Central Alberta municipalities seeking help with wastewater infrastructure are getting it from the provincial government.
Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason was in Sylvan Lake on Monday morning to announce $131 million in grants to rural water projects, the largest being the $41.2 million fifth phase of the Sylvan Lake Regional Wastewater Line.
The province is contributing $37 million to the line, with the remaining $4 million to come from the member municipalities of the Sylvan Lake Regional Wastewater Commission - the Town of Sylvan Lake, the nearby five summer villages, as well as Red Deer County and Lacombe County.
The line, which will stretch from Sylvan Lake along Highway 11A to the City of Red Deer’s wastewater treatment plant, is something Mason says will protect the town’s lake.
“Anyone visiting this region on a sunny summer day will see throngs of people along the streets, in shops, at restaurants and at the beach,” he says. “This is just one more example of how our government is investing in the infrastructure needed to build the economy here and across Alberta to help create jobs and to make life better for Albertans.”
Sean McIntyre, Mayor of Sylvan Lake, says this day is a long-time coming.
“For us, it’s a very vital piece of infrastructure. We need to make sure we’re dealing with our wastewater efficiently and effectively,” he says.
“Most of us, whether we’re taking a shower or flushing the toilet, we expect that wastewater to be dealt with, and that’s really the end of our thinking of it as citizens, but as municipalities, there’s a lot more work involved. We need to transport that effluent inside our communities, we need to treat that effluent and make sure it’s released back to the environment safely and at a quality that certainly isn’t harmful to our environment.”
McIntyre says detailed design work will get underway immediately, adding they’d be happy if construction was complete in two years.
Sylvan Lake Regional Wasterwater Commission Chair Thom Jewell added, "This provincial-regional collaboration represents a major step forward in the long-term protection of the Sylvan Lake watershed. This is not only good for the people across our region but also for today's and tomorrow's environment."
The announcement also provides funding over three years for 28 other projects throughout Alberta. The province is predicting more than 900 jobs will be created.
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