Kimberley will get a new wastewater treatment plant in the future, and Mayor Don McCormick is thankful for support from the federal and provincial governments.
McCormick said conversations to replace the aging wastewater treatment facility began seven years ago.
“That sounds like a long time, but when you look at the complexities and the amount of money involved in making this happen, it becomes one of those things that all come in good time,” said McCormick. “Now that the announcement has been made and we can get on with the project, everybody is feeling pretty excited.”
City officials said the current facility was built in 1967 and has been showing its age.
“It’s old technology that had difficulty keeping up with the ever-increasing standards the Environment Ministry has been imposing on these plants,” said McCormick.
Additional issues could arise from the facility’s location, as it was built on a floodplain.
“I’ve heard stories where there have been years where the height of the river came within a foot of the dike,” said McCormick. “it’s a miracle we haven’t had an event, but the sooner we get it done, the better.”
McCormick said the new facility will be a big upgrade for the city’s infrastructure.
“It’s going to provide certainty and redundancy in case we have an issue,” said McCormick. “I think most visibly to residents, it’s going to eliminate all of the odours that come out of the existing plant from time to time.”
The City of Kimberley will have a budget of over $90.6 million for the project, thanks to over $36 million from the Government of Canada and more than $30 million from the province.
Kimberley officials said the city will put forward over $24 million for the project.
“This wastewater treatment issue is a big city problem in a community with a small city tax base,’ said McCormick. “We would have never been able to attack and solve this problem without the infrastructure grant money that has been made available to us. For a small community, that is a massive amount of money and we really appreciate the consideration from the Municipal Affairs Ministry.”
A start date for construction has not been given yet, but McCormick said the project’s completion will likely be a few years away.
More: New wastewater treatment plant coming to Kimberley (Dec 4, 2023)