BY KALISHA MENDONSA
After many years of band-aid upgrades to regional wastewater services, Mayor Steve Christie said the official commission is looking forward to some definite plans being set in the near future.
As Chair of the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Services Commission, Christie expressed great thanks and excitement on behalf of the Commission in response to federal and provincial funding announcements made this September.
“On Sept. 1st, we had a great announcement with the federal and provincial governments signing off on a funding agreement through Building Canada funds. We’ve been approved and are feeling great about that,” he said.
The federal government has committed to contributing 50% of the project funding, with the province contributing 40% and the Commission covering the final 10%.
The projected cost of the new North Red Deer regional line is approximately $70 million.
The Commission was officially established in 2008 and has since undergone extensive planning processes, applications for funding and a number of changes to the original planned route for the wastewater line.
Christie said the group is now continuing work on a detailed design and will soon move on to a land acquisition phase.
As well, he said the Commission – which includes the municipalities of Lacombe, Blackfalds and Lacombe County – is in discussion with the City of Red Deer for their roles as connecting partners in the final product.
“We are still over the moon with the announcement from Sept. 1st and continue to move forward dotting ‘I’s and crossing ‘T’s with regards to connection points in Red Deer, how we’re going to move, who will pay for what and what Red Deer’s role will be,” he said.
“Hopefully in the next three weeks to a month we will have a signed agreement encompassing everything needed and we can move forward.
“It’s a great, great feeling to know that people are out there ready to work and ready to go. It’ll help create quite a few jobs and a better economy in Central Alberta.”
In the original plan from the Commission, the North Red Deer communities were to be on the regional wastewater line by 2012. From 2007 when the Commission was pitched to now, the City of Lacombe, the Town of Blackfalds and the municipality of Lacombe County have all had to put money towards temporary upgrades and service on the wastewater lines.