this is a legacy that all the previous councils can be proud of. It’s something all of Powell River can be proud of.”
The treatment facility will consolidate all wastewater from existing plants in Westview, Townsite and the Wildwood lagoon. It will significantly improve how Powell River treats wastewater and minimize human impact on the marine environment. It will also be easier to operate, maintain and administer than three existing facilities.
“A new wastewater treatment plant will meet all of the environmental regulations, benefit the economy and meet the needs of Powell River for generations,” added Formosa. “I also want to recognize and congratulate city staff, and especially Tor Birtig, who carried the load on this one.”
The plant will also have the capacity to serve Tla’amin Nation, which has expressed a continued interest in participating in the project.
“We’re extremely happy to hear the news,” said Tla’amin hegus Clint Williams, “We’re awaiting approval from Ottawa for our design that will allow us to connect to Powell River’s system. We’re eager to see the project move forward.”
Councillor Jim Palm, who holds the infrastructure portfolio, has been part of the wastewater plant debate since he was first elected.
“I’m relieved that Powell River has finally got that funding,” said Palm. “What we did was max out on our 73 per cent of funding so that’s great news for Powell River. That’s a great deal of money.”