The City of Kimberley will be applying for a grant to replace its aging waste water treatment plant. City of Kimberley file

The City of Kimberley will be applying for a grant to replace its aging waste water treatment plant. City of Kimberley file

Grant opportunity now open for Kimberley’s waste water treatment plant replacement

A few weeks ago in preliminary budget discussions, City CAO Scott Sommerville said that although he didn’t know when a funding window for a potential new waste water treatment plant would open, the city would be ready to apply as soon as it did.

That window opened last week.

“On Friday, October 8th, 2021, the Federal and Provincial governments announced up to $270 million in funding for the third intake of the Environmental Quality Program, dedicated to capital infrastructure that will support treatment and management improvements for wastewater,” Sommerville informed council on October 25.

“I’m excited,” he said. “This is the grant announcement we’ve been waiting for.”

The deadline for application is January 26, 2022 and Sommerville said that although it will be a lot of work, staff will make that deadline.

The City developed a plan and design of a new plant in 2017, which is estimated to serve a population of 9,015 residents, which at that time was the estimate for Kimberley’s population in 2041. Kimberley’s population is currently an estimated 8,151. It is growing at a more rapid rate than those projections, adding about 150 new residents per year.

However, with a price tag already at $62.5 million designing for a larger population would be very expensive. There is a possibility if Kimberley’s population grew more rapidly another modular treatment plant could be built.

Mayor Don McCormick said that It’s important to understand that the problems with the current plant are not capacity.

“The existing plant was designed for 12,000 people, but it’s old.”

Council is also somewhat concerned about the amount of funds being provided in this grant window. The total is $270 million.

“”There’s not a lot of money in that, given what a new plant costs,” said Coun. Darryl Oakley. “We’re after more than a quarter of that.”

Council also agreed that borrowing the city’s portion should go to referendum, rather than the Alternate Approval Process. With an election coming up next fall, the referendum could be on the ballot.

READ: Kimberley Mayor talks housing, waste water treatment plant, wildlife

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