Water treatment plant will need replacement; question is when

A multi-million dollar replacement looms in the future

Each year, the federal and provincial governments make infrastructure funding available to municipalities on a one third, one third, one third model, meaning communities pay one third of the cost of a project.

Kimberley city staff, under direction of Council,  have put together a five year capital plan with an eye to identifying priorities for infrastructure funding.

“There will be many communities competing for these infrastructure dollars,” said Mayor Ron McRae. “We want to be equal to the competition.”

That means having a very clear idea of what the priorities are.

One of the major issues that is looming, but may not have to be addressed immediately, is the replacement of the waste water treatment plant.

“There was a lot of conversation around this at Council,” McRae said. “At some point we may have to address replacement. At this point it’s not on the radar — we are in compliance with regulations but for forward planning we need to take a look at this.”

Replacement of the plant will be a multi-million dollar project.

“Many, many communities are facing the prospect of replacing their plants,” McRae said. “If the health authority says you are not in compliance, you must replace it.”

Further complicating things is that regulations change and what was in compliance today may not be tomorrow.

“We are still not totally clear on where we sit with respect to changing regulations. Staff will be looking at it more intensely and confirm when it must be upgraded, because there are other infrastructure projects that could move up the priority list.”