Council has directed City of Kimberley staff to apply to the Local Government Infrastructure Planning Grant Program to help fund a Biosolids Management Plan and a Water Smart Action Plan.
This particular program helps local governments develop sustainable infrastructure.
The biosolids part is not related to the need for a new waste water treatment plant, Council was told, but rather responds to a recent audit by the BC Ministry of Environment that the city’s composting of solid wastes was not in compliance with the current approach to compost operations. As a result composting has stopped which has resulted in a build up of biosolids at the plant.
CAO Scott Sommerville said that the grant would assist in developing an interim plan to tide the city over until such time as a new waste water plant could be built. That plant is in the city’s long term budget, but it’s cost is well over $30 million.
Both Councillors Kent Goodwin and Darryl Oakley asked why the city’s composting was deemed non-compliant.
Sommerville said that there was new staff at the Ministry and sometimes new eyes on an old plant see things the old eyes staff didn’t point out.
The Biosolids Management Plan cost estimate is $16,200. The program will pay 100% of the first $5,000 and 50% of the next $10,000. If successful, the program will pay $10,000 and the City will fund the remaining $6,200 out of the Sewer and Water operating budgets.