Grant sought to fund waste water treatment upgrade

$1.85 million: Sicamous’ share to be paid through DCCs and reserves.

District of Sicamous council voted unanimously to support a Small Communities Fund application in the amount of $1.85 million for the wastewater treatment plant upgrade.

There were two related motions on the table at council’s Feb. 11 regular meeting, one for $1.7 million for an upgrade without collection system generators, and the pricier one including the generators.

Council chose the more expensive option, with Sicamous’ one-third share being funded through a combination of development cost charges and reserves.

Mayor Terry Rysz said the district could have gone the cheaper route now and add the generators later, but decided to get the upgrade completed once and for all.

Rysz says council thoroughly discussed the matter and did an inspection of the plant before deciding to move ahead with the grant application.

“The community is definitely looking to improve the system; we’re kind of maxed out on it, so we definitely have to address it,” said Rysz. “For any future development, we need to get this plant in order.”

The mayor says True Consulting has also done an inspection and given direction as to what upgrades they think are needed to bring the plant in compliance with the district’s waste management permit (issued by the Ministry of Environment) and related discharge and capacity limitations.

“The application for the grant goes to government for approval and the rest remains to be seen,” he said. “Actually, I feel very comfortable that we will get support on that funding application.”

And taxpayers will likely feel more comfortable when they learn Sicamous’ one-third share will come from money that has already been put aside.

“There are a multitude of eligible project categories for this grant application; however, the wastewater treatment plant upgrade is the largest in scope for the district at this time,” wrote chief financial officer Kelly Bennett in her report to council. “In addition, this application is planned to be submitted as part of the Gas Tax Strategic Fund Grant program, which supports local government infrastructure which is larger in scale, has a regional impact or is innovative.”