of The Clarion
The Town of Kindersley wants to complete a major wastewater project but the expensive work has been put on hold due to the lack of grant funding in 2017.
Town council members passed a resolution at a meeting on Nov. 14 to transfer $1.25 million to a reserve account. The money had been budgeted for 2017 to expand the capacity of the town’s wastewater lagoon system located southwest of Kindersley.
Council was being presented with a resolution to direct the mayor and chief administrative officer to enter into an amended agreement with AECOM, the engineer for the project, and to include $335,200 in the town’s 2018 budget to cover the amended agreement.
The proposed resolution stated that Phase 1 of the major project is to be completed in 2018 and Stage 2 is to be completed in 2019. The resolution never went to council and, instead, officials moved the money around.
Mayor Rod Perkins said the town has already made an investment in the project. He noted that AECOM has done the preliminary engineering to prepare for the work. A resolution was passed in June 2016 to enter an agreement with AECOM to complete a topographical survey, geotechnical investigation and preliminary design for the project.
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The wastewater project is estimated to cost about $4.5 million, or about two-thirds as much as building a new aquatic centre. The aquatic centre is projected to cost nearly $6.5 million.
Perkins said the town included $1.25 million in the 2017 budget for the project. But the money is not going to be spent in 2017 and it has now been placed into a reserve to be included in the town’s upcoming budget.
“We’re moving that (money) into reserves for next year,” he said of the $1.25 million, adding that a lagoon expansion is important for the community. “We’re talking about a pretty huge project here and what we’re waiting for is some government funding to go ahead.”
He said the town is not in a critical situation with respect to the need to build more capacity into the lagoon system, but the town is nearing a critical situation. Perkins said several municipalities are in a similar positions.
The town has applied for a federal-provincial grant through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) of the federal government’s Investing in Canada program, the continuation of the Building Canada Fund. Several Saskatchewan municipalities have had projects approved under the CWWF program but Kindersley is not one of them.
The federal government covers 50 per cent of the project cost, the provincial government covers 25 per cent and the municipality covers the remaining 25 per cent. Perkins said the project depends on grant funding.
“We’ve been told we’re close to the top of the pile for grant money,” he said, adding the $1.25 million would be used to cover the town’s part for the grant. “Until we get it, I don’t think we’re in a position to do what needs to be done.”
The town has embarked on two other major projects – the aquatic centre and the regional landfill. Perkins said the town would have started the lagoon project in 2017 if a grant had been received, so it’s not on the back burner as a result of the other ongoing major projects.