Province doles out for rural water projects
The Alberta government plans to spend over $131 million dollars on rural water resources including upgrades to the Three Hills Water Treatment Plant and the Shirley McClellan Regional water services commission.
The Water for Life ( W4L) initiative was created in 2006 with the intention of support to new water and wastewater developments under the Alberta Municipal Water/ Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) which oversees rural development.
The W4L strategy is only available to new water and/ or wastewater systems or new extensions. Commissions or municipalities must present how their proposed alternative to the current system is cost-effective and economically justified compared to other solutions. Each pipe- line or regional system is 90 per cent funded through the grant.
For the Three Hills Water Treatment Plant, upgrades are required in order to meet Alberta Environment water treatment requirements. The W4L grant has provided $8,913,316 out of a possible $14,785,083, leaving the remainder of costs up to the municipality.
The plant, which is owned and operated by the town, currently provides water to Three Hills, Trochu, and parts of Kneehill County by drawing water from the Red Deer River, east of Three Hills.
Three Hills Mayor Tim Shearlaw is determined to see the Three Hills Water Treatment Plant project flourish in the benefit of the residents.
“It’s something that has to be done – anything that will
provide quality water to our citizens and to those who purchase our water is of priority to us,” said Shearlaw.
So far, the grant has been accepted but Shearlaw and council want to make sure all is well before going full bore.
“W e want to make sure that we are dead on with our de ci s i o n on that but I mean we are coming up to mun ic i - pal elections,” said Shearlaw. “Do we write it in stone for the new council or do we wait on the new council to finalize the direction that they want to take?”
As well as Three Hills, the Shirley McClellan Regional water services plans to have water lines stretching from Donalda to Whitesands and another line going to the Hamlet of Brown Field.
Out of the 29 projects this year, the largest project to begin is the Sylvan Lake Regional Wastewater Commission.
Plans of building a region- al wastewater line stretching from Sylvan Lake to the County of Red Deer will allow the waste removal process to proceed downstream from the plant versus the current flow upstream. “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. 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,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The total project costs $41,200,000 with the grant amount giving $37,080,000. The municipality must pay the remainder $4,120,000.
Once projects get underway, the investment will help sustain approximately 900 jobs in Alberta.
The Town of Three Hills has received a grant for $8.9 million from the Water For Life Program to upgrade its Water Treatment Plant.