A funding announcement of over $1.2 million should take the sting out of a mandated water treatment plant in Harrison Hot Springs.
The money is coming mostly from the federal Gas Tax Fund, MP Mark Strahl announced on Wednesday morning in council chambers, and should be enough to cover the costs of building a new water treatment plant and upgrade the water intake process.
The upgrades are necessary to come into compliance with the Fraser Health drinking water guidelines, Mayor Leo Facio said. The Village has been filing for extensions over the past few years while researching ways to pay for the project. Without outside funding, the project would have been funded through costs to Harrison tax payers.
“This is fantastic,” Facio said. “This is something that’s not easy to do for many communities. But with a good staff and council we’ve managed to keep plugging away, and get both governments to help us in our aim to make this one of the best places to live in British Columbia.”
While the water treatment plant upgrade has been mandated by the provincial government through Fraser Health, it is one of the many items council identified at its annual retreat earlier this year, Facio added.
“At the retreat, we identified a list as long as this hallway for infrastructure,” he said.
CTQ Engineering consultant Michelle Sorensen was on hand at the announcement, and said the project is currently in the engineering stages. The RFP proposal will close on Apr. 16.
They have set a deadline for the project to be completed by the middle of December this year.
“It’s ambitious,” she admitted, but possible. The new plant would be on the same site as the existing chlorination plant, near the Harrison Fire Hall.
“We are trying to create as small a footprint as possible,” said Ian Gardner, Operations Manager.
Strahl added that smaller communities often have trouble paying for larger, needed projects out of the small tax base available.
“This is a major component for smaller villages like yours that don’t have the capacity (to fund) these kinds of major infrastructure projects on your own,” he said.
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