As­sess­ing the meet­ing

Gander res­i­dents at­tend in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on new sewage treat­ment plant

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY ADAM RAN­DELL

Gander res­i­dents at­tend in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on new sewage treat­ment plant.

To pro­vide res­i­dents with a stronger sense of what’s hap­pen­ing with the pro­posed waste­water treat­ment fa­cil­ity, and to pay its due dili­gence in mov­ing for­ward with reg­is­ter­ing the re­quired en­vi­ron­men­tal, the Town of Gander held a pub­lic in­for­ma­tion ses­sion.

On March 28 ap­prox­i­mately 12 res­i­dents, along with town coun­cil­lors and em­ploy­ees sat in on the meet­ing, headed up by Greg Shep­pard, a civil en­gi­neer with CBCL Lim­ited – the engi­neer­ing firm con­tracted for the pro­ject, and Melissa Ruther­ford, CBCL en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tist.

“We look at what kind of changes or ef­fects that it could have on the en­vi­ron­ment,” said Ruther­ford. “We do a pretty thor­ough as­sess­ment of en­dan­gered species in the area, how the pro­ject is be­ing con­structed and when were con­struct­ing it, how it’s go­ing to be done. Hav­ing mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures in place to make sure we are putting to­gether a pro­ject that’s en­vi­ron­men­tally sound.”

Af­ter the doc­u­ment has been sub­mit­ted to the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment for reg­is­tra­tion, it goes through re­view, which could take up to 45 days in to­tal.

The idea is to es­tab­lish a de­sign-build for­mat, in which CBCL de­signs the pro­ject, lines up con­trac­tors through a ten­der­ing process, then be­gin­nings the build­ing phase.

Po­ten­tial con­tac­tors have now been short listed to four. The aim is to have ground bro­ken on the new pro­ject this fall.

The spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the new fa­cil­ity are still be­ing pre­pared, with the treated waste­water be­ing dis­charged into Whitman’s Pond. How the af­flu­ent will be han­dled is still un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

Sid Small lives near Magee Road and he’s more than ex­cited that a new fa­cil­ity is go­ing to al­le­vi­ate the less than pleas­ant odors that have been com­ing from the cur­rent fa­cil­ity.

“I was more or less look­ing for a time­line, to mon­i­tor the progress,” he said. “You’ve got a new school open­ing with more than 400 kids, new de­vel­op­ment tak­ing place, so I’m hop­ing it can be com­pleted sooner rather than later.”

Over­all he’s pleased with the amount of progress that has been made.

But Small does have some con­cern sur­round­ing the pro­ject, in go­ing through the en­vi­ron­men­tal process, there’s a lot of red tape be­fore the pro­ject gets signed off on.

And given the cur­rent need for up­grades in Gander, he’s hop­ing the gov­ern­ment chan­nels for fi­nal­iz­ing the pro­ject can be ex­pe­dited.

ADAM RAN­DELL/TC ME­DIA

The square next to Whitman’s Pond is where the new waste­water treat­ment fa­cil­ity for the Town of Gander will be lo­cated.

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