City looks to federal grant money for help to improve wastewater treatment

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
November 13th, 2016

The city will be looking to dip into the federal financial grant waters for over $3 million to cover a wastewater treatment plant upgrade.

Grand Forks city council voted to approve an application to submit a proposal for the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for wastewater treatment plant upgrades at its regular meeting on Nov. 7.

The proposed project has a total budget of $4.01 million, with the city contributing $682,000 from its reserves to pay for the upgrade.

The fund is a $2-billion federal program for the rehabilitation of water treatment and distribution infrastructure and wastewater treatment infrastructure, collection and conveyance infrastructure. The municipal contribution is only 17 per cent of the total project budget.

The city has also applied for the construction of well number two (well 2A) under the New Building Canada fund — Small Communities Fund (SCF) in March, 2016, and city staff advised against bumping the wastewater treatment plant application in favour of the well construction, as council had preferred.

The wastewater treatment plant upgrades in the Grand Forks capital plan were scheduled to begin in 2017, with completion slated for 2024.

“If successful, the grant application for the capital upgrades will reduce capital expenditures from the city’s reserves from over $4 million to less than $700,000, opening up significant opportunities in the five-year and 20-year capital plans,” read a city staff report to council.

The principal benefit of the new well would be the increased treatment plant capacity while improving regulatory compliance and safeguarding the receiving waters (Kettle River).

The treatment plant would include the installation of a new mixing reactor and splitting to two trains to provide redundancy in the system, as well as increasing capacity for future growth and ensuring the plant does not exceed permitted flows.

“De-sludging is immediately required to enable current and future capacity in the lagoon system,” read a city staff report to council.

Energy optimization and improvements to the aerators will pay themselves off in several years and will also be eligible for FortisBC rebates if accomplished in the next two years.

As well, the city will be submitting a proposal for the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for a sewer phasing plan for a total budget of $100,000, with the city contributing $17,000 from reserves.

The sewer phasing plan is required to examine options and priorities for future sewer system expansion into unserviced areas of the community, such as the west end of the city, the airport area, Donaldson Drive, South Ruckle, Johnson’s Flats and east of the Kettle River adjacent to highway 3, read a city staff report to council.

“An additional aspect of this study will be to identify options for septage (septic tank sludge) receiving and processing and future composting of biosolids resulting from the wastewater treatment plant upgrades,” the report stated.

Increased industrial and commercial development would be realized with the sewer extension, while groundwater and drinking water supplies would be protected from aging and failing septic systems.

Hurry harder

Residents of Grand Forks, electoral area C (Christina Lake) and electoral area D (rural Grand Forks) will be paying a little more for the opportunity to curl this year.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) will be increasing the requisition for the service to cover costs for the operation of the Grand Forks Curling Rink.

A new bylaw will convert the slp to a service establishment bylaw under the Local Government Act.

Under the bylaw, the RDKB board of directors will amend the conditions related to the service by raising the requisition limit — from $35,000 to $43,750 — in order to meet the rising costs for the service.

The requisition will come through property tax values collected in the three regions the service covers.

Categories: General

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