Interior of the Food Chain Reactor greenhouses that are being incorporated into the new Kimberley WWTP. Image credit: Organica.

Interior of the Food Chain Reactor greenhouses that are being incorporated into the new Kimberley WWTP. Image credit: Organica.

City of Kimberley approves wording of waste water treatment plant borrowing question

Question will be put to voters on Municipal Election Day October 15

In addition to voting for Mayor and six Councillors in this October’s municipal election, Kimberley residents will also be asked to approve the City’s borrowing for the replacement of the waste water treatment plant.

A couple of weeks ago council approved the wording of the question to be put in front of Kimberley residents. It will read:

“Are you in favour of City Council adopting the City of Kimberley Wastewater Treatment Plant Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 2703, 2022, which authorizes the City of Kimberley to borrow up to thirty five million dollars ($35,000,000) to be repaid over a period not to exceed thirty years (30) in order to finance the costs of constructing a wastewater treatment facility and associated infrastructure?”

While the entire $35 million may not be needed, that borrowing will be authorized in case of unexpected costs.

The project has had plenty of unexpected costs since the city decided it couldn’t wait longer on replacing the aging treatment plant, which already requires certificates from ministries in order to keep operating. It has been deemed by the BC Ministry of Environment as “one of the highest risk sewer treatment plants in the East Kootenays due to its age, lack of redundancy and the risk of potential to recreational waters, downstream water uses and the discharge to trans boundary waters from upset conditions and equipment failure.”

It is expected that grant funding will cover 73.33 per cent of the total cost or $69,825,101. The city will cover the other 26.67 of costs as well as 26.67 of the offsite works.

A grant application was submitted to the ICIP Environmental Quality Program in February of 2022.

The ICIP Program Guide associated with the grant application indicates that the approval or denial of the application will not be announced until the Spring of 2023. Despite the deferred timing of the grant announcement, the City is required to go through the long-term borrowing process to be prepared for the eventuality that the grant may be approved which would allow the WWTP project to proceed, CAO Scott Sommerville told council in a report.

The referendum/assent voting will take place at the same time as the municipal election.

Advance Voting Opportunities:

• Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at Centennial Hall; and

• Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at Centennial Hall. General Voting Day:

• Saturday, October 15, 2022

Much more information on the WWTP replacement project is available at engagekimberley.ca

READ: Costs for a new waste water treatment plant in Kimberley keep rising

READ: Kimberley’s biggest capital project — the new waste water plant