The City of Kimberley is exploring its options concerning its wastewater management system, as the current plant needs to be replaced.
Don McCormick, Kimberley’s Mayor says the project is going to come with a significant price tag.
“The Ministry has identified our plant as one of the more at-risk in the province and has given us a certain time frame to undergo the replacement of that plant,” explained McCormick. “Looking at other communities in the province that are going through a similar exercise, it really doesn’t matter whether you’re looking at old technology, new technology, being safe or being a little more bold, it’s $45 to $55 million.”
McCormick added that while the City has received a $2.5 million grant 18 months ago to put towards a new wastewater treatment facility, it must still foot a large part of the bill.
“Even if we maxed out on the grant application, the borrowing we would need to do and the cost of that borrowing is going to have a significant impact on tax rates. Either in terms of variable tax rates for the household or in terms of the sewage rates that we have to charge,” explained McCormick. “Given those implications, we absolutely want to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”
The City is looking to reallocate $40,000 from its financial plan to fund a feasibility study on alternative solutions, while it continues to work on designs for its plant.
“Rather than look at it in terms of replacing the wastewater treatment plant, let’s look at it in terms of how we manage our wastewater,” said McCormick. “In doing that, we have a few out-of-the-box ideas that we’ve come up with that we are engaging an engineering firm to do an assessment on.”
McCormick said the City intends to move forward with a plan that benefits the residents of Kimberley.
“We will continue to move down the path of designing a new system, this isn’t instead of, but it’s in parallel with. We just want to make sure that whatever decision we make, it’s going to be in the best interest of the taxpayers,” said McCormick.