Keep applying the bandaid

City will have to keep making repairs to aging facility until a grant for replacement is successful

It is no secret that Kimberley’s Waste Water Treatment plant is aging and will need to be replaced. Council is hoping, though, that they can get another five to eight years with the current plant before the multi-million dollar new plant becomes a necessity.

However, squeezing more life out of the aging plant has a price tag too.

Council received a report this week from Urban Systems on the state of the pollution control plant and what immediate repairs are needed. The price adds up to over $1 million just to stay ahead of permit requirements.

“It’s an excellent report,” said Coun. Darryl Oakley. “But it brings to mind how expensive bandaids are. You start adding everything up and to me it’s a huge red flag to make this a priority item in our strategic planning. To pay a million plus to get five to eight years more. I have a hard time pumping money into aging facilities. Marysville Arena, Civic Centre, it just goes on. We need to get ready for this huge item.”

“We did make this a priority,” said Coun. Albert Hoglund. “We applied for grant money and weren’t successful. We just have to keep pressing government and try to keep the plant running. Or build it ourselves and we don’t have $36 million”

“This project has to have one third, one third, one third funding,” Oakley said. “But we are spending huge dollars to keep permit amendments happening. What if we let it fail?”

“Unfortunately failure comes with fines,” said City CAO Scott Sommerville.  “They are not going to come to our rescue, they’ll just write tickets.”

“I can’t image what Victoria pays in fines,” Oakley said, shaking his head when he heard ‘nothing’.

Coun. Kent Goodwin pointed out that some of the expensive bandaids can be fit into the new plant.

“But how do we save for a new facility when we are paying for bandaids?” Oakley asked.

Coun. Bev Middlebrook said that the city was just completing the flume project and the timing probably wasn’t right for another huge project.

“The reality is, one third, one third, one third is the best deal we are going to see,” Mayor Don McCormick said. “We have to make sure we have our one third. All points are correct. It is urgent. We need to work towards a solution we can afford We have allocated money in the budget to begin putting it away.”

Oakley pointed out that now may be the time to just do it as borrowing was cheap.

“We don’t know what the cost of borrowing will be in the years to come and we don’t want to leave this problem for future councils.”